Sunday, September 07, 2014

Palestinian music: sources

Re: Palestinian music: I just wanted to give a plug to two fairly new books and one quite new posting.

First, Palestinian Music and Song: Expression and Resistance Since 1900, Moslih Kanaaneh, Stig-Magnus Thorsén, Heather Bursheh, and David A. McDonald, eds, 2013. It's in the Indiana University book series that I co-edit, Public Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa. Shayna Silverstein just published a very smart review of it in Journal of Folklore Research, which you can read here.

Then there is David McDonald's, My Voice Is My Weapon: Music, Nationalism, and the Poetics of Palestinian Resistance (Duke, 2013). I'm one of the folks who blurbed it, and I said the following: "David A. McDonald has written a singular, ambitious, and much-needed book that explores a very important dimension of the Palestinian-Israeli question. He provides an invaluable historical overview of Palestinian resistance music since the 1930s and an ethnography of music and musicians during the Second Intifada and its aftermath." I used the book in class last semester, and I highly recommend it for teaching.

Finally, if you are going to teach about Palestinian music, and use these books, then you should grab the following:

The album came out in 1989, from Virgin Records, but I've never seen it before, and I'm pretty sure it would be hard to track down a copy. But thanks to the estimable music tumblr naksh al sanadeeq, you can download it here.

When I taught McDonald's book I was able to find a lot of the music he discusses on Youtube. But it helps to know Arabic in order to track it down. Perhaps I'll do a follow-up.

In sum: we are now much more blessed with excellent materials, recorded and academic, on Palestinian music.


jace /rupture said...

The 'Music of the Intifada' LP is great. I've heard it sampled multiple times... once on a track published on the Wordsound label, and elsewhere.

Ted Swedenburg said...

I'll have to go back and listen carefully to the rupture archive!