The Arts, Projects

Music, Sound, and Architecture in Islam: Supplemental Media

Editors' Introduction:


This collection contains multimedia content related to the book, Music, Sound, and Architecture in Islam, edited by Michael Frishkopf and Federico Spinetti, with foreword by Ali Asani, published by University of Texas Press (2018). Tracing the connections between music making and built space in both historical and contemporary times, Music, Sound, and Architecture in Islam brings together domains of intellectual reflection that have rarely been in dialogue to promote a greater understanding of the centrality of sound production in constructed environments in Muslim religious and cultural expression.


Representing the fields of ethnomusicology, anthropology, art history, architecture, history of architecture, religious studies, and Islamic studies, the volume's contributors consider sonic performances ranging from poetry recitation to art, folk, popular, and ritual musics—as well as religious expressions that are not usually labeled as "music" from an Islamic perspective—in relation to monumental, vernacular, ephemeral, and landscape architectures; interior design; decoration and furniture; urban planning; and geography. Underscoring the intimate relationship between traditional Muslim sonic performances, such as the recitation of the Qur'an or devotional songs, and conventional Muslim architectural spaces, from mosques and Sufi shrines to historic aristocratic villas, gardens, and gymnasiums, the book reveals Islam as an ideal site for investigating the relationship between sound and architecture, which in turn proves to be an innovative and significant angle from which to explore Muslim cultures.

--Michael Frishkopf and Federico Spinetti, editors May 2018 


This project, a collaboration between the University of Texas Press, AKDC@MIT, and the editors of the book, is a work in progress. Materials will be added as they are catalogued and processed for uploading. The structure of the collection mirrors the structure of the print volume in that it contains 14 collections divided into six headings. Each collection in the project corresponding to a chapter in Music, Sound, and Architecture in Islam. Currently Chapter 14 is available, containing photographs and video of Iranian Zurkhaneh and the activity therein. 

Chapter list with links to the collections.


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