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Al Masmaa'' - The Place for Listening

Al Masmaa'' - The Place for Listening

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Many scholars have discussed the relationship between architecture and music. Some discuss architecture influencing music, as the evolution of western classical music is largely based on acoustics. Others discuss music influencing architecture, as the use of music in the design process has the ability to expand the designer’s creativity. While these discussions have mainly used western music as a foundation, the research presented in this book aims to investigate these relationships in a non-western setting. Music is used as a cultural identifier to produce an architecture fitting with the cultural context. The case study site is historic Cairo. For the past two centuries, Cairo has continuously been abandoning its cultural heritage and embarking on a process of westernization. However, Those seeking to hold onto the city’s identity are abusing traditional motifs in an absurd manner: either by rejecting any claims for architectural evolution, or by applying principles of critical regionalism superficially. The thesis calls for a deeper understanding and evolution of Cairo''s heritage, using concepts of the Arabic Melodic modes, Maqams, to create a place for listening, al Masmaa’.
Architecture: Music, City, and Culture