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2/12: Middle East

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The Middle East and Resistance to Colonialism

In the house of lovers, the music never stops, the walls are made of songs & the floor dances  ― Rumi

Europe and the Middle East have a long history of enmity, and they of all the cultures of the world resisted the musical colonization we saw in so many other parts of the world. The Congress of Arab Music in 1932 declared, “The use of instruments with a fixed twelve-semitone scale lacked the appropriate microtonal variation which is unique to the sound of Arabic music.” Two Turkish participants also rejected 24-eq as an inaccurate description of the pitches used in their country’s music (which was probably derived from their cultural intermingling with Arabs in the 12th century). In this chapter I talk about the ancient system of seventeen perfect fifths and other ancient Arabic and Middle Eastern tuning traditions that survived even in the face of colonization.

If you would like to learn more about this chapter, “The Middle East and Resistance to Colonialism,” you can buy the entire book, The Grand Unified Theory of Music, in pdf form for $25 with hundreds of embedded musical examples.

A free introduction to what The Grand Unified Theory of Music offers is on this website and includes both text and a few musical examples from each webpage. If you would like to learn more about this chapter and the full contents of this entire e-book, you can buy The Grand Unified Theory of Music for $25, with hundreds of embedded musical examples of scales and chords from all over the world — and ideas for how to set up your computer system —


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Next Page: 2/13 – Atonality