Medieval historian of Arab music to present next York Noor Lecture

Internationally recognized medieval historian of Arab music, George Sawa, will present the next installment of the York Noor Lecture Series. Sawa’s lecture titled, “Culture in Medieval Baghdad” will take place Sunday, Dec. 17, from 4 to 6pm at the Noor Cultural Centre, 122 Wynford Drive (Don Valley Parkway and Eglinton Ave.), Toronto. The York Noor Lecture Series 2006-2007, is jointly sponsored by York University and the Noor Cultural Centre.

Left: George Sawa

A native of Alexandria, Egypt, Sawa immigrated to Canada in 1970 and went on to complete an MA in musicology and ethnomusicology and a PhD in Arabic historical musicology at the University of Toronto. He has studied Classical Arabic music specializing in qanun (Arabic psaltery), Arabic theory and classical singing. Sawa has published many articles on Arabic music, including two recent articles for the Encyclopedia of Islam.

His books include Music Performance Practice in Early Abbasid Era and The Musical and Socio Cultural Dictionary of the Grand Book of Songs . His book The Theory and Practices of Rhythm in Medieval Arabic Music is currently in production. As a soloist, Sawa has also performed in Europe, in concerts and radio broadcasts. He is frequently invited to international conferences for presentations and lectures on various aspects of medieval and modern Arabic music.