A Treatise on Qanun Musical Ornaments

Risāla fī Zakhārif al-Qānūn al-Mūsīqiyya


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The present volume is a double edition in English and Arabic about the art of ornamentations in the performance of the Arabic qanun (psaltery), and a historical document spanning more than one hundred years. It is based on George Sawa's experience as an artist and performer, as well as the experience of his teachers and their teachers. For the latter, Dr Sawa used his recollections of what his teachers said about their teachers, as well as recordings made by European companies that recorded their works on 78 rpm at the beginning of the 20th century. .

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George Dimitri Sawa, Ph.D. (1983, University of Toronto) is an independent researcher concentrating on medieval Arabic music theory and literature. He was trained in Egypt in qanun and classical Arabic music, and in Toronto in Arabic historical musicology. He taught medieval, modern and sacred music at the University of Toronto and York University. He has published over fifty articles in encyclopaedias and academic journals, and is the author of several books: Music Performance Practice in the Early ʿAbbāsid Era and Rhythmic Theories and Practices in Arabic Writings to 950 CE (Institute of Medieval Music, 2009, 2020); Egyptian Music Appreciation and Practice for Bellydancers (Toronto, 2010); Erotica, Love and Humor in Arabia (McFarland, 2016); An Arabic Musical and Socio-Cultural Glossary of Kitāb al-Aghānī ; Musical and Socio-Cultural Anecdotes from Kitāb al-Aghānī l-Kabīr, and Ḥāwī l-Funūn wa-Salwat al-Maḥzūn, Encompasser of the Arts and Consoler of the Grief-Stricken by Ibn al-Ṭaḥḥān (Brill, 2015, 2019, 2021).
Performers in Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Indonesia, Middle East as well as music departments and conservatoires.
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