In the Mood for the Nouba

Beihdja Rahal

The performance of the M’djanba and Mazmûm noubas presented here on this double CD requires warmth, both of soul and of feeling. The crystal-clear tones of Beihdja Rahal ring out in her radiant interpretation of these classical pieces from the Andalusian-Algerian repertoire. This genre is also accompanied by traditional instruments such as the târ (percussion), the darbûka or goblet drum, the lute, the violin, the kwîtra (stringed instrument) and the qânûn (zither) and demands total respect of its rules, its harmony, rhythms and melody. The recording as a whole offers the listener an intense emotional experience.


Part 01 – Nouba M’djanba
1- Inqilâb Zidân : Ahabba qalbî/My Heart Has Been Captured – 4’26
2- M’saddar : Qum yâ habîbî/Awake, My Love – 9’37
3- Btayhî Law kân al-milâh yansifû/Ah! If Only Fair Women Were Just – 10’06
4- Istikhbâr Zidân : Nadharî ilâ wadjhi l-habîb/I Gaze upon the Face of My Beloved – 5’46
5- Darj Sâltak yâ badîc al-shabâb/Youth of Peerless Beauty – 7’55
6- Insirâf Mâ-lî shamûl/What Sorrow and Woe – 10’35
7- Insirâf : Sabat qalbî/She Has Bewitched My Heart – 3’27
8- Insirâf : Dir al-qatîc/Pass on the Goblets – 5’01
9- Khlâs :Yâ turâ in kân tacûd/Ah! If They Would Only Return – 6’28
10- Qâdriyya : Hâdjib maca khûh/Linking Brow to Brow – 2’26

Part 02 – Nouba Mazmûm
Inqilâb : Mâ ‘whash nahâr as-safar/How Sad I Was on the Day of Your Departure – 5’18
2- M’saddar : Anâ cîshqatî fî sultân/I Am Enamoured of the Sultan – 17’00
3- Btayhî 1 : Afnânî dal hubbu raghma/This Love Has Crushed Me – 5’12
4- Btayhî 2 : Atânî rasûl/A Messenger Was Sent to Me – 17’21
5- Istikhbâr : Qadîbun min ar-rayhani/Like a Star – 4’32
6- Darj : Yâ nâ’imîn lâ tarkudû/You Who Sleep, Awake – 5’02
7- Insirâf 1 : Dir yâ nadîm kâss al-cuqâr/My Companion, Prepare a Goblet of Wine – 5’30
8- Insirâf 2 : Zâda l-hubbu wajdî/Passion Has Increased My Feelings – 4’33
9- Insirâf 3 : Hal dâra dhabiu l-himâ/The Gazelle Who Dwells Here – 4’52
10- Insirâf 4 : Qad bashsharat bi qudûmikum/The Morning Breeze Announced Your Arrival – 4’18
11- Khlâs 1 : Yâ rûhî, yâ rihânî/You Have Taken Hold of My Heart – 2’15
12- Khlâs 2 : Yâ muqâbil/Friends, I Am Losing Patience – 3’10

Interpreters and instruments

Nadji Hamma (oud)
Mohamed El Amine Belouni (oud)
Tarik Hamouche (kouitra, Kanoun)
Youcef Nouar (mandolin)
Djamel Kebladj (alto)
Lyès Boukoura (alto)
Sid Ahmed Khazradji (alto)
Abdelhalim Guermi (nây)
Belkacem Sisaber (târ)
Mourad Taleb (derbouka)
Amina Belouni (choir)
Meriem Boulahchiche (choir)
Bouabdellah Zerrouki (director)


“We have all heard this music in paradise,” wrote Mawlâna Jalâl ud-dîn Rûmî, “although water and clay have brought us doubt, something of this music always returns to haunt our memories.”

When an Arab musician takes up his lute or his rabâb[1] and improvises an istikhbâr or a mawwâl[2], he is performing a magical gesture that immediately links him to the world of the “higher spheres”. For the Sufis claim that our souls have already visited paradise and savoured divine melodies before our earthly concerns made us forget them.

The story of all music is therefore considered to be an unending quest on the part of musicians to rediscover the original heavenly tunes. Their efforts are no more than the desire to appropriate what our souls had already heard and known before being locked into an opaque physical form.

Even if the musician resorts to an instrument to accompany his song, Arab music would be unimaginable without the presence of the singer’s voice. It is the voice that allows the performer to pass on the emotion that has seized him. A rapport is established between the inspired messenger and the refined, yet demanding, listener whose soul hungers for subtle revelations. This is the true meaning of what is referred to as “majâlis al-uns”, the moments when a deep bond is created between those who sing and those who listen. Music, song and performers merge to form one in this “wihdat at-tarab”, a form of emotional empathy that genuine music-lovers desperately seek out at each concert they attend. The imam Abû Hâmîd al-Ghazâlî declared: “He who has not been moved by the sight of spring flowers and the sound of a lute has a corrupt soul for which no cure exists.”

