Participants at the launching of a series of music books by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2022.

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has launched a series of music books at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2022.

Consisting of a number of publications, the series is a notable addition to the ALC’s roster of publications, and focuses on Emirati and Arab singing and music. It includes biographies of artists Eid Al-Faraj and Ibrahim Jumaa, written by author Ibrahim Al-Hashemi, a book on Umm Kulthum’s reasons for selecting the poems she sang, and a variety of other titles, including educational books.

The launch ceremony was attended by Dr Ali bin Tamim, ALC chairman, and Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, acting executive director of the ALC, along with media representatives and book enthusiasts.

Original titles

“The ALC continues to drive the advancement of the Arabic language, and enrich the Arabic library with original titles in an effort to encourage creativity and support authors. The series of music books we have launched is a means to shed renewed light on music and singing in the region. For the first time, the series presents biographies of musical pioneers in the UAE, in addition to documenting traditional performing arts and exploring new perspectives on Arabic singing by experts,” Al Tunaiji said.

The series includes two books from the ‘Pioneers Among Us’ initiative, where poet and writer Ibrahim Al-Hashemi documents the life of Eid Al-Faraj, a singer, composer, and poet. The first biography of its kind for this artist, it chronicles Al-Faraj’s journey from birth through childhood, education, and various stages of his career until the present time, illustrated by a collection of photographs.

Pioneer of music anc composition in UAE

In the second book, Ibrahim Jumaa: The Etheric Melody of the Sea, Al-Hashemi presents the life and achievements of a pioneer of music and composition in the UAE, and documents the songs and poems he wrote, composed, and presented at festivals and special occasions. The publication features photographs from Jumaa’s life, showcasing the awards and honours he received during his career.

“This music book collection completes the book series we previously launched at the ALC. These works, wherein Emirati authors document the lives and professional careers of UAE musical pioneers, will greatly enrich the regional cultural scene and promote more in-depth research into the UAE’s musical heritage. The series offers a new perspective on Arab musical heritage, which is sure to spark new dialogue around it,” Al Tunaiji said.

The collection

The collection includes Dr. Hamad bin Sarai’s book Wahhabi Art: Kinetic and Verbal Performance from Emirati Folklore, which consists of field research documenting a form of folk performance art closely related to the agricultural environment, through interviews with people who practice the art form.

The collection also features The Medium in the Rules and Theories of Arabic Music, a theoretical and applied study of the rules and theories of Arabic music, written by Egyptian author Ahmed Youssef Al-Taweel, Professor and Vice Dean of the Higher Institute of Arabic Music at the Academy of Arts.

The History of Music in Arabia and Andalusia, written by Julian Ribera and translated by Hussein Hassan, is being reprinted. The book highlights the role of the Muslims of Andalusia in preserving music and passing it down to later generations, where its legacy inspired numerous European musicians.