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Concerto Qiyan

Concerto Qiyan – Ermos do Caos

The word ‘qiyan’ in classical arabic terminology refers to female slaves, mostly Jewish, who were required to entertain their masters through singing, instrumental music and charm. Like the Japanese geisha, the qiyan were highly skilled in music, poetry, the arts in general, and wrote a large amount of surviving medieval Arabic poetry. As a result, during the pre-modern Islamist women’s society, they were regarded as the highest order of slaves.

The region of Al-Andalusia experienced its golden age under the Córdoba Caliphate (929-1031), when the economy and culture flourished universally. The Córdoba Caliphate was generally characterized by it’s religious and cultural tolerance: this was true for the Jews as well as for many of the Christians who had converted to Islam. At this time a distinct musical tradition developed in Al-Andalusia from the melodic treasures of the qiyan trained in Medina, Baghdad and Córdoba. It continued as an artistic form even after the abolition of slavery.

The band Qiyan draws on the incredibly rich Arab-Jewish musical output of this period and celebrates the artistic contribution of an enslaved people. This large ensemble was created by the bassist Péter Ajtai ( Akosh. S. Trio, Aram Shelton Quartet and many others.), and the album will be his debut as a leader.

“This album is completely different from my earlier works so far. We touched “world music”, which is a highly sensitive subject, but as a result, I think it’s an extremely dynamic and diverse material that, despite its diversity, does not become eclectic. The core of our project is Sephardic music, which by its nature is improvised. These free Arabic-Jewish melodies make the basis of our improvisations, with the use of maqams and the written and improvised structures in tandem with unity and flow-like music.”

Bilheter 5€

Concerto Qiyan – Ermos do Caos


07 Dez 2022




Ermo do Caos
R. do Amparo 99, 4350-033 Porto
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