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Title: Nyoyo zimefurahika : urban qasida in Zanzibar
Author: Schmitt, Aisha
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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Maulidis are at once enjoyable musical performances and Islamic venerations during social and religious celebrations, such as weddings and commemorations of the Prophet's birthday. Throughout the maulidi performance qasidas 'hymns' are recited alongside chapters of the 'Mawlid Barzanji', a prose hagiographic account of Muhammad's life written by Imām Ja'far al-Barzanji (1690-1766 AD). Another less frequently performed type is Maulidi ya Homu, which arranges a mosaic of several qasidas in a dahala. The compositions praise the Prophet, recount his life or relate to their respective context of performance, combining moral appeals and celebration in their poetry. The qasidas can be 'a cappella', or accompanied by frame drums, or even synthesizers. Music, dancing, and audience participation are integral parts of the event. There is a gradual increase of speed, volume and flexibility across a maulidi. This climaxing is balanced by the codified structure of the events, which is defined by an alteration of readings from the Barzanji and the chanting of qasidas. The transitions are marked by formulae in a framing and nesting technique. Within, and possibly because of, this rigid framework there is a heterogeneity of styles. Music and text vary enormously between traditional and innovative forming a matrix of styles. Intertextual relations with past and contemporary texts from local and translocal genres are palpable in qasida. In the East African archipelago of Zanzibar, qasidas are a centuries-old tradition every more ubiquitous in the urban landscape. Social transformations and technological innovations (recordings and mobile phones) have contributed to its recent rise. Qasida is a vital genre because it integrates new features and (media) contexts while at the same time keeping some core properties. It simultaneously creates and preserves tradition and there is no doubt its ultimate principles: to praise the Prophet and to party (have fun).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available