Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Conference on Arabic Music in Cairo 1932

Original label from one of the 78 rpm's

Recordings from the
Conference on Arabic Music held in
Cairo 1932

The conference on Arabic music was held in Cairo 1932 on the initiative of baron d'Erlanger and under the presedency of King Fouad I in the presence of several great musicologists, composers and orientalists, uniting the best of the classical and popular music styles performing musicians of the Maghreb and Asia Minor. After recordings made under the direction of Béla Bartòk and Mansûr Awad in connection with the conference, the Gramophone Company published noncommercially more than one hundred sixty 78 rpm discs. That is more than 320 sides of approximately 3 minutes each.

Finally in the 1990's some reissues from this vast body of recordings made at the Cairo conference 1932, previously only accessible to a few specialized scholars was made available on CD for the enjoyment and scrutiny of a wider audience . The ones that I know of will be posted here. I have decided to make the long out of print reissues of these early 78 rpm recordings available again to a wider o a possibly wider group of listener than has been reached before. These recordings are too precious to be forgotten in some attics of institutions or remain rare precious unobtainable objects in private collections.

This is truly beautiful music that constantly is worthy of finding new listeners.

First out is this boxed 2 CD collection that was published with a very informative book in several languages. This edition a long out of print and there has to my knowledge not been issued again. It was hard to get a copy already in the beginning of the nineties. I hope you enjoy this effort and should you sit on any other material visual printed or audio please share it with me. See also the end of this post for a list of what will be forthcoming.

Congrès du Caire 1932 Vol.1-2
APN 88 - 9-10 - P.1988

(Institut du Monde Arabe et Phonotheque National du France)

APN 88 - 9

Disc 1

01 Abûdhiyya 4:45 Musique Savante de Bagdad / Irak
02 Maqâm Ibrâhîmî 20:50 Musique Savante de Bagdad / Irak
03 Pasta 5:54 Musique Savante de Bagdad / Irak
04 Taqsîm Santûr 3:02 Musique Savante de Bagdad / Irak
05 Taqsîm Jawza 3:00 Musique Savante de Bagdad / Irak
06 Taqsîm °ûd 2:59 Musique Savante de Bagdad / Irak

The Iraqi ensemble of Mohammad al-Qubbanji (1901-1989)
(as you see he died only one year after this re-issue so you see 
why there is no year given in the booklet.)

07 Mawwâl & Taqtûqa 5:35 Musique Populaire / Égypte
08 Chant De Mariage 5:27 Musique Populaire / Égypte
09 Air De Procession Des Pèlerins 2:45 Musique Populaire / Égypte
10 Samâ°î Bayyâtî Thaqîl 3:11 Musique Populaire / Égypte
11 Chant & Danse de Bedouins 3:32 Musique Populaire / Égypte
12 Zâr Sa°îdî 4:42 Musique Populaire / Égypte
13 El Zâr Nubien 4:50 Musique Populaire / Égypte

Disc 1 total time: 71:31

The Egyptian ensemble of Mohammad al Arabi (1885-1941)
are represented here with some of my favourite tracks.

APN 88 - 10

Disc 2

01 Tawshiya 6:01 Musique Citadine De Tlemcen / Algérie
02 Shughl Basît 6:01 Musique Citadine De Tlemcen / Algérie
03 Mawwâl Il Taghtiya 2:55 Musique Citadine De Tlemcen / Algérie
04 Inshâd Baytayn Taghtiya I 3:03 Musique Citadine De Tlemcen / Algérie
05 Hawfî 3:08 Musique Citadine De Tlemcen / Algérie
06 Batâ'ihî 3:08 Musique Citadine De Tlemcen / Algérie

The Algerian ensemble of the singer el Hajj al-Arabi Ibn Sari (1883-1965) 
who also played Ud, Rabab and Qanun.

