Scheherazade Hassan, born in Baghdad, Iraq. Ph.D. from l’Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etutes, Paris. Associate member of the Centre de Recherche en Ethnomusicologie, Paris.
Fellow (1 September 2008 – 30 June 2009)
THE MUSICAL ART TRADITION OF BAGHDAD
I dedicated most of my time at NIAS to writing the first volume of my book on Iraqi art music. This topic has been in my mind for three decades during which I accumulated interviews, recordings and ethnographic information. I made significant progress in drafting three of the five parts that constitute this volume. In the first part, I follow traces of evidence in historical documents on the existence of this genre between the 17th and 20th centuries. In the second part I examine the complexity of oral theory and its relation to classical theory, and the continuous theorisation practiced by some performers. In the third part, I explore the difference between definitions used with multiple meanings and focus on presenting the “Iraqi maqam” as a genre with a repertoire, a structure and a social practice in relation to other Islamic musical genres. Preparatory work is finished for the remaining two parts on the diversity in the repertoire, and on the musical space in the city. I hope to send this volume to the publisher in the few months to come. Two articles still need to be finished, while a review and a conference paper have already been published.