|Perfect Number of Pages to Order||5-10 Pages|
Questions of short music discussion
See the first seven minutes, covering two songs and commentary, above for a YouTube link to an NPR Tiny Desk Concert by the play The Band’s Visit. The visit to the band began in 2017 and won several Tony Awards in 2018. (It closed on Broadway in 2019 and toured the USA before the demise of Covid-19). The musical is located one night in a small Israeli desert city in the 1970s, due to its inclusion of Arab music. The first performance here is Arab music performed by the Egyptian traveling band, which provides its name to the production. After remarks by the creator of the show, the second episode is “Omar Sharif,” which portrays Katrina Lenk as an Israeli shopkeeper and remembers the relevance and ubicity of Arab media as a child in the Umm Kulthum documentary. While Umm Kulthum and the actor Omar Scharif (who narrated her documentary) are mentioned in this song, their musical language is not Arab. Rather, it seeks to recreate the unusual delight of an Israeli culture through Western melody and harmony.
Watch at least the first two performances for this discussion assignment and then remark on any aspects of the performances. Possible subjects: how the “Omar Scharif” song is successful or ineffective in evoking Arabness without Arab music (and why), and how you listen to the actor Tony Shalhoub sing an Arab poem and comment on it, or why your perception of these performances has altered after studying module materials.
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