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Poems of Devotion - A Tapestry of Sacred Music

[Event has ended]
Fri, 19 April 2013, See details for timings | Arabic
Esplanade Concourse
Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
Al Khidmah Qasidah Ensemble


Fees: Free

Not prayers, but simply praises of the Almighty – that is the nature of qasidah. Elegiac and laudatory, qasidah is a form of lyrical poem that originated in pre-Islamic Arabia and which later became a mainstay of classical Islamic literature.

Each poem is an elaborately structured ode of 60 to 100 lines, maintaining a single end rhyme that runs through the entire piece. It typically opens with a short prelude, the nasib, which is plaintive in mood and is intended to engage the audience. Performed by singers supported by a team of percussionists, the poems are used to invoke a mood of devotion.

Singing in classical Arabic, the singers improvise on the composed lines. Through a lead line and a chorus response, just a few lines of beautiful poetry can branch out into extended songs that remember the glory of God and extol the Prophet Muhammad.

Arabian writer ibn Qutaybah explains the three-part structure of this form: having introduced the subject and reflecting on the past, each poem then interprets and ponders the topic, and concludes with praise and a message of faith or devotion.

Poems of Devotion will be performed by the Al Khidmah Qasidah Ensemble, a group of twelve individuals who come from diverse backgrounds but share a common passion for Islamic music. To the authentic melodies of classical Arabic qasidah, they bring together Javanese and Banjari influences.


Admission is free.

Venue: Esplanade Concourse

Performance timing
19 Apr, Fri, 8.15pm & 9.15pm
21 Apr, Sun, 7.30pm & 8.30pm

Visit for more information on the music festival "A Tapestry of Sacred Music"


Esplanade Concourse

1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981


Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay


Al Khidmah Qasidah Ensemble


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