مشاهدة جميع الاصدارات : Maa'darsh Ansak: Wahab on the oud

14-09-2006, 03:23
I like this song by Wahab, and he sings it nicely here, especially that he's accompanied
only by his oud.

(BTW the same CD that contains this song also contains Marreit A'la Beit El HAbayeb, another one of my Wahab favorites, but it's here sung by Safwan Bahlawan. I like the song but I don't care for Safwan, since I don't see the point of trying to imitate someone's voice to the last detail! If I wanted to hear someone trying to imitate Wahab, why don't I listen to Wahab himself?!?! This reminds me of the Morrocan guy who tries to imitate Abd El Mottaleb, even in the way he moves his arms, which is silly! Anyway, if anyone is interested in Safwan's interpretation of Marreit, I can upload it).


14-09-2006, 12:30
Beautiful recording.

Do you have him singing Kulli Dah Kan Leyh live, I think it exists on CD, but I can't find it.

If someone has it please upload.


14-09-2006, 14:53
عزيزي نجيب

عندي كل ده كان ليه على العود على كاسيت ماستر من القاهرة

إن لم ينزلها أحد الأخوة فأنا مستعد لتفريغها وإنزالها عند الإشارة لك

وطلباتك أوامر

14-09-2006, 15:12
عزيزي بكّار

مش موجوده

وبكون ممنونك

14-09-2006, 16:54
I don't have it Najib.
This song is the only one in which I heard Wahab singing live, and it was a horrific experience. He's is so boring in live recordings since his improvisations are so lame.
I used to have it and fortunately I lost it :-)


أبو علاء
14-09-2006, 18:01
I don't have it Najib.
This song is the only one in which I heard Wahab singing live, and it was a horrific experience. He's is so boring in live recordings since his improvisations are so lame.
I used to have it and fortunately I lost it :-)


I can't agree more. I heard it broadcast more than once and never cared to record it. If you so wish, I can monitor radio broadcasts and record it for you next time, although I bitterly regret not to have the power to put a veto on such kind of stuff here.:)

14-09-2006, 18:17
So pedantic, unbelievable. :)

It's a nice relaxing song, and I really like Abdel Wahab's voice in it.

14-09-2006, 18:33
عزيزي نجيب
هذه الاغنيه وبهذا الأداء كنا نستعملها للنوم (العصرونيه)بعد الأكل....صوت عبد الوهاب كان جيدا ولكن أعتقد أن هذه المرحله من حياته بأدائه وتلحينه كانت تحت الوسط....تحياتي القلبيه

14-09-2006, 19:11
حتى انت با إبن حلب البار

إذا كل الذويقه أجتمعوا ضدّي يعني أمري لله يمكن محمود الشامي رح يفش الخلق


14-09-2006, 19:38
@ Abu Ala' :
I was on the verge on exercising this right of veto as if I were a little Pinochet (or John Bolton) myself. I took a nap, woke up, saw "Abd al-Wahhab's maqdarsh ansak" and thought "afandem ? la la la, el-3atab 3an nazar".
then I looked again and saw "kolle da kan leh live recording wanted" and thought :
"helm walla 3elm ?"
Then I thought :
"am I going to extract the kolleda kan leh album from my collection, digitalize it, and make a mp3 ?"
Then I thought :
"Oh come on, it's probably downloadable on mazzika.com or any other usual forum"
Then I thought :
"Abd al-Wahhab's long songs... wallah zaman... Reminds me of that African friend of mine singing under the shower "ana man dayya fil ahwam omra" without pronouncing the 3ayn..."
Then I thought :
"This is so NOT pc"
Then I thought :
"Enough of this nightmare, I wanna wake up"

14-09-2006, 20:58
I knew Wahab somehow was going to cause me problems :-)
I made this one post, and all of a sudden, all hell broke loose: requests for Kolle Dah Kan Leh, present in the form of "Lbestello Ahla Fostan"... :-)

I ask that my post of this song be stricken from my record and request a retrial :-)

No more Wahab posts for me :-)


15-09-2006, 01:26
hahaha ..the funny thing also Luay is that Abu Alaa normally does not hold his veto back and we never pretended here to be democratic ..and let it be clear to every once again ..we are not! . He must really like you :)

15-09-2006, 06:34
Hi Hatim,
Despite the mutual respect Abu A'laa and I have for each other, I do want Abu A'laa to use
his "veto power" even on my posts, since maintaining high standards and requiring only certain genre of music are what distinguish this forum from the many others available on
the web. However, I don't think Asbaha E'ndy-l-Aana Bundiqiyya is of a higher quality than this one (my personal opinion), to give one example.

