Marhaba fi Masah al Khair! Hello and good afternoon to everyone on Stir-Crazy International! Shauchan here! I haven’t posted something in a while now, mainly because of college work! Sorry to leave you guys hanging!
But now I am here… to tell you a few things about several Arab artists that play westernized Arabic music!
The olden variant of Arabic music, still used by numerous artists, contains the use of instruments such as the darabuka (or tabla, mainly known as a goblet drum), the oud (a pear-shaped stringed instrument), the violin (in great use nowadays, but was technically introduced during the 1840s and 1850s into the field of Arabic music) and the raq (the Arab variant of a tambourine). The unison of use of these instruments is quite euphonious and set a standard of a totally unique genre of music.
Being a recent fan of Arabic music, I have come to find a great barrier amongst the modern divas and olden (and still living) kings and queens of Arabic music to be quite large. As many of you fans may known know the kings and queens of contemporary Arabic music to be Fairuz of Lebanon, Sabah of Lebanon, Sabah Fakhri of Syria, Warda of Algeria and other aging yet angelic artists. Their use of traditional instrument to create symphonies and their sense of great strength in their voices make each of their pieces of music great and, to some extent, very catchy as well. This traditional tone and sound of old Arabic music is what fortifies the art of belly dancing to involve each and every movement to be synchronized with every hit on the raq and darabuka, making it a unique dance form and a very musically-based one as well.
A great piece of music that resembles the traditional sounds of original Arabic music would be this piece by Sabah Fakhri of Syria. His Mawal Layali is intense in sound, catchy in tonal patterns and very strong in performance.
With great reverence, the original foundation of this music is still ingrained into the modernized Arabic music of the 21st century.
The modern artists of Arabic music, have come to receive greater influence from the West (Europe and the US) in their music. Genres of American and European music, such at R&B, Reggae, Hip Hop, and Rock can now be greatly found in many new compositions of many new, and even, old artists. The mix of antique vocals and modernized musical genres have actually made great songs!
Some of the many artists that keep to tradition, yet still produce good modern hits, are Nancy Ajram of Lebanon, Haifa Wehbe of Lebanon, Amr Diab of Egypt, and Cheb Khaled of Algeria. one of my more favorite artists, that is more modern nowadays and is VERY popular, is the beautiful Asalah Nasri of Syria. Beautiful, almost royal looking, and one of the greatest voices in modern Arabic music. (See more about her below.)
An example of the conservatism of the traditional tone of Arabic music is found in the song Sheil Ayounik Anni by Nancy Ajram
As you can see, there is a slight modernization from the clothing they are wearing, considering the video was made earlier this decade, but the wonderful tones of the olden styles of Arabic music are still heavily prominent.
A song that shows the modernization of music, style and look is a song by Haifa Wehbe called Mosh Adra Astana.
This is modern in almost every way, though there is a use of the darabuka prominent in the general beat of the song!
One final example, that shows a general mix, is by my habibi, or beloved, Asalah Nasri. As you’ll notice in her live performance of the song Tawek ‘Ala Bali, she is abiding to the concepts of contemporary Arabic music, using her strong vocals throughout the song, but at the same time, pulling off wearing a very modern dress.
Along with the music, as many people will notice, the world of fashion and established culture has changed in such a way that it may appear very different, but like the music, is heavily conservative.
Well, until next time everyone, where I’ll bring you more information about the world around me and the world around you!! :D
Have a wonderful Wednesday!