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Revels-Bey Music……….………Study Guide……………… Rhythm Kings: Moorish Influence In Music/Latin Jazz (rev 6/08)

“Rhythm Kings” Afro-Cuban Latin-Jazz

Contents Overview African, Hispanic and Jazz Heritage Month Moorish Spain Forms of Music and Dance Quotes about the Roots of Rhythm………..Pg 6 Student Activities………………………………Pg 7 Dance Introduction………………………..…..Pg 13 AppendixA: Analyzing Secondary Sources: HowDo Modern Historians Assess the Significance of the Moors In Spain?........Pg 25 StudentHandout: AndalusianPoetry …………………………..……………………..………Pg 28


Revels-Bey Music……….………Study Guide……………… Rhythm Kings: Moorish Influence In Music/Latin Jazz (rev 6/08)

HISTORY OF LATIN MUSIC LEARNING STANDARDS: 1 Creating, Performing, and Participation in the Arts: Students will actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in the arts, dance, music, theatre and visual arts, and participate in various roles in the arts. 2. Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources: Students will be knowledgeable about and make use of the materials and resources available for participation in the arts in various roles. 3. Responding to and Analyzing Various Works of Art: Students will respond critically to a variety of works in the arts, connecting the individual work to other works and to other aspects of human endeavor and thought. 4. Understanding the Cultural Contributions of the Arts: Students will develop an understanding of the personal and cultural forces that shape artistic communication and how the arts in turn shape the diverse cultures of past and present society. The history of the Moorish empire prior to Spain extends from the ancient Moabites, and extends across the great Atlantic into north, south and Central American thus the Moorish domination of the seas. It is important to point out that as time goes on what is now known as Latin America is highly influenced by European colonization and the slave trade with Africa. Currently, Latin America, the countries of the Western Hemisphere south of the United States, include the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Central and South America and contain an amalgamation of cultural influences, namely European, The Moors, Mexican, and other African tribes. Europe contributed the religions two main languages, Spanish and Portuguese. Much of the native Moorish culture, which was in place before the arrival of the Spaniards and Christopher Columbus, was suppressed due to forced assimilation; the rest was combined with the arrival of slaves and other cultures in the 16th century. Through this rich cultural mix, a distinct Moorish or commonly referred to as Afro-Caribbean culture has emerged. The element in Moorish, African & Caribbean music that many find most distinctive, is its rhythms are derived from Moorish, and other Africans via the slave trade (1550-1880), which is believed to have brought an estimated two million people of Moorish descent, while in fact the Moors had domination and inhabitation for over 2000 years in what is now know as the west into the Caribbean Islands. Unlike the Moors of North American and some that were enslaved, who in 1776 were forbidden from playing drums (except for areas such as New Orleans Congo Square), Caribbean slaves were liberally allowed to play their drums, which of course were not only for recreation and entertainment, but used as a means of communicating. These were considered talking drums, carrying current, as well as timeless messages; message of history, struggle, and unspeakable joy. All this was accomplished through the replaying of these traditional Moorish and African rhythms, sung on a drum.


Revels-Bey Music……….………Study Guide……………… Rhythm Kings: Moorish Influence In Music/Latin Jazz (rev 6/08)

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries these rhythms spread, developed, and canonized throughout the Caribbean, around the same time that another American art form was beginning its conception. This North American art form was also going to contain a rich cultural mix. It would incorporate blues intonation, African drums and rhythms, Indian cymbals, European instruments, harmony, and musical forms with a syncopated beat namely jazz. Every country and every island in the Caribbean developed its own unique musical culture, be it folk idioms or a national conservatory styles. Four countries, namely Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico have had the most significant influences on music in the United States (Cuba having the most enduring). These influences included Latin rhythms and/or dances that infatuated the United States, like the habanera, bolero (Cuba),samba, bossa nova (Brazil), tango (Argentina), and mariachi (Mexico). As these rhythmic structures and their dances canonized, they began effecting music making everywhere, from the concert hall, to the New Orleans Street parade, to Broadway and Tin Pan Alley. As goods including people, were traded through the convenient and busy port of New Orleans, Louisiana, musically inclined workers on Caribbean ships were afforded the opportunity to exchange new rhythms, dances, and songs with the various Creole and African dancers and musicians at public performance spaces ice Congo Square. It didn’t take long for composers to begin writing Latin-influenced works. For example, American Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869), who hailed from Louisiana, and studied composition in France with Aaron Coplands teacher Nadia Boulanger, toured Cuba in 1857 performing his Latininfluenced works. Some of the most famous compositions of this nature include George Bizets hababera from his opera Carmen (1875); Scott Joplin’s Mexican serenade, Solace (1902); Maurice Ravels Rapsodie Espagnole (1907), and his Bolero (1928), Jelly Roll Morton, the famed New Orleans jazz composer and pianist, spoke to Alan Lomax of the Library of Congress on the importance, even in the earlier days of jazz (the end of the nineteenth century) of the jazz musician being able to work with the Spanish tinge. He said, In fact, if you cant manage to put tinges of Spanish in your tunes, you will never be able to get the right seasoning, I call it, for jazz. What is Latin Music? Latin music is a popular art form developed in various Latin American countries, mainly Cuba, and is unique for the type of rhythmic structures it builds upon. It is vocal and instrumental music, originally derived from African religious ceremonies, however viewed today primarily as dance music. Its strongest characteristic, however, is its rhythm, which is highly syncopated (when the various rhythms being played at one time, create counterpoint against each other in exciting cross rhythms). It is traditionally played by native percussion and string instruments, namely the timbales, congas, bongo, guitar, and the tres (nine-string Cuban guitar). Over time, the piano replaced the guitar as the choral instrument, while the bass, woodwinds, trumpets and trombones were added to play melodies and riffs (repetitions of sound). Most Latin music is based on a rhythmic pattern known as the clave. Clave is the basic building block of all Cuban music,


Revels-Bey Music……….………Study Guide……………… Rhythm Kings: Moorish Influence In Music/Latin Jazz (rev 6/08)

and is a 3-2 (occasionally 2-3) rhythmic pattern. Claves are also the name for the two sticks that play this 3-2 (clave) pattern. Latin music generally uses a three form with (1) a long introductory verse, followed (2) by a montuno section where the band plays a vamp (a two- or three chord progression), building intensity with devices like the mambo (where members of the front line play contrasting riffs) before (3) returning back to the verse and closing out the selection, generally with some type of coda (a short predetermined way of ending a piece; like a postscript at the end of letters). Some important characteristics of Latin music are: Clave: a syncopated rhythmic pattern played with two sticks, around which everything in the band revolves. Call And Response Inspiraciones: a musical exchange between two voices inspiratons, improvised phrase by lead vocalist or instrumentalist. Bajo-Tumbao-bass: repeated rhythmic pattern for the bass or conga based on the clave. Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrated annually in October, highlights diverse Hispanic communities and cultural traditions of the Caribbean. These vital arts forms are rooted in the Caribbean, but many are still practiced in neighborhoods in the New Jersey and New York metropolitan area. Some of the forms of music and dance. Cuba- When Christopher Columbus landed on the north coast of Cuba in 1492, he wrote that he had never seen anything so beautiful However, the Spanish colonists were less enthusiastic toward the indigenous Arawak and Siboney peoples. As in Puerto Rico, overwork and disease from the colonists led to the decline in size of the native populations. As a result, the Spanish brought enslaved Africans to work in the sugar plantations. Most of them came from the West Coast of Africa- Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon and the Congo. They brought their own traditions and beliefs to Cuba. This African heritage intermingled with Hispanic traditions to create todays Cuban cultural tapestry, including Santeria, an Afro-Cuban religion that fuses many African gods with Catholic saints. In Santeria, Chango, the spirit of war, is associated with Santa Barbara, and Oshun is associated with the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, the patron saint of Cuba. In the late 19th century, Cubans grew increasingly restless as Spanish subjects. Uprisings occurred frequently, and finally, in 1902, Cuba became independent. When Fidel Castros Socialist government came to power in 1959, nightclubs, radio stations and record companies were replaced by state-run institutions. Today, the Cuban government has eased its restrictions, and musicians are able to record and travel overseas, but creative development can still be curtailed by government sanctions. Palo is a religious rhythm from Cuba that has roots in the Congo of Africa. It pays respect to the ancestors, calling for their assistance in endeavors of the present. The use of the drum, like many of their African forebears did, is uses as a powerful instruments of communication 4