As for "democracy", does the word even exist in the Arabic lexicon? :-)

Best regards,

أبو علاء
15-09-2006, 09:49
Your comments here and there (in the shami section) made me laugh for a while. Now, to be more serious, the problem is above all one of consistency. Right from the beginning, I knew one of the greatest difficulties in delineating the scope of the forum, and Hatim will remember how keen I was on this item, consisted in putting a borderline to separate the kind of music we're dealing with from what is of no concern for us. I was fully aware that whatever the timeline we would choose, our choice would be an arbitrary one inasmuch as cultural as well as socio-economic and political eras cannot reasably be clearly defined and distinguished from one another as having cross cut chronological limits.
A more rigorous and conservative approach than the one we have at present would have placed the limit at some point in the thirties as Fred did in his thesis, although Fred had other reasons to do so. But, then, we would have missed a great deal with the major part of 'um kalthum heritage, but also that of people like Sunbati, Sidqi, 'abdi-l-muttalib, Bilidi...etc
So, might as well, but how could we seriously remain consistent while welcoming and praising if not actively promoting these people works from the fifties until the mid-sixties as being an integral part of the kind of music we're interested in here and in the same time excluding sa'it mabashufak ganbi, kulli dah or shakli tani (the best among them all in my view), notwithstanding the deep aversion we might have and we do have for 'abdi-l-wahab?
Actually, my concern, to say the least, is greater when it comes to the shami section where we have certainly failed to maintain the same level of strictness about what is tolearated at most and what is out of place there.

15-09-2006, 10:29
عزيزي نجيب

هنا كل ده كان لية كاملة وبجزئين بحسب تقسيمها على وجهي الكاسيت
مح محبتي

إشارة أخيرة، هناك تسجيل نادر لمقطع من هذه الأغنية على صغحة من صغحات "زرياب"، مع نجاة وعبدالوهاب بمرافقة من فريد الأطرش على العود


من بعد أذنك أخي بكّار نسخة أبي سلمى تحت أفضل فحذفت نسختك

15-09-2006, 10:53
Thanks a lot Bakkar.

Guys you can criticise Kull Dah as much as you like. Personally I find it a beautiful song.

As for Bilad el Sham section, it was utterly dead, and now we are witnessing some revival in that section. You cannot expect the bilad el sham section to be like the Egyptian section because simply the renaissance in that area isn't up to the same standards as of the Egypt renaissance. So in other words, it's going to be mostly Taqateeq oriented compared to the heavy dors and qasaids of the Egyptian section. Of course there is the Turath Halabi, but that is only one part of the heritage of bilad el sham.

One look at the Shami 78 proves that they are way below the ones produced in Egypt of that same era.

15-09-2006, 16:06
I do agree, Abu A'laa, that it's extremely hard to have well-defined guidelines for what can and cannot be excluded. The question is: is there a *scientific* definition of "classical oriental music", which is the motto of this forum? If we stop in the mid 30's, we wouldn't hear almost any of Om Kulthoum's songs (her live broadcast concerts started in 1937 or around that time), and the same for Mottalleb, and others, as you mentioned. If we stop 10-20 years later, we wouldn't have heard the great recording of Ya Dhalimni. If we extend it further, we'd hear El Hobbe Kolloh, which we both agree on not wanting to hear :-)
But then after that, she sang Aqbala-l-Laylu, which to me is great in terms of lyrics and music (well, Om Kulthoum's voice was "over" at that time).
But one probably can be more blunt about it: I think where we're going with this is the following: there is no objection about anything from Sunbati, Zakariya, Qassabji, Sheikh Imam, etc. Our main concern is Wahab, who was extremely inconsistent (on the one hand,
singing a beautiful song such as Cleopatra, and on the other, composing Fatet Ganbena or Ayadhunnu). So, it might be safe to say: exclude all Wahab's work after the mid 40's :-)

As for the music in Syria and Lebanon, I can't comment on that since I don't know much about it (other than "classical" may be harder to define in that region).