The music awakens the soul by bringing it joy, but it also brings what might be called “spleen” or melancholy, which it evokes by reviving deeply buried memories and accumulated wounds. The suffering of love, the torments of separation and the pain of disappointed expectations resurface. In a similar fashion, we are reminded of the innocence of childhood and the illusions of adolescence. Then, as if by magic, the singer’s voice, the sound of the instruments and the words of the poem heal and dress the wounds and fill the listener’s soul with joy.

The audience will appreciate the music as much through its “personal history” as through the cultural references acquired in the social context from which it originates. And the theme which most provokes this feeling of deep nostalgia is that of the loss of a real or mythical paradise: alAndalus. Spain was a Muslim country for several centuries and when it was lost, its former inhabitants could never accept that their exclusion from their homeland was permanent and they believed for a long time that they would return. For this reason, the Andalusians passed on to succeeding generations the keys to their former homes left abandoned on the far shore. They also communicated their deep grief and their poignant songs of nostalgia. These tell of their attachment to a way of life that was a model of its time. They were famous for their passion for life and love and their thirst for the absolute during the centuries leading up to the fall of the last Muslim bastion: Granada. In spite of this tragedy, the Andalusian songs are as vibrant as the trees and rivers that they evoke. They are as real as the joys and sorrows of the men and women who inspired their authors.

The double album presented here by Beihdja Rahal bears out this point of view through the emotion it evokes in the listener. The sung poems speak of the joys of love:

“Awake my love, and listen to the nightingale
Pour out its song across the garden
Where all the flowers are assembled…”

However, they also reflect the suffering of the lover:

“My only drink are my sorrows and my woes
Mingled with the copious river of my tears.
By God! What tears he has wept
The lover tortured by his burning passion.”

In addition to well-known pieces of the Andalusian repertoire, the singer’s heart-rending voice has brought us some forgotten jewels. They were saved thanks to the generosity of Yacine Bensemmane who passed on to Beihdja Rahal the works that his father, a passionate music-lover had bequeathed to him; and also thanks to the determination of a singer herself – anxious to share with her audience both what she knows and what she continues to learn. Rabah Mezouane and the late, lamented Tarik Hamouche here offer two complementary but coherent portraits of the performer who has become a great name in the world of the Algerian nawba. The reader is given a clear picture of Beihdja Rahal’s career from her first lessons at the El-Biar conservatoire in Algiers.

Lastly, the analysis given of the two nawbât Mazmoum and M’djanba, complete with a full translation of the lyrics will provide valuable background information for non-Arab speakers. All the elements have thus been brought together in this double album – a performance of great quality and a wealth of detail contained in the accompanying booklet – to ensure an instructive and inspiring experience for the listener.

Saadane Benbabaali

Specialist in Arab-Andalusian Literature et Senior Lecturer at the University of Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle

The Art of the Nouba

Which artform other than the nouba can better express nostalgia, sorrow and disappointed love, but also hope reborn through the beauty of music?

Dating from the ninth century and the lost paradise of al-Andalus, the nouba, Andalusian song, was initially the work of one man: Ziryâb. His real name was Abû Al-Hassan cAlî ibn an-Nâfî and he was born in 789 in what is now Iraq and died in Cordoba in 857. An emancipated slave, this prodigy was threatened with death by the official musician at the court of Baghdad and fled to Cordoba in 822. Abderrahman II placed him under his protection and gave him the chance to express his talent. His music combined with Andalusian poetry, whose verse structure corresponded to the melodic variations characteristic of the nouba and gave the fullest possible expression to its favourite themes: a gentle way of life and courtly love.

From Andalusia, the nouba spread throughout the Maghreb and Mashriq, thanks to the musicians and intellectuals who travelled the length and breadth of the region. With the recapture of Andalusia by the Christians in the fifteenth century, the genre followed the movements of the population and absorbed a wealth of local influences. Thus, various schools sprang up, such as the gharnâtî in Tlemcen (which originated in Granada), the sancâ in Algiers (originally from Cordoba) and the mâlûf in Constantine (which came from Seville).

Subsequently, the art of the nouba achieved a set form, as the musicians sought to preserve the genre rather than trying to innovate. Many works were unfortunately lost. Others saw their modes merge and become indistinct. About half of the original noubas thus disappeared.

It was in the 1930s that a handful of enthusiasts revived the art of the nouba. The radio, recordings, then the television and now the Internet have permitted the preservation of this musical heritage on both shores of the Mediterranean.

The Structure of the Nouba

The word nouba means “to wait one’s turn” and it consists of “a series of vocal and instrumental pieces with melodic lines belonging to specific modes. The rhythms are of various speeds, each following on from the preceding piece with a gradual increase in tempo.” (Saadane Benbabaali and Beihdja Rahal, La plume, la voix et le plectre/The Pen, the Voice and the Plