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Author: Subject: Seeking Trad Arabic Christian Song with "Catchy" Melody
John Erlich
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[*] posted on 3-31-2017 at 11:32 AM
Seeking Trad Arabic Christian Song with "Catchy" Melody


Greeting Fellow Udis,

I have an interfaith Ramadan Iftar gig in a church (upcoming in June), and am looking for a good Arabic (or Syriac or Coptic) Christian song in traditional style that I can learn to play and sing.

I have a score and lyrics for this modern Egyptian Coptic song in Arabic, "Ya Sayyidi Kan Kana Qasiyan," played and sung by my Ustad, Naser Musa - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhQBkviaxHc .

I still think there must be something more traditional out there that I could learn.

I have the Jewish and Muslim/Sufi material covered, but since I'm going to be performing in a church, it would be nice to have at least one Eastern Christian song.

I have been told that there is a Coptic song about Jacob wrestling the Angel that uses the same melody as "Ala Balad el Mahbub," which I can't find anything more about. This would be perfect, since I already know the melody well, and can sing a Hebrew Psalm to that melody too. Anyone know anything about it?

Peace and Alf Shukran,
"Udi" John
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SamirCanada
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[*] posted on 3-31-2017 at 05:21 PM


Fairuz
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrKPP4FU8fE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hduXnCao4I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLKP0SA4AjM

Abeer Nehme

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5lo4o1FbZI&list=RD_5lo4o1FbZI#t...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOKmImLYuGs




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John Erlich
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[*] posted on 4-3-2017 at 10:19 PM


Quote: Originally posted by SamirCanada  
Fairuz
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrKPP4FU8fE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hduXnCao4I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLKP0SA4AjM

Abeer Nehme

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5lo4o1FbZI&list=RD_5lo4o1FbZI#t...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOKmImLYuGs

Thanks, Samir! I'll check these out.
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Mike
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[*] posted on 4-4-2017 at 12:53 PM


It's going to be a little after Easter, but this is one of my favorites John...and super catchy.
It's starts in Arabic then Fairouz sings the refrain in Greek. Lots of nice back and forth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3xNRiuruPc




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[*] posted on 4-4-2017 at 05:24 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Mike  
It's going to be a little after Easter, but this is one of my favorites John...and super catchy.
It's starts in Arabic then Fairouz sings the refrain in Greek. Lots of nice back and forth.

[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3xNRiuruPc
[/url]
Thanks SuperMike! Sounds a LOT more difficult than the modern Coptic song I already have. But are these the Arabic lyrics - http://st-takla.org/Lyrics-Spiritual-Songs/01-Coptic-Taraneem-Kalem... ?

Peace out,
"Udi" John
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Jack_Campin
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[*] posted on 4-5-2017 at 02:49 PM


Sister Marie Keyrouz has recorded a lot of material from several different Christian traditions - dunno how widely any of them are sung by others. They should be easy to find.



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[*] posted on 4-5-2017 at 10:40 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Jack_Campin  
Sister Marie Keyrouz has recorded a lot of material from several different Christian traditions - dunno how widely any of them are sung by others. They should be easy to find.

I have 3 of her CDs. Great stuff, but not exactly catchy melodies, and not easy for a backup singer like me to sing! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUbKFiZ-ZyU

Thanks,
"Udi" John
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[*] posted on 4-22-2017 at 09:28 PM


I think I finally found a "winner." It's called "Ya Maryam El Bekr" (approx.=) I found this score of Humam Eid's Facebook page. I found Arabic text and several recordings on YouTube.

Here is the score: https://www.facebook.com/arabicmusicnotes/photos/a.711765852208045.1...

Here are the lyrics in Arabic: http://st-takla.org/Lyrics-Spiritual-Songs/09-Coptic-Taraneem-Kalem...

Recording by Fairouz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KakkVScT58o

Another recording (a capella): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYEbFdtoaMQ

Recording w/qanoun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TlM7zXiLoo

Peace out,
"Udi" John
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[*] posted on 5-5-2017 at 04:01 PM


I found another possibility, thanks to our old friend, Wassim Njeim: http://www.arabicmusicalscores.com/piece/wa-habibi-%D9%88%D8%A7-%D8...
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[*] posted on 5-5-2017 at 09:49 PM


Hey hey Johnny...missed your response earlier bud. Sorry for the late reply.

Yes, those are the lyrics you posted above. In the Coptic church, we have two ways we chant this Greek hymn. Actually, there is a Coptic version as well with the lyrics chanted in the Coptic Language. The two Greek versions we chant are differentiated basically by a more melismatic version, and the second one more straightforward that is not as long.

Melismatic Version
Shorter Version
Hymn chanted in Coptic


To me the catchiest version is the Fairouz one. :-)

By the way, Ibrahim Ayad is the main cantor at the Big Cathedral in Cairo. He is the one chanting the melismatic version above. His son, Anton, is the one singing the a-capella version of Ya Maryam el Bekr that you posted. That was when he was probably 8 or 9 years old. He is now a grown man, and is usually right next to his dad during major feasts and liturgies at St. Mark's Cathedral. He is a very talented cantor as well.

Wa Habibi is a beautiful song, but it is more melancholic, don't you think? It is a Good Friday song about the Crucifixion.




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[*] posted on 5-6-2017 at 10:07 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Mike  
Hey hey Johnny...missed your response earlier bud. Sorry for the late reply.

Yes, those are the lyrics you posted above. In the Coptic church, we have two ways we chant this Greek hymn. Actually, there is a Coptic version as well with the lyrics chanted in the Coptic Language. The two Greek versions we chant are differentiated basically by a more melismatic version, and the second one more straightforward that is not as long.

Melismatic Version
Shorter Version
Hymn chanted in Coptic


To me the catchiest version is the Fairouz one. :-)

By the way, Ibrahim Ayad is the main cantor at the Big Cathedral in Cairo. He is the one chanting the melismatic version above. His son, Anton, is the one singing the a-capella version of Ya Maryam el Bekr that you posted. That was when he was probably 8 or 9 years old. He is now a grown man, and is usually right next to his dad during major feasts and liturgies at St. Mark's Cathedral. He is a very talented cantor as well.

Wa Habibi is a beautiful song, but it is more melancholic, don't you think? It is a Good Friday song about the Crucifixion.

Hey Mike! Great to hear from you. My main criterion is something that I can learn fairly easily. The audience, I think, will be mostly English-speaking Protestant Christians and Turkish-speaking Muslims, so the exact text of an Arabic, Coptic or Syriac Eastern Christian song won't be as important as the fact of playing and singing at least one such song. The truth is, my time for learning an Eastern Christian chant is limited, between the bunch of Arabic belly dance songs I am learning with my Arabic band (Bayat Ensemble - https://www.facebook.com/BayatEnsemble/ ), and the big chunk of Hebrew prayers I need to master in time for my son's bar mitzvah in July.

You don't know anything about the Coptic song about Jacob wrestling with the Angel, which uses the tune of "Ala Balad El Mahbub"?

Peace out, bro!
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