Social Science and Public Policy

Impression and Presence in Badakhshan and Beyond

April 16, 2019 at 12:30pm1:50pm

Eggers Hall, 341

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Writers in Arabic and Persian have used notions of impression, effect, or influence, ta’sīr, to express how qualities of human character correspond to the sounds of music and poetry, and argued that the latter can actually shape the former.

Focusing on the tradition of singing in the region of Darvoz—literally the gateway to the mountainous historical region known as Badakhshan in Tajikistan and Afghanistan—Richard Wolf, Professor of Music and South Asian Studies at Harvard University, will make two points:  1) the relation of “presence” to “impression” is concretized through different forms of musical transmission, and 2) texts are seen to impress themselves on listeners by particular musical means.

This event was first published on April 12, 2019 and last updated on April 24, 2019.


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