ARAB MUSICIANS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AREA: ETHNICITY AND IDENTITY
Campo-Abdoun, Christina Karen
Witzleben, John L
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Musicians living in the Arab Diaspora around the Washington, D.C. metro area are a small group of multi-faceted individuals with significant contributions and intentions to propagate and disseminate their music. Various levels of identity are discussed and analyzed, including self-identity, group/ collective identity, and Arab ethnic identity. The performance and negotiation of Arab ethnic identity is apparent in selected repertoire, instrumentation, musical style, technique and expression, shared conversations about music, worldview on Arabic music and its future. For some musicians, further evidence of self-construction of one's ethnic identity entails choice of name, costume, and venue. Research completed is based on fieldwork, observations, participant-observations, interviews, and communications by phone and email. This thesis introduces concepts of Arabic music, discusses recent literature, reveals findings from case studies on individual Arab musicians and venues, and analyzes Arab identity and ethnicity in relation to particular definitions of identity found in anthropological and ethnomusicological writings. Musical lyrics, translations, transcriptions, quotes, discussions, analyses, as well as charts and diagrams of self-identity analyses are provided as evidence of the performance and negotiation of Arab identity.