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Describe the historical genesis and formal characteristics of the genre ‘ughniya’. Ughniya was developed during the interwar period. Ughniya was a popular song in the 70s, which included singers such as Umm Kulthum, Abd al-Wahhab, and Abdul Halim Hafiz. Göçek says that ughniya differed structurally from previous genres (247). The singers used a mixture of modernist and traditionalist imagery (Göçek 247).  He further says that the formal characteristics of this type of music were mapped onto a given singer or song’s popularity in simple quantitative terms. This type of genre placed a lot of emphasis on innovativeness and there was no consensus on the compatibility of harmony with Arabic music.

Describe the stylistic influences in Swahili taarab. What do these influences tell us about Swahili culture and Swahili identity?

Probst and Spittlersays that the Swahili taarab had plenty of influences because of its deliberate reshuffling of generic boundaries and the creation of new inter-textual relationships (265). This type of music produced a number of possible linkages by alluding to a range of different forms and options that were created by them before launching a departure towards some as yet uncharted territory. Probst and Spittler also indicated that the popularity of taraab and its contemporary derivatives under the new laissez-faire regime and the current libertarian media policy envisaged the popularity of taraab (226).

The taraab’s style of lyrical development and orchestral style are described as the real taraab. According to Dawe after the 1964 revolution, they left taraab subdued because there were tales of censorship, requirements for political lyrics hence the critique of taraab as a supposedly bourgeois entertainment not in line with socialist development (172).  Dawe established that “this style of music asserted itself as the most popular with the audience and by becoming the islands quais national sound” (172).  

In many East Africa communities taraab was embedded in a cultural praxis that spans larger fields of cultural interaction in time and space (Probst and Spittler 269). This enabled the communities to receive value systems hence ushering the degrading influence of the global media. On theSwahili identity taraab caused an interpretation of African poetic and performing arts informed by the hegemonial nature of post-colonial reasoning about Swahili culture by professional’s social scientists, local politicians, local intellectuals and other self appointed guardians of so called traditional values of the Swahili identity.

What, according to Schyuler, are some of “the complexities of local knowledge that international consumers [of Jajouka] are not yet prepared to hear”?

Schyuler says that Jajouka seems to have been lost in the mists of hype from the press, the musician’s friends, and the musicians themselves (158). He further indicated that it represented a tiny local style that came to the international market place burdened with more bullshit than any music can bear (Schyuler 158). The musicians of Jajouka were known to use magic as one of their promotional strategy a local knowledge that international consumers were not prepared to hear.

Other complexities were based on the musicians family name in which the musicians descent from an ancient lineage reaching back to the Persian mystic. Also the villagers tell a variety of different stories about their origins (Schyuler 158). The local knowledge that the saints power of healing was claimed by the musicians who said that they were conduits for the saint’s power which they conveyed through the touch of their hands and instruments (Schyuler 158).

Schyuler further says that another complexity of the local knowledge of Jajouka was the characters involved in the music that included an old man, a local manifestation of the Moroccan she devil (159). The last local knowledge complexity was that this type of music was based on the male principle and ambiguous sexuality and therefore Western accounts of Jajouka have folded back on themselves, reentering the mythology of the village itself.

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