This weekend Dan Laurin is giving a masterclass in Esbjerg, and me and Michael are going to play Belicha, an estampitta from the 14th century Italy. As far as I’ve understood, there was much culture imported from the middle east to Italy at this time, and you weren’t really in style if you didn’t have your clothes imported from Istanbul. Grove lists this piece as a dance, but I think many would agree to this being more improvised music. I sure would like to see someone dance to it. So I’ve been at the library borrowing stacks of music with Taksims (TaqsÄ«m) trying to get to know the contemporary arab classical music more. According to Grove, TaqsÄ«m means dimunition and is a form dating back to the 18th century, but I haven’t been able to find any earlier forms leading up to the taqsÄ«ms until now, so these will have to do. And my imediate reaction is that early music lovers should get some CDs and listen to this! There is so much brilliant music and musicians in this genre! I’ll definetly use their input for improving my Belicha. Perhaps not for this masterclass, but certainly during this semester. Lots of great ornaments to be “borrowed”.