February, 16 to February 17, 2016
Mīkhāʾīl Mashāqa (1800-1888) was the first known modern theoretician of music to explain in written form the 24-quartertones system that was to become a standard in most Arabian countries. The lecture will reflect briefly how the personal development of this historian was closely bound with the history of the Middle East in the 19th century before shedding light on his musicological writings which, unlike other theories of Arabian music, compare the latter with the theories of Byzantine chant, namely the system of Chrysanthos of Madytos (1770-1846), who was the leader of the first "modern" reform of the Byzantine orthodox chant. This characteristic of Mashāqa’s treatise on music led the speaker to a thorough research on the two Patriarchal reforms of the 19th century.
It will be therefore shown how the theory of Chrysanthos is related to other Eastern theories like the Indian śruti system or the maqāmāt of Shihāb al-Dīn al-Ḥijāzī. At the same time, this reading will be contrasted to Western musicological theorieson Eastern chant and their focus on Hellenistic rereading of Ancient Greek theories which, apart from trying to reduce Byzantine chant to a by-product of Western music, became the main tool of Orientalist studies on the music of the Middle East.
The presentation includes audio excerpts/analyses and liveʿūd examples.
Amine Beyhom is a musician and a composer as well as a former engineer and music producer. As a musicologist attached to the Centre de Recherches sur les Musiques Arabes et Apparentées (CERMAA a subsidiary of the FOREDOFICO foudation), Lebanon, and formerly to the Université de la Sorbonne - Paris IV, he has published numerous articles on Arabian music theories and praxis, and a first book Théories de l᾽échelle et pratiques mélodiques chez les Arabes. Une approche systématique et diachronique, Paris 2010 (downloadable with the articles at:
This presentation is based on his new book on Théories byzantines de l᾽échelle et pratiques du chant byzantin arabe, published 2015 see: (http://foredofico.org/CERMAA/archives/584) and co-organized with the Centre de Recherches sur les Musiques Arabes et Apparentées.
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