07 Bughya Tawshiya 4:57 Musique Savante De Féz / Maroc
08 Shughl Basît 6:16 Musique Savante De Féz / Maroc
09 Mawwâl Il Taghtiya 2:55 Musique Savante De Féz / Maroc
10 Inshâd Baytayn Taghtiya I 2:43 Musique Savante De Féz / Maroc
11 El Inshâd Baytayn Il Taghtiya II 2:25 Musique Savante De Féz / Maroc
12 Mawwâl 2:29 Musique Savante De Féz / Maroc

The Moroccan Ensemble of Umar Faid al Juaydi (1873-1952)
that participated at the Cairo conference. 
The singer Muhammad al-Shuwayka (c 1890-1940) 
is the man with the rabab. Originating from Meknes
he also sang in the Fes tradition. There are only six tracks in 
this set but I will post a record with twenty tracks of this group later. 

13 Istiftâh & Musaddar 4:27 Musique Citadine De Tunis / Tunisie
14 Abyât & Batâ'ihî 7:02 Musique Citadine De Tunis / Tunisie
15 Qasîda 3:01 Musique Citadine De Tunis / Tunisie
16 Muwashshah & Zajal 3:22 Musique Citadine De Tunis / Tunisie
17 Chant De Circoncision 2:43 Musique Citadine De Tunis / Tunisie
18 Danse De La Ghayta 2:52 Musique Citadine De Tunis / Tunisie

Disc 2 total time: 70:13

The Tunisian ensemble of Muhammad Ghanim (c 1880-1940)

Arabic front


There is some duplication on other releases with reissued material from this conference but I stronlgy recommend you to get this volume as well because of the very informative and nice accompanying trilingual (french, english and arabic) 200+ pages volume:
«Congres du Caire 1932 - La Musique Arabe Savante & Populaire» Paris.

After a preparation period from 15-27 March the conference on Arabic Music 
was held in Cairo from the 28th of March - 3'rd of April. 
As can be seen from the picture above, there were many illustrious participants.
One of the driving forces behind the Conference, held under the auspices of 
King Fouad 1 of Egypt,was baron Rodolph d'Erlanger, who in the end was unable to attend 
due to illness that was to take his life a few months afterwards.
Some of the participants and organisers were composers Bela Bartok, 
Paul Hindemith, Aloïs Haba, Henri Rabaud, music critic Emile Vuillermoz, 
musicologists Erich Morris von Hornbostel, Robert Lachmann, Curt Sachs, Egon Weilesz, 
and orientalists baron Carra de Veaux, Padre Xavier Colangettes, Henry George Farmer, 
Alexis Chottin,
In the picture above you can also find one (maybe two) 
of the few female participants.

For the rest of republished recordings from the conference known to me see this list. I will, in due time, post all those remaining volumes here as well. If you have information about any other reissues than the ones mentioned in the list please let me know. When done with the above I will also attempt to post some related material.

I will also add a bibliography and try to list all the recordings at a later date.
Anyhow more will come in due time.

Again, I have kept you waiting for what should have been a complete post.

My sincere apologies!

I am really truly sorry, this post went out of the house before it was ready! Again I was overly enthusiastic about the free time I might get on my hands but also again was overwhelmed by my workload to the point that I forgot that I had set a publishing date for this post that turned out to be premature! I had the best intention, I assure you, to supply links to all the music files and the accompanying book in pdf and to provide a lot more information to the post! I finally got it done this weekend. I hope you don't mind that I did not delete the post since a few kind people had already commented on it! Again, please excuse the once again prolonged wait. 

Now all the files are also here below! The optimized pdf will be here later but all the scans for the record in high resolution are already here! 

The scans is probably what always takes the longest time to prepare for most of the posts.

Anyhow here they are in a rather unnecessary high quality considering the original 78 rpm.
So also the non-lossy files are included should you prefer to make single channel mono in another tighter bitrate. All the documentation is included in each file below so the files are rather big. 
Maybe I should have separate files for the documentation only. 
Leave a comment if you have any problems with them,