The Islamic Mystical Spiritual Music Tradition in the Era of New Musical Tendencies

  •  Aida Islam    
  •  Stefanija Leskova-Zelenkovska    


Our research on the music tradition perspectives during the periods similar to the current 21st century conditions in the Republic of Macedonia resulted in findings that reveal significant modifications in the musical expressions. We perceive these changes as an outcome of the individual and collective cultural identities, which are derived from both the ethnicity and domination of the global tendencies. Though these two ongoing and sequential “live” processes are dissimilar in nature, they are also complementary to each other in certain segments to such an extent that the specifics of their music products encompass the most subtle elements of the spiritual tradition. The main objective of this study is to present the cultural identity’s impact on the musical segments in the spiritual mystical tradition in the Republic of Macedonia, where there are four dervish orders active at the moment: Rifai, Halveti, Bektashi, and Melami. Due to the complexity of this phenomenon, we have restricted our field of theoretical and research interest to spiritual music in the rites of the Rifai order. Rifai was considered to be the only dervish order in which there have been alterations in the ethnicity of the followers of the tarikat; hence, we believed this to be the most radiant example for our initial thesis. The qualitative research involved analyses of digitalized music contents that were performed on the occasion of the festive dhikirs during the period 2008–2009. Collected data validate the manifestation of certain modifications in the musical expression, developed by the recognition of particular segments from the global music culture and also as a result of the ethnic–cultural identity.

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