Dwight F. Reynolds: Medieval Music Around and Across the Western Mediterranean

Lecture, book launch and Q&A

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Dwight F. Reynolds: Medieval Music Around and Across the Western Mediterranean

Date & Location

Mar 01, 2021, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM GMT

Online Event: Zoom, Facebook

About the Event

The Musical Heritage of Al-Andalus is a critical account of the history of Andalusian music in Iberia from the Islamic conquest of 711 to the final expulsion of the Moriscos (Spanish Muslims converted to Christianity) in the early 17th century. This volume presents the documentation that has come down to us, accompanied by critical and detailed analyses of the sources written in Arabic, Old Catalan, Castilian, Hebrew, and Latin. It is also informed by research the author has conducted on modern Andalusian musical traditions in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria.

While the cultural achievements of medieval Muslim Spain have been the topic of a large number of scholarly and popular publications in recent decades, what may arguably be its most enduring contribution – music – has been almost entirely neglected. The overarching purpose of this work is to elucidate as clearly as possible the many different types of musical interactions that took place in medieval Iberia and the complexity of the various borrowings, adaptations, hybridizations, and appropriations involved.


Dwight F. Reynolds is professor of Arabic language and literature in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He is the author of Heroic Poets, Poetic Heroes: The Ethnography of Performance in an Arabic Oral Epic Tradition (1995), Arab Folklore: A Handbook (2007), The Musical Heritage of al-Andalus (2021), and Medieval Arab Music and Musicians (forthcoming), as well as editor and co-author of Interpreting the Self: Autobiography in the Arabic Literary Tradition (2001), The Cambridge Companion to Modern Arab Culture (2005), and co-editor of The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 6: The Middle East(2002).  His research spans medieval and modern Arabic literature, folklore, and ethnomusicology.

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