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Arabic Music

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Hosam Hassan

on 22 April 2014

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Transcript of Arabic Music

Arabic Music
Saudi Arabia
Music isn't very popular because of religious reasons
Musical Figures in Lebanon
Nancy Ajram - Very popular modern day singer
Sabah - Was once a significant singer who released over 50 albums
Arabic Geogrpahy
The Middle East & North Africa consists of the following:
• The Levant
• The Arabian Peninsula
• North Africa (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Algeria and Sudan)
• Others (Turkey, Iran, Somalia, Eritrea…)
• Israel

The traditional Arabic ensemble consists of 4 main melodic instruments: oud, nay, qaunun and violin, and one main percussion instrument (riq). Sometimes the riq is supplemented/substituted with the tabla or daff (frame drum). Older ensembles used a jawzah or kamanjah instead of the Western violin.
Musical figures in Egypt
Tamer Hosny - popular modern day artist world wide
Amr Diab
Um Kulthum - Songwriter, actress, musician.Passed in 1975, had a long lasting impact on egyptian music
Ahmed Mekky- Egyptian actor, writer, director and rapper, raps about life experiences.
Dances and performances
Ancient performances
Modern day performances
Between 5th and 7th century A.D.
Arab poets of that time, "Jahili poets" recite poems with a high musical rhythm and tone.
Similar to ancient Middle Eastern music
Sang by choirs with some simple instrumentation
Singers and players were female - Al-Khansa
Instruments commonly used were: the drum, the oud, or the rebab.
Song examples: Huda, Nasb, Sanad, Rukbani


Al-Kindi (801–873 AD) was the first great theoretician of Arabic music.
Published fifteen treatises on music theory, but only five have survived.
Musiqia was used for the first time in Arabic, which today means music in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, English and several other languages
Arabic maqam is the system of melodic modes used in traditional Arabic music
Maqam in Arabic means place, location or rank.
Maqam is a melody type; built on a scale
Carries a tradition that defines its habitual phrases, important notes, melodic development and modulation.
Compositions and improvisations are based on the maqam system

Musical instruments used in Western music are believed to have been derived from Arabic musical instruments:
Lute was derived from the al'ud
The rebec (ancestor of violin) from the rebab, the guitar from qitara, atabal (bass drum) from al-tabl
The 1950s and the 1960s Arabic music began to take on a more Western tone
By the 1970s several other singers had followed suit and a strand of Arabic pop was born.

Consists of Western styled songs
Arabic instruments and lyrics
Melodies are often a mix between Eastern and Western
In the 1990s and the 00s several artists have taken up such a style

Arabic Pop
West meets East style of music
Similar to modern Arabic Pop
Arabic and Italian, Arabic and French, Arabic and English styles and or lyrics

Arabic R&B, Reggae, and Hip Hop
A rise of R&B, reggae and hip hop influence of Arabic music in the past 5-10 years
Usually involves a rapper featured in a song

Arabic Jazz
West meets East
Early jazz influences began with the use of the saxophone by musicians like Samir Suroor, in the "oriental" style.
First mainstream jazz elements were incorporated into Arabic music by the Rahbani brothers.

Arabic Rock

Fuse the sound of hard rock with traditional Arabic instruments.
Bands such as Meen and Dabke in Lebanon , and in Jordan with bands such as Jadal

Old vs. New
Musical figures in Morocco
Aziza Jalal - Retired Moroccan singer
Nancy Hassan, Hosam Hassan, Patrick Moriarity, Patrick Murphy, Paul Kelly
Raqs sharqi (belly dancing) "oriental dancing"
- commonly performed in Egypt

Tsifteteli "double stringed" - because of violin music - dance style of the country Turkey

Halperke and Bāzee
- Persian dance style of Iran

Baladi (folk belly dancing) - more stationary than Raqs sharqi
- performed mainly in Egypt but is wide spread across the
entire middle east
Ghawazi "conqueror" - a form of belly dancing that is performed by rural dancers in Egypt that perserves traditional 18th and 19th century style dancing.

Because the population of the Middle East is predominately muslim, it's looked down upon to wear apparel that is revealing of the body and is even illegal in some areas in the Middle East. Dances are commonly performed barefooted or in heels.
Middle eastern dance has evolved quite a bit. Although, dance moves are extremely similar from ancient to modern Middle Eastern dance styles, it has evolved in the sense that dance has become more public, more commonly performed at public events and is used as a profession more widely than it used to.
Tsifteteli - Turkey
Halperke - Iran
Baladi - Across Middle East
Raqs sharqi - Egypt
Weddings & Parties
The Power of Music
Considered to an ancestor of the guitar
pitch varies by region
Very similar to a flute
Played on the lap by plucking the strings with tortoise shell picks
used in classical and folk music
Full transcript