أبو علاء
15-09-2006, 17:21
حمدا للّه ظهر الحقّ وزهق الباطل ؛ أعرف أنّ المثل اللّبنانيّ يقول صيت الغنا أحسن من صيت الفقر، وبالتّالي لعلّ صيت التّطرّف والتّشدّد وعداء الدّيمقراطيّة المنسوب إليّ قد لا يكون من مستقبح الأمور في مثل هذا الزّمن الّذي أُغرقنا فيه لينا وأُتخِمنا ديمقراطيّة، ولكن لحسن الحظّ "المتشدّدون" و"المتطرّفون" والطّالبان كثيرون، فلم يبق في هذه الحال إلاّ أن تحتفظ بكلّ ده كان ليه لاستهلاكك الخاصّ ؛ حتّى لؤي ندم عن فعلته ولن يرى مانعا من حذف ساعة ما باشوفك جنبي.:)

15-09-2006, 18:09
this is becoming serious. So let's think about it.
what is art music ?
how to say this in Arabic ?
see, in French, the usual term is "musique savante" and in English "Art music". Classical music is another problem, since it means "music that is taught in classes", that is part of a curriculum in the formation of learned repertoire musicians. So a live and recent production can be "art music" but is not "classical" yet.
as for the Arabic "tarab", it is not satisfactory since it only applies to Arabic music and doesn't conceive itself as a universal category, and since one can feel tarab while listening to, for instance, a Druze recitant of a sira sha3beyya.
Then again, "turath" is not satisfactory either, since it is merely a time criterion, and there is no point in considering a time criterion. Being old doesn"t make any piece classical or "learned" or "art music", or "musique savante" : centuries may pass over Baheyya al-Mahallaweyya's "ya barhum" or Munira al-Mahdeyya's "ana ra'et nafsi fe bustan", it will never be "classical" music, and the same applies to "Qamaren" by Amr Diab : it will NOT be a classical music song in 100 years.
Language is not sufficient either : singing in dialect doesn't make any piece "popular" as opposed to "learned" : "sallemt ruhak", which I guess we will agree is learned classical Arab repertoire is in dialect, whereas Farid al-Atrash's tango "ya zahratan fi khayali" or Kazim al-Sahir's latest Songs of Massive Destruction (SMD) may very well be in 3arabiyya fusha, they are not in the least classical Arab music.
There is no point either in thinking in terms of composer : some Sunbati works are pure light music, as well as some works by Zakariyya Ahmad. However we might appreciate "ya salat ez zen", and I DO like it, it is nevertheless absolutely not "learned repertoire". And by the way, I adore "el hobb kollo", and nevertheless, would never think of considering it art music. It is an excellent piece of entertainment, mainstream, quality Arab music of the early 1970s and that's that. We could go as far a saying that "ya helw ya msallini" is hardly learned repertoire, and only becomes so when interpreted by a genius such as Muhammad Salim al-Aguz, and the same applies to many ditties sung by Abd al-Hayy, where the interpretation is the criterion that shifts the balance toward "art music"
So the problem is a problem of criterion, of vocabulary, and of consideration of both intern and extern factors (or as American musicologists put it "emic" (= interior) and etic (exterior)judgements of value).
I will write longer on the subject, but what has to be considered is actually a mix of factors, some more important than others, that have to be taken into account as a group:
- complexity of the composed canvas
- ambitus of the melody (distance between lowest and highest note)
- complexity of the actual melodic line sung/played
- ambition of the work, and successful realization of this ambition
- impossibility of the reproduction of this canvas by a voice untrained in this art (try for instance to sing aqbala al layl, then ruba3iyyat al-Khayyam, then wa-haqqika anta l-muna under your shower. See the difference ? all are qasa'id, but one is easily reproductible, of course without the talent of Umm Kulthum, the second as well in most part, the last simply isn't, and demands thorough training)
- existence of a written theoric tradition
- knowledge of this theory in the course of the training
- local status (emic criterion) of the production
- conditions of representation and consumption of the music material
more later.

15-09-2006, 18:32
Abu A'laa,
Yes, I do regret posting the song :-), but I have to say that it started a nice and lively discussion (against it, but still, a discussion :-)

I appreciate your detailed comments, but unfortunately I cannot comment back since I know nothing about music as a "theory" or "science" (I just listen to music and enjoy it).
However, I have to say that one concern about the points your raised is that unless a thorough scientific study of a song or musical piece is done to decide an argument, these
points will be open to interpretation. To illustrate: it's no longer a secret that there is no love lost between many participants/organizers on this forum and Abd El Wahab. Now, one can exclude one of his songs, based on the complexity or any other points you raised, and all of a sudden get an avid supporter of Wahab, trying to prove the opposite. This might take the forum into an unwanted direction of long arguments about every single song.

But in general, I think participants here are observing the nature of the forum and respecting it. So, for example, you see some participant here, who also participate on zeryab, but wouldn't upload here some of the stuff they upload on zeryab. This is not
to say anything bad about the zeryab forum (I've been enjoying many of the posts there), but just that the zeryab forum is more open to all kinds of music (you can see posts about Sammy Clark there, for example), whereas this forum adheres a lot to classical music (Salama Hijazi, Yousef Manyalawi, etc.). Where the two forums intersect is the
ones in the middle (Om Kulthoum, Wahab, Sunbati, etc.) Now, I'm apparently one of those who didn't learn the lessons and posted some low-quality song :-) And as I said, I regret it and won't do it again :-)

Best regards,

أبو علاء
15-09-2006, 18:36
I'm of course aware of the complexity of the problem as you just exposede it and such awareness became even more acute after my reading of what you wrote on this question both in the specific paper you devoted to this question as well as in the thesis and it would certainly be desirable to have more contributions on the subject.
Now, this very complexity as well as the urgent character of the need to do something about this art are the reasons that made us deal with such a fundamental methodological question so lightly or, at least, in such an empirical and certainly non-scientific way when delineating the scope for this forum.
As for the terminology, I know nothing is more ambiguous or compromising than language, but here again, we needed a label and we thought to have found it by adopting and adapting the western concept of classical music. Actually, in doing so, I suppose we wanted both to capitalize on the connotations of the term and the relationships of comparison and oppsition the term evokes with such concepts as light music, modern music...etc
To sum up. Our approach is far from being a scientific one nor is it upheld by an adequate theoretical basis, but we couldn't await the development of such a basis to start doing what we are doing now. On the other hand, we can't afford to loosen our criteria on behalf of the afore mentioned uncertainties in view of the characteristics of the surrounding scenery and the present context.

15-09-2006, 21:38
I would be very happy to hear more from Frederic on the subject, and I am for this excellent constructive discussion.

Until we finish this discussion, I am against the cancellation of the Abdel Wahab posts.

15-09-2006, 22:21
Beautiful recording.

Do you have him singing Kulli Dah Kan Leyh live, I think it exists on CD, but I can't find it.

If someone has it please upload.


Is this what you are looking for?


Sorry I uploaded this song before I saw it was uploaded. I thouth BAKKAR said that what he had was on the OUD only. You can delete this I guess or the other.

نسختك أفضل عمّي أبو سلمى لذلك سأحذف نسخة عمّي بكّار

16-09-2006, 18:26
Abu Alaa :so we probably should have written ""Oriental Art Music ""instead of " classical " ,maybe because were we come from very little art music is being produced as the moment ..our art music is nothing but classical :)

Fred :Thanks for the elaboration , The part you mentioned : " existence of a written theoric tradition " ,i guess does not apply anyhow on oriental art music ? as this one of its characteristics ?

16-09-2006, 22:57
From the discussions above, it is obvious that we need to dig deeper into defining what is classical oriental, if there is a definition as such.

Personally I don't see the forum slipping at all.

The only thing I'm worried about is slipping into a personal taste criteria to decide on what is acceptable and what is not, and on what is classical and what is not.

I think I can elaborate with a question as an example away from Abdel Wahab which Luay and Mohsen hate, and away from Farid which I personally loathe and think that he is the most overrated Mutrib/Oud Player in the history of humanity.

Do you like Araka 3assiyal Dam3 that Sunbati composed for Umm Kulthum?