Revels-Bey Music……….………Study Guide……………… Rhythm Kings: Moorish Influence In Music/Latin Jazz (rev 6/08)

with the Great Spirit. The ceremonial palo rhythm begins with a prayer, asks the Great Spirit to protect the community and to provide the strength to choose between good and evil. Dominican Republic- As in Puerto Rico and Cuba, contemporary Dominican culture Combines Spanish and African components. Santo Domingo, the present capital of the Dominican Republic, was the first Spanish colony in the Americas, but colonists abandoned the island after they discovered Mexico and Peru. France took this opportunity to establish itself on the western island, enslaved those of Moorish descent and brought in enslaved Africans to assist in sugar cane cultivation. The Moors and Africans revolted, however and in 1804, Haiti became as a self-designated republic again in the "New World." Haiti occupied the whole island from 1822-44, in an attempt to liberate the entire island from European rule. Dominicans called back Spanish forces to help remove the African Frenchspeaking Haitian invaders. Unlike Puerto Rico and Cuba, which mark their independence from Spain, the Dominican Republic celebrates its independence from Haiti, which took place on February 27, 1844. The Moorish-African and Hispanic influences in the Dominican Republic can be found in regions of the island. Hispanic in the central mountains, while on the coast Moorish. Merengue may be the most popular dance today, but was not so untill after the 1930's. Before than it was rejected by the elite. When Rafael Trujillo came to power in the 30's as a dictator for the next 30 years, he promoted the dance to commercial and international popularity. At first, merengue was played in the rural countryside on stringed instruments, including guitar, violin, banduria, a lute as well as the Tambora, a Dominican drum, and the guiro. Like the Puerto Rican Bomba, merengue shows the mixture of influences in Dominican culture. Merengue springs from a combination of Spanish, native and African roots: the drums reflect African influences, the guiro comes from indigenous roots, while the singing style and accompanying dance for couples comes from European traditions. In the late 1800s, the merengue sound evolved. Commercial trade brought the accordion to the Dominican Republic from Germany, and it replaced the string instruments in many merengue bands. The typical merengue band has continued to change through this century and may now include electric bass, accordion, conga drums, and even saxophone. Puerto Rico- The original inhabitants of Puerto Rico were the Arawak peoples, known as Taino, who lived by hunting, fishing, and farming. When Spanish explorers came to Puerto Rico in the early 1500s, they forced the Taino greatly reduced the size of the native population. The shortage of labor led the Spanish colonizers to bring large numbers of Africans to Puerto Rico to work as slaves. Slavery was less extensive in Puerto Rico than in other Caribbean countries, but the influence of African cultural traditions can be seen in many aspects of Puerto Rican culture, including particular forms of music and dance, like Bomba and plena. In the mid-1800s, many Puerto Ricans began to press for independence from Spain. Some of these pro-independence nationalist were expelled from the island. Many migrated to the United States. Puerto Rico remained a Spanish colony until the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898, when it became a territory of the United States. In 1917, Puerto Ricans became us citizens, and in 1952, Puerto Rico became a self-governing Commonwealth. Today, there is much debate over the islands political future. Some people 5

Revels-Bey Music……….………Study Guide……………… Rhythm Kings: Moorish Influence In Music/Latin Jazz (rev 6/08)

think Puerto Rico should become independent from the United States; some believe it should become the 51st state; and still others think the island should remain a Commonwealth. Bomba is a style of music and dance that originated in the 1600s in the coastal areas of Puerto Rico, where enslaved Africans lived on plantations. Bomba dances took place outdoors for entertainment, or to celebrate harvest, weddings, wakes and other family events. Bomba brought people together to make music and dance, and to celebrate with food and drink. In Bomba, a dancer approaches the Bomba drums and creates an improvisation, a piquette. The drummer watches the dancers carefully, and uses her or his drum to respond rhythmically to the moves each dancer makes. The drummer and the dancers talk to each other through music and movement, instead of words. Plena, a Puerto Rican musical form that evolved in the early 1900s, is closely associated with Bomba. In the barrios of Ponce, a southern town in Puerto Rico, Bomba combined with other musical influences to form plena. Like Bomba, plena is music for dancing but plenta uses less percussion than Bomba. In plena, the lyrics are important. Plena is sometimes referred to as a sung newspaper because the songs chronicle everyday events in the community. Plena songs often include news, gossip, and commentary on local events. Plena is accompanied by a pandereta, a hand-held frame drum like a tambourine, and a scraper.

Quotes About The Roots of Rhythm Spain, Castanets, Troubadours

Miguel Garcia “El Coyote” “On this afternoon, standing here in the field, and without being a fine literary poet, I’d like to tell the world, with my songs and my traditions, with the rhyme I create. Immersed in deep feeling, at the foot of this hill, I ask the people of Spain to remember where suffering lies. We Troubadours, the voice of the people. We are improvisers who have an ingenious muse, and the prose is respected, that all the world, should know that what the minstrel does the fine literary poet can never do.” Song: “Ay, beneath this mountain-You will find freshness in our songs-May the world take into it’s heart-The source of culture-Which are the Alpujarras mountains of Spain. The Alpujarras have glory, they spread a carpet for their brothers-and he who sings this story-has callouses on his hands-and carries flowers in his memory. Ay, fine and Christian songs. The traditions that resound in these hills, are the same traditions that so many people took to the lands of America.” Questions: (1) What is a and how do the Troubadours relate in our lives to day. What form of music? (2) Make a story or rhyme based on your school or family.


Revels-Bey Music……….………Study Guide……………… Rhythm Kings: Moorish Influence In Music/Latin Jazz (rev 6/08)

Music as Medicine Cuba & Rumba. “These are the origins of the Rumba. It came from the slaves who were brought to Cuba. Since the slaves were granted Sunday as a day of rest, on those Sunday’s they celebrated their drum and the rhythm. Cubans & Spaniards made the rhythm because it came from the African but blended with Flamencas & together formed a whole and out came the Cuban Rumba. The Rumba is a Cuban tradition that goes back to our slave ancestors. It is passed on from generation to generation. The youngest child copied the oldest, and so he inherited it. Its like when one inherits a lot of money. It gets passed on to the child, right? This is also an inheritance you see, because this is a rhythm that is mostly know in Cuba.” Dance: “This lame guy came along and tried to dance, but he can’t. As the music enters his body, he starts to straighten up. He stands straight and taller, and finally his lameness disappears. The music is a kind of medicine


“The blend of Africans and Spanish. Black peas, and white rice, it’s a Creole food, a mixed culture, white rice and black peas, that’s Cuban” How do you like it? Rich and tasty! Strong! Everything is strong here. The coffee, the cane syrup, the cane, ourselves! Everything in life! Questions: (1) How does medicine and music relate? Form groups to form a non verbal form of combing to different elements(happy –sad)(up-down)(was to make live better, in helping others) What forms of music male you reflect on a personal condition.(2) Make a story or rhyme based on your school or family.

Composers and Dance

“Musicians take the elements which come from the people and give them a technical polish. The people of Cuba are like most people, they create the national styles…..I’m a people man. I make music for the people so they can dance and enjoy themselves. I don’t compose for a select elite, or is my music only for listening. I’ve always devoted myself to music that people like, that invites them to have a good time.”


Revels-Bey Music……….………Study Guide……………… Rhythm Kings: Moorish Influence In Music/Latin Jazz (rev 6/08)

Student Activities Ask your students what kind of music they listen to. Where do they hear music? On the radio? Visiting older relatives? Do they hear different music in different situations or specific holidays?

students know?

Have students share and discuss the various kinds of music they hear and when this music is heard or performed.

Students should plan a trip to the Caribbean to study traditional music and dance. With the help of a map, they can decide what countries to visit. What kind of music will they hear in each country? Students might research other aspects of traditional Caribbean culture as well, such as roots of Jamaican reggae and traditional Caribbean reggae and traditional food from Cuba. What tools will they need for their research? Encourage them to think about how and where they will learn about traditional music and dance. Should they bring a tape recorder? A camera? A sketch pad? Bug repellent?

Assemble a list of styles of music. Ask if there are any students with Caribbean roots in your class. Which Caribbean countries are most represented and least represented? Ask students to consider why certain communities migrate more than others. Discuss the factors, e.g. political, economic, familial, that lead migration. What does tradition mean? Traditions can encompass many things, such as children rhymes, family recipes, holiday customs, and family stories. Ask students to list some of their family traditions. List the range of traditions that your students practice. Can songs and dances tell stories? Have the class name of songs that tell stories about historical events, work, or family history. What other stories appear in songs that your

Encourage them to listen to the lyrics of songs and watch the dances carefully to understand the stories in the songs, and the meaning in the movements.

Each student should prepare a list of countries he or she hopes to learn about, as well as a list of materials that will be needed. Maracas are often used in Caribbean music. Students can make as instrument similar to a maraca using the following directions: Materials: Plastic eggshaped stocking containers, dried bean or rice, round popsicle sticks or wooden dowels, masking tape, and


paint. (Optional: newsprint, flour, and water for paper-mache.) Directions: Fill the container half full with dried beans or rice. Close container and seal with tape. Poke a small hole in the top of the container, leaving enough sticking out for the handle. Attach the handle to the container with tape, and cover over any gaps around the hole, so that no beans or rice can escape when the container is shaken. Paint the maraca as is, or cover it with paper mache and paint it after it dries. To make papier mache. Make a paste by mixing cup of flour, a large spoonful of salt, and 1 cup of warm water. Tear newspaper into strips. Spread paste on one area of your maraca. Lay a strip of newspaper on the pasty area, then spread more paste over the strip. Overlap a second strip on the first, and spread more paste on top of the second. Continue in this fashion until the entire head and part of the handle is covered with at least four layers of paper and paste. Let the maraca dry completely and then paint. Note: Maracas can also be made by covering blown-up balloons with papier-mache. Make sure the paper mache is thick enough to carry the weight of the beans and rice.

