a curious Yankee in Europe's court

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Globalization as music: Syrian National Orchestra

Posted on the May 10th, 2010

This is globalization that isn’t from the business pages, for a nice change. That was my thought when I saw the article today in the Global Post about a different style of  music that the Syrian National Orchestra is creating (“Classical music, with a Syrian twist” by Theodore May, May 10, 2010.)

As May describes it, the orchestra is blending “the classical music of Europe with traditional Arab sounds, violins and French horns against an oud and a tambourine.”

Wow. Curious I went looking for a video so I could hear a sample of the music. Found a news report on YouTube from The National Newspaper (Abu Dhabi). It features an interview with the orchestra conductor, and a brief selection of the orchestra performing.

Excerpt from the interview with Conductor Missak Baghboudarian:

I’m sure that we’re going to have more than one hundred orchestras in Europe playing better than us. They have tradition and they know how to play that music. And nobody’s working to have the oriental music in the classical style, in the classical language. So maybe you have to try to do this, and it’s going to be our speciality…

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