This book focuses on the cultural, political and religious representations of the Orient in Western music.
Dr Nasser Al-Taee traces several threads in a vast repertoire of musical representations, concentrating primarily on the images of violence and sensuality.
Al-Taee argues that these prevailing traits are not only the residual manifestation of the Ottoman threat to Western Europe, but also the continuation of a long and complex history of fear and fascination towards the Orient and its Islamic religion.
In addition to analyses of musical works, Al-Taee draws on travel accounts, paintings, biographies, and political events to engage with important issues such as gender, race, and religious differences that may have contributed to the variously complex images of the Orient in Western music.
The study extends the range of Orientalism to cover eighteenth-century Austria, nineteenth-century Russia, and twentieth-century America.
The book challenges those scholars who do not see Orientalism as problematic and tend to ignore the role of musical representations in shaping the image of the Other within a wider interdisciplinary study of knowledge and power.