“What music from the world really sounds like.”
Welcome to the pilot webisode of Real World Music, brought to you by MIIS Radio out of the DLC. This segment focuses on presenting to you authentic sounds and musical compositions from places around the world, while remaining curious, respectful, and appreciative.
Sometimes clips are gathered from abroad, but the following 6 minute clip was recorded from an Arabic presentation on Monday, March 24th. Dwight Reynolds, a religious studies professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, visited MIIS and presented to a group of Arabic students, in Arabic, both a lesson in Islamic storytelling in North Africa and a musical composition on an instrument called the Rebab.
The rebab is very much like the violin or lute, but thinner, normally constructed from wood and a taught hide. Native to Yemen and the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, the instrument traveled through North Africa to Morocco during the Fatimid Caliphate of the early 10th century. Instrumentals on the rebab would usually be accompanied by a long, elaborate story called a Sirat, and the two sounds combined could entertain an audience for a few hours at a time, especially during the month of Ramadan. The rebab has since seen a revival in fusion musics around the world, but has for the most part remained out of the mainstream spotlight since the 12th century.
The recording started about a second late, but the music and composition are incredible. Professor Reynolds even pays homage to some of the founders of sirat storytelling like Beni Hilal during his performance.