Culture

A New Book Recounts The History Of Traditional Music In Syria

Syria

The Syrian writer Hassan Abbas has released a book entitled "Traditional Music in Syria" in which he outlines the history of the different forms of music in the region.

Syria has been a civilisational centre for millenia and the development of its musical traditions is a testament to that historical experience. The wide range of musical instruments, singing styles and melodic scales reflect the resplendent nature of Syrian music.

The recently released book called “Traditional Music in Syria”, written by Hassan Abbas, contains information about the different forms of music and dance that have existed in Syria throughout the ages. This includes religious music, ethnic music, folk singing, and folk dance. It also provides information on the manufacturing of traditional instruments. The book outlines the cultural, social and economic influences that have shaped the music of the Levant in general.

The research conducted by Hassan Abbas on Syrian music was commissioned and supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The project was launched with the aim of preserving what is known about Syrian music before any of its elements are lost as a result of the ongoing civil conflict, which has led to deep-seated social changes as well as an exodus of millions of Syrians from the country.

Despite the conflict, music and art have continued to play a role in the daily life of Syrians. Songs continue to be sung in the name of those who have fallen as a result of the fighting, while some of those who have escaped the country are preserving the musical traditions of their homeland.

UNICEF has also contributed to the preservation of Syrian music abroad, by using music as a form of psychological rehabilitation for refugees who have suffered from trauma as a consequence of the conflict. “My Music” was a campaign launched by UNICEF that involved a form of psychotherapy, using music to heal the psychological trauma of war and displacement experienced by children at the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan.