jeudi 18 mars 2021

The Medieval Rabab, a Bowed String Instrument with an Arabic-Islamic Past and Present

5-7 novembre 2021, Bern
University of the Arts, Bern
Organised by the Bern University of the Arts (HKB), Institute Interpretation, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

Since 2019, the skin-covered bowed string instruments rabab and rebec have been a subject of investigation as part of a four-year interdisciplinary SNSF research project at the Bern University of the Arts. The rabab and rebec both belonged among the most important bowed string instruments of the European Middle Ages and early Renaissance, while the rabab was also essential in the Arabic-Islamic region from the 9th century onwards. Furthermore, the rabāb remains a key element of Moroccan andalusi music today. During the conference, we will present the research results from the first part of our project (9th–13th centuries) and aim to contrast these with further research on the same and related topics from the fields of musicology, organology, ethnomusicology, performance practice, art history, music iconography, archaeology and cultural transfer in order to discuss them together. Selected papers will subsequently be published in book form (open access).


The Arabic-Islamic origins of the rabab / cultural exchange

Arabic and European music theory / organology

The rabab and its iconographic and textual sources until the 13th century

The string instruments in the Cantigas de Santa Maria

Music iconography as a method in music and art studies

Ethnomusicological sources on skin-covered bowed string instruments

The relationship between ethnomusicology and historical musicology

Papers should last 20 minutes (followed by 10 min. discussion). The official conference languages are German, English and French. Submissions should include the title and an abstract (max. 2000 characters incl. spaces), and the name, affiliation, contact information and short CV of the speaker (max. 1000 characters incl. spaces for the CV).

Please email your abstract or proposal for a poster by 15 April 2021 to The confirmation of accepted papers and posters will be announced by 31 May 2021. The conference is currently planned as a face-to-face event.

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Mercredi 17 Mars, 2021