Musicological Activities

The musicological activities at the Centre for Arab and Mediterranean Music began in the wake of the events that accompanied the official inauguration of this institution in December 1992. The symposium entitled "Links and Interactions between Arab and Mediterranean Music", which brought together no fewer than 50 musicologists from different regions of the world was meant to help set up this new institution on the musicological research arena not only in the Arab and Mediterranean region but also on a global scale. From 1996 to 2004, the Centre hosted a series of scientific and artistic days, each dedicated to an instrument among the flagship musical instruments in Tunisia (namely the 'ūd, the qānūn, the nāy in addition to the violin and percussion instruments). The roundtables organized during the course of these days were accompanied by musical evenings, to which were invited the best practitioners of the highlighted instruments, coming from the Arab world and the Mediterranean.

Other round tables were devoted to the life and work of some of the leading figures in music and musicology in Tunisia such as researcher Manoubi Snoussi, who is considered to be one of the pioneers of musicological research in Tunisia conductor Abdulhamid Belalgiya, songwriter- composer- performer Mohammed Jammoussi, and female singer Saliha). These meetings were marked by the organization of documentary exhibitions on the itinerary of these figures.

These round tables were followed by the organization of a series of colloquiums and study days whose focus was on Tunisian, Maghrebi  and Arabic music. In 2011 : The National Symposium on Musical Traditions in the Tunisian Regions. In 2014 : The International Symposium on Musical Traditions in North Africa.

Following this colloquium, a partnership was set up with the French ethnomusicological Center (CREM) to set up and develop the Telemeta platform for documentation and on-line access to audio and audiovisual documents. In 2016 : Day on the audiovisual documents related to the festival of Testou de Malouf and traditional music.

The research activity also includes organology. Among the research carried out within the framework of the activities of the musical instrument making workshop of the CAMM, one will retain the project of reconstruction of an ʿūd, based on  a manuscript likely dating from the eleventh century. Research has also focused on the making of traditional Tunisian musical instruments and the study of the ancestral techniques of their manufacture.

The promotion and dissemination of studies and research relating to music and the establishment of musical heritage are also part of the Centre's core missions. Within this framework, in 1998 the CAMM started a major publishing endeavour aimed at the editing and publishing in the form of monographs,  of a series of radio programs (188 in total) aired in the early sixties by the international channel of Radio Tunis. Entitled "Initiation to Tunisian music", these programs were the work of the collaborator and private secretary of Baron R. d'Erlanger, the late Manoubi Snoussi. This work is currently continuing on-line and aims at linking the original documents used for the program preparation to the sound recordings.

Research activities now focus on documentation related to the work of Baron Rodolphe-François d'Erlanger and his team. An online database has been set up, allowing a team of librarians and researchers to make a detailed inventory and description of these documents as well as their digitization. Their valuation is gradually made through the portal dedicated to the project.

National Sound Archive

National Sound Archive

Baron d'Erlanger's archive

Baron d'Erlanger's archive

Virtual Visit

Virtual Visit


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