Rethinking Women, Music, and Islam

Anne K. Rasmussen

in Women, the Recited Qur'an, and Islamic Music in Indonesia

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780520255487
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947429 | DOI:
Rethinking Women, Music, and Islam

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The voices of women are one of the distinctive strains in the Islamic soundscape, and as they perform, teach, study together, and practice alone, women contribute to the creation of messages of great beauty, power, and potency. They not only have access to the divine, but also help to create it both for themselves and for others. Women's voices, loud, strident, and authoritative, are heard by all and are often emulated, even by men. Of the many distinctive features of Indonesian Islam, the role of women was often identified to the author as paramount. This chapter recalls the power of women as performers in the broadest sense, from qur'anic recitation to political activism, and confirms their empowerment through performance. It seeks to convey the ways in which women, as exemplars of a “womanist” Islam, are agents of both the continuous localization of Islam in Southeast Asia and of the Islamization of the Indonesian Muslim ecumene.

Keywords: Indonesian women; Islam; Islamic soundscape; Indonesia; Islamization; Muslim ecumene

Chapter.  14951 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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