Henry George Farmer and the First International Congress of Arab Music (Cairo 1932)


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Henry George Farmer (1882-1965) was a pioneering musicologist who specialized in Arab music. In 1932, he participated in the First International Congress of Arab Music in Cairo, during which he maintained a journal recording his daily activities, interactions with fellow delegates and dignitaries, and varied perambulations throughout the city. This journal, and the detailed minutes he kept for his chaired Commission on History and Manuscripts, were never published. They reveal aspects and inner-workings of the Congress that have hitherto remained unknown. The illustrations and photos contained therein, as well as additional photos that were never seen, provide visual documentation of the Congress’s participants and musical ensembles.

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Israel J. Katz, Ph.D. (1967), University of California at Los Angeles, is Research Associate at the University of California at Davis. He has published monographs and articles on Judeo-Spanish and Portuguese traditional ballads, including The Traditional Folk Music and Dances of Spain: A Bibliographical Guide to Research (HSMS, 2009).
Foreword (Amnon Shiloah)
Preface (Sheila M. Craik)
Chapter One: Henry George Farmer: His life and works to his fiftieth birthday
Chapter Two: The First International Congress of Arab Music (Cairo, 1932)
Chapter Three: Farmer’s “Itinerary of visit to Cairo”
Collage of photos from the Kurt Schindler Collection
Chapter Four: The Commission of History and Manuscripts
Chapter Five: Afterthoughts and follow-up
General Index
Musicologists, ethnomusicologists, and all others who are interested in the music of the Arab Middle East and North Africa.
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