The Making of the Musical World - A Story in Sound - Andrew Killick

The Making of the Musical World - A Story in Sound - Andrew Killick

Around the Mediterranean: Islamic Interactions

The Making of the Musical World - A Story in Sound - Andrew Killick

Andrew Killick [+-]
University of Sheffield
Andrew Killick has been teaching and writing about the world’s music professionally since 1998. His passion for all forms of music has led him literally around the world, including studies at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Washington, periods of fieldwork in India and Korea, and teaching at Illinois State University and Florida State University before taking up his current position at the University of Sheffield in 2003. Originally trained as a classical pianist, he also plays the Korean gayageum zither and an English bagpipe, the Northumbrian smallpipes. His academic publications include two books on Korean music topics, about twenty refereed journal articles and book chapters, and substantial contributions to the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music and the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. In his spare time he likes to compose “rounds” in a wide variety of musical styles.


The broader impact of Islamic culture on the world’s music is now considered through the music of those parts of Europe and Africa which historically came under Islamic control or influence. Much of Eastern Europe once belonged to the Ottoman Empire and shares certain musical features with the Islamic Middle East, such as “additive meter,” in which bars are formed by adding units of unequal length. The question of influence here, however, is complicated by the fact that the Middle East itself preserved aspects of ancient Greek musical theory and practice, which appears to have already included additive meter long before Greece came under Ottoman rule. North Africa became part of the Islamic world much earlier, and permanently, and through it Islamic culture reached Spain under the Moors. The “Andalusian” classical music that developed there was eventually brought back to North Africa, while the Islamic influence left its mark on the musical genre that the world most associates with Spain: flamenco. The chapter ends by showing how flamenco, while ostensibly using Western European harmonies and “divisive” meter, is actually founded on a scale type, rhythmic approach, and vocal technique that owe at least as much to the Middle East.

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Killick, Andrew. Around the Mediterranean: Islamic Interactions. The Making of the Musical World - A Story in Sound. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Sep 2024. ISBN 9781781793411. Date accessed: 21 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.27325. Sep 2024

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