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Description - The Malay Nobat: A History of Power, Acculturation, and Sovereignty by Raja Iskandar Bin Raja Halid

The Malay Nobat: A History of Power, Acculturation, and Sovereignty explores the history and meaning of the nobat, a court ensemble that has performed music for courts in Malaysia and Brunei with roots in the Islamicate world since Abbassid times. Raja Iskandar Bin Raja Halid examines the nobat spread throughout the Muslim empire and its emergence as a symbol of power and sovereignty. The author argues that the nobat was an important symbol of Muslim power and analyzes the effect of the nobat’s appropriation by colonial powers and of its induction as part of an invented tradition in the process of nation-building a modern Malay state. The author ultimately shows how existing nobat ensembles are the last living musical legacy of the Muslim world.

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