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Al-Manṣūr Al-Yahūdī


AL-MANṢŪR AL-YAHŪDĪ (early ninth century), court musician of the Umayyad caliph al-Ḥakam i, in Córdoba, Spain. A written record of this author's contribution to music is reported in the book Nafḥ al-ṭīb of the historian and biographer al-Maqqarī (1591–1632), who relied on other source material of the Andalusian historian ibn Ḥayyan (987–1076). Al-Maqqarī refers to al-Manṣūr in the colorful story describing the arrival in Córdoba in 822 of a leading musician, Ziryāb. The story relates that al-Manṣūr was sent by caliph al-Ḥakam to meet him in Kairouan and escort him to Córdoba. When the two musicians met, the news reached them of the sudden death of the caliph (822). Al-Manṣūr then succeeded in persuading Ziryāb to offer his services to the new caliph, 'Abd al-Raḥmān ii. Thus, al-Manṣūr helped bring about the splendid era of Arab music in Spain inaugurated by Ziryāb. It is assumed that al-Manṣūr continued his musical activity together with Ziryāb.


Al-Maqqarī, Analectes sur l'histoire et la littèrature des Arabes d'Espagne, 2 (1861), 85 ff.; H.G. Farmer, History of Arabian Music to the 13thCentury (1929), 129, 131.

[Amnon Shiloah (2nd ed.)]

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