Revels-Bey Music……… Study guide The Rhythm Kings: Moorish Influence In Music/Latin Jazz

Student Activity: Music Iko Iko Lyrics: Traditiona Music: Traditional According to Dr John in the liner notes to his 1972 album "Gumbo": "The song was written and recorded back in the early 1950s by a New Orleans singer named James Crawford who worked under the name of Sugar Boy & the Cane Cutters. It was recorded in the 1960s by the Dixie Cups for Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller's Red Bird label, but the format we're following here is Sugar Boy's original. Also in the group were Professor Longhair on piano, Jake Myles, Big Boy Myles, Irv Bannister on guitar, and Eugene 'Bones' Jones on drums. The group was also known as the Chipaka Shaweez. The song was originally called 'Jockamo,' and it has a lot of Creole patois in it. Jockamo means 'jester' in the old myth." The lyrics from Sugar Boy Crawford's version are: Iko, iko I'm gonna set your flag on fire Iko iko an day Jock-a-mo feelo an dan day Chorus Jock-a-mo feena nay Talking 'bout Hey now (hey now) My spy boy met your spy boy Hey now (hey now) Sitting by the Bayou Iko iko on day My spy boy told your spy boy Jockomo feeno ah na nay I'm gonna set your flag on fiyo Jockomo feena nay Chorus Talking 'bout Hey now, hey now Iko iko an day Jock-a-mo feelo an dan day Jock-a-mo feena nay

Look at my king all dressed in red Iko iko on day I'll bet you five dollars he'll kill you dead Jockamo feena nay

Look at my queen all dressed in red Iko iko an day I bet you five dollars she kill you dead Jock-a-mo feena nay

My flag boy and your flag boy Sitting by the fire My flag boy told your flag boy I'm gonna set your flag on fire



Iko, iko Iko iko an day I'm having my fun on the Mardi Gras day Jock-a-mo feena nay [chorus]

See that guy all dressed in green Iko iko on day He's not a man, he's a loving machine Jockamo feena nay


[chorus] [chorus] Jockamo feena nay Jockamo feena nay

The Dixie Cups' version is fairly similar: My grandma and your grandma Were sitting by the fire My granma told your grandma


Revels-Bey Music ………………………………………………..……………….. Rhythm Kings

Merengue Emerged in the mid-1800s in the Dominican Republic. At first, merengue was played in the rural countryside on stringed instruments, including guitar, violin, banduria, a lute as well as the Tambora, a Dominican drum, and the guiro. Like the Puerto Rican Bomba, merengue shows the mixture of influences in Dominican culture. Merengue springs from a combination of Spanish, native and African roots: the drums reflect African influences, the guiro comes from indigenous roots, while the singing style and accompanying dance for couples comes from European traditions. In the late 1800s, the merengue sound evolved. Commercial trade brought the accordion to the Dominican Republic from Germany, and it replaced the string instruments in many merengue bands. The typical merengue band has continued to change through this century and may now include electric bass, accordion, conga drums, and even saxophone. Compadre Pedro Juan- Luis Alberti 1. Compadre Peto Juan bai le el ja le O Compadre Peto Juan que es ta sa bro so. A quella ni na de los o jos ne gros que tie ne el cuer po fle xi ble bai le le ven pa el li ta o 2. Compadre Peto Juan sa que su da ma Compadre Peto Juan que es ta sa bro so. Se a ca bar a el me ren gue y si no no an da con cui dao se que da ra co mo pe ri co a tra pao Chorus: Bai-le !. Bai-le !. Bai-le !. Bai-le !. Bai-le !. Bai-le !.

Special Note: Comapadre (their is no direct translation, it is the word designated to mean co-father when a friend or a relative is the designated person to be the second parent when a child is baptized m the Hispanic culture)

Song: Compadre Pedro Juan dance the "jaleo" Compadre Pedro Juan take out your lady. Compadre Pedro Juan it is delightful (referring to the dance), Go dance with that girl with the black eyes who has a flexible body Dance now Compadre Pedro Juan because if you don't, the Merengue will end and you'll stay like a trapped bird. Dance Compadre Pedro Juan, Dance Compadre Pedro Juan..,


Revels-Bey Music ………………………………………………..……………….. Rhythm Kings

Flamenco Flamenco is an individualistic, yet structured folk art from Andalucía, Spain which is often improvised and spontaneous. The song, dance and guitar are blended together by the rhythms of southern Spain. Apart from the Indian and Jewish influences, the Moors made an immense contribution to the moulding of the form and content of the flamenco song of today, which is not surprising since they ruled Spain for seven centuries. Yet flamenco in its present form is only some two hundred years old. The source of flamenco lies in its singing tradition, so the singer's role is very important. The flamenco guitar was used originally as an instrument of accompaniment. Today solo flamenco guitar has developed as a separate art and attempts to blend 0 with jazz, blues, rock and pop music. Flamenco dance is by nature oriental, so differs fundamentally from other well established European dance forms. Complex rhythmic patterns are created by a sophisticated footwork technique, so the flamenco dancer wears special shoes or boots with dozens of nails driven to the soles and heels. The ladies wear long coustumes often with many frills and practice for hours, their elegant arm and hand movements, the upper body must emphasis grace and posture. Cha-cha-chá A rhythmic style derived from the early Cuban danzón-mambo, created by violinist Enrique Jorrín (who named the style upon hearing the scraping sounds of dancers'feet). The cha-cha-chá eventually became a separate musical style from the danzón. Besame Mucho Kiss Me A Lot Kiss me, kiss me a lot. Like if this night would be the last one together, Kiss me, kiss me a lot 'cause I'm scared to lose you again. I want to hold you very close and see myself m your eyes, Think That tomorrow I will be very far from you. Kiss me, kiss me a lot Like if this night would be the last one together, Kiss me, kiss me a lot 'cause I’m scared to lose you again.


Revels-Bey Music ………………………………………………..……………….. Rhythm Kings


Revels-Bey Music ………………………………………………..……………….. Rhythm Kings

Suggested Reading: Chase,Gilbert,The Music of Spain, New York: Dover,1959 Geijerstam,Claes af., Popular Music in Mexico, Albuquerque: University New Mexico Press 1977 Grenet, Emilio, Popular Cuban Music, Havana: Ministry of Education, 1939 Hague, Eleanor, Latin American Music, Santa Ana, Cal. Fine Arts Press,1934 Roberts, John Storm, The Latin Tinge, Oxford University Press 1979 Slonimsky, Nicholas, Music of Latin America, New York, Crowell, 1945 Van Sertima, Ivan, Golden Age of the Moor, New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction Publishers, 1992 Lane-Poole, Stanley, The Story of The Moors In Span, Baltimore, MD, Black Classic Press 1990


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Dance: A Introduction

Flamenco Mambo, Salsa and Cha Cha……page 17 Merengue………………………….page 21


Revels-Bey Music ………………………………………………..……………….. Rhythm Kings

Flamenco - An Introduction Flamenco is an individualistic, yet structured folk art from Andalusia, which is often improvised and spontaneous. The song, dance and guitar are blended together by the passionate rhythms of southern Spain which is flamenco's geographical birthplace. Gypsies say it's in the blood, but Spain's famous poet and writer Fredrico Garcia Lorca, called flamenco one of the greatest inventions of the Spanish people. Some dare to disagree. Yet the tragic lyrics and tones of flamenco clearly reflect the sufferings of the gypsy people. Flamenco is an individualistic, yet structured folk art from Andalucía, which is often improvised and spontaneous. The song, dance and guitar are blended together by the passionate rhythms of southern Spain which is flamenco's geographical birthplace. It is thought that the gypsies who ended up in Andalucía travelled from India and Pakistan acquiring the name "gitano" from Egiptano, the old Spanish word for Egyptian. Apart from the Indian and Jewish influences, the Moors made an immense contribution to the moulding of the form and content of the flamenco song of today, which is not surprising since they ruled Spain for seven centuries. Yet flamenco in its present form is only some two hundred years old. The source of singing tradition, so very important. The used originally as an accompaniment. Today solo flamenco guitar has separate art. Whilst some purists disapprove of attempts to blend flamenco with jazz, blues, it is no wonder that so many young people wholeheartedly.

flamenco lies in its the singer's role is flamenco guitar was instrument of developed as a the fashionable rock and pop music, embrace it

Apart from songs delivered from different regions such as fandangos from Huelva, Alegrias from Cadiz, there are broadly speaking two main styles in Flamenco: the "jondo" - profound and serious, the cry of people oppressed for many centuries; and the "chico" - happy, light and often humorous. The song "el cante" is most important as it is considered to be the source which gives inspiration to the guitar playing "el toque" and the dance "el baile". Flamenco dance is by nature oriental, so differs fundamentally from other well established European dance forms. Complex rhythmic patterns are created by a sophisticated footwork technique, so the flamenco dancer wears special shoes or boots with dozens of nails driven to the soles and heels. The ladies wear long coustumes often with many frills and practice for hours, their elegant arm and hand movements, the upper body must emphasis grace and posture.


Revels-Bey Music ………………………………………………..……………….. Rhythm Kings

In much of the more serious flamenco, there is a release of pent up hatred of persecution and often an evocation of death (particularly in "Seguiriyas"). The dancers job will be to project the mood of the song within the strict time signature, but not interpret the meaning of the song with specific gestures, as would the Indian Katak dancer. Perhaps the best way to become familiar with the complexities of flamenco singing and sentiment, is by going to a "tablao" (flamenco show), a flamenco club (peña) or to one of the countless festivals that are organised every summer. The Sacromonte gypsy caves at Granada, though very tourist-orientated, provide an unforgettable experience and there are many flamenco meetings and associations (peñas) throughout the region. Together with Corpus Christi, Granada is said to hold the oldest flamenco festival in Andalucía. In summer for example, there are singing contests in many towns, such as in Estepona, Fuengirola and Rincón de la Victoria, or Carchelejo, Vilches and Linares, and the "Gazpacho Andaluz" at Morón and the "Muestra de Cante" at La Línea. Some of the most important festival events are held in September, such as those of Adra, Villanueva del Arzobispo and the Velá de la Fuensanta in Córdoba; at the time of the famous Goyesca bullfights, Ronda holds a "Festival de Cante Grande" for real connoisseurs. The "Fiesta de laBuleria" at Jerez (Bulería is a type of dance and song), the "Potaje" of Utrera and "La Caracolá" at Lebrija are some of the important occasions of gypsy "cante". Cádiz hosts "Los Jueves Flamencos" (flamenco Thursdays) overlooking the bay throughout each summer. And every other year, the most famous figures of flamenco are heard in Sevilla at the "Bienal del Arte Flamenco". Córdoba also hosts a prestigious national flamenco competition. Pictures from the Sanlucar Summer Flamenco Sanlucar de la Barrameda, Cadiz - song and dance competition June-July 2002 in the Plaza de la Victoria in the Teatro Municipal.

Maria Moreno Perez She is the youngest contestant at only 15 years of age. She won the second prize

the sixteen year old dancer Chari Sanchez Candon

Sanlucar Summer Flamenco

the only male dancer to present himself: Fco. Garcia Bermudez (his first appearance in a public competition.)

