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Impression and Presence in Badakhshan and Beyond - SAC

341 Eggers Hall

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Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, South Asia Center Present: 

Richard Wolf, Professor, Music and South Asian Studies, Harvard University

Impression and Presence in Badakhshan and Beyond

Writers in Arabic and Persian have used notions of impression, effect, or influence, ta’s̲īr, 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—Wolf 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.

For more information, please contact Emera Bridger Wilson ( 

Sponsoring Department: South Asia Center, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Department of Art and Music History

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Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs
346 Eggers Hall