Rachel Beckles Willson

Orientalism and Musical Mission

Reading sample

Palestine and the West

Book (Hardcover)

Item no.776013
Author/ComposerRachel Beckles Willson
Scope380 pages; 17 × 24.4 cm
Release year2013
Publisher/ProducerCambridge University Press
Producer No.9781107036567
107.20 €
Delivery time approx. 1–2 weeks.
add to watch list


Orientalism and Musical Mission presents a new way of understanding music's connections with imperialism, drawing on new archive sources and interviews and using the lens of 'mission'.

Rachel Beckles Willson demonstrates how institutions such as churches, schools, radio stations and governments, influenced by missions from Europe and North America since the mid-nineteenth century, have consistently claimed that music provides a way of understanding and reforming Arab civilians in Palestine.

Beckles Willson discusses the phenomenon not only in religious and developmental aid circles where it has had strong currency, but also in broader political contexts. Plotting a historical trajectory from the late Ottoman and British Mandate eras to the present time, the book sheds new light on relations between Europe, the USA and the Palestinians, and creates space for a neglected Palestinian music history.

  • Proposes new ways of thinking about the legacy of Orientalism and will contribute to related discussions in a wide spectrum of disciplines
  • Provides a new way of theorising music's connections with imperialism and will facilitate further research in this expanding field
  • Brings a neglected historical narrative about Palestine together with research on the contemporary situation and will shed fresh light on the conflict in Israel and Palestine