Maria Andrades danced Alegrias with the largest group to accompany her in the competition, including a flautist and percussionist, two singers and three handclappers.

This year's winner of the dance competition is Jesica Brea from Jerez de la Frontera A young dancer with a great future, Jesica brought the house down with her Solea. She exhibited a maturity uncommon in someone so young. Impeccable compás, complete control of her group in accompaniment, elegant feminine postures, as well as strong rhythmic footwork in the catharsis of the Bulería, so typical of Jerez Simon Zolan ©1995 16

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Background to Mambo, Salsa and Cha Cha By Paul F.Clifford There is a lot of misinformation on the internet about the story behind Mambo, Cha Cha and Salsa. Most notably that the music and dances originated in Cuba and migrated to New York and then to the rest of the world. In a lot of ways this is true but the story of the creation of the music and the dances is a little more complicated than this simplistic history. An often omitted point, is the impact of Puerto Rican migration to New York throughout the 20th century (particularly in the 1940s and 1950s) and the Cuban migration (especially in the the 1960s) and the merging of their homeland music with the jazz of the Afro-Americans which contributed significantly to the development of Salsa music and the making of it popular throughout the world. The roots of much of the music might be traced back to Cuba but as a form of popular dance and music the Mambo, Cha Cha and Salsa are North American innovations born from Latin migration to North America (particularly New York) and an intermixing of musical styles from many parts of the world (especially jazz). The history of Latin music and dance which became popular throughout Europe and the Americas in the 20th century dates back to the 18th century. However, in Cuba these music’s underwent a transformation in the 19th century which made them unique and although there may have been contributions from other parts of the Caribbean, Cuba is seen as its birth place. By the middle of the 19th century Cuba had become the cultural center of the Hispanic world and the most economically prosperous of the Spanish colonies. Within this context several events contributed significantly to the development of a uniquely Hispanic style of music - the British occupation of Cuba (1762-63) which led the Spanish government to remove the restrictions it enforced to prevent it's colonies from freely trading and associating amongst themselves; the Haitian slave uprising (1791-1804) which caused the French and Spanish plantation owners on the island of Hispanola to flee to Cuba; the establishment of sugar plantations by the emigres; the increased need for slaves (86% of slaves were imported after 1790); the traditional willingness of the West Africans to sell their enemies into slavery; the 1812 uprising to overthrow slavery in Cuba, the abolition of slavery in Cuba in 1886 and finally the USA's military occupation of Cuba from 1898 to 1904. However, the most significant event that allowed the music and dance to develop occurred at the beginning of the 19th century when the Spanish authorities allowed the slaves to establish "Cabillolos" (councils) which initially were based on groups by "African nation". This allowed the slaves to preserve and merge their traditions with the Spanish and French influences they encountered! From this time forward the music and dance has been developed, redeveloped and innovated upon giving us Danzon, then Son and then Mambo, Cha Cha and today Salsa. Mambo, the music, as we know it dates to about 1938 when Oresta Lopez composed a danzon he called the "Mambo". He combined danzon with African rhythms from the street. The dancing itself came out of rehearsals where couples improvised steps


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to the new beat. In the 1950s, Mambo was popularized as a specific musical genre when Perez Prado began to market his music under the name "mambo" - he was the first and many others followed. Prado took his music to New York via Mexico and basically commercialized the music by changing it to suit his "white" audience. If you listen to Prado's music and compare it to other Cuban artists of the day you'll find it contains a lot of influences outside of the Cuban tradition and to my mind is lacking something - emotion. Still, it must be recognized that it was he who first popularized the music in North America and Europe. As Mambo music and dance developed, musicians experimented with new beats and tempos, the Mambo underwent subtle changes. Triple Mambo was created (get a hold of Bei Mir Bist Du Schon/La Furiosa by Jack Costanzo & Don Swain and you'll get an idea of how fast a cha cha can be!). This new dance used Cuban side steps. The scraping and shuffling of the feet in these steps produce a sound, that sounds like "Cha Cha Cha". Arthur Murray (of Dance Studio fame), simplified the dance by dropping off a Cha and inventing the 1, 2, 3, Cha Cha - he thought the modified step would be easier to learn. Once Arthur Murray converted it, so it was easier to learn, the Cha Cha became slower and more methodical. The liner notes to Don Swan's 1950s album "Mucho Cha Cha Cha" says - The Cha Cha Cha is a derivative of two Latin American dances; the Puerto Rican Danzonette and the Cuban Danzon. However, the Cha Cha Cha distinguishes itself from all the other Latin dances by a vocal trademark; namely voices singing in unison with no vibrato. This new dance craze was created and introduced in the United States by Minon Mondajar in 1949...Tempo wise the Cha Cha Cha is diversified, savory and inviting in its various forms...Bolero Cha Cha Cha, Mambo Cha Cha Cha, Danzon Cha Cha Cha and perhaps even a Samba Cha Cha Cha...brass, strings or reeds are used melodically and in rhythms against a solid Latin rhythm section with voices in unison predominating throughout." The charanga orchestras in Cuba were quick to catch on and intrepret and refine the new styles of music developing in North America. In 1951 Cuban violinists Enrique Jorrin developed a beat with a medium rhythm that was very recognisable and not too frenetic. His idea was, that music be created so anyone could dance to it. With a defining beat and Arthur Murray's simplified steps, Cha Cha with its characteristic hiccup on the fourth beat, became an enormously popular night club dance throughout the 1950s and up until the 1960s when it was dethroned by the pachanga and then the boogaloo (see Ricky Martin's 1999 video clip for Livin' La Vida Loca). Around this time, the DJs in the Latin Night Clubs would sing out salsa, salsa. Spice it up! Spice it up! The Salsa became the vogue. Salsa the dance is to Mambo, what Rock'a'Billy is to Rock'n'Roll. Salsa tends to be faster and more dramatic than Mambo, with the result that an extra step (a tap) was added to the Mambo to stop the dancer from moving off the beat. The African rhythms in Cuban music came from the Yoruba, Congo and other West African people, who were transported to the Caribbean as slaves. They used them to call forth various gods. Cabillolos still exist in Cuba to keep alive various rhythms for over 200 different African gods. Mambo means "conversation with the gods" and in Cuba designates a sacred song of the Congos. The Congos absorbed a variety of


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foreign influences and the mambo drum rhythm became a cocktail of Bantu, Spanish and Yoruba. Coupled with Western Jazz, this beat provided the basis for the creation of the Mambo and then the Cha Cha and Salsa. In Haiti, the "Mambo" is a voodoo priestess, who serves the villagers as counselor, healer, exorcist, soothsayer, spiritual adviser, and organizer of public entertainment. Master the dance and you'll find yourself in "conversation with the gods". Considering the Mambo's origins and the fact that it can be performed in a most erotic and sensual manner, it is understandable that in parts of Cuba, Mambo is referred to as the "diabolo", the devil's dance. However, we can put that down to the people’s prudery rather than anything substantial. Well, let’s face it, done to the extreme, the Mambo, Cha and Salsa aren't for the faint hearted! There is some debate whether Salsa and Mambo are the same dance. However, if we get technical, we could argue that Bolero, Rumba, Son, Mambo, Salsa, Cumbia and others often appear to be the same dance. The fact is that in modern music each dance often includes musical segments from other dances and so, one dance borrows moves from another. Eventually the moves merge - so each dance often appears to have vaguely similar timings and steps, but in a pure piece, the mood of the music, the rhythm, the tempo and the dance technique for each is different. So, don't let people confuse you with technicalities! Each of these dances has a uniqueness of it's own! You might be able to transfer many moves from one dance to another, but there are many instances, where the tempo suggests footwork and moves that just don't work anywhere but in that one dance. Cha Cha is a reinvention of the Mambo, and there are many musical arrangements that beg for both dances to be performed in the same piece of music. Sometimes, it is a Cha Cha piece that has a Mambo interlude and sometimes it is a Mambo piece with a Cha Cha interlude. So it is really worth while knowing how to do both! The same can be said for Mambo and Salsa. The biggest difference between Mambo and Salsa is that, rarely can you Salsa to contemporary North American Music. In contrast, there are lots of tracks that beg you to do the Mambo! Despite it's African resonance, the mambo can be traced back to an unexpected source, English country dance, which in the 17th century became the contredanse at the French court and later the contradanza in Spain. In the 18th century the contradanza reached Cuba where it was known as danza and became the national dance. In the 19th century, with the arrival of planters and their slaves who fled from Haiti after it became independent, a particularly spicy syncopation called the cinquillo was added to the danza (tango derived from the contradanza also has this cinquillo). Through this time, the Native African Folk Rumba which is essentially a sex pantomime danced extremely fast with exaggerated hip movements, was merged into the contradanza to form Son and by the end of the 19th century the formality of the contradanza was replaced by freer, more spontaneous dancing. This new kind of music was known as danzon.


