On Friday 27th November 2015, the Music Department at City University hosted the Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum, a research event run in conjunction with the Music Department at SOAS and the Institute of Musical Research. The forum is convened by Laudan Nooshin and since 2007 has been a twice yearly meeting point for researchers, students and anyone interested in the music and culture of the region.
The forum was attended by about 50 people and speakers included both senior scholars – Professor Owen Wright (SOAS), Professor Rachel Beckles Willson (Royal Holloway) and Dr Ruth Davis (Cambridge) – alongside research students Tamara Turner and Louis Brehony (both King’s College London), Salvatore Morra (Royal Holloway) and Saied Kordmafi (SOAS). It’s an indication of how healthy the field is that there are now so many research students working on the musics of the Middle East and Central Asia.
Topics ranged from trance music in Algeria to the Arab Idol singing contest and new directions in Iranian classical music.
The day ended with a screening of a documentary film, ‘6 Centuries and 6 Years’ (2015, dir: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb) about a project to restore and record a repertoire of compositions attributed to the highly influential Abd al-Qadir Maraghi, a prominent composer, music theorist, author and poet of the 15th century.