Our Music Our Selves

Yaum-ul-Khamees (“Thor’s Day”), 8 Dhul-Hijjah 1435 (October 2, 2014) — Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”) (symphony postponed for two weeks / archived program will be broadcast instead)

Posted in Programming by Lester Knibbs on the September 25th, 2014

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

As-Salaam alaikum! Peace!

Our Music Our Selves is an exploration of the symphonic structure and message of the Qur’an and an exploration of the symphonic structure and message of our serious music, and of the role of both in shaping our human history and identity.

We ask and attempt to answer the questions, Who are we? What are we? and What will we become? Our mission is a mission of healing, a sacred jihaad, to overcome the damaging effects of over two thousand years of religious lies which enslave the vast majority of human beings, and to overcome, as well, the damaging effects of the Middle Passage, the centuries of terroristic exploitation and oppression, and the generations of self-perpetuating self-destruction which continue to afflict the African American people. This program is not entertainment; it is struggle, healing, and change.

Our scheduled broadcast time is every Thursday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/americanmuslim360. Our call-in number is 646-716-4478. You can call in to listen or, by dialing “1″, join our conversation. Call us! We love to hear from you.

THIS YAUM-UL-KHAMEES (“THOR’S DAY), 8th of Dhul-Hijjah 1435 (October 2, 2014):

Our continuing theme for the year 1435 A.H. is The Chaconne. (See complete programming for the year.)

NOTICE: This week, instead of the program originally scheduled (and discussed below), we will be re-broadcasting the program originally aired on May 15, 2014. The featured work is the Symphony No. 5 in C minor by Ludwig van Beethoven. Next week, we will re-broadcast the program originally aired on June 5, 2014 — which featured the Symphony No. 1 by Johannes Brahms. Live programming should resume the following week (October 16) with the symphony originally scheduled for today. The two-week review of The Chaconne is cancelled, and the final program of 1435 A.H. will feature the Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler.


This week, we continue our series of 19th century symphonic works with the Symphony No. 9 in E minor (“From the New World”), composed in 1893 by the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904). This was his last symphony, and his most popular.

Dvořák composed this symphony while living in the United States. He had accepted the offer to be the director of the new conservatory of music established in New York City, but only on condition that African American and Native American students attend the institution tuition-free. He was so fond of the African American folk spirituals that he had one of his students — Harry T. Burleigh — sing them day after day for many hours. (Burleigh became one of the leading African American composers of symphonic music.) Several of the themes in this symphony are based on African American spirituals, and the third movement — the scherzo — is influenced by Native American music.

This symphony makes extensive use of cyclical form — bringing back themes from earlier movements in the later movements. It’s cumulative in this particular symphony. Each movement recalls at least one or two themes from every previous movement. This leads to powerful climaxes in the finale.


Our theme for this year — The Chaconne — is the name of a musical form in the symphonic repertoire. I am using this term to refer to an ancient musical idea which probably originated in Africa and which, in historical times, was introduced to Europe and the wider world from Africa — especially during the Moorish occupation of Spain and as a consequence of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

During these last few weeks of the year 1435 A.H., we are sharing symphonies by Antonín Dvořák (his ninth symphony) and Gustav Mahler (his fifth symphony). In addition, we plan to have a two-week review of the Chaconne and its influence on 19th century symphonic works:

  • 8 Dhul-Ḥijjah 1435 (October 2, 2014):
    Dvořak, Symphony #9 in E minor (1893)
  • 15 Dhul-Ḥijjah 1435 (October 9, 2014):
    The Chaconne in 19th Century Symphonic Works, Part I
  • 22 Dhul-Ḥijjah 1435 (October 16, 2014):
    The Chaconne in 19th Century Symphonic Works, Part II
  • 29 Dhul-Ḥijjah 1435 (October 23, 2014):
    Gustav Mahler, Symphony #5 in D major (1902)


As usual, I continue to call on my Muslim Brothers and Sisters — especially my Brothers (because Allah has given men the responsibility of leadership) — if you have not been reading the Qur’an (which is in Arabic and only in Arabic, which is what Allah says, so do not be one of the mukadhdhibeen and call Allah a liar), I am calling on you to admit that you have never ever read the Qur’an.

Just ‘fess up and say:

“I have never ever read the Qur’an.”

That’s all. Do that, and you will be helping yourself and many, many other Muslims. In fact, you will be helping every person in the world — even if just a little.


Please join Brother Solomon for this very special sharing and conversation.

The American Muslim 360 website (which may be currently non-functional):

The American Muslim 360 Purple Politics website:
(or find the link at http://americanmuslim360.com/)

Purple Politics seeks to bring fair balanced reporting on the issues that matter in the lives of everyday people because we care about the state of our world. Peace is our vision, mission and hope for all of humanity! Your comments matter to us. Peace 2U!

Dear Listeners, my good Brothers and Sisters, please check out my other blogs from time to time. They are:

Doctor Hakeem: African-American Commentaries


Word-to-Word: A Comparative Study of the Bible and the Qur’an


Take it easy.

Brother Lester

Leave a Reply