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Author: Subject: Music from Lebanon and the Levant of the Arab Renaissance
ALAMI
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[*] posted on 7-4-2008 at 01:24 PM
Music from Lebanon and the Levant of the Arab Renaissance


The legacy of Mkh'l Mashshqa (1800-1888)

This one unusual and most interesting CD release.

Mkh'l Mashshqa composed around 1840 "Al Risala Al Shahabiyah Fi Al Sina'a Al Musiquia" ( The Epistle to Emir Bachir Shehab regarding the musical art).
This treatise is the first musicology book in the modern period.
He was the firstto classify maqams according to their fundemental notes. His treatise gathers also 95 "model-melodies" of the levantine musical tradition in the early 19th century.

The work of Mashaka was transcripted by Dr Nidaa Abou Mrad and performed by himself with the Arabic Classical Music Ensemble of the Antonine University.

This Cd is a first release covering the first 47 modes played by Nidaa Abou Mrad on violin and under his direction with Mustapha Said on oud and Maria Makhhoul on Qanun.

The track listing and maqams names are very interesting so I am copying the long list and attaching some tracks:

01. Nahaft al-Arab 3:13 / 02. Shadd Araban 1:06 / 03. Nahaft al-Atrak 1:35 / 04. Nawa or Yakkah 0:49 / 05. Al-Usayran 0:56 / 06. Ajam Ushayran 1:02 / 07. Muqabil Ushayran 0:51 / 08. Al-Iraq 0:51 / 09. Sultan Iraq 0:34 / 10. Iraq Zamzami 0:53 / 11. Mukhalif Iraq 0:15 / 12. Rahat Al-Arwah 1:13 / 13. Rahat Al-Arwah Rumi 0:34 / 14. Ramal 0:56 / 15. Rahat Shadhi 0:44 / 16. Ar-Rast 3:36 / 17. An-Nakriz 2:34 / 18. As-Sazkar As-Sahih 1:52 / 19. Al-Ma' Ranna' 0:35 / 20. Nishawurk 0:41 / 21. Banjkah 1:41 / 22. As-Sazkar Al-Mutaaraf 1:05 / 23. Hijazkar 1:50 / 24. Shawurk Masri 0:55 / 25. Dukah or Ushaq Al-Atrak 2:20 / 26. As-Saba Al-Marakib 2:35 / 27. Saba Humayun 2:51 / 28. Saba Jawish 2:27 / 29. An-Nadi 1:18 / 30. Bayyati Ajami 3:28 / 31. Bayyati Nawa 0:38 / 32. Bayyati Al-Husayni 4:13 / 33. Ash-Shuri Al-Bayyati 0:32 / 34. Dhury Bayyati 1:28 / 35. Al-Yazid Kand or Zir Fakand 1:45 / 36. Al-Husayni 2:46 / 37. Husnik 1:02 / 38. Al-Busalik or Al-Ushaq 1:12 / 39. Hisar Busalik 0:44 / 40. Al-Hisar 0:16 / 41. Ash-Shahnaz 0:50 / 42. Shahnaz Busalik 0:27 / 43. Kurdi Husayni 0:23 / 44. Az-Zarfakand 1:12 / 45. Najdi Al-Husayni 1:24 / 46. Saba Al-Husayni 0:42 / 47. Ash-Shuruqi 0:49
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ALAMI
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[*] posted on 7-4-2008 at 02:34 PM


The CD cover
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ALAMI
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[*] posted on 7-4-2008 at 02:55 PM


it seems that there are 3 "Flavors" of Saba:

A-s-Sab Al-Markib
Sab Humayn
Sab Jwsh
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DaveH
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[*] posted on 7-5-2008 at 03:02 AM


Thanks so much for posting this Alami. Any idea where this is available? From the sample, it sounds like Lebanon has produced another great modern rendition in a the classic tradition. Is this perhaps a second Arab renaissance in the making?
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[*] posted on 7-7-2008 at 09:36 AM


The CD is supposed to be available directly from the label at a good price, I am saying "supposed" because they announced that they are going to sell online starting the first of july but it is still not working:

http://www.incognito.com.lb/store/category/Classical+Oriental%2COri...

another interesting lebanese label (online shopping seems to be working):
http://www.forwardmusic.net/ShopOnline/SubPageCd.php?catId=1&te...