أبو علاء
16-09-2006, 23:53
I'll start by the end with a straight answer to your question: No, I don't like it as I don't like much of lissa fakir, el-hubbi kida, let alone ath-thulatiya...
Yet, I've never seriously thought of censoring such titles or even other less prestigious ones such as Baligh early compositions for 'um kalthum nor will I dare censor Farid's 'ansak waftikrak thani or khatama-s-sabru bu'dana bi-t-talaqi or Wahab's 'indama ya'ti-l-masa'. So, I sincerely can't see why we should fear a slip into personal taste criteria.
This said, I beg to disagree on holding any clearcut position untill further digging into Fred's pertinent problematic. And the reason for this is both simple and obvious.
We have never had the pretention of following an academic approach or having our work in this forum founded on a solid scientific base and I for one will never have such a pretention in the future.
Let us not forget why we are here! Our role is not that of truth seeker. Our ultimate aim is to try and safeguard a whole segment of Arab and oriental musical heritage that's been first marginalised and then practically sentenced to death. Our motivations are a mix of cultural and in the end of the day political ones on the one hand and personal (or anyway subjective) taste criteria considerations on the other hand.
The nahdha music has not been given the least attention in such important spheres as musical scenerey itself, the information-communication media, the training and scholar world as a whole (and I'm not talking here of the very few exceptions such as Fred, Jargy, Racy or Abu Mrad) and the show business and entertainment industry. Qasabgi, Sunbati, let alone Sidqi, Shirif...etc are not given the kind of publicity and care granted to Baligh or Wahab... So, my first concern will remain to protect the endangered species that I also happen to like.
As an academic, Fred's perspective can only be a different one and, as such, apart from his tremendous input consisting in files and information, his contribution from that very perspective is a precious source of enrichment and enlightenment to this forum and to all of us. But, our work is not to be tied to the answers Fred may reach through his research or rather the questions he has been exploring during his lengthy and rich academic career and for most of which he hasn't reached decisive answers to date. In my personal view, Fred's merit in this particular ground lies in his clear and rigourous (ex)position of the problematic as shown above and through his various works and writings and not in having ready answers to the main questions pertaining to that problematic.

17-09-2006, 01:16
I can't comment on the "policing" issue much, since I'm not one of the organizers of this forum. Actually, my posting of a questionable song started all this discussion, which I think is a good discussion, but hope won't lead to any sensitivities.
Now, we can say, as I pointed out earlier (then jokingly, but now more seriously), that Wahab stands at the center of this issue. Baligh, Mougy and those guys are easier to "deal with" simply because all their work came at the later time, when the slip started. As for Wahab, I don't think there is an exaggeration if we say there are two completely different Wahabs: the "Wahab of Tarab" whom we knew in songs such as Sekette Leh Ya Lisani, Ya Tara Ya Nesma, Ellee Yehebb El Gamal, .. on the one hand, and the "Wahab of Suheir Zaki" whom we knew in songs such as Leilet Hobb (which seems to be a collection of unrelated pieces of music that were forced together), Fatet Ganbena, and Ayadhunnu. There is probably a "Wahab in the middle", which is the composer of Saa'et Ma Bashoofak, and others that Abu A'laa mentioned (Shakle Tani, etc.). I personally LOVE the "Wahab of Tarab" and can't stand the latter category. I can put up with some of the stuff in the middle, though. So, this is my clarification on the issue of "hating Abd El Wahab" :-)

As for your last question about Araka A'seyya-Dama', my answer differs from that of Abu A'laa: I do listen to the song (definitely not often), and I love the part of "Moa'allelaty Belwasle Walmawtu Doonahu" and "Waqalat Laqad Azra Beka-d-Dahru Baa'dana". But if the question, is it one of my favorites, the answer is no. But I'd like to ask a question in return: since this song came in the same decade (or even five year period) of Enta Omri, Ba'eed A'nnak, and Lessabr Hdoud, do you think it's better than them? To me, it is of higher quality (in lyrics and music).

Finally, I don't think anyone needs to push the "panic button" since I do believe the forum is still for the most part on the same course that was charted since its inception, but this
kind of discussion (every now and then only) might be helpful for keeping it from deviating from this course.

Best regards to all,

أبو علاء
17-09-2006, 02:15
It is a good discussion, no doubt about that. Actually, such discussions are one of the most important features of this forum that we want to be more than a simple file clearing house. They are useful, stimulating and badly needed to enrich our knowledge and correct our misunderstandings. And there should be no fear of any sensitivities, not between Najib, Hatim, Fred, you and me. In fact, I think we're so much used to straightforward talking and we have so much confidence in our common ground and the state of mind of each other that we don't much care about "filtening" our interventions and expurgating them of internal policy considerations.
And yes, you're absoluely right in saying there's no need at atll to push the panic button. The forum health is excellent and this very exchange proves it.

