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Edward William Lane 1801–1876The Life of the Pioneering Egyptologist and Orientalist$
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Jason Thompson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162879

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162879.001.0001

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Perception and Reality

Perception and Reality

(p.319) 18 Perception and Reality
Edward William Lane 1801–1876

Jason Thompson

American University in Cairo Press

Under the hands of a skilful player, the kánoon pleased Lane more than any other Egyptian instrument without an accompaniment; and to a band it is an important addition. He also became acquainted with and sketched some of the male professional musicians, who were called alatiya. When he examined the professionals who recited these romances, he identified three specialized groups, each the subject of a chapter in Modern Egyptians. By far the most numerous were the approximately fifty shuara (literally “poets”) who recited the Romance of Abu Zeid and nothing else. Lane enjoyed the musicians and reciters immensely, and he still loved to listen to the chaste awalim, singing unseen behind their mashrabiya screens, but the performances he probably enjoyed the most were those of the ghawazi.

Keywords:   kánoon, alatiya, musicians, shuara, awalim, mashrabiya, ghawazi

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