Cross-culture Choral Music Education: Issues for Western Choral Conductors Related to the Performance of Arabic Choral Music
Description: The concept of choral music as defined by the Western world was foreign to Arab cultures until the colonization of the Arab world began in the seventeenth century when we began to see the Western choral style emerging in the churches of the Arab world. Group singing of traditional music was done in unison or heterophonic textures. Notated part-singing is a product of colonization, Westernization, Christianization, and now globalization. In recent years, singing music in mixed or multiple voicings not of a heterophonic nature has spread beyond the churches to the secular Arab world. As choral singing has increased in the Arab world, a new genre of Arabic choral music has emerged. In order for Western conductors to effectively teach, conduct, or perform these new works, it is important for them to develop a basic understanding of traditional Arabic musical styles and pronunciation of the language, thereby making Arabic choral music more accessible and enabling it to become a part of the larger world’s musical vocabulary. This study serves as an introductory resource for non-Arab choral conductors concerning key elements related to performing Arabic choral music and provides a context for how these elements relate to this evolving choral genre. In addition, through interviews with composers and conductors of Arabic choral music, this project will further inform the reader regarding the performance of this genre.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Earnhart, Cari L.