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Music in the World of Islam

An international conference organised by the Assilah Forum Foundation and the Maison des Cultures du Monde (Paris)
Assilah (Morocco), August 3 to 9, 2007


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For any further information :

Call for proposals of papers

The Assilah Forum Foundation (Assilah, Morocco) and the Maison des
Cultures du Monde (Paris, France) organize a conference on Music in the
World of Islam to be held in Assilah from August 7 to 11, 2007.

At the dawn of the 21st century and 75 years after the Congress of Arab
Music (Cairo, 1932), it seems necessary to examine the state of musical
traditions in the world of Islam.

The situation of musical traditions in the Islamic world changed
significantly after the Second World War due to the independence
movements, the Cold War, the non-aligned country policies, the development
of the media and globalization. New issues are appearing nowadays with the
concepts of cultural diversity and protection of intangible cultural
heritage, which will have an obvious effect on the futures of the various
musical traditions. Varying approaches have been taken depending on the
countries and their cultures and these merit consideration and comparison.
The goal of this conference will be to recognize the vitality and
diversity of the musical traditions and practices found in the world of
Islam today and to promote greater circulation of knowledge and practices
in a spirit of tolerance and mutual recognition.
The program for the plenary sessions will include an inaugural day and
four theme days:
1.     Music across borders
* Brief history of exchanges and circulation of musicians
* Migrations of art, folk and religious traditions
* Transcontinental musical areas (e.g. the Gulf and East Africa)
* Circulation of "light" and supra-regional musical forms (e.g. light music
and Indian or Egyptian film music)
2.     Musical production
* Creativity within the tradition: academism vs. innovation, the future of
formal traditional models
* Contemporary creation in the spirit of the tradition (or in the
traditional style) 
* Contemporary creation that breaks with tradition: new recipes and new
* Authenticity, innovation and artistic paternity: the composer╣s place
* Fusion and the conditions for its success
* Links with poetry and dance
* Improvisation vs. composition
* Maqam composition techniques: comparative approach.
* The Suite and the Taqsim
3.     Music and society
* Performance contexts today and their changes since the Cairo Congress of
* Mesomusic (midway between folk and learned) and the popularization of
music of the educated classes (or art music ?)
* The range of genres as a moving reflection of the social order
* The mode of Sufi musics
* Musicians╣ positions and status
* The specific roles of women and children
* Amateur vs. professional practices
* Music and money: who benefits?
* Issues of the star system
4.     Music and politics
* Music, authority and power
* Music and the State
* The secular and sacred domains: antagonism?
* Positions of the ulemas on the licitness of music in the world of Islam
* Expression of identity through music
* Ethnicity and diversity
* Music and scandal
* Patronage: ancient and modern
The geographic areas involved are:
* The Arabian peninsula
* The Maghreb 
* The Mashreq 
* Turkey, Iran, Central Asia
* Southern Asia 
* Southeast Asia 
* Sub-Saharan Africa
* Southern Europe 
* The diasporas 
Each speaker should propose a paper focusing on the region connected to
his areas of research within the framework of the topics suggested above.
Local problematics and micro-monographs are not within the scope of this
conference. Speakers should thus give their papers a cross-cultural or
comparative focus.

Each proposal must:
* Specify the topic and the sub-topic(s) chosen (see list above);
* Indicate the geographical area involved (the paper may deal with a part
of this area or several areas);
* Submit a 300 to 400 word abstract of the paper;
* Be accompanied by a curriculum vitae.

Papers must be of no more than 20 minutes in length.

The languages for the conference will be Arabic, English and French with
simultaneous translation into these three languages.

Proposed papers are to be submitted for the approval of the conference╣
apex committee.

Speakers who wish to present sound recordings and audio-visual materials
must do so outside of the plenary sessions in an audio-visual area that
will be put at their disposal.

Deadline for sending of proposals: October 15, 2006.
Please send your proposal of paper to:
Pierre Bois, conference coordinator
Maison des Cultures du Monde, 101 Bd Raspail, 75006 Paris, France.
Telephone ++33 (0)1 45 44 72 30  / fax ++33 (0)1 45 44 76 60.
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