Safar 2016: 100 year old recordings of Afghan music

After a hundred years, the oldest recorded pieces of Afghan music were performed in two concerts: The „Safar“-project presented the oldest recordings of Afghan music, which were recorded with Afghan war prisoners during World War I in Germany. Made in 1916, the recordings have been forgotten in the archive of the Humboldt-University in Berlin until researchers from the AMRC from the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar discovered them.

The recordings were brought to Afghanistan and studied together with German musicians, Afghan master musicians and the Turkish Sufi-Master Kudsi Erguner. These old musical pieces were performed in two concerts in Germany (September 10th, 2016 Alte Oper Frankfurt and September 12th, 2016 Festsaal Fürstenhaus, University of Music Weimar).

This significant discovery for music history contains the recording of Afghan singer Abdul Kadir Khan. His singing was recorded in 1916 in the so called “Halfmoon Camp” by German researchers conducting linguistic and ethnologic researches using the Gramophone. The Halfmoon Camp was built in Wünsdorf near Berlin to keep mainly Muslim war prisoners.



Documentation and concert recordings

You will find the whole concert recording in our media library.