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: Beginner songs/singers?



jenni
22-09-2010, 16:58
Hello! I am new here, and new to this music... i have been browsing the forums and am both excited and overwhelmed with everything there is to listen to and learn about. I've been listening to various egyptian waslat (downloaded off this forum)... which i really like. And right now i'm browsing the iraqi singers section.

My question is, are there any particular singers that would be good to start with? I've had a decent amount of exposure to popular arabic singers, such as oum kalthoum and sabah fakhri... but not too much of what's on here. A lot of the recordings i notice are very old and poor quality, which makes them somewhat less accessible to the new, fairly untrained ear... should i just keep browsing? or start with specific things?


Thanks

22-09-2010, 19:38
Hello! I am new here, and new to this music... i have been browsing the forums and am both excited and overwhelmed with everything there is to listen to and learn about. I've been listening to various egyptian waslat (downloaded off this forum)... which i really like. And right now i'm browsing the iraqi singers section.

My question is, are there any particular singers that would be good to start with? I've had a decent amount of exposure to popular arabic singers, such as oum kalthoum and sabah fakhri... but not too much of what's on here. A lot of the recordings i notice are very old and poor quality, which makes them somewhat less accessible to the new, fairly untrained ear... should i just keep browsing? or start with specific things?


Interesting questions indeed! And very difficult to answer. One has to be as young as you're, which I'm unfortunately not, and also, maybe even more important, a foreigner. I do sincerely hope that some of our young fellows who are in the same time more conversant with modern Western music ('amr, Bassio...) and hopefully our non Arab members (Frdric...) will give a hand. In the meantime, I can tell you this. As far as "casual" listening and discovering is concernend, I would say there's no harm in listening to anything you come through in this place. There's a big variety of genres and styles in here (the stuff in the Iraqi section has nothing to do with that of the Egyptian section, for instance), but all this remains more or less within the realm of what we call (very approximately) "classical" Arab music. Now, if the intent is a more serious listening, let alone learning and reproducing, this is a totally different story. I don't know what you exactly mean by "popular", but I can already tell you that 'um kalthum has nothing in common with Sabah Fakhri and in the repertoire of 'um kalthum itself there's a big difference between the monologues, dors and qasa'id of the twenties-thirties, the live songs of the fourties-fifties and the ones from the sixties-seventies... Here, I would suggest that you read the discussions/comments in the various threads and not restrict your activity in the forum to download and listen. As for the "bad quality" thing, we're talking of 78 rpm records produced in the first couple of decades of the last century. You wouldn 't expect them to have the technical perfection of Madonna's clips or even the Wiener Philarmoniker recordings.
All this said, welcome onboard.

jenni
22-09-2010, 23:30
I guess the fact that I put the two names in the same sentence show how little i know :P

I was just trying to illustrate that i am not starting completely from scratch... i have developed an ear for maqamat, certain "nuances," rhythms, etc. which tend to be common throughout most arab music. (By "popular" i didn't mean "pop" music, or a specific genre; more just some big names which most people are familiar with.)

For sure i won't restrict myself to the downloading aspect (although that is the most exciting part :D )

i also hope some younger people and/or foreigners will have some good ideas for me and some recommendations on where to start.....

thanks for your response, Abu!

oh yea, and i didn't mean any offense when i said "poor quality" - for what it's worth, i find it extremely impressive that most of these files even exist on the internet! just not as easy to listen to as a modern cd recording, that's all :)

23-09-2010, 00:07
oh yea, and i didn't mean any offense when i said "poor quality" - for what it's worth, i find it extremely impressive that most of these files even exist on the internet! just not as easy to listen to as a modern cd recording, that's all :)
I didn't take it as an offense (I'm not the one who produced them:)). I was just trying to explain the matter of fact, that's all. To reassure you, not everybody, including amongst attentive brilliant listeners in this forum, is able to digest this kind of old recordings. Those of us who have managed to overcome the anachronism have had a long initiation that required a good deal of patience and goodwill, if not passion and dedication. In the meantime, when you don't find the clarifications you need in the narrative in the threads, don't hesitate to input your questions and we'll try to answer them to the best of our knowledge.

AmrB
23-09-2010, 20:35
Dear Jenni,

If Abu Alaa' allows me, I might suggest that you start with the Itha'a section where almost all recordings are of moderate to really good quality. Karem Mahmoud, Abass El-Belidi and Salih Abdul Hayy's later recordings are good for starters I suppose, especially the Adwar, and more especially, Salih's unparalleled performance of 'Ishna wi Shufna, here (http://zamanalwasl.net/forums/showthread.php?p=1506#post1506). Though I don't really like them, Amin Hasaneen Salim and Sayyid Shata's recordings in Tunisia are of very good quality, like this one (http://zamanalwasl.net/forums/showthread.php?p=6295#post6295). If you like the Opera and have some interest in the sublime oddities of bass voices, Zakariyya Ahmed is a must (I think Amr the First will agree on this) as well as Muhammad Imran in the Inshad section.

A great introduction to older recordings will be Fred Lagrange's episodes for Itha'at Ash-Sharq ; informative, humorous and extremely enjoyable. If you speak Arabic then you should start with Hakawati wi Mghanawati here (http://zamanalwasl.net/forums/showthread.php?t=671&highlight=%CD%DF%E6%C7%CA%ED):, if you speak French there is Awtar and Cafe gramophone, for which you will find links in the Friendly websites and useful links headline.

I hope this was helpful.

