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d’archéologie orientale du Caire


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Le jeudi 7 mars 2024 à 19h00 (heure du Caire), IFAO géolocalisation IFAO

Arab music and Western adaptation. Negotiations of music and identity.

Søren Møller Sørensen & Bilal Irshed

Partenaire(s) de l’Ifao : CEDEJ & IFE

Langue : anglais.

Abstract: Arab music plays an important role in contemporary Western societies as an expression and mediator of Arab identity both by diasporic Arab communities and by wider audiences. Thus, it participates in the complicated negotiation of cultural identity and is often understood as a bridge to Arab culture. At the same time, it is obvious that Arab music in the West adapts to musical cultural conditions in the new home countries in different ways and to different extents. This adaptation is lamented by some as an expression of a loss of authenticity, while others celebrate it as an expression of musical acculturation and syncretism, which corresponds to the open-ended negotiations of cultural identity in contemporary culture.

As an introduction to the seminar's discussion of this topic, Dr Søren Møller Sørensen will outline the history of Arabic music's presence and reception in Western societies – particularly in my home country, Denmark - and position the Bilal Irshed Trio in this historical context.


Dr. Søren Møller Sørensen, Associate professor emeritus in musicology, University of Copenhagen

Bilal Irshed's Trio

Bilal Irshed is a Palestinian/ Danish oud virtuoso and music composer. He is recognised for having his unique interpretation of Middle Eastern music, as well as an elegant style of playing the oud.

Bilal Irshed's Trio consists of Bilal Irshed on oud, Rasmus Møldrup on double bass and Sal Dibba on percussion. The Trio is a tribute to the sound of the oud, whose warm and meditative sound serves to capture the history and beauty of the Orient world.


Sounds - and music - are able to shape individual and collective identities, define spaces and borders, denote cultures, transmit knowledge and influence style lives.

ASWAT is a series of music meetings and music performances focusing on Egyptian culture(s) of music that seeks to explore a range of musical practices across Egypt, and beyond, through the contribution of academic speakers and music makers, followed by a concert. The meetings will offer the opportunity to deepen some historical, religious, social and musicological aspects that interwoven in, and from, the Egyptian music heritage, addressing creation, performance and reception practice.

Aswat is a joint initiative from CEDEJ, IFAO supported by IFE.

Les sons - et la musique - sont capables de façonner les identités individuelles et collectives, de définir les espaces et les frontières, de dénoter les cultures, de transmettre les connaissances et d'influencer les styles de vies.

ASWAT est une série de rencontres et de spectacles musicaux axés sur la ou les cultures musicales égyptiennes qui vise à explorer un éventail de pratiques musicales à travers l'Égypte, et au-delà, grâce à la contribution de conférenciers universitaires et de musiciens, suivie d'un concert. Les rencontres seront l'occasion d'approfondir certains aspects historiques, religieux, sociaux et musicologiques qui s'entremêlent dans et à partir du patrimoine musical égyptien, en abordant les pratiques de création, d'interprétation et de réception.

ASWAT est une initiative conjointe du CEDEJ et de l'Ifao soutenue par l'IFE.