مشاهدة جميع الاصدارات : Female singers as performers of adwar

01-04-2006, 14:16
Upscale ‘awalim of the late 19th century and early 20th apparently sung the learned répertoire of adwar composed by Hamuli, ‘Uthman and their followers beside lighter songs (ghennewat, taqatiq). They were accompanied by a female partial takht, the musicians also being used as a chorus, that included a learned music instrument such as the ‘ud, in addition to various drums. The darabukka is reputed to be a rather feminine instrument, linked with the art of the ‘awalim, and it wasn’t included in the art music orchestra before the 1950s (see Vigreux, 1997). There is no trace of female players of the qanun, the nay or the violin. Vocalists could also be accompanied by a male takht, possibly situated apart, or when engraving commercial recordings. Early recordings of female artists bearing ‘alma-like scene names such as Bamba al-‘Awwada (= Bamba Kashshar ?) or Asma al-Kumsariyya illustrate this tendency. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s writings depict this class of ‘awalim, who in spite of their illiteracy display some knowledge of technical terms of art music. As for the standard répertoire of a mid-scale ‘alma at the turn of the century (Amina al-‘Iraqiyya, Baheyya al-Mehallaweyya, etc.), as reflected by commercial recordings, it is constituted by Egyptian taqatiq (ditties with a single refrain and numerous couplets on the same melodic phrase) dealing with marriage, the bride’s body, her selling-off herself in exchange for presents offered by the groom.

This is a remarkable performance by Asma al-Kumsariyya in
dor / Farid el-mahasen ban (higaz)
Odeon 45916 1/2, circa 1907
used record, average quality

أبو علاء
01-04-2006, 14:26
Thank you so much for this recording. This is of great value for me, even though I haven't listened to it yet, first because I've never ever heard anything of this lady apart from her name and second because I love this dawr of Dawud Husni. In fact, I'm much attracted to adwar in bayati mode and all the more those in hijaz because there are not so many of them.

أبو علاء
01-04-2006, 15:03
I must confess I have always been of the view that the dor is male genre and I'm rarely impressed by female performances thereof, even by the great Murinah of whom I heard a couple of interpetations owing to our friend Zeryab ('ana 'ishiqt and more recently 'ashki limin). I should also say I liked more Fathiya's 'anhi 'adhul yi'dhilni fi hubbak and Qawami-l-ghusni li-l-'ashiq yimil. But, here, Komsariyah perfomance is convincing. I also like the voice, even though it's not the kind of female voices that would thrill our friend Luay. I think I will upload the ones I mentioned to bring more illustrative samples to this thread. Thanks a million, Fred.

أبو علاء
01-04-2006, 15:11
Here are the four dawrs I mentioned above. Apart from 'ana 'ishiqt, I think the three others are of Dawud Husni. Munira's 'ashki limin, as I already told Zeryab, seems to me too slow. Maybe Fred has the original disk and could tell us.

The 'ashki lmin file was removed after Zeryab uploaded a better version below (see next page).

01-04-2006, 17:04
Yes, Abu A'laa, these voices are simply "too harsh" for my ear :-) Therefore, I'm not participating in the discussions on these posts, since I don't want to just post useless negative comments: there is no way I can tell when someone "is caught moving from Rast to Saba", in our friend Najib's words :-) so i won't be able to contribute such insightful comments.

BTW I don't think I've heard your opinion about Om Kulthoum as a dawr singer.


أبو علاء
01-04-2006, 18:57
I'm about to write something with whic you will certainly be pleased, Luay. I didn't mention 'um kalthum simply because I counted her among the good dawr performers. So, in my mind, she was out of her gender category (this would not pleased her much, I'm afraid.:) ). More seriously, she did a great job with all the dawrs composed specifically for her (Husni's and Zakariya's). I'm not aware of any other female singer who had such a privilege (let us not count the one Zakariya offered to Layla Murad!). From Al-kumsariyah to Laure Daccache, they could only pick from the common dawrs repertory. What I would have loved to, so as to have a more informed opinion in this regard, is to listen to 'um kalthum's interpretation of one of those dawrs of the common heritage (uthman's, Hamuli's...etc) which she certainly interpreted in the beginning of her career.

محب الطرب
01-04-2006, 19:23
و النبي يا فريد أفندي إنت إلّي فريد المحاسن
بالله عليك تركز شوية على كده يعني الدووور و ما أدراك ما يفعل بي هذا القالب
فتح الله عليك فوق ما تفتح أنت علينا
و كفاك الله شر الكُمسارية
شكرن يا فريد أفندي

01-04-2006, 19:48
Unbelievable voice. Thanks for introducing us to her.

01-04-2006, 20:14
Yes, I'm pleased with your opinion, Abu A'laa.
But outside the pleasure, I genuinely wanted to hear your opinion; I'm not that much into dawrs (even those that Om Kulthoum sang.. I listen to them, but not as often as other songs).


أبو علاء
01-04-2006, 20:35
You're welcome, my friend. I'm however saddened by your irreductible rsilence to dawrs even when when performed by the Lady herself. Yumi-l-hana hibbi safali, Kunti khali and Kulli ma yizdad ridha qalbak 'alayya have all the musical, voal and emotional ingredients you're looking for. You should seriously reconsider your position. The only thing missing there is the live concert atmosphere to which you said you attach so much importance.

01-04-2006, 20:51
Abu A'laa,
I'm in no way resistance to dawrs, particularly the ones sung by Om Kulthoum, of course :-)
It's just that COMPARED TO Gholobt Asaleh, Hulm, etc., I prefer the latter group of songs. I do love the dawrs you named and the others as well (Meen Elle Aal Enne-l-Amar is one of my favorites). So, it's all *relative* :-)

Please don't think I'm a hopeless case :-)


أبو علاء
01-04-2006, 20:59
Would I have thought such thing, I wouldn't have insisted so heavily.:)

01-04-2006, 21:02
and I'm learning, and will do my best to be "E'nd Hosn Dhannak" :-)


01-04-2006, 22:08
I would most definitely have to respectfully disagree with lu'ay when it comes to the performance at hand. It is precisely these kinds of female voices which appeal to me in old arabic music, not to mention it being tremendously difficult to try to sing in this manner.

I think at some point in arabic music history (somewhere around the thirties or fourties perhaps), arabic singers decided to let go of this performance style which consumes so much vocal energy just to maintain, and instead focus on a simpler style and greater emotion, thus leaving the singer with more room. I mean, just listen to too7a's old recordings as compared with her new ones. In the old ones, you have typical ancient production style, full of 3irabs and trills that sound something like munira back in the day, then, somewhere, it turned completely clean, and even the production style differed.

The result: more room and vocal space to play with, and singing suddenly became much easier, no longer requiring the huge voices that don't seem to appeal to lu'ay. (though some singers like fat7iyya can't help having a huge voice, which was certainly put to more use in the old days).

I believe it is the genius of umm kulthum to be the best singer ever to utilize this extra room for manipulation to turn her audiance wild.

as for me, I love the lady, but I still adore this sort of performance, even though I get pretty much lost listening to it.

as for kumsuriyya here, she's blew my socks off basically.

02-04-2006, 16:12
Sorry I forgot to answer this : I don't have original record transfers for Munira's adwar, just tapes bought by a friend in Bagdad with an awful sound quality. All my "original" muniras are taqatiq or mawawil...

02-04-2006, 18:09
Dear 3amr,
I appreciate your post, but let me reiterate again what I wrote, which is that my view is *relative*; I'm not making any absolute statements, saying this is good and that's bad. You can now tell that I'm crazy about Om Kulthoum; but still, do I like all her songs the same? Of course not. Actually my liking of her songs is as varied as my views about the various singers: I LOVE Gaddedte Hobbak Leh and can't imagine Om Kulthoum without this song; on the other hand, I honestly wish she didn't sing a song like Leilet Hobb!!

We all have different tastes here, and I'm glad to see we respectfully disagree with each other on things; otherwise the discussions would be boring, and we'll be just one chorus of people saying YES (like the so-called "democracies" in the Arab world; excuse my cheap political plug here :-)

Best regards,

02-04-2006, 18:57
I understand your point, about umm kulthum and relative opinions,
as far as my point was, I wasn't saying anything about your opinion or attacking it, I was quite simply stating mine, bearing in mind our right to differ in light of our mini-democracy here.

as for arab democracies, ah, don't get me started.

02-04-2006, 19:08
Sure; that's why I wrote "I'm glad to see that we respectfully disagree"...
We don't want to get started on the democracies; we'd never finish, and we might risk our own lives :-)

Best regards,

أبو علاء
02-04-2006, 21:55
Fred, basically, I wanted to know what you think of this 'ashki limin recording. Do you think this is the normal speed?

02-04-2006, 22:22
دور أشكي لمين بعد أن زدت من سرعة التسجيل ولا أعلم أيهم الطبيعي

أبو علاء
02-04-2006, 22:32
زرياب، أعتقد أنّ هذه النّسخة الأخيرة أقرب إلى الصّوت الطّبيعيّ ؛ ولك أن تقيس ذلك على أصوات الآلات وكذلك عبارات الاستحسان الّتي تتخلّل التّسجيل ؛ ألف شكر.

03-04-2006, 01:32
دور أشكي لمين بعد أن زدت من سرعة التسجيل ولا أعلم أيهم الطبيعي
Who is singing here? Can you please give the name in English?

أبو علاء
03-04-2006, 08:07
Paul, it's the recording of Munirah singing 'ashki limin I posted above and of which I thought the speed too slow. Zeryab has just modified the speed and posted it again.

27-11-2011, 15:28
Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! these old recordings open up a whole new world!
I was resistant to listen to them before because I'm not used to the recording quality, but I can see now, they are the most amazing part of this site! As they say, the more you try to learn, the more you realize you don't know...

I would love to listen to one of these records in person some day... does it sound very different? I am slightly ashamed to say, I have never listened to a record in person.

أبو علاء
27-11-2011, 15:37
I would love to listen to one of these records in person some day... does it sound very different? I am slightly ashamed to say, I have never listened to a record in person.

You shouldn't. I've been listening for this kind of music for more than 30 years and the first time I saw one of these records, let alone listened to it on the gramophone, was three or four years ago.