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The Future of Arabic Music: No sound without silence

Nesma Khodier 

 

Abstract

For centuries, Arabic music has been intrinsically linked to Arab culture and by extension bonded to the environmental landscape of the region, reflecting their emotions, moods, and behaviors. Numerous technological advancements in the latter half of the twentieth century, have greatly affected the rich legacy of Arabic music, significantly impacting the natural progression of traditional Arabic musical genres, scales, and instrumentation.

This thesis serves as an introduction to generative methods of music production, specifically music generated through gestures. Through generative music, and its unique ability to map gestures to different musical parameters, music can be produced using computer algorithms.

The outcome of this thesis aims to demystify the intricacies of recent technological advancements to enable the musician and the audience to incorporate responsive technology into their ensembles. This approach aims to further evolve Arabic music, using the concepts of Arabic music creativity while addressing international accessibility through integration.

The intention of this thesis is to bridge between the contemporary and the traditional Arabic audiences and provides insight into a possible future of Arabic music based on its own fundamental principles.

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