23-09-2010, 22:08
Dear Jenni,

If Abu Alaa' allows me, I might suggest

Thank you very much indeed, 'amr. I haven't mentioned your name simply because I wasn't aware how young you were (and didn't want to check). Jenni is new to Arabic music, singing and language. But, she seems to be animated of much goodwill. She has started learning all that, including 'ud playing and interpreting several songs ranging from 'amanan 'ayyuha-l-qamaru-l-mutillu (yes!) to habbaytak ta-nsiti-n-nawm... I'm sincerely impressed (she's American and she's 20 years old). I think your idea about the 'idha'a section is great. One could add to the names you mentioned 'abdi-l-muttalib and maybe "good" fayruz in the sticky dedicated to her in the shami section (all she has to do to find all that is to use the forum indexes). On the other hand, I can see she spotted one of my friend Hedi Guella songs and liked it. There's much more of him (again, the indexes...).

jenni
24-09-2010, 04:03
Amr, thank you! This was very helpful! Actually, from all of the recordings i was looking at earlier this week, Abdul-hayy was one name that i remember going "wow" to, so i'm really happy you mentioned him! Unfortunately i don't (yet) speak arabic so i cannot understand the interviews on here and such, but when i get better and somewhat fluent that will be excellent practice :D (not fluent in french either ... )

Abu, thanks for speaking so well of me :) Although, i don't actually know the first song you mentioned??? maybe you mixed it with "ahwa qamaran" ? so i assume you're the one i wrote my "application" for the site to? haha! i didn't mean to be so braggy- i was just worried i wouldn't be let on to the site!!!

and, i can't stop listening to the hedi guella song... i will definitely check out some more of his stuff.

AmrB
24-09-2010, 17:58
Well, Jenni, Abu Alaa' is not only the one who received your application, he is the major force behind this forum, and beware, he is a force to be reckoned with.

Since you haven't heard Amanan Ayyoha l-Qamaru l-Mutilu, try Um Kulthoum's rendition here (http://zamanalwasl.net/forums/showthread.php?p=15380), Fathiyya Ahmed's here (http://zamanalwasl.net/forums/showthread.php?p=28852)and Abu l-'ilaa Muhammed's here (http://zamanalwasl.net/forums/showthread.php?p=12719#post12719). This could be your first glimpse over one of the major transformations of Arabic music, that of the Qasida (poem) from the Nahda (pre WWI period) to the Itha'a era. Lots of discussions on this topic in the forum.

24-09-2010, 19:01
Abu, thanks for speaking so well of me :) Although, i don't actually know the first song you mentioned??? maybe you mixed it with "ahwa qamaran" ?
Oops! Right, I mixed it with 'ahwa qamaran (by the way, try and listen to that muwashshah as interpreted by Sayyid As-safti! Check the 78rpm record section.). But, you did sing Wahhab's 'agharu 'alayka min najwa-l-'uyuni and ya na'iman raqadat jufunuhu, didn't you? This is already impressive enough, even though 'abdi-l-wahab is not a reference in clacissism for us, and don't worry, there's no reason for embarrassment there. On the contrary.
One small remark that has nothing to do with all this. 'abu is the first part of a compound noun that makes my nickname and that means "father of", 'ala' being the name of my eldest son (who's studying software engineering in Ecole Polytechnique de Montral, not very far from your place, plays some guitar and likes listening to our kind of music - he's member of this forum -, and is slightly older than you). As an Arabic student, you can't use that word as a diminutive exactly like you wouldn't use "son" as a diminutive of people called Jefferson, Richardson or Jackson.:)


and beware, he is a force to be reckoned with
Why frighten the young lady? Don't you think my reputation is already bad enough?!

jenni
25-09-2010, 05:14
[QUOTE=AmrB;30612]

Since you haven't heard Amanan Ayyoha l-Qamaru l-Mutilu, try Um Kulthoum's rendition here (http://zamanalwasl.net/forums/showthread.php?p=15380), Fathiyya Ahmed's here (http://zamanalwasl.net/forums/showthread.php?p=28852)and Abu l-'ilaa Muhammed's here (http://zamanalwasl.net/forums/showthread.php?p=12719#post12719).

I'm listening to the oum kalthoum one right now - stunning! Why do many people not consider oum kalthoum a "classical" singer? I suppose it's because of the repertoire she's most famous for? But this song is classical, and her style seems very much so to me. I've heard many recordings of her singing pieces like this...

anyhow, i'd love to try to learn this... one problem may be the words? I'm not familiar enough with arabic to make educated guesses, although i can read if someone has the poem? (what i've done with most of the songs is take recordings off youtube which are clear enough for me to create a transcription . . . with many errors, needless to say :))

jenni
25-09-2010, 05:20
[QUOTE= ;30613][LEFT]
[SIZE="2"]But, you did sing Wahhab's 'agharu 'alayka min najwa-l-'uyuni and ya na'iman raqadat jufunuhu, didn't you?

Nope, neither - Ya na'iman - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jus3V7PfzGU

and aghar 3alayka - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueAmLWodZo0&feature=related

because i found them beautiful and fun and somewhat easy to imitate on oud/voice (comparitavely speaking).
So apparently i'm not nearly as impressive as you initially thought :/

and oopS about the name ! so should i call you abu alla?
and you won't frighten me, i'm enjoying this way to much :)

AmrB
25-09-2010, 11:58
Why frighten the young lady? Don't you think my reputation is already bad enough?!

No frightening is intended, just, half-jokingly, prudence is recommended.

@Jenni

Do you read Arabic? Or do you need transliterations?

jenni
25-09-2010, 19:41
Amr, I can read it for the most part. As long as I am listening to the song along with it so i can write in all of the short vowels myself ...
thanks

26-09-2010, 00:46
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