More about the book
About the book
Although Bahraini music, the theme of this book, stretches back
over many thousands of years, Music in Bahrain is - apart
from those in Arabic - the first publication to deal with this very
Poul Rovsing Olsen, a Western ethnomusicologist and composer of international renown, first went to Bahrain to record its music in 1958, and he continued at intervals to do so during the following twenty years.
In 1958, oil had replaced pearls as the island's primary source of wealth, and traditional music had begun to decline. Rovsing Olsen searched out music wherever he could, at private village weddings and performances for dignitaries, in the houses of retired pearl divers and sessions at Radio Bahrain.
A cross-section of these recordings are preserved on the three CDs that accompany this volume. Among other things, there are chapters devoted to religious singing, African influences, the music of pearl divers, women's songs and festive dances. It is the spirit of festive dance that seems, more than any other, to animate the many musical genres of Bahraini music, in which, as Rovsing Olsen once wrote, "the feast was the real essence".
Table of contentsPreface
The Musical Instruments
The Work Songs of the Pearl Divers
Music of African Descent
Jirba and Jufti
List of music on accompanying Compact Discs 1-3
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