Junta de Andalucía. Consejería de Cultura. Junta de Andalucía Consejería de Cultura
Centro de Documentación Musical de Andalucía
Directorio Institucional

El Canto Andalusí: aproximación histórica y geográfica a la Herencia Andalusí

Amina Alaoui

Hispano-Muslim Song: an Historical and Geographical Approach to yhe legacy of Medieval Andalusia


When the soul remained in Adams body, the angel emerged and silenced its voice. When the soul sought to free itself, it was Adam that began to sing, so delighting the soul that it defini­tively settled in his body. Ever since, the soul has retained the affectionate memory o f the divine melodies that made it susceptible to music.
This Arab legend provides a glimpse of how song and music contribute to animating the soul within the body to recover the breath of life and, on a broader scale, how they contribute to the equilibrium of human beings and the cosmic order thanks to their con­nections with the spiritual realm. In the same fashion, in Hispano-Muslim music, song (the sawt-el, or messenger) and music (the spirit) constantly participate in the movements of the universe of the nuba (musical piece), attuned to the disposition and tone of the soul of the tab’ (the musical scale) and ruled by the rhythms (the heart) that emanate from the body of the poem (words and meaning); all together creating the equilibrium necessary to be in tune with the cosmic symphony of the moment.
In Hispano-Muslim music, the Nuba (the musical piece) is both a microcosm and a reflection of the Universe. A 11 of its movements, all of its components and their symbol­ism are structured, organised and codified so as to reflect and participate in the Universal Harmony. This musical system was conceived by philosophers and creative artists in the 9th century; indeed the great Muslim philosopher and theoretician A1 Kindi observed that it was as impossible to fix music in writing as to record the movements and variations of the universe, given that it is simultaneously ruled by both laws and humours (variations, states of mind and spirit). The function of the artist or creator is to contribute to the
equilibrium of the Cosmos and the microcosm, to the nüba in this case, as he has the keys and codes to recreate the process proper to his art, united within him.
Given their critical function, however, there exists the danger that artists might lose the keys and codes that regulate this music, and that composers able to recreate its repertory might become scarce. When the keys are lost, Hispano-Muslim music becomes stagnant and decomposes as the soul abandons the body.
Unfortunately, today we are witnessing the demise of this common musical patrimony: on the one hand, the Maghreb is reducing this legacy to decorative artisanry precisely because musicians there are losing the keys, the philosophy and respect for this art form; and on the other hand, although it belongs to Spain as surely as do the Alhambra and the Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain is losing this heritage because it has not dedicated sufficient care and attention to it. The author of this article hopes that her pleas will not be made in vain.

Idioma: spa

Páginas: 285 - 317

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