Woke up this morning...
October 14, 2004 4:50 AM   Subscribe

Islam and the Blues.
Q. What's the difference between the muezzin’s call to prayer and The Blues.
A. Nothing.
posted by seanyboy (13 comments total)
Glad to see I'm not the only PopBitch reader here!
posted by DrDoberman at 4:58 AM on October 14, 2004

The seanyboy renaissance continues.

Great post.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:34 AM on October 14, 2004

On the banjo... You can read out there that it's a descendant of the African long-necked lute, that it's derived from "banjar," an African string instrument...

But before reading this article, I never reflected on the rhythmic and technical similarities between old-time banjo playing and the music of the Arabic `ud. I'm going on gut here, but I suspect others familiar with the two styles might agree.
posted by Zurishaddai at 6:22 AM on October 14, 2004

I play oud and there is not any really close connection to the banjo (which I also play in old time southern style.) Banjo styles come out of a different musical traditon, the ngoni and similar skin headed stringed instruments in the Sahel and Niger River areas.

I don't really buy the "blues is muslim" line. Given that many slaves came from strongly muslim influenced areas and brought the griot/bard tradition to the Americas, remember that in the 1700s, when the majority of slaves were taken from Africa, most were not muslim. Islam grew stronger in the Sahel and west African regions following movements such as the Bambara Jihad and the the Fulani Jihad in the 1800s.
posted by zaelic at 6:40 AM on October 14, 2004

I can see the similarities now that I think of it. Although the hollers are interactive, unlike the call to prayer, both do sound similar and serve the same sort of soul-revitalizing purpose.

Great article, thanks.
posted by sciurus at 7:34 AM on October 14, 2004

I searched the Koran for "Now you can squeeze my lemon 'til the juice run down my leg" and found nothing.
posted by gwint at 8:00 AM on October 14, 2004

For several years I woke to the Adnan (even though I'm not a Muslim) instead of an alarm clock. It was a much better way to greet the day than beep, beep, beep. The recording, incidentally, was by that "international terrorist"/messenger of peace/server of tea to the Tillerman Yusef Islam.

I can certainly see a relationship between the styles of music.
posted by m@ at 8:23 AM on October 14, 2004

Thanks for the most interesting post. My head is playing some really interesting vocals right now.
posted by kozad at 9:00 AM on October 14, 2004

aforementioned tune [773k mp3]
posted by m@ at 12:22 PM on October 14, 2004

If I blow a shofar, is that jazz?
posted by alumshubby at 12:39 PM on October 14, 2004

A- purpose.
posted by Miles Long at 1:10 PM on October 14, 2004

Didn't Willie "Skipbone" Jackson sing about how "Yemen Done Me Wrong"?
posted by Vidiot at 1:33 PM on October 14, 2004

The call to prayer sounds a lot like a Jewish cantor. Or is it just me?
posted by TreeHugger at 1:53 PM on October 14, 2004

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