- Cloud Valley Music website -
- Andrew Cronshaw website -

- Andrew Cronshaw MySpace -

- Back to Reviews Introduction page -

Written in fRoots issue 258, 2004

The Repertoire of Iraqi Maqam
Rob Simms

Scarecrow Press  ISBN 0-8108-4758-2 (2004)
Hardback £37.95

Written by a Canadian musician and academic, this is probably the most complete study in English of the repertoire of Iraqi classical music, with a systematic exposition of scales, transcriptions of performances drawing on a number of Iraqi recorded sources, and descriptions of the structure and history of the scales and maqams, plus an introduction setting them in a wider overview of Middle Eastern modal forms. Initially skipping the pretty dense, thesis-style text and going straight to the music brings one up against some signs unfamiliar to the average music-reader, such as flats with lines across them to indicate quarter-tones, so a plunge into the text is necessary to find the brief note on notation on pages 6 and 7. An easily located symbol key would have been a help.
      I passed the book to Syrian qanun virtuoso Abdullah Chhadeh for his much more informed opinion. Heís finding it useful; Iíve just had to borrow it back from him to get the publisher details. www.scarecrowpress.com

© 2004 Andrew Cronshaw

You're welcome to quote from reviews on this site, but please credit the writer and fRoots.

fRoots -
The feature and review-packed UK-based monthly world roots music magazine in which these reviews were published, and by whose permission they're reproduced here.

It's not practical to give, and keep up to date, current contact details and sales sources for all the artists and labels in these reviews, but try Googling for them, and where possible buy direct from the artists.
CDRoots.com in the USA, run by Cliff Furnald, is a reliable and independent online retail source, with reviews, of many of the CDs in these reviews; it's connected to his excellent online magazine Rootsworld.com 

For more reviews click on the regions below

NORDIC        BALTIC        IBERIA (& islands)   



- Back to Reviews Introduction page -