Earlier today I attended a lecture by Dr. Philip Schuyler on Classical Andalusian Music. It was an enlightening presentation on the history, technical aspects (both the lyrics and the music) and the prominent figures of Classical Andalusian Music. You might have never thought that the first expert of the music that later developed into the Classical Andalusian Music was a female musician in Iraq–and this woman was dark-complexioned, which indicates her African or slave-descent. The tempo and mood of this music are so complex and delicate to the degree that they are meant to be played for specific times of day. Some musicians and physicians in the medieval era even used the music for therapy.

The instruments involved in the Classical Andalusian Music vary in terms of their origins. This music, of course, has the oud (which has a long tradition in Iraq) the tar (or the Andalusian tambourine) and rebab (a delicate two-stringed instrument whose Indonesian descendant we still can see played by cotton candy/arbanat peddler). In addition to that, this music includes the violin, which is a European instrument, which, uniquely enough, is played on the lap–instead of on the chin–by the musicians of Classical Andalusian Music.

Dr. Schuyler also presented the differences between the Andalusian music as played in Spain and the one currently played in Marocco–across the pond from Andalusia. For further information about this lecture, wait a little bit until I can upload the video I took from the lecture.

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