Paper Session
Nov 12, 2021 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM(America/Chicago)
20211112T1700 20211112T1750 America/Chicago Global Early Music History AMS 2021
Evidence of Musical Links between Medieval Islamic Iberia, the Troubadours, and Contemporary Morocco
Individual Paper 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/12 23:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/12 23:50:00 UTC

The musical and poetic culture of medieval Islamic Iberia (al-Andalus) has been claimed as the source of both the troubadour tradition of twelfth- and thirteenth-century Occitania and the so-called Andalusian music still performed today throughout North Africa. Early twentieth-century scholars argued that troubadour song was rooted in the Arabic musico-poetic culture of al-Andalus, claims that provoked heated debates often marked by nationalistic sentiments. More recently, scholars interested in potential connections between the two medieval cultures have studied thematic, formal, and rhythmic links between troubadour lyrics and the poetry of al-Andalus, as well as late medieval biographical accounts of musicians in al-Andalus; one singer reportedly combined singing styles learned from Christian emissaries with that of Iraqi singers. Scholars of contemporary Andalusian music have meanwhile scrutinized its claims of heritage from al-Andalus but concluded that it is impossible to establish musical links because both traditions were entirely oral. Thus, despite all the scholarly investment, no explicit musical connections have been found between the troubadours, al-Andalus, and modern north African practice. Yet, I claim in this paper that such connections do exist. I have used a computer-based approach to compare the entire extant corpus of 300 troubadour melodies with a sample of 158 melodies from the Andalusian music of Morocco (al-Āla), recorded in the 1960s by Moroccan ensembles in Fes and Tetuan. This comparison has yielded three strong matches between melodies by troubadours Bernart de Ventadorn (c.1135–c.1194) and Monge de Montaudon (fl. 1193–1210), and al-Āla songs. These concordances provide the first evidence of a shared inventory of melodies between al-Andalus and Occitania from very early in the troubadour timeline, as well as constituting verification of the claimed link between the musical culture of al-Andalus and the contemporary al-Āla tradition. This discovery invites a return to the question of the influences on troubadour song free from the nationalistic agendas of earlier scholarship. At the same time, it contributes to our understanding of oral musical traditions, suggesting that contemporary performance can inform us about musical practices from centuries past.

Verónica Da Rosa Guimarães
The Graduate Center, CUNY
Missionaries, Diplomats and Musical Encounters in Renaissance Ethiopia
Individual Paper 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/12 23:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/12 23:50:00 UTC

Drawing on 16th- and 17th-century travelers' eyewitness accounts, the voluminous surviving Jesuit documentation and indigenous sources, this paper explores the earliest recorded musical contacts and exchanges between Ethiopia and Latin Europe during the early modern age of exploration. It draws on significant encounters from secular and sacred contexts, namely the first documented Ethiopian contacts with European music on Ethiopian soil. First, the earliest documented encounter between a Portuguese embassy and the Ethiopian royal court of Emperor Lebna Dengel at Shewa in 1520 provides insight into the use of Western music and instruments for diplomacy and gift-giving, and the local faranji (foreigners) community. Then, encounters between Portuguese Jesuit missionaries from Goa and the indigenous Ethiopian communities in Feremona and Gorgora during the Jesuit period (1557-1632) unveil the musical art of conversion developed by Jesuit missionaries, based on a well-established Jesuit model from Portuguese India, which employed music as both evangelical and pedagogical tools, and blended indigenous and foreign elements. These contacts offer tantalizing views on the spread of Portuguese courtly and Jesuit liturgical musical traditions from Lisbon to Goa to the Ethiopian highlands through the Ethiopian indigenous community, and how they were used as ambassadorial and evangelical tools by colonial powers. It points to an Afro-European story of mobility, conversion and migration which offers significant new insights into the workings of an intertwined early modern Indian Ocean World: Jesuit conversion strategies involving music in Goa and Ethiopia, musical colonialism, and foreign encounters on the Ethiopian Highlands. The sources provide new documentation about how repertories, instruments, performance styles and ceremonial practices were transmitted along the Portuguese routes of exploration, allowing the Oriental and Old Worlds to collide in common musical experiences, thus giving broader insight into the role of music in constructing and defining identity, religion, and the collisions of political, social and cultural hierarchies outside of Europe in the early modern period.

Janie Cole
University Of Cape Town, South African College Of Music
Rethinking 1453: Musicological Orientations from Constantinople
Individual Paper 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/12 23:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/12 23:50:00 UTC

The siege of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmed II's army in 1453 was the death knell of the Byzantine Empire, and its echo has long since signaled a turning of the ears westward for musicological inquiry. Retroactively marking the 15th century as a pivot towards early modernity likewise marks Ottoman Constantinople and the three-continent empire as conceptually tangential to the American musicological project of reconstructing the sonic past. Turks have since played the role of not just Europe's Other but of its dramatic foil, an empire unconquerable, transmuted into musical significations from at least the 17th century. These musical caricatures, as Matthew Head shows, run the risk of domesticating Orientalist representation of non-Western music within musicology. This paper demonstrates that study Euro-Ottoman musical contact from the perspective of the Ottomans provides a critical reorientation for towards Constantinople/Istanbul as a site of contact and sonic exchange, complicating the Turks' discursive and musical role in extant musicological frameworks.

    While studies of Orientalism in European art music have largely focused on Turkishness in the music of Mozart, and to a lesser extent the works of Lully and Rameau, among others, I contend that we might more meaningfully contribute to the global historiography of music from the Ottoman perspective. Ottoman musical development is not an insular historical process but one characterized by relations with Europe, Persia, and the Ottoman Arab peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean. Musicological accounts of Turkishness fade in the 19th century as the Ottomans decline, but this era was one of massive reform, as the 18th century _Nizam-i Cedid_ (New Order) grew into the _Tanzimat_ (reform). By more closely attending to the interaction between the Ottomans and the European empires, as well as accounts of musical training and performance from the Ottoman palace, we find an expanded purview of trans-regional musical contact more complicated than Orientalist caricatures. This paper offers to the global histories of music an entry on the Ottomans that has been missing from musicology's disciplinary geographies since 1453. 

Steven Moon
University Of Pittsburgh
University of Cape Town, South African College of Music
University of Pittsburgh
The Graduate Center, CUNY
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