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Danzon became the dance of wealthy Cuban Society. Son was popular amongst the middle class and Rumba, well the American's popularised it by turning it into a modified version of Son. The Danzon through creative imagination and musical innovation gave birth to Mambo and later Salsa. The danzon had several sections, one of which was a lively coda which musicians soon got in the habit of improvising. It was played by brass bands or tipicas, which gave way in the 1920s to lighter combos known as charangas. These featured violins, sometimes a cello, a piano, a guiro (a grooved calabash scraped with a comb), a clarinet, a flute, a bass and double drums adapted from European military drums. Charangas, notably that of the flautist Antonio Arcano, flourished in the late 1930's. In 1938, Arcano's cellist, Orestes Lopez, composed a danzon he called "Mambo," and in the coda Arcano introduced elements from the Son, a lively musical genre from Cuba's Oriente province. As a signal to band members that they could start their solos, Arcano would call out, "Mil veces mambo!" ("A thousand times mambo!"). In the Latin American music known as salsa, the mambo is a theme that is played in unison by the rhythm section and serves as a transition between two improvised passages. In 1959 Fidel Castro's revolutionary forces took control of Cuba and many composers and musicians fled to America. In New York, the music of Cuba became inextricably mixed with the musical variations of Puerto Rico and American popular music. New styles of music, by new types of groups hit the Latin Club scene. New instruments were introduced and new sounds produced, giving a wild new interpretation of the Mambo. Trombones found a place besides trumpets, making the sound more brassy. The traditional instruments were relegated to supporting the rhythm sections. The music was wild and classy and extremely popular. Then, with the advent of the Beatles in the 1960s, the bubble burst and the popularity of Latin Music declined throughout North America and Europe. Something had to be done to revitalise interest in Latin Music! So, in the early 1970s, Fania records needing a way to promote their artists and music, started to think about the problem. They needed a name for their product. Something that captured the markets attention! "Salsa" was born! Development of the music and dance continues but is no longer restricted to the creative talents of musicians from the Caribbean, Miami or New York. New bands and musical variations have origins in Colombia, Europe, Australia and Japan. Mambo, Cha Cha and Salsa are referred to as Latin Street Dancers simply because in their "non-ballroom" forms there is no formalization in these dances. After you have mastered the basic moves (see my articles), you are free to invent moves that match the music. So there is no right or wrong way to dance these dances and there are only two rules - have fun and keep to the rhythm! Mambo, and Cha Cha In the late 1940s, Havana, Cuba, was one of the most popular resorts for North Americans, especially those residing along the east coast. The most famous American dance bands as well as the many outstanding latin bands native to Cuba


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played at the city's casinos. Some of these orchestras tried combining the American JAZZ beat with the Cuban RUMBA rhythm; The result was a new rhythm called the MAMBO. A dance was developed to the new mambo rhythm, danced to the off beat rather than the traditional downbeat. For this reason, the dance was popular mainly with dancers thoroughly familiar with complex Afro-Cuban music. However, among the many figures of the mambo was one called the "chatch", which involved three quick changes of weight preceded by two slow steps. By the early 1950s, this figure had developed into a new dance comprised of many simple variations on the basic footwork. The dance acquired the name CHA-CHA ; its characteristic three-step change of weight carried the identifying verbal definition, "cha-cha-cha". The cha-cha inherited much of its styling from its parent dances, the rumba and the mambo. Like most latin dances, it is done with the feet remaining close to the floor. The dancers' hips are relaxed to allow free movement in the pelvic section. The upper body shifts over the supporting foot, as steps are taken. Cha Cha When the English dance teacher Pierre Lavelle visited Cuba in 1952, he realised that sometimes the Rumba was danced with extra beats. When he returned to Britain, he started teaching these steps as a separate dance (Lavelle, 1975, 2). The name could have been derived from the Spanish 'Chacha' meaning 'nursemaid', or 'chachar' meaning 'to chew coca leaves' (Smith, 1971, 161), or from 'char' meaning "tea' (Taylor, 1958, 150), or most likely from the fast and cheerful'Cuban dance: the Guaracha (Ellfeldt, 1974,59). This dance has been popular in Europe from before the turn of the century. For example it is listed on the program of the Finishing Assembly in 1898 of Dancie Neill at Coupar Angus in Scotland (Hood, 1980, 102). It has also been suggested that the name Cha Cha is derived onomatipeically from the sound of the feet in the chasse which is included in many of the steps (Sadie, 1980, 5/86). In 1954, the dance was described as a "Mambo with a guiro rhythm" (Burchfield, 1976, I/473). A guiro is a musical instrument consisting of a dried gourd rubbed by a serrated stick (Burchfield, 1976, I/1318). The Mambo originated in Haiti, and was introduced to the West in 1948 by Prado (Burchfield, 1976, II/809). The word "Mambo" is the name of a Voodoo priestess in the religion brought by the Negroes from Africa (Ellfeldt, 1974, 86). Thus the Cha Cha had its origins in the religious ritual dances of West Africa. There are three forms of Mambo: single, double, and triple. The triple has five (!) steps to a bar, and this is the version that evolved into the Cha Cha (Rust, 1969, 105) (Sadie, 1980, 100). The "Cha Cha" is danced currently at about 120 beats per minute. The steps are taken on the beats, with a strong hip movement as the knee straightens on the half beats in between. The weight is kept well forward, with forward steps taken toe-flat, and with minimal torso movement. The chasse on 4&1 is used to emphasise the step


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on beat 1, which may be held a moment longer than the other steps to match the emphasis of the beat in the music. Two views on the origins of Merengue by Carmen Vazquez The origin of this dance, according to the Dominicans themselves, from a program shown on TV "SANTO DOMINGO INVITA". Merengue is a combination of two dances, the African and the French Minuet, from the late 1700's - early 1800's. The African slaves saw the ballroom dances in the Big Houses and when they had their own festivities started mimicking the "masters' dances". But the Europeans dances were not fun, they were very boring and staid, so over time, the slaves added a special upbeat (provided by the drums), this was a slight skip or a hop. The original Merengue was not danced by individual couples, but was a circle dance, each man and woman faced each other and holding hands - at arm's length. They did not hold each other closely and the original movements of this dance were only the shaking of the shoulders and swift movement of the feet. There was no blatant movement of the hips like there is today, as native African dances do not move the hips. In fact, African dances, as well as other Indigenous dances throughout the world, consist of complicated steps and arm movements. Tribal dancing does not have "primitive" sexual shaking of the hips, this is only done in Hollywood movies. So, the origin of the Merengue is very similar to that of the "Cake Walk" dance of the American South. Merengue by Lori Heikkila The Merengue is the national dance of the Dominican Republic, and also to some extent, of Haiti, the neighbour sharing the island. There are two popular versions of the of the origin of the Dominican national dance, the Merengue. One story alleges the dance originated with slaves who were chained together and, of necessity, were forced to drag one leg as they cut sugar to the beat of drums. The second story alleges that a great hero was wounded in the leg during one of the many revolutions in the Dominican Republic. A party of villagers welcomed him home with a victory celebration and, out of sympathy, everyone dancing felt obliged to limp and drag one foot. Merengue has existed since the early years of the Dominican Republic (in Haiti, a similar dance is called the Meringue). It is possible the dance took its name from the confection made of sugar and egg whites because of the light and frothy character of the dance or because of its short, precise rhythms. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the Merengue was very popular in the Dominican Republic. Not only is it used on every dancing occasion in the Republic, but it is very popular throughout the Caribbean and South American, and is one of the standard Latin American dances. There is a lot of variety in Merengue music. Tempos vary a great deal and the Dominicans enjoy a sharp quickening in pace towards the latter part of the dance. The most favored routine at the clubs and restaurants that run a dance floor is a slow Bolero, breaking into a Merengue, which becomes akin to a bright, fast Jive in its closing stages. The ballroom Merengue is slower and has a modified hip action.


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The Merengue was introduced in the United States in the New York area. However, it did not become well known until several years later. Ideally suited to the small, crowded dance floors, it is a dance that is easy to learn and essentially a "fun" dance. NOTES


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AppendixA: AnalyzingSecondarySources: HowDoModernHistoriansAssess the Significance of Moors In Spain? Susan Douglass Cities of Light

Overview: This activity sums up the points made in Cities of Light about the lasting importance of Moorish Moslem Spain to world history and Western civilization. It provides quotations from several recent works on the issues of tolerant coexistence in al-Andalus, and on the contribution to European culture of this period and this society. The quotations also explore the difficulties and possibilities of tolerance among cultural groups then and today.

Objectives: Students will  Analyze synthesizing statements about al-Andalus and its contribution to world and European history from recent works of cultural, political and literary history.  Assess the role of Islamic Spain and some of the Christian kingdoms as places where knowledge was prized and explain the roles of Jewish, Christian and Moslem scholars in its development and transfer to Europe.  Draw inferences between past and present using the example of alAndalus. Materials: Cities of Light  Student Handout 13a: What Do Modern Historians Say about the Importance of Islamic Spain in World History?  Activity Sheet 13b: Experts in Cities of Light Sum Up the Importance of Islamic Spain to the World Today Time: 1-2 class periods (plus homework if desired), or as an assessment tool Procedure:

1. Distribute Student Handout: What Do Modern Historians Say about the Importance

of Islamic Spain for World History? The class may be divided into groups to analyze each passage, or individual passages can be assigned for homework, with a paragraph explaining the meaning of the quotations. This could serve as preparation for a class discussion on the significance of Islamic Spain and its contribution to world history in the eyes of modern historians. The quotations can be used as prompts for culminating essay questions.

2. Distribute Student Handout 13b, which contains quotes from the experts featured in

the documentary Cities of Light. These quotations summarize and reflect on the legacy of Islamic Spain, its mixture of tolerance and intolerance, and the lasting lessons and contributions to the world. Divide students into groups to discuss and then share with the group, or use the quotations as writing prompts. Finally, students are assigned to “be an expert” and write their own opinion in the form of a memorable quotation in the final space on the page.


