“Avance, avance” – a nashid dissected

It’s always interesting to get a trained musicologist’s take on anashid. I was just alerted to this article by Luis Velasco-Pufleau, who has taken a close listen to the French IS nashid “Avance, avance” (Soundcloud link here).  As you may remember, this is the tune that accompanied Islamic State’s claim of the Paris attacks on 15 November 2015. The article has plenty of interesting observations and includes a neat sonogram (see below). It’s in French, but here’s the English abstract: 

During the series of simultaneous terrorist attacks that took place in Paris on Friday 13 November 2015, three Islamic State fighters stormed the Bataclan concert hall which was holding a rock concert. This article analyses the relationship between the symbolic significance of this attack, the Salafist discourse on music, and the importance of chanting in the Islamic State jihadist propaganda. It shows how the use of nasheed “Avance, avance” in the audio statement claiming responsibility for the attacks, ritualises propaganda, legitimises violence, motivates its fighters, and demoralises the enemy. By examining the issue of musical practices and their mobilisation within the Islamic State propaganda dispositif, this text aims to further a better understanding of the ideology of this jihadist organization.

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