Hesqil Kassab was one of the most famous Iraqi maqam reciters in the twentieth century. He was the title of pioneer of neoclassical singing in Maqam, and he was almost one of the most prominent Iraqi singers from among the Jews of Iraq.
This recording presents traditional instrumental solo improvisations performed by Arab and Jewish musicians in Israel. All but one of the taqasim (=pl. form of taqsim, the genre of Middle Eastern instrumental improvisation) are in mainstream urban style, a pan-Middle Eastern style that owes its existence largely to Egyptian musical trends and the Arabic mass media. The cassette is accompanied by a booklet with program notes in Hebrew, Arabic, and English.
Alexander L. Ringer was an American research musicologist and educator of Dutch and Polish descent. He was a survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. After the war, Ringer emigrated to New York City in 1947. There he received a M.A. in Sociology and psychology in 1948 from the New School for Social Research and a Ph.D. of Musicology in 1955 from the City College, Columbia University.