Category Archives: Arabic music history

Spy Work for Musicians

Magdi and Naim

When I was looking for visuals for my article on the double bass and Middle Eastern music I found this picture on this YouTube video: It looked kind of old, and you can see a somehow awkward looking double bass … Continue reading

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Arabic Music and the Audience

Traditional Arabic music includes a unique and inseparable connection between the performer and the audience. Due to the improvisational nature of the performance, the audience plays a major role in performing and the performer is often dependant on the reactions … Continue reading

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Bottesini in Cairo

The traditional Arabic music of our day has definitely evolved partly under the influence of the inevitable contact with western music, especially in the last one-hundred and fifty years. Almost all researchers of Arabic music note the first performance of … Continue reading

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A Brief History of Arabic Music up to the 20th Century

The history of Arabic music can be divided into several main periods. The first is the pre-Islamic period – the period of Jahiliyyah – ignorance, as it is called.This term, of course, was coined by the Muslim thinkers of later … Continue reading

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Fuad Abbas

Umm Kulthum, “the star of the east”, had enormous influence on
the entire Arab world, and is considered the greatest traditional
Arab singer. She is known to have described the double bass as the
heart of the music. Continue reading

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