CANCELLED: Thursday Talks: The poem al-Burda and its life in current Arab poetry and music
al-Burda – or the Mantle Ode – is a classical Arab qasida praising the prophet Muhammad. It is part of the Arab-Islamic poetic canon and it is attributed a broad array of religious and cultural meanings. Since it came into being in the thirteenth century, it has been the subject of countless uses: poetic, musical, religious and political.
This lecture takes issue with the thirteenth-century Mantle Ode and two emulations of the poem from the early twentieth and the early twenty-first century respectively. By tracking the musical use of these, it maps a broad field of current musical practices in the Arab world, ranging from religious ritual to the concert hall and popular music formats.
The case as a whole provides an insight into how Arab art in dialogue with ancient traditions can connect with current agendas. The two emulations relate to the great societal events of the time: the Egyptian revolt against the English in the early twentieth century and the Egyptian January Revolution in 2011.
Participants: musicologist Søren Møller Sørensen (University of Copenhagen), literary and social scholar Mohammed Almahfali (Lund University), and oud virtuoso and composer Bilal Irshed (Copenhagen).
The event is in English.