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music” StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas

What Do Modern Writers Say about the Importance of Moors in Spain for World History? Student Handout 13a Francis and Joseph Gies in the book Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel (1994): “One of the Middle Ages’ most important creations, the medical school, was founded at Salerno in the eleventh century, when by no coincidence the earliest cultural contacts with Islam occurred... [then] ...It was the Muslim-Assisted translation of Aristotle followed by Galen, Euclid, Ptolemy and other Greek authorities and their integration into the university curriculum that created what historians have called “the scientific Renaissance of the 12th century.” Certainly the completion of the double, sometimes triple translation (Greek into Arabic, Arabic into Latin, often with ... Spanish ...) is one of the most fruitful scholarly enterprises ever undertaken. Two chief sources of translation were Spain and Sicily, regions where Arab, European, and Jewish scholars freely mingled. In Spain the main center was Toledo, where Archbishop Raymond established a college specifically for making Arab knowledge available to Europe. Scholars flocked [there]...By 1200 “virtually the entire scientific corpus of Aristotle” was available in Latin, along with works by other Greek and Arab authors on medicine, optics, catoptrics (mirror theory), geometry, astronomy, astrology, zoology, psychology, and mechanics.”1 Richard Fletcher in the book Moorish Spain (1992): “The plain fact is that between 712 and 1492, Muslim and Christian communities lived side by side in the Iberian Peninsula... sharing a land, learning from one another, trading, intermarrying, misunderstanding, squabbling, fighting— generally sharing in all the incidents that go to furnish the ups and downs of coexistence... The most fortunate beneficiaries of this coexistence were neither Christian nor Muslim Spaniards but the uncouth barbarians beyond the Pyrenees. The creative role of Muslim Spain in the shaping of European intellectual culture is still not widely enough appreciated. Apart from anything else, it is a most remarkable story. The scientific and philosophical learning of Greek and Persian antiquity was inherited by the Arabs in the Middle East. Translated, codified, elaborated by Arabic scholars, the corpus was diffused throughout the culturally unified world of classical Islam... until it reached the limits of the known world in the west. And there, in Spain, it was discovered by the scholars of the Christian west, translated into Latin mainly between 1150 and 1250, and channeled off to irrigate the dry pastures of European intellectual life... Europe’s lead in resourcefulness and creativity, the vital factor in the history of world for the six centuries preceding our own, was founded in large part on intelligent grasping at opportunities offered by the civilization of Islam; and that proffer came through Spain.” “...There was yet another way in which the encounter of Christian and Muslim in medieval Spain has powerfully affected later and distant human experience. Medieval Spaniards and Portuguese worked out by trial and error ways in which to administer large tracts of newly conquered territory and to govern their inhabitants. Thus, when an overseas empire was acquired in the sixteenth century, models and precedents existed for the guidance of those whose task it was to rule it. In this as in so much else there was little that was new about the so-called ‘early modern’ period of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Colonial Mexico and Peru and Brazil were medieval Andalusia writ large. Much that is central to the experience of Latin America follows from this.” 2 Norman Daniels in the book The Arabs and Medieval Europe (1979): “What the 12th century translators had set out to do was achieved with complete success. Europe recovered all that it had lost in the philosophical and scientific fields at the end of the classical age; and it received this body 1 Francis and Joseph Gies, Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel (New York: Harper Collins, 1994), pp. 159- 160. 2 Richard Fletcher, Moorish Spain (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1992), p. 8, 6.


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music” StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas

Of knowledge in a form which had been improved by centuries of Arab work on it.. ..Although we have seen that Europe would have recovered its lost store of learning directly from the Greek, if it had not done so first from the Arabic, it is still true that it came through Arabic.. .The real importance of the restoration of learning was that Europe once again shared with its co-heirs of antiquity this whole vast area of knowledge and skills. In other ways Europe and the Arabs would begin to diverge.. .when that happened they remained linked in learning longer than in any other way.”3 Rosa Maria Menocal in the book Ornament of the World (2002): “[According to] F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wonderful formula... ‘the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideals in the mind at the same time.’ In its moments of greatest achievement, medieval culture positively thrived on holding at least two and often many more, contrary ideas at the same time. This was the chapter of Europe’s culture when Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived side by side and, despite their intractable differences and enduring hostilities, nourished a complex culture of tolerance... This only sometimes included guarantees of religious freedoms comparable to what we would expect in a modern ‘tolerant’ state; rather, it found expression in often unconscious acceptance... could be positive and productive... .The very heart of culture as a series of contradictions lay in alAndalus...It was there that the profoundly Arabized Jews rediscovered and reinvented Hebrew; there that Christians embraced nearly every aspect of Arabic style—from the intellectual style of philosophy to the architectural style of mosques—not only while living in Islamic dominions, but especially after wresting political control from them... there that men of unshakable faith, like Abelard and Maimonides and Averroes, saw no contradiction in pursuing the truth, whether philosophical or scientific, or religious, across confessional lines....It was an approach to life and its artistic and intellectual and even religious pursuits that was contested by so many—as it is today—and violently so at times—as it is today—and yet powerful and shaping nevertheless, for hundreds of years.4 Discussion Questions:

1. According to the Gies’ statement, where did most of the transfer of scientific

knowledge from take place, when, and why was it significant that these translations took place?

2. Cite three ways in which Richard Fletcher believes that Moors in Spain affected the modern world. How does he characterize the relationship among diverse groups living in medieval Spain?

3. Who are Europe’s “co-heirs of antiquity”? Why does Daniels think it is important that Europe and Islam had this body of knowledge in common?

4. Why does Rosa Maria Menocal think that difference and contradictions are

creative? How did al-Andalus provide an example of this creativity in diversity?

5. How and why does Menocal compare the contradictions and creativity of a tolerant approach to life and culture in medieval and in our modern societies? What does she find similar to both times?

3 Norman Daniels, The Arabs and Medieval Europe (London: Longman, Librarie du Liban, 1979), p. 30 1-302. 4 Maria Rosa Menocal, The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Muslim Spain (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2002), pp. 10-12.


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music” StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas

Experts in Cities of Light Sum Up the Importance of Islamic Spain to the World Today Feisal Abdul Rauf: ... the reconquest of Spain by the Catholics and by the Christians created very much a sense of loss and even until today Muslims who visit Andalusia, Cordoba and Granada and Seville, feel this nostalgia, feel the sense of loss. Ahmad Dallal: When there is diversity, there is by definition friction. But of course, if you eliminate diversity and everyone would be the same. There would be no friction, but there would be no creativity that results from that tension.... Raymond Scheindlin: So, a kind of a rough and ready togetherness came about, not an ideological tolerance, but a practical kind of tolerance... Dede Fairchild Ruggles: I think that we’re fascinated by Islamic Spain because we project into it our own desires for a world where Jews, Christians and Muslims all kind of got along, more or less got along... .And when you look at that and it’s wishful thinking- you wish that in the modern world relationships were easier. Chris Lowney: ...just think of what medieval Spain gave to Europe. We have this technology for making paper. We have this irrigation technology...We have these medical ideas and all of these things came about only because cultures interacted and borrowed from each other... and we see that to a greater or lesser extent, people have to find a way to live together, find a way forward, despite some of the contradictions they feel, despite the fact that, you know, your belief is heretical in my eyes, but we're still here together in this city and we may have shared values and we're going to find a way to make this work for the good of our own children and families.... You are the expert. Now write what YOU think is important about Moors in Spain:


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music” StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas

Overview: This lesson provides an opportunity for students to engage with various examples of Andalusian poetry related to the history of the Moors in Spain, giving them the opportunity to experience the literature of that time and place, and to engage with a rich primary source that illuminates a way of life. Levels: middle grades 6-8, high school and general audiences Objectives: students will:

   

Identify some topics on which Andalusian poets expressed themselves. Identify some purposes for which poems were written, recited or sung. Compare and contrast different forms of poetry from al-Andalus. Analyze how descriptive language in Andalusian poetry reveals information about life in al-Andalus and how it illuminates people’s responses to historical events. Cite some possible influences of Andalusian poetry on other cultures.

Time: One – two class periods Materials: Student Handout 10a: Categorizing Poetry Student Handout 10b: Andalusian Poetry Notebook paper for reading responses Overhead projector film & marker, or whiteboard Procedure: 1. Distribute Student Handouts 10a and 10b and allow time for students to skim all of the poems (10-20 minutes). The first engagement with the group of poems will be to categorize the poems in several ways (length, topic, style), writing the numbers of each type of poem they identify in the appropriate boxes.

2. Using the categories and corresponding poem numbers, students will work

individually or in pairs, trios, or small groups to select poems to explore through the activities that follow. Each student or group will select one poem from each of the categories on the chart into which the students have sorted the poems on the graphic organizer. Knowing that students may select only the shorter poems, the selections have been sorted into Groups A, B. C, and D, so that the teacher can ask students to include one of the longer poems in responding to the questions. Discuss the results of group or individual work.

3. Finally, following the directions on the student worksheet, assign students as homework or class work to try their own hand at a poem similar to those they have studied. Spend a class session on a Poetry Jam, in which students share their poems.


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music”

StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas Student Handout 10a: Categorizing and Exploring Poems Directions: 1. Skim through the group of poems in the Andalusian Poetry handout in 15 minutes or so. You are not reading them through, but taking a quick look at their characteristics on the chart below. 2. Write the numbers (#) of the poems that fit that category in the corresponding boxes in the chart below. Poems may fit in more than one. After you are finished, you will use these categories and your selections to explore some examples of Andalusian poetry in depth. 3. Choose one poem from each category, and answer the questions about that category in the blank forms. Be sure also to choose at least one longer poem. Be ready to share your answers and ideas with the class. 4. Poetry Jam: Try your own hand at writing a 5-line or 10-line poem (or longer if you feel like it!) on one of the topics or goals below. Try to model your poem on one of the poems you have studied. When you are finished, share with the class. If you want to recite it as a song, or with rhythmic accompaniment, that will be even better. Poem Characteristics Poem Numbers Poem Numbers Poem Numbers Poem Daily Life

Historical events Religious ideas

Numbers About people

Numbers Long poems

Give advice

Short poems

What is the topic of the poem? Describe a scene Tell a story

Bring out strong feelings in

Goal: What is the

the audience

poet trying to do?

Daily life poems

1. 2. 3. 4.

What human activity or activities are described? Is it work or leisure? What clues does the poem give to the way people lived in al-Andalus long ago? What man-made objects are mentioned in the poem? What inventions do they describe?

