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An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians$
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Edward William Lane

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9789774165603

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774165603.001.0001

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Public Recitations of Romances

Public Recitations of Romances

Chapter:
(p.355) Chapter 21 Public Recitations of Romances
Source:
An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians
Author(s):

Edward William Lane

Jason Thompson

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774165603.003.0021

This and the following two chapters look at the reciters and storytellers who would frequent the coffeehouses of Cairo and other towns in the evenings, particularly during religious festivals. This chapter focuses on the poets (“shoara”) who would recite, by memory, tales of the adventures of Aboo Zeyd, a story based on events that supposedly took place in middle of third century AH, but were composed later. These tales are said to be informative on the subject Bedouin customs and traditions. The recitations were half prose and half poetry, with some music. The poet would play a few notes on a viol after every verse, and was sometimes accompanied by another instrument. This chapter includes a summary of a volume of the story, plus a translation of some of the poetry and musical notation.

Keywords:   Recitation, Performance, Poetry, Prose, Music, Coffeehouses, Storytellers

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