Tandem Project

Avant-Garde Arab Music: Critical Reflections and New Compositions

The AGYA project Avant-Garde Arab Music: Critical Reflections and new Compositions is a main step towards a better understanding of music cultures in the Arab world and Germany. Researchers, musicians, and composers are invited to discuss questions on the interplay of Arab academic and classical Western music. Both music traditions are entangled in different philosophies, aesthetics, and tonalities. Therefore, the project aims at disclosing how to adapt to problems such as musical transfer and exchanges that arise through the confluence of Western contemporary music and traditional microtonal Arab music. The wider goal is to initiate a scientific dialogue, and to provide networking opportunities for musicians, composers as well as researchers, and to provide a basis for further scientific research projects on Arab music.

During this transdisciplinary project musicians, composers and researchers will meet virtually and – if possible – physically to discuss several topics like pedagogical, intercultural, religious, and identity-related aspects of (avant-garde Arab) music. The discussions will highlight present difficulties that Western and avant-garde Arab musicians are facing: The difficulties of transferring philosophies and emotions related to music into a different cultural and musical contexts, the challenge of Western instruments and ‛maqamat’-intervals, different perceptions of dissonance and the confluences and historical co-inspiration among Western and Arab music.

Next to the online discussions about avant-garde Arab music, musicians study new pieces of avant-garde Arab music and perform them in an online concert. A camera team will document this project and the documentary will be presented to a broader public.

Members in Charge

Mohammed Alkatan

Medical and Health Sciences
The Public Authority for Applied Education and Training

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Rami Chahin

Oldenburg University School of Linguistics and Cultural Studies

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DATE and Venue of the project

December 2020
Oldenburg/Hannover, Germany


Disciplines Involved

Musicology, Pedagogy, Philosophy


Picture 1 by nayef hammouri/Shutterstock

Picture 2&3 Copyright by Barthel Pester/Daniel Moreira

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