Historical events 1. Are the events described in the poem real or fictional, or both? 2. Are the events in the poet’s recent past or the distant past, or both? 3. Describe what you know about the event from clues in the language. 4. What do you think might have happened to people because of the event described?


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music” StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas

5. What does the poet want the audience to feel about the event? How did it the poet feels about it? Religious ideas 1. What ideas about religion or spirituality does the poet express? 2. What does the poet want to express about his or her religious beliefs? 3. How does the poet use the form of the poem to express these religious ideas? People 1. Is the person in the poem an important or an ordinary person? Male or female? 2. How does the poet describe the personality of this person? 3. Is the poet trying to impress the person being described? Are they trying to impress others about the person? 4. Why do you think the poem about this person was written? Describing a scene 1. What sights, sounds and smells would you experience if you were in the scene the poet is describing? 2. What colors would you use if you were painting the scene? 3. List some words that would describe your feelings if you could step into this scene. Telling a story

1. Who are the characters in the story being told? 2. What happens in the story? 3.

Why is the poet telling the story? (to entertain, teach, move to action, etc.)

Bringing out strong feelings in the audience 1. What emotions does the poet try to bring out in the audience? 2. How does the poet use words and images to affect the listener’s feelings? 3. What is the purpose of bringing out strong feelings? 4. What might someone want to do after hearing the poem? Giving advice 1. What is the poem about? 2. What advice is the poet giving to the audience? 3. What technique does the poet use to make the message effective? 4. Think of a sign or advertising that might have a similar message. 5. What type of person might offer the kind of advice the poet is giving?


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music” StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas

#1 A palm tree stands in the middle of Rusafa, Born in the West, far from the land of palms. I said to it: How like me you are, far away and in exile, In long separation from family and friends. You have sprung from soil in which you are a stranger, And I, like you, am far from home. Abd al-Rahman, Emir of Cordoba, d. 788 CE #2 A little shaikh (Sheik) from the land of Meknes sings in the middle of the marketplaces: “What have I to do with men, and what have men to do with me?” What, O friend, have I to do with any creature [When] He whom I love is a Creator, a Provider? Unless you are sincere, my son, say not a word. Take down my words on paper and write them like an amulet on my authority. What have I to do with men, and what have men to do with me?" Here is a clear statement that needs no explanation: What has anyone to do with anyone? Grasp this allusion well, And observe my old age, my staff, and my begging wallet. Thus did I live in Fez and thus do I live here too. “What have I to do with men, and what have men to do with me?" How beautiful are his words when he struts through the market-places And you see the shopkeepers turn their necks in his direction. With his begging wallet hanging from his neck, a short staff and cork sandals, He is a well-built little shaikh (Sheik), built as God created him.

"What have I to do with men, and what have men to do with me?" Were you to see this little shaikh (Sheik), how elegant he is in the true sense of the word! He turned to me and said to me: "Do I see you follow me? I set down my begging bowl-and may He who has mercy on us have mercy on it." And he placed it among different kinds [of people] saying: "Leave me alone, leave me alone. What have I to do with men, and what have men to do with me? He who does good, O my son, receives only good in return; He will look to his faults and reprove his own deeds, While he who is close to my state will remain innocent and free." He whose soul is good will grasp the innocence of the singer; "What have I to do with men, and what have men to do with me?" And in this way he busies himself in blessing Muhammad, And [requesting God's] pleasure for his minister the glorious Abu Bakr, And for the truthful ‘Umar and for the martyr of every place of martyrdom, And for ‘Ali the grand judge over iniquities who, when he struck out, did not repeat the blow. Shushtari (1212–1269 CE)

#3 Wonder, A garden among the flames! My heart can take on any form: A meadow for gazelles, A cloister for monks, For the idols, sacred ground, Ka'ba for the circling pilgrim, The tables of the Torah, The scrolls of the Quran. My creed is Love; Wherever its caravan turns along the way, That is my belief,


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music” StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas

My faith. Tarjuman al-Ashwaq, Muhyyeddin Ibn Arabi (1165-1240 CE) #4 Were it not for the excess of your talking and the turmoil in your hearts, you would see what I see and hear what I hear! Muhyyeddin Ibn Arabi (1165-1240 CE) #5 I believe in the religion Of Love Whatever direction its caravans may take, For love is my religion and my faith. Muhyyeddin Ibn Arabi (1165-1240 CE) #6 Oh, her beauty--the tender maid! Its brilliance gives light like lamps to one traveling in the dark. She is a pearl hidden in a shell of hair as black as jet, A pearl for which Thought dives and remains unceasingly in the deeps of that ocean. He who looks upon her deems her to be a gazelle of the sand-hills, because of her shapely neck and the loveliness of her gestures. Muhyyeddin Ibn Arabi (1165-1240 CE) #7 My heart has become capable of every form: it is a pasture for gazelles and a convent for Christian monks, And a temple for idols, and the pilgrim's Ka'ba, and the tables of the Tora and the book of the Koran. I follow the religion of Love, whichever way his camels take. My religion and my faith is the true religion. We have a pattern in Bishr, the lover of Hind and her sister, and in Qays and Lubna, and in Mayya and Ghaylan. Muhyyeddin Ibn Arabi (1165-1240 CE) #8 Everything declines after reaching perfection, therefore let no man be beguiled by the sweetness of a pleasant life. As you have observed, these are the decrees that are inconstant: he whom a single moment has made happy, has been harmed by many other moments; And this is the abode that will show pity for no man, nor will any condition remain in its state for it. Fate irrevocably destroys every ample coat of mail when Mashrifi swords and spears glance off without effect;

Where are the crowned kings of Yemen and where are their jewel-studded diadems and crowns? Where are [the buildings] Shaddad raised in Iram and where [the empire] the Sassanians ruled in Persia? Where is the gold Qarun once possessed; where are ‘Ad and Shaddad and Qab’an? An irrevocable decree overcame them all so that they passed away and the people came to be as though they had never existed. The kingdoms and kings that had been came to be like what a sleeper has told about [his] dream vision.


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music� StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas

Fate turned against Darius as well as his slayer, and as for Chosroes, no vaulted palace offered him protection. It is as if no cause had ever made the hard easy to bear, and as if Solomon had never ruled the world. The misfortunes brought on by Fate are of many different kinds, while Time has causes of joy and of sorrow. For the accidents [of fortune] there is a consolation that makes them easy to bear, yet there is no consolation for what has befallen Islam. An event which cannot be endured has overtaken the peninsula; ... The evil eye has struck [the peninsula] in its Islam so that [the land] decreased until whole regions and districts were despoiled of [the faith] Therefore ask Valencia what is the state of Murcia; and where is Jativa, and where is Jaen? Where is Cordoba, the home of the sciences, and many a scholar whose rank was once lofty in it? Where is Seville and the pleasures it contains, as well as its sweet river overflowing and brimming full?

a homeland beguile any man after [the loss of] Seville? This misfortune has caused those that preceded it to be forgotten, nor can it ever be forgotten for the length of all time! O you who ride lean, thoroughbred steeds which seem like eagles in the racecourse; And you who carry slender, Indian blades which seem like fires in the darkness caused by the dust cloud [of war], And you who are living in luxury beyond the sea enjoying life, you who have strength and power in your homelands, Have you no news of the people of Andalus, for riders have carried forth what men have said [about them]? How often have the weak, who were being killed and captured while no man stirred, asked our help? What means this severing of the bonds of Islam on your behalf, when you, O worshipers of God, are [our] brethren? Are there no heroic souls with lofty ambitions; are there no helpers and defenders of righteousness? O, who will redress the humiliation of a people who were once powerful, a people whose condition injustice and tyrants have changed?

[They are] capitals which were the pillars of the land, yet when the pillars are gone, it may no longer endure! The tap of the white ablution fount weeps in despair, like a passionate lover weeping at the departure of the beloved,

Yesterday they were kings in their own homes, but today they are slaves in the land of the infidel! Thus, were you to see them perplexed, with no one to guide them, wearing the cloth of shame in its different shades, And were you to behold their weeping when they are sold, the matter would strike fear into your heart, and sorrow would seize you. Alas, many a mother and child have been parted as souls and bodies are separated! And many a maiden fair as the sun when it rises, as though she were rubies and pearls, Is led off to abomination by a barbarian against her will, while her eye is in tears and her heart is stunned. The heart melts with sorrow at such [sights], if there is any Islam or belief in that heart Abu al-Baqa Al-Rundi (fl. 1248 CE)

Over dwellings emptied of Islam that were first vacated and are now inhabited by unbelief; In which the mosques have become churches wherein only bells and crosses may be found. Even the mihrabs weep though they are solid; even the pulpits mourn though they are wooden! O you who remain heedless though you have a warning in Fate: if you are asleep, Fate is always awake! And you who walk forth cheerfully while your homeland diverts you [from cares], can


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music” StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas

#9 In the ocean of night, as the last of the flood-tide was ebbing, an eclipse snatched away half the moon. It became like a mirror heated by a blacksmith, with the red of the fire fading into the black. Ibn Hamdis (Sicily, 1055-1132 CE) #10 Look at the sun on the horizon; it is like a bird casting its wing over the surface of the bay. Ali ibn Musa ibn Sa’id (Alcala la Real, 1213-1286 CE) #11 The hands of spring have built strong lily castles on their stems, Castles with battlements of silver where the defenders, grouped around the prince, hold swords of gold. Ibn Darraj (Caceta, 958-1030 CE) #12 Drink from the lily pond, red with flowers, and also green, As if the flowers were tongues of fire coming out of the water. Ibn Hamdis (Sicily, 1055-1132 CE) #13 How beautiful the rose in its colors of deep red and pure white. Its whiteness is like the brilliance of the stars; its redness not different from the red of twilight. And the yellow in its center is like sesame seeds clustered on a plate. Abu al-Abbas al-Ghassani (Tunis, c. 1261 CE) #14 The right hand of the wind forges a coat of mail on the river which ripples with a thousand wrinkles. And whenever the wind adds a ring, the rain comes along to fasten it with its rivets. Asa al-A’ma (Manish, c. 1131 CE) #15 The river is like a piece of parchment on which the breeze is tracing its lines. And when they see how beautiful the writing is, the branches bend down to read it. Ali ibn Musa ibn Sa’id (Alcala la Real, 1213-1286 CE) #16 How I love those boats as they start to race, like horses chasing one another. The neck of the river was unadorned before, but now, in the darkness of night, it is all decked out. The brightness of the boats’ candles is as the brilliance of stars; you’d think their reflections were lances in the water.


