Oriënt Express

sat 6 oct 2007 07:02 

The masters of Egypt (part 3.) 78 rpm recordings and Islamic singing.

In this episode we will be featuring the Golden Age pf classical music of Egypt. This period is known as Nahda and is between 1850 and 1900.
In this period music was executed by a small ensemble, the takht, of tècht. The tècht consists of soloists and a choir of 2-4 men accompanied by the qanun (a classic Arabic plank siter), the ‘ud (Arabic lute) and the riqq (rhythm instrument). Voca, and instrumental pieces are played in one go in a specific modus, this is also called a wasla. The wasla is named after the modus, for example pieces in the modus Bayyati is a Wasla Bayyati. There is a lot of room for improvisation inside the modus (maqam). Another special feature of this music is heterophonic.
In this episode of Oriënt Express we will listen to 78 rpm recordings of the masters of Egyptian singing in the beginning of the 20th century (between 1908-1912) of, among others, Yusuf Al-Manyyalawi, Salama Higazi and Sjeich Sayed El-Safty. 
On the occasion of the Islamic Lent the Ramadan, we will end this programme with two masters in Egyptan and Islamic singing: Sjeich Ali Mahmoud (1878-1946) and Sjeich Mohmmad Omran (1944-1994). In Egypt this singing is a school for improvisation in the Maqam tradition.