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Summer Time In Medina

A Blog By Hasani Hayden

Week 7 East Meets West

Week 7

This blog post was inspired by the “Studies in Arabic Literature” specifically the chapter titled “To Propagate morals through popular music: The Indonesian Qasidah Modern”.  The author discusses how qasidah had entered the world music market and sparked an idea for me to blend the sounds of a song we’ve listened in class with current popular music in America. For this piece, I wanted to bridge the Eastern and Western world together. By taking Hafusa Abbasi’s song and giving it a Western twist, I hope to reflect the current internal debate on the role of music, and which forms of music are appropriate for worship. This composition uses very popular hip-hop sounds of booming 808s, sharp high hats, and snapping snares. The combination of these musical components is popularly known as the fundamentals of “Trap” music production which originated in the Atlanta hip-hop scene around 2007. This new sound was very niche at the time and began to achieve mainstream popularity only recently. While learning about the esoteric worship style of Sufism in class, I tried to imagine a musical sound or genre that may share the esoteric nature of Sufism, and this is what came to mind. The unique sound is one that similar to Sufi worship can stir up the emotions of participants. However, the mystical melodic Sufi worship song is juxtaposed with the vibrating and hard-hitting sound of the Trap drum kit which I believe makes for an even more interesting composition. We discussed in class the blend of Sufi music and Rock’n’Roll and so I was very curious to explore the blend with a musical genre I was more familiar with. The Swahili song by Abbasi had a unique melody that was unlike much of the Arabic and South Asian Sufi songs I explored, which made it even more interesting to “remix”. I hope you all enjoy!