The Sound and Feeling of the Koran

Today, we introduce a new element of Inside Islam — digital stories. These short pieces will complement our radio series and blog to help exemplify and demonstrate the diversity of the Muslim World. This first digital story was produced by Fatima Sartbaeva and the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You can listen to the story — “The Sound and Feeling of the Koran” — by clicking on the player following the introductory comments and acknowledgments.

What does it mean to consider Islam and music? In this short digital story, Talant Mawkanuli, a prominent linguist of Central Eurasian Turkic languages and an accomplished dombra player, talks about the connection between music and Islam in Central Asia and the sound and feeling of the Koran. Talant is currently a lecturer in Uighur language and culture at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The interview was conducted by Fatima Sartbaeva, a CREECA student assistant and native of Kyrgyzstan. Fatima holds a master’s degree in gender studies from Central European University in Budapest and was the associate producer and on-screen translator of the 2004 documentary film Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan. Fatima plans to pursue doctoral work in cultural anthropology.

David Macasaet, a media production consultant at UW-Madison provided production support and voice-over narration. The traditional Kazakh music was recorded by Andy Hassan and performed by Sekuntai. This digital story includes a recitation from Sura Luqman, chapter 31; verses: 12 – 15. Recitation by Qari Iqbal.

Special thanks to Jennifer Ryan Tishler and Uli Schamiloglu.


Click on the player above to listen to “Sound and Feeling in the Koran.”

One thought on “The Sound and Feeling of the Koran

  1. Dear Fatima,
    Thanks for sharing the project with me. I liked it a lot. I’ll keep the wedsite link and try to follow the project.
    Good luck