Theses Doctoral

On the Transmigration of the Arab Soul: A Case Study in Contemporary Composition

Haddad, Saad Nadim

This dissertation consists of two parts: (1) a portfolio of recent works composed during my fellowship at Columbia University, including Aruah (2022) for mixed octet, String Quartet No. 2 (2021), and Clarinet Concerto (2019) for solo clarinet, orchestra, and electronics, and (2) this subsidiary essay. This written discussion centers around three pillars that form the foundation of how I presently conceive of music that incorporates both Arab and Western musical aesthetics. These pillars are organized into three chapters (1) Recontextualizing maqām, (2) “Ṭarab-ic” Harmony, and (3) Organological Transethnicism. At the end of each of chapter, I relate the discussed principles to specific moments in my own music, taken from excerpts from this dissertation’s musical portfolio. My analysis of these works through the lens of these three pillars highlights the amorphous qualities of perception across disparate cultures, and how authenticity as a spectrum, rather than as a fixture, can result in new aural experiences.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Haas, Georg Friedrich
D.M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
May 3, 2023