Try browsing around in those 2 sites and you'll see that a lot of oriental artists are trying many things. A lot of Oriental Jazz (mostly crap) but with some very pleasant exceptions, a great palestinian camp rap group and a classical pianist attempting Muwashahat and many other stuff

Is it a second renaissance ? I am not so sure.
The good thing is that many are asking radical questions about Arabic music and there is a serious trend towards reconsidering the music of the "Pre-1932 Cairo conference".
Many Academics, musicians and artists are now openly criticizing
the "Modern School" of Abdel Wahab - Sunbati - Farid and they consider that the true renaissance was done by Abdo El Hamouli and Mohammad Osman (they both died around 1901) and that their legacy was somehow "killed" by the Cairo conference when their work was presented as "traditional" opposed to "modern".
The traditional etiquette transformed a living musical school based on improvisation, where a large part was left to the talent of the singer, into rigid songs sung by choirs like the dreadful Arab Music Ensemble of Abdel Halim Noueira or the Um Koulthum choir (which has nothing to do with Um Koulthum) and all songs were adapted into the "Modern" equal tempers.

Many are now requestioning all this and may be the questions themselves being asked can be a sign of renaissance..
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[*] posted on 7-7-2008 at 12:39 PM


Thanks for the links Alami. I've seen Forward Music before and I really like the site - have to go back and follow it up.

You obviously know a lot more about this than me, but I also had the impression that the modernising tendency that was so strong in the early 20thC (and the 1932 conference in particular) might have caused a lot of the malaise that people round here keep worrying about. It may particularly have given rise to this false dichotomy between modern and traditional. I remember reading that a lot of the tension was between Western & Arabic ethnomusicologists - the Westerners wanting to 'fossilise' and preserve the old music (we'd call them orientalists nowadays), the Orientals wanting to modernise and borrow from the West. The orientals won out, but a living school based on improvisation, as you put it, can do neither of these exclusively.
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[*] posted on 12-21-2009 at 10:21 AM


Thanks for the link ALAMI,

I bought the CD from ICOGNITO, and I'm listening to it right now :applause: Great to hear what I read ! But what I know about Mashshqa doesn't come directly from his work, I know Isis Fathallah reedited in Arab in 1996 and Ronzevalle gave a French translation in 1913 and Eli Smith an English one in 1849. I can't read Arabic : Where could I find the English or French translation ? Any idea ? I used Google without so much success...
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[*] posted on 12-25-2009 at 01:18 AM


Glad you liked the CD. I was trying to get in contact with Nidaa Abu Mrad to see if I can get the notations for these interesting maqams, sorry I have no idea regarding the translations of Mashaqaa, may be through some academic channel with the Atonine University or L'Universite Saint Esprit - Kaslik (USEK) those 2 universities have the most active music departments.

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[*] posted on 12-25-2009 at 01:37 AM


BTW I got recently a new double CD by Al Kindi Ensemble: Parfums Ottomans (Ottoman Fragrances) and was surprised to discover that the booklet has the full notations for many pieces and samaiis inside, a nice added value.
more infos :

http://www.alkindi.org/anglais/repertoire_us/repertoire_arabo-turqu...
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[*] posted on 12-25-2009 at 11:34 AM


Quote: Originally posted by ALAMI  
I was trying to get in contact with Nidaa Abu Mrad to see if I can get the notations for these interesting maqams


Hello ALAMI,

In fact you're looking for the same thing like me : Mashshqa wrote 95 short "model-melodies", the maqam in its old meaning, before scales... Nidaa Abu Mrad just illustrates it in music !

For example :

"For maqam Rast, Mashaqah writes :

It sounds the not Rast, then Dukah and in this fashion ascends to Nawa, then it returns to Rast, then strikes Yakah and stops on Rast. (1913:90)"

So really different from : C D E-b- F G A B-b- c !

I'll check out if I can join the Atonine University or L'Universit Saint Esprit.

Thanks for your feedback on Al Kindi, I always enjoy their work :)

Edit :

Might have a misunderstanding about "notation", do you mean the scales of the maqamat or the transcriptions of the different pieces ?
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David.B
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[*] posted on 12-25-2009 at 01:26 PM


Quote: Originally posted by ALAMI  
He was the firstto classify maqams according to their fundemental notes. His treatise gathers also 95 "model-melodies" of the levantine musical tradition in the early 19th century.

The work of Mashaka was transcripted by Dr Nidaa Abou Mrad and performed by himself with the Arabic Classical Music Ensemble of the Antonine University.

This Cd is a first release covering the first 47 modes played by Nidaa Abou Mrad on violin and under his direction with Mustapha Said on oud and Maria Makhhoul on Qanun.


Of course you know what I wrote... So you're talking about the transcriptions. Sorry I forgot the whole thread before I answered.
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David.B
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[*] posted on 6-11-2010 at 09:20 AM


"Vol. 1" is written on the Cd. Does anyone know about a "Vol. 2" ?

If you're looking for the treatise quoted above :

http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=10782

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