The thesis is an ethnography studying taarab music and musicians connected to the Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA) in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania. The thesis set out to investigate how the DCMA has been influencing taarab since the academy opened in 2002. The meaning of the word taarab derives from the Arabic language and means “the joy one feels when listening to music”. In order to describe this feeling the thesis is dialectally moving between a rational and a poetic language, as suggested by ethnomusicologist Timothy Rice, in the book “Shadows in the field”. Taarab is a music form connected to Zanzibar’s history as one of the main ports in the trade between the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Along with trade came influences from all over the world and Zanzibar became a place where cultures merged. Taarab went from being an Arabic music form and leisure activity for the Omani Sultanate in the end of the 19th century, to become a part of Zanzibari culture during the 20th century. Around the millennium taarab was in a state of crisis. The traditional Oriental instruments were deteriorating and musicians did not pass on their knowledge. The Dhow Countries Music Academy was initiated by private organizations to preserve taarab. By 2010 the DCMA has become an institution where Swahili music and dance are taught, performed and preserved. Musicians from all over the world visit the academy every year, and the academy assists their teachers and students in networking and international collaborations. The ethnographic material is gathered through fieldwork. The thesis presents the fieldworker’s participant observations in the taarab community with musicians, teachers, students, audience and researchers. Concerns on the “insider” and “outsider” view are presented in the discourse of philosophical hermeneutics. Through the guidelines of hermeneutics the inner life of taarab is discussed. As a conclusion the thesis states the importance of the DCMA as the new place where cultures merge: that the DCMA mediates cultural trade between Africa, the Middle East and Asia, in addition to Europe and the USA in the 21st century.