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Music: An Analysis of Shaghal Excerpt

Music: An Analysis of Shaghal Excerpt

ourse Materials: Jeff Todd Titon et al. Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World�s
Peoples, Shorter Version/3rd Edition. Belmont, Ca.: Schirmer,2009, ISBN: 978-0=495-57010-3 (includes

3 audio CDs).

A minimum of 250 words for each threaded discussion is required for your answer to each discussion

question. Students may post anytime during the week to either discussion.

The brief excerpt from a performance of “Shaghal” on CD 3:8, textbook pp. 319-326 was recorded at a

university in the United States.

In what ways does the audience react as they might in a concert of Western music? How can we describe

the overall form of this performance?

� Length of 250 words minimum
� Relevance to assigned discussion topic(s)
� Depth, originality, thoroughness, writing quality


Music: An Analysis of Shaghal Excerpt

During the performance of Shaghal (Obsession) by an ensemble known as takht at Mount
Holyoke College in Massachusetts, the audience’s reaction was similar to that of an audience
listening to a Western tune. For instance, when the presentation starts with a violin solo, a
member of the audience makes an exclamation, and for this case, ‘Allah'(Titon et al., 2009) just
like you would hear during a rock or country music concert. Though most of them are made sub-
consciously, they remind the performers that indeed the piece is moving.
As a way of appreciation, the audience also applause at the beginning of the performance
to show their support for the takht: an act that is common among western audiences. However,
the latter is fond of only applauding the performers at the end of the concert.
The overall form of the performance


Largely, the ensemble has managed to captivate the audience throughout the performance
through a number of ways. What makes the performance stand out the most is its high-level
interactivity. As Titon et al. (2009) pit it, the ensemble involves this important element of Arabic
music and in return gets the audience to make exclamations in the background just like in the
Call to Prayer.
We could also describe the performance as an engaging traditional musical event in that
the assortment of instruments creates a blend that captivates the audience. For example, the
short-necked lute (ud) played by Simon Shaheen during the performance underscores A.J. Racy’s
long-necked lute (buzuq) solo, creating a masterpiece that sets the audience applauding.
This repertory performance by members of the ensemble create a compelling feeling and aura
that not only kills the monotony of any single lute but also leaves the audience entertained and
yearning for more.



Titon, J.T. et al. (2009). Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World’s Peoples,
(Shorter Version/3 rd Edition). (pp. 319-326) Belmont, Ca: Schirmer, ISBN: 978-0=495-
57010-3 (includes 3 audio CDs).

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