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Women, the Recited Qur’an, and Islamic Music in Indonesia

Women, the Recited Qur’an, and Islamic Music in Indonesia

Anne K. Rasmussen
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 1
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Women, the Recited Qur’an, and Islamic Music in Indonesia
    Book Description:

    Women, the Recited Qur'an, and Islamic Music in Contemporary Indonesiatakes readers to the heart of religious musical praxis in Indonesia, home to the largest Muslim population in the world. Anne K. Rasmussen explores a rich public soundscape, where women recite the divine texts of the Qur'an, and where an extraordinary diversity of Arab-influenced Islamic musical styles and genres, also performed by women, flourishes. Based on unique and revealing ethnographic research beginning at the end of Suharto's "New Order" and continuing into the era of "Reformation," the book considers the powerful role of music in the expression of religious nationalism. In particular, it focuses on musical style, women's roles, and the ideological and aesthetic issues raised by the Indonesian style of recitation.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94742-9
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xx)
  6. MAPS
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  7. 1 Setting the Scene
    (pp. 1-37)

    During a visit to Indonesia in October of 2004, I was trying to make the most of my last day in the country. Aft er a week in the relative calm of East and Central Java, where I had toured with the Kiai Kanjeng ensemble, the return to Jakarta assaulted my senses. Although I had lived there for two years (1995–96 and 1999) and had returned for shorter visits on several occasions in 2003 and 2004, the intensity of the traffic seemed overwhelming after traveling around the Javanese provinces.

    I was hoping to be on time for a gathering...

  8. 2 Hearing Islam in the Atmosphere
    (pp. 38-73)

    During my two years in Jakarta (1995–96 and 1999), I learned about the world through its noises. The broom salesman, the ice cream cart, the saté man, and thebakso(soup) vendor all made their passage known by their distinctive calls or by the honking and clanging and clacking of the horns or idiophones that were mounted on the carts they wheeled.¹ As I worked at my desk in my makeshift study, adapted from foyer of our house (what is called theruang tamu, or guest space), I came to recognize the engines of motorcycles that delivered bottled gas,...

  9. 3 Learning Recitation: The Institutionalization of the Recited Qur’an
    (pp. 74-124)

    The Qur’an is known throughout the world as a written document that can be read and studied as a text; however, it is its active manifestation in daily life through the channels ofauralityandoralitythat is the focus of this study.Auralityimplies not only hearing the Qur’an recited but also, in Sells’s words, “taking it to heart” (1999, 11) in the multisensory and kinesthetic way that sound—whether music, a child’s laughter, a mother’s lament, or a poet’s cadence—is experienced.Oralityrefers to the purposeful activation of the text into a measured, timbred, melodic performance that...

  10. 4 Celebrating Religion and Nation: The Festivalization of the Qur’an
    (pp. 125-165)

    With celebrated protagonists and established guidelines, religious festivals and competitions are busy intersections of dogma and information, ritual and performance, piety and politics.¹ Religious praxis framed as public spectacle, or the “festivalization of religion,” as I have referred to the phenomenon elsewhere, involves many of the consultants for this project and occurs with predictable regularity on many levels and in many contexts (Rasmussen 2001, 45). Such events are not only open to a general public, but the guidelines or agreed-upon rules for these events—including details of structure, purpose, aesthetic criteria, and meaning—are often also available in print. The...

  11. 5 Performing Piety through Islamic Musical Arts
    (pp. 166-210)

    As Indonesia negotiates its way through the process of reform (reformasi) and development (pembagunan), expressions of religious, cultural, and political identity, whether global or local, traditional or modern, emerge through the perfor mance of Islamic musical arts. This chapter illustrates the ways in which healthy if sometimes heated debate about tradition and modernity as it applies to men and women, religion and nation, and history and identity presents itself through the planning, production, and positioning of musical per for mance in various contexts. As anthropologist James Fox writes, “Perhaps nowhere in the Islamic world is there, at present, as lively...

  12. 6 Rethinking Women, Music, and Islam
    (pp. 211-244)

    The voices of women are one of the distinctive strains in the Islamic soundscape, and as they perform, teach, study together, and practice alone, women contribute to the creation of messages of great beauty, power, and potency. They not only have access to the divine, but they also help to create it both for themselves and for others. Their voices, loud, strident, and authoritative, are heard by all and often emulated, even by men.¹ Of the many distinctive features of Indonesian Islam, the role of women was oft en identified to me as paramount. In this chapter I recall the...

  13. NOTES
    (pp. 245-272)
    (pp. 273-278)
    (pp. 279-296)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 297-312)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 313-313)