The Ma'luf in Contemporary Libya: An Arab Andalusian Musical Tradition, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Ma'luf in Contemporary Libya

An Arab Andalusian Musical Tradition, 1st Edition

By Philip Ciantar


202 pages

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Paperback: 9781138252370
pub: 2016-08-26
Hardback: 9781409444725
pub: 2012-12-20
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pub: 2016-03-03
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The musical tradition of Ma'luf is believed to have come to North Africa with Muslim and Jewish refugees escaping the Christian reconquista of Spain between the tenth and seventeenth centuries. Although this Arab Andalusian music tradition has been studied in other parts of the region, until now, the Libyan version has not received Western scholarly attention. This book investigates the place of this orally-transmitted music tradition in contemporary Libyan life and culture. It investigates the people that make it and the institutions that nurture it as much as the tradition itself. Patronage, music making, discourse both about life and music, history, and ideology all unite in a music tradition which looks innocent from the outside but appears quite intriguing and intricate the more one explores it.


’With the recent political upheavals, this book has assumed the character of an important historical document, as it gives us an insight into the Gaddafi era…The book is clearly constructed and is approachable even to the musically uninitiated.’ The Sunday Times of Malta ’Ciantar’s book provides valuable ethnography of music practice during the last decade of the Gaddafi era while broadening the scope of study of Andalusian music. Ciantar offers a compelling read of the Libyan ma’luf, useful for those seeking to broaden their knowledge of music in the Middle East and North Africa’ Ethnomusicology Review

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Libya: society, culture and music; The Nawba in North Africa and in Libya; The Ma’lufal-ldha’a: change, continuity and contemporary practices; The musical making of Ma’luf; The Libyan Ma’luf in the realm of Arab music aesthetics; Epilogue; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Philip Ciantar is Lecturer in music at the Music Department of the School of Performing Arts, University of Malta. He teaches courses in ethnomusicology, World Music, oral music traditions of the Mediterranean, semiotics of music and harmony. He contributed with entries on Maltese traditional music to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and on Malta and Libya for the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. His current research interests include Maltese popular music, North African music, Libyan music, learning styles of the world’s musicians and World Music analysis. In addition to his work in ethnomusicology he is also active as a composer.

About the Series

SOAS Studies in Music Series

SOAS Musicology Series is today one of the world’s leading series in the discipline of ethnomusicology. Our core mission is to produce high-quality, ethnographically rich studies of music-making in the world’s diverse musical cultures. We publish monographs and edited volumes that explore musical repertories and performance practice, critical issues in ethnomusicology, sound studies, historical and analytical approaches to music across the globe. We recognize the value of applied, interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and our authors draw on current approaches in musicology and anthropology, psychology, media and gender studies. We welcome monographs that investigate global contemporary, classical and popular musics, the effects of digital mediation and transnational flows.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Chamber