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music” StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas

Many boats are moved along by their sail wings and others by their oar feet; they look like frightened rabbits fleeing from falcons. Ibn Lubbal (Jerez, d. 1187 CE) #17 Nothing disturbed me more than a dove, singing on a branch between the island and the river. Its collar was the color of pistachio nuts, its breasts of lapis lazuli, its neck brightly embroidered, its tail and leading wing feathers of dark green. A ring of gold surrounded its pearl eyelids, pearls which rolled over rubies. Black was the tip of its sharp beak, as if it were a silver penpoint dipped in ink. It pillowed itself on a couch of an Ark tree and bowed with its wings folded over its breast. But when it saw my tears, it was troubled by my weeping and standing straight up on the green bough. It spread out its wings and flapped them, flying off with my heart to wherever it flew. Where? I don’t know. Ali ibn Hisa (Seville, d. 1050 CE) #18 O king, whose fathers were of lofty mien and most noble lineage! You have always adorned my neck with marvelous gifts; so may you now adorn my hand with a falcon. Bestow on me one with fine wings, as if its leading feathers had been arched by the north wind. Proudly I shall take him out in the morning, making the wind veer in my hand, and I shall capture the free with my chained one. Abu Bakr Ibn al-Qabturnuh (Badajoz, c. 1126 CE) #19 Bright as a meteor, he came prancing forth in a gilded saddle cloth. Someone said, envying me, as he saw him trotting beneath me into battle: “Who has bridled the morning with the Pleiades and saddled the lightning with the crescent moon?” Abu al-Sall (Denia, 1067-1134 CE)

#20 If white is the color of mourning in Andalusia, that is only just. Don’t you see that I have put on the white of old age out of mourning for my youth? al-Kafif al-Husri (Kairouan, d. 1095 CE)

#21 When the bird of sleep thought my eye was a nest, he saw its lashes and, being afraid of nets, he was frightened away. Ibn al-Hammarah (c. 1150 CE) #22 You have a house where the curtains are perfect for musical evenings, but let us understand one thing: The flies do the singing, the mosquitoes accompany them, and the fleas are the dancers. Abu Abdallah ibn Sharaf (Kairouan, d. 1068 CE) #23 My soul and my family be the ransom for my patron,


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music” StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas

from whom I never ask for help against fate without being helped. They feathered my wings and then drenched them with the dew of generosity, so now I cannot fly away from their tribe. Ibn al-Labbanah (Denia, d. 1113 CE) #24 Scatter your good deeds all around, not caring whether they fall on those near or far away, Just as the rain never cares where the clouds pour it out, whether on fertile ground or on rocks. Ibn Siraj (Cordova, d. 1114 CE) #25 My soul said to me: “Death has come for you and here you are still in this sea of sins. “And you haven’t even provided for the journey.” “Be quiet, “ I said. “Does one take provisions to the Generous One?” Abu al-Hajjaj al-Munsafi (Almuzafes, c. 1210 CE) #26 Be forgiving of your friend when he offends you, for perfection is seldom ever found. In everything there is some flaw; even the lamp, despite its brilliance, smokes. Ibn al-Haddad (Almeria, d. 1087 CE) #27 Look at the fire as she dances, shaking her sleeves with joy. She laughs with amazement as the essence of her ebony is transmuted into gold. Ibn Abi al-Khisal (Segura,072-1145 CE) #28 Oh, the beauty of the fountain, pelting the horizon with shooting stars, leaping and jumping around playfully; Bubbles of water burst out of it, gushing into its basin like a frightened snake, As if it used to move back and forth beneath the earth, but when it had the chance, it quickly escaped, And settled into the basin, happy with its new home, and in amazement kept smiling, showing its bubbles. And the branches hover overhead, about to kiss it as it smiles, revealing the whiteness of its teeth. Ibn al-Ra’iah (Seville, 13th century CE) #29 How wonderful is the water-wheel! It spins around like a celestial sphere, yet there are no stars on it. It was placed over the river by hands that decreed that it refresh others’ spirits as it, itself, grows tired. It is like a free man, in chains, or like a prisoner marching freely. Water rises and falls from the wheel as if it were a


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music” StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas

cloud that draws water from the sea and later pours it out. The eyes fell in love with it, for it is a boon companion to the garden, a cupbearer who doesn’t drink. Ibn al-Abbar (Valencia, d. 1260 CE) #30 Wedding Feast on the Horizon Pass round your cups for there’s a wedding feast on the horizon— although it would be enough for us just to feast our eyes on your beauty. The lightning is a henna-dyed hand, the rain, pearls and like a bride, the horizon is led forth to her husband— and the eyes of the dawn are lined with kohl. Ali ibn Musa ibn Sa’id (Alcala la Real, 1213-1286 CE) #31 O people of Andalusia, spur on your horses, for staying here is a mistake; Garments begin to unravel at the seams, but now I see that the peninsula is unraveling at the center. al-Assal (Toledo, d. 1094 CE) #32 We are moons in the darkness of the night; wherever we sit, there is the head of the room. If contemptuous fate unjustly takes away our greatness, it can not take away the greatness of our souls. Ibn Adha (Granada, 1098-1145 CE) #33 Granada Come, spend a night in the country with me, my friend (you whom the stars above would gladly call their friend), for winter's finally over. Listen to the chatter of the doves and swallows! We'll lounge beneath the pomegranates, palm trees, apple trees, under every lovely, leafy thing, and walk among the vines, enjoy the splendid faces we will see, in a lofty palace built of noble stones. Resting solidly on thick foundations, its walls like towers fortified, set upon a flat place, plains all around it splendid to look at from within its courts. Chambers constructed, adorned with carvings, open-work and closed-work, paving of alabaster, paving of marble, gates so many that I can't even count them! Chamber doors paneled with ivory like palace doors, reddened with panels of cedar, like the Temple. Wide windows over them,

and within those windows, the sun and moon and stars! It has a dome, too, like Solomon's palanquin, suspended like a jewel-room, turning, changing, pearl-colored; crystal and marble in day-time; but in the evening seeming just like the night sky, all set with stars. It cheers the heart of the poor and the weary; perishing, bitter men forget their want. I saw it once and I forgot my troubles, my heart took comfort from distress, my body seemed to fly for joy,as if on wings of eagles. There was a basin brimming, like Solomon's basin, but not on the backs of bulls like his – lions stood around its edge with wells in their innards, and mouths gushing water; they made you think of whelps that roar for prey; for they had wells inside them, wells that emitted water in streams through their mouths like rivers. Then there were canals with does planted by them,


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Study Guide: The Rhythm Kings “Moorish Influence in Music” StudentHandout : AndalusianPoetry by Susan Douglas

does that were hollow, pouring water, sprinkling the plants planted in the gardenbeds, casting pure water upon them, watering the myrtle-garden, treetops fresh and sprinkling, and everything was fragrant as spices, everything as if it were perfumed with myrrh. Birds were singing in the boughs, peering through the palm-fronds, and there were fresh and lovely blossoms – rose, narcissus, saffron – each one boasting that he was the best, (though we thought every one was beautiful).

The narcissuses said, “We are so white we rule the sun and moon and stars!” The doves complained at such talk and said, “No, we are the princesses here! Just see our neck-rings, with which we charm the hearts of men, dearer far than pearls.” The bucks rose up against the girls and darkened their splendor with their own, boasting that they were the best of all, because they are like young rams. But when the sun rose over them, I cried out, “Halt! Do not cross the boundaries!” (from Ibn Gabirol, ca. 1021- 1058 CE, “The Palace and the Garden

Sources for the poems, by number: #1, #33: Maria Rosa Menocal, Raymond P. Scheindlin, Michael Sells, editors. The Literature of al-A ndalus. Cambridge University Press, 2000. p. 25; pp. 1-2 “Granada” translated by Raymond P. Scheindlin. #2: Monroe, pp. 308-314 #3, 4, 5, 6, 7: Reynold A. Nicholson, translator The Mystics of Islam. New York: Penguin Books, 1914. Retrieved at and devotional poets/sufi/ibn arabi/ip/won/ and #8: James Monroe. Hispano-Arabic Poetry: A Student Antholog.y Gorgias Press, 2004. pp. 332- 336 #9-32: Bellamy, James and Patricia Owen Steiner, translators. The Banners of the Champions: An Anthology of Medieval Arabic Poetry from Andalusia and Beyond. Madison: Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, 1989. The original Arabic title is Ibn Sa’id al-Maghribi (b. 1213 CE) Rayat al-Mubarizeen wa Ghayat al-Mumayizeen (The Banners of the Champions and Pennants of the Chosen). NOTE on Banners of the Champions: Ibn Sa’id al-Maghribi was born near Granada in 1213 CE, to a prominent literary family. He spent his life traveling and writing, and he authored or compiled over forty works. He was familiar with many of the cities of Andalusia and North Africa, and the eastern centers like Cairo, Baghdad and Makkah. He is best known for completing a great anthology of poetry in over 15 volumes. Started by his great-grandfather, it took over 100 years to finish. The Banners is a short extract of about 300 poems compiled in Cairo in the summer of 1243 CE.


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