• "The Text Must Remain the Same": History, Collective Memory, and Sung Poetry in Morocco

    Author(s):
    Alessandra Ciucci (see profile)
    Date:
    2012
    Group(s):
    Ethnomusicology, Gender Studies, Music and Sound
    Subject(s):
    Ethnomusicology, North Africa, Poetry, Women and performance
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Morocco
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/a91m-rb02
    Abstract:
    The article explores why a particular group of Moroccan musicians conceives of different performances of a sung poem titled “Kharbusha” as unchanging despite variables arising from the dynamics of performance practices. To this end, I explore the seeming discrepancy between discourses about “Kharbusha” and its performance, and what this discrepancy may tell us about why these performers—and by extension the audiences who hire them and whose expectations the musicians must meet—do not perceive change. Because “Kharbusha,” like other qasidas (odes) of the ͑aita, is considered to be embedded in history, I will, through a formal analysis of this poem, explore the role of the ͑aita in expressing a history that is critical to the communal memory, identity, and consciousness of the population of the Atlantic plains and plateaus. In this context, perceptions of the unchangeability of “Kharbusha,” rather than reflecting the fixity of the poem per se, indicate how it allows for the participants to invoke and reenact a vision of history and of the past on each occasion of performance. Th e continuity of “Kharbusha,” therefore, appears to depend upon the conservation of memory/history through constant updating; the medium remains intelligible to each generation while the message remains the same through generations.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    9 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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