Sung Poetry in the Oral Tradition of the Gulf Region and the Arabian Peninsula
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"As far back as we can go in the past history of the Arabs and Arabia, we find poetry present as a huge memorial to their real and imaginary heroic exploits, as a witness to their way of life and feelings, and most of all as an expression of the deepest roots of their soul. Being essentially oral in its origins and developments, this poetry, with its rhythms, intonations, accents, and long or short syllables fitted in quite naturally with music. In the old classical Arabic terminology, poetry (Shicr) identifies with song (Nashīd): reciting it is synonymous with singing it (Anshada al-Shicr). This bond between Shicr (poetry) and Inshād (chant or recitative) still has the same meaning in the spoken Arabic of the Peninsula and the Gulf region where Nishīda (song) is synonymous with Giṣīda (poem)."--Historical Background.
Oral Tradition, 4/1-2 (1989): 174-88.
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