Music and its Virtues in Islamic and Judaic Writings

Shiloah, Amnon
Date published: 
October 2007

This second collection by Amnon Shiloah brings together twenty-two items, exemplifying the multi-faceted viewpoints on the world of sounds and its virtue in medieval Islamic and Judaic writings. The first studies concern the origin and originators of music; included here is the art of dance along with the controversial attitudes towards it. Next comes the symbolic, philosophical and metaphorical interpretation of music; one of the major ideas epitomizing this approach claimed that the pursuit of knowledge is the path to human perfection and happiness. There follow studies on the transmission of knowledge, along with some annotated key works dealing with therapeutic effects. The last articles focus on cultural traditions elaborated on European soil developing a particular style and musical practice, centred on the Iberian Peninsula, which was the scene of one of the most fascinating examples of cultural interchange.