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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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PRINTED FROM CAIRO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cairo.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The American University in Cairo Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Public Recitations of Romances

Public Recitations of Romances

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

Edward William Lane

Jason Thompson

American University in Cairo Press

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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