Making the Great Book of Songs: Compilation and the Author's Craft in Abû I-Faraj al-Isbahânî's Kitâb al-aghânî, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Making the Great Book of Songs

Compilation and the Author's Craft in Abû I-Faraj al-Isbahânî's Kitâb al-aghânî, 1st Edition

By Hilary Kilpatrick


436 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415595841
pub: 2010-09-01
SAVE ~$11.99
Hardback: 9780700717019
pub: 2002-10-10
SAVE ~$41.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203220610
pub: 2003-09-02
from $29.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


This is the first systematic literary study of one of the masterpieces of classical Arabic literature, the fourth/tenth century Kitâb al-aghânî (The Book of Songs) by Abû I-Faraj al-Isbahânî. Until now the twenty-four volume Book of Songs has been regarded as a rather chaotic but priceless mine of information about classical Arabic music, literature and culture. This book approaches it as a work of literature in its own right, with its own internal logic and coherence. The study also consistently integrates the musical component into the analysis and proposes a reading of the work in which individual anecdotes and poems are related to the wider context, enhancing their meaning.

Table of Contents

1. Modern Research on the Kitâb al-aghânî 2. Abû I-Faraj's Life, Times and Works 3. Abû I-Faraj's Interventions: Songs and Singers 4. Abû I-Faraj's Interventions: Poetry and Poets 5. Abû I-Faraj's Interventions: Prose akhbâr and the Arrangement of Material 6. Articles on Songs, Events and Relationships 7. Articles on Personalities 8. Connections between Articles: The Common Fund of Material 9. Ordering the Material: The Framework of Introductory Songs

About the Author

Hilary Kilpatrick studied Arabic at Oxford. She has taught at the universities of St. Andrews, UK, Nijmegen, The Netherlands and Bern, Switzerland, and now works as an independent scholar in Lausanne. She is one of the editors of the Arabic and Middle Eastern Literatures series, and has published on modern Arabic fiction and classical Arabic belles-lettres, and has made some translations from modern Arabic literature.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures

Routledge Curzon Studies in Middle-Eastern Literatures is a monograph series devoted to aspects of the literatures of the Near and Middle East and North Africa both modern and pre-modern. It is hoped that the provision of such a forum will lead to a greater emphasis on the comparative study of the literatures of this area, although studies devoted to one literary or linguistic region are warmly encouraged. It is the editors' objective to foster the comparative and multi-disciplinary investigation of the written and oral literary products of this area.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / Ethnic
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Folk & Traditional
RELIGION / Islam / History
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies