The Lost Paradise

by Jonathan Glasser

Andalusi music in urban North Africa

In February 2016 was published this book that draws ethnographic and archival work to consider the entanglement of materiality, personhood, and temporality in the urban, Arabic-language musical and poetic practice known as Andalusi music.

For more than a century, urban North Africans have sought to protect and revive Andalusi music, a prestigious Arabic-language performance tradition said to originate in the “lost paradise” of medieval Islamic Spain. Yet despite the Andalusi repertoire’s enshrinement as the national classical music of postcolonial North Africa, its devotees continue to describe it as being in danger of disappearance. In The Lost Paradise, Jonathan Glasser explores the close connection between the paradox of patrimony and the questions of embodiment, genealogy, secrecy, and social class that have long been central to Andalusi musical practice.

Through a historical and ethnographic account of the Andalusi music of Algiers, Tlemcen, and their Algerian and Moroccan borderlands since the end of the nineteenth century, Glasser shows how anxiety about Andalusi music’s disappearance has emerged from within the practice itself and come to be central to its ethos. The result is a sophisticated examination of musical survival and transformation that is also a meditation on temporality, labor, colonialism and nationalism, and the relationship of the living to the dead.

Learn more about the author
Order the book

You may also like

Musica Judaica Symposium : Jewish music between oral and written traditions

On the 14th & 15th of July 2019 in Oxford (ENGLAND) will take place an international symposium in which Hervé Roten, Director of the European (…)

The EIJM’s Gala Concert - 5th edition - From the synagogue to the opera : Jacques Offenbach and friends

SUNDAY 17th NOVEMBER 2019, 17H30, Salle Cortot - 78 rue Cardinet, 75017 Paris Original Hebrew works by Jacques and Isaac Offenbach, Jacques (…)

Itaï Daniel – Mahzor Hayim

NEW REALEASE AT THE EIJM’S EDITIONS (for a 10 euros subscription fee), this CD presents a selection of works by Itaï Daniel, a composer who finds (…)

Concert - Exhibition at the Chapelle-en-Serval, tribute to Fernand Halphen

Sunday 7th October 2018, from 3h pm to 5h pm at the Chapelle-en-Serval (60520), concert-exhibition tribute to Fernand Halphen, killed on duty, at (…)

"Music, a prayer", with Hervé Roten and Francis Huster

TV BROADCAST Sunday September 30th, 9h15 to 10h, on Channel 2 (FRANCE 2), Hervé Roten and Francis Huster will be the guests of the show "A (…)