Congress Of Arab Music (1932): Historical Change, National Identity, And Subjective Narratives

This study analyzes the Congress of Arab Music, held in Cairo in 1932, in parallel to the political and social developments that Egypt has undergone since World War I. Egyptian music is one of the representations of the modern Egyptian identity, and Egyptianism, Egyptian nationalism, and Pan- Arabism in circulation during the interwar years were the modes of thought behind the restructuring of Egyptian music. The study proposes to evaluate the Congress days from the perspective of the ideological and conceptual debates, which are also the determining dynamics of the Congress of Arab Music.
The second part of the article will focus on the diaries and letters some participants kept during the Congress. These texts, such as the technical reports and the articles about the Congress, not written for a specific readership, are more colorful and more subjective because they have a more relaxed or carefree style. The debates, disagreements, schisms, and tensions owing to competition in Congress were put on paper in plain language and in a natural manner. These texts, with their different perspectives and multi-layered worlds of meaning, will pave the way to analysis that will go beyond the musicological context of the Congress.

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