Ekspansja europejska a renesans w świecie arabskim: odrodzenie kultury muzycznej w Egipcie

Ashraf S. Benyamin

European Expansion and the Arab Renaissance: The Renaissance of the Musical Culture in Egypt

This article addresses issues concerning cultural and political influence of the West in the Arabic world. Yet, despite the hostility, European expansion in Arab lands allowed for a greater exposure of European culture and musical heritage. Fascinated by the Western culture after the cultural shock, brought on by Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, the Arabs have allowed Europeans to interfere with their cultural reform programs. An attempt to improve and modernize the status of Arabic music performance, education and composition in accordance with the European Zeitgeist was made at the Cairo Congress of Arabic Music of 1932 by the social and political activities behind. As a result, towards the end of the nineteenth and into the mid-twentieth centuries, the Arabs integrated into the European cultures, in a sense, they became familiar with Western music, processed it, reproduced Western musical culture on their own ground; incorporated European musical instruments to their music, drawing from its patterns, and adapting it to their own culture and their worldview. Giving direction to the scientific development of Arabic music, they looked to European music as a source of theoretical expertise. Thereupon, it would seem that, nothing could undermine European influence in the Arabic musical culture. In fact, the Oriental Occidental dualism in the Arabic musical culture is no longer unusual.

Keywords: Arab Renaissance, colonialism, Arabic music, Egypt, Cairo Congress of Arabic Music, orientalism

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