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A sultan and a queen

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I often come across stories I'd like to share that have no musical component.

That's why this column is called “Music Plus”; a certain amount of tangential leeway is allowed. Movies, books, art, they all have a vague connection to music, especially if I shoehorn one in.

But just occasionally there's a story that doesn't really fit in any way but still piques the interest of my intensely unfocused brain. The sort of thing that might provide an obscure answer on The Chase but is essentially irrelevant in every other way.

I'd finally abandoned any thoughts of passing this particular titbit on because of the complete lack of any musical or even artistic connection. But then I found one. And quite a good one if do say so myself.

So, with that in mind, I'd like to tell you about the last sultan of Zanzibar. I was drawn to this story by nothing more than those two words: “sultan” and “Zanzibar”. There is something inescapably exotic about both of them, an almost mythic resonance. Zanzibar is a name........

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