Qur’an as Music

I’ve found that my interest in the Qur’an heightened very quickly when I realized that there was such an aesthetic to the text. While it is still magnificent as a piece of literature, I’ve learned in class of just how much more it is than that. The Qur’an truly is a moving piece of work when listened to from those who know how to recite. As a musician myself, I do truly appreciate the musical quality of the recitations that I heard in class and have now begun to listen to on my own. Most notably, the use of vibrato reminds me of my time as a saxophone player. It was an accepted standard of musicality that vibrato be used as often as possible where appropriate. I find this same use of vibrato to be almost nostalgic. Unfortunately, I am incapable of replicating that on the piano (my first instrument), but I’ve attached an audio recording of a short piece I composed that was inspired by some of the recitations that I’d listened to. I modeled this piece in hope of replicating some of the stylistic elements of recitation that I’ve noticed: meaningful pauses, legato tones, and unpredictable rhythmic patterns. While I’m unaware as to whether these are the actual standards by which recitation is performed, these are some of the observations I’d made after listening to some videos on Youtube (back at it again).

As you’ll also notice, in my audio recording, I’ve incorporated some elements of my own style which are present in some of the more jazz-esque riffs. However, I’ve tried to keep with the idea of using noticeably tense chords with unpredictable resolutions.


I also apologize for the crying baby. I was playing in Leverett Common Room, which is a public space and one of the tutors’ families were in there with their child.

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