The musical genre of taarab is played for entertainment at weddings and other festive occasions all along the Swahili Coast in East Africa. Taarab contains all the features of a typical 'Indian Ocean' music, combining influences from Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, India and the West with local musical practices. In Taarab, Music in Zanzibar, Janet Topp Fargion traces the development of the genre in Zanzibar, from the late nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth. Of special interest is the role of women. Although men play the main role in the composition and performance of the genre, Topp Fargion argues that the modernization of the genre owes a debt to the participation of women - as audiences and primary consumers, but also as poets and innovators of musical concepts. The book weaves together the historical, social, economic, religious and political dynamics involved in the development of the genre, and investigates how these are played out in the performance of taarab music on Zanzibar.
The Non-Traditional Musical, Lois's Wedding, takes place in Morgan, PA, a small town (population 10,000) that has a bonanza of natural gas underneath it. Those who can have sold their mineral rights and are now moving away, causing a rift between those who can afford to leave and those who are forced to stay in a town that doesn't feel like home anymore. Another sub-set of townies are those who are profiting from the change: the mayor and the lawyer who brokers the deals between townies and Vulcan Oil. The town is mostly descended from Eastern European immigrants who have lost any connection to their Slavic roots. This upheaval will destroy the little that's left of their sense of place.
An excerpt from the beginning of the first chapter: It was probably never so universally admitted as in the present day that the foundation of all true knowledge is, and must be, the study and acquaintance with the great classics which have been handed down to us by our ancestors. Only thus can such assured progress be made, when we so profit by the teachings of others as to gather new strength for the advancement of knowledge. The study of the works of the old masters has also this negative advantage - it convinces empty pretenders of their emptiness, and turns their attention to the calm enjoyment for themselves and the spreading a knowledge amongst other of the grand models we have inherited from bygone times. Real geniuses, such as Plato, Raphael, and Shakespeare, appear but seldom; but they have influenced many generations, and their power has been felt through the ages. Therefore is it a most sorry conceit for any man, through confidence in himself, to neglect the study of the great spirits of former days, and thus to say in effect that he is able to produce what they produced. Amongst the younger race of educated men it is a point of honour to study the classics; and an aspiring painter would no more dare to deride the study of Raphael, Michael Angelo, Van Eyck, and Durer, than would a young poet give to the world a new Iliad, or King Lear, without first studying the undying works of Homer and Shakespeare. Thus it is that in poetry, in painting, and in architecture, we see a freshness and vigour pleasant to behold, though frequently enough a want of power prevents the mightiest efforts of the will from achieving full success.
Bridal Shoes Articles
Bridal Shoes Books