Until recently, the Qur’ān has been treated in the curricula of Western universities and colleges as a historical and literary document. Little attention was paid to the Qur’ān as a sacred scripture and the vital role it continues to play in the spiritual, social and cultural lives of millions of men and women around the world. Even scantier attention was paid to the place of the Qur’ān in the development of the art of music.
As interest is growing in the impact of the Qur’ān on the devotional and cultural life of the Muslim community, greater attention is given to the various sciences of the Qur’ān, including the highly developed art of Qur’ān recitation. This brief essay introduces students of Islamic and religious studies to four well-known modern representatives of this art whose recitations are readily available on audio cassettes, disks or compact disks. A few introductory remarks on the development of this art may provide a useful background for the discussion.