17-09-2006, 10:51
This is what I wanted to stress regarding our conversation. We want to invoke healthy debates, and I definitely don't want the debate to be just between myself and Mohsen because we can do that over e-mails, but we want people to participate.

Back to Sunbati's Araka, honestly this is a very inquisitive question, and I'm using people here as lab rats! The song , Luay, has got few sentences of piano, do you chunk it out of what you call turath because of that or not? I'm asking this, and I honestly don't even have an opinion on that yet.

Also Abu 3ala talked about preserving a segment of the turath in another post, but if we want to preserve just "art" music the way Fred defined it, then a massive amount of that segment would simply have to be shaved off.

Saying this I stress that my priority here is to gather, learn about, and savour every drop of "art" music that Fred, and others can provide us with.

For me what I've learnt in the last few months is so precious, and I'm very grateful for it.

17-09-2006, 16:30
I keep wondering about that piano part in the song. First, a funny thought is: what did Om Kulthoum pay to the piano player for just a minute in the performance? :-)
But the more serious question, and since I'm not musically sophisticated at all, what would such a small part on the piano achieve in the song? The same goes to the guitar part in Enta Omri? Was it like a competition at that time among the composers as to who was introducing what instrument? Sunbati: piano; Wahab: guitar; Baligh: saxophone.
This very song also differs from all other songs in that Om Kulthoum sang it from three different composers (we haven't heard it in Zakariya's music, nor does it seem that we'll have that opportunity). Why? Did Om Kulthoum like the poem that much? I don't know.

As for whether it's part of the turath or not, I'm very bad at these kind of things. Even in my area of expertise, computer science / math, I never pursued the history of science part, but rather always focus on the science itself. So, what is turath?

Probably all this converges to the famous issue of defining prostitution, where some famous politician (can't remember now who it was) once said "I don't know how to define it, but I know it when I see it"! The same goes for turath (apologies for the crude analogy, but I'm just trying to make a point, and not equate the two :-), probably?
Would the Araka A'siyya-d-Dama' of Abdu-l-Hamouli be a part of the turath, but Sunbati's version not?

I enjoy being a lab rat in this context :-)


17-09-2006, 17:41
the lyrics are turath, the song is turath, obviously, in all versions, since turath is a merely chronological notion. Anything that has been kept, that has had some relevance/importance/success in history is by definition turath. In that meaning, to continue with analogies, it is obvious that Madonna's "Like a virgin" will be, in 50 years, part of the "turath" of American popular music. But it will never be "classical western music".
Why the piano, and why this text ? I guess because the 1920s version was her "exam of entry" among mutribat, giving her rendition of a song already recorded by Abd al-Hayy Hilmi, Zaki Murad, Saleh, Safti, etc. and proving that she was the next hope of learned repertoire music.
On december 3rd, 1964, it was also an exam entry, to the last stage of her life, to the phase in which she had, on february 5, 1964, almost a year before, given carte blanche to Abd al-Wahhab and accept guitar and wahda we-noss and extremely simple melodic phrases and respectable shakhla3a (ultimate oxymoron). So yes, it was Sunbati sending a message. It was also a wink, a clin d'oeil to sammi3a, and as well a very ambitious re-reading of two different turath : the litterary one, and the musical one, it *also* meant "see the way we've gone since the days of Hamuli and his school, see how we have progressed, and we even put a piano in it, how mutatawwir ya gama3a!". It was very ideological, it aimed to prove that piano and medieval poetry were conciliable, i.e. that asala and hadatha could be reunited in this dialectic, that Umm Kulthum was holding all sides. Even the cyclicity of the 1964 version, ending with the same melody, carried this message.
Of course, it was also haga tekhalli el-wahed yoltom we yodloq 3ala raso ramaad, but that was only for old-timers. It also revealed (in the meaning of "yefdaH) how far art music had gone in order to be appreciable by all publics, how close to light music it had become.

17-09-2006, 22:30
I'm going to chime in at this point (after watching the debate for sometime) to say that I'm constantly getting the feeling that audiences play a huge part in building or destroying art music. If audiences forced somebody like sunbati to cater to their tastes against those whose opinions he would have valued more (the old sammi3a), they could have just as easily given him a carte blanche to be as old fashioned (in the best sense) and as Arabic as possible, but it wasn't to be because everybody (including the so called intellectuals) were busy being astounded by how amazing the "west" was.

I mean, when the public are educated (I'm imagining a world full of Abu Alas and Najibs), you automatically get art music, and when the public is ..... (tempted to use bad language), you get music like you get these days. (despite the best efforts of people like those who hang around this forum).

I would dare say it's analogous to what happened to language. When the Arabs had an empire, classical Arabic reached its zenith with people like al Mutanabbi, al Jahith and so on, and then, it slowly become the language of the elite. As everything that becomes restricted to the elite, it's sentenced to death. (despite the best efforts of schools in the Arabic world).

Personally, I would like to see somebody like Isaak al Mawsilly or Mansur Zilzil back, as much as everybody in the Arabic world would like somebody like Salahiddine back. (we need all those named and more to get anywhere, or so it seems).

Sorry for the long post, but I needed to vent some steam. (next post should be devoted to how many times I contemplate assassinating Nancy Ajram and George Bush, preferably in one go.)

17-09-2006, 23:28
@ 3amr :
just a little detail about language : in the time of al-Gahiz and Mutanabbi (well, that's not exactly the same time, there's a century between them), people at the market *already* spoke colloquial dialect, not the Arabic that both authors used/spoke. It is quite probable that when al-Gahiz went to buy chickpeas and meat, he wasn't using the language he wrote.
As for assassinating Nancy Agram, I don't see the point. I'm sure there are some Opera singers who listen to the Pussycat Dolls when they go dancing with their boy/girlfriends. They just don't do the same kind of music. What's wrong with NA? She *never* pretended she was doing anything else than pure tasliya/dance/light music, which is *necessary* in any culture. Unlike, for instance Magda al-Rumi, who I would murder with joy, for she is pretending to do what she's not doing and couldn't ever do.

17-09-2006, 23:55
The discussion is getting bloody :-)

Fred: you gave two examples, one from the East (Nancy Ajram) and one from the West (the PussyCats). In my humble opinion, there is a huge difference: in the West, they still
do an EXCELLENT job at preserving the great music. In the East, Nancy Ajram et al. are becoming the mainstream and people are forgetting about the true music.

I read the other day that a week or two ago, in Tunis, thousands of people who gathered to see (I don't think "listen" is appropriate here) Haifa Wehbe, requested her "song" about the "Wawa" three times. This is the country that was mentioned in the Om Kulthoum documentary (based on Virginia's dissertation) as the country where Om Kulthoum was more appreciated than in Egypt.

Again, I'm not good at history, but I'm sure entertainers existed at the time of Sayyed Darwiche as well, but that wasn't the "face of music" then, and that's not what we hear most about those periods. To the contrary, the layperson today almost has no clue who Qassabji, Zakariya, and Sunbati are (let alone Manyalawi and his contemporaries).

I don't fear that these entertainers will compete against Om Kulthoum for the good listeners' ears, but my fear is that there are so many of them that they might shape the
future of Arabic singing, and then A'la-d-Donya Assalam.


18-09-2006, 00:51

I think it's a matter of accepting that there is an entertainment stream that is healthy as Fred describes it in his paper, and we need to accept it, and let it be, rather than practice the "Wuquf 3ala al Atlal" that most Arabs
samee3ah are exercising. We can spread and unearth and aim to broadcast what is forgotten, and make sure to explain why it is so precious.

The distinguishing between Turath and Classical was an enlightment to me today. I don't know but maybe because of all the CD titles, and articles where Turath is meant to mean "Musique savante" has contributed to the confusion, and now distinguishing between the two is much simpler. Thanks.

18-09-2006, 04:54
Hi Najib,
Probably I sounded too "gloomy" in my last post. Well, the situation is definitely not positive in the Arab world, but to me, I'm extremely happy, since first and foremost what matters most to me is that I MYSELF am enjoying Om Kulthoum a lot (and the other music presented here) even if 100 millions are watching Haifa and Nancy. But still, it saddens me that a genius like Qassabji is hardly heard of.

Best regards,

18-09-2006, 13:47
تسجبل كل ده كان ليه من حفلة سلاح الفرسان التي اقيمت بنادي الضباط بالزمالك =قاهرة عام 1954 وهي الحفلة الوحيدة لعبد الوهاب ولكن فهمت من الأخ بكار ان عنده كل ده كان ليه على العود فأين هي لأنني لم أسمع ابدا انه غناها على العود ولكن عندي تسجيل له من سهرة خاصة بالمغرب لهذه الأغنية
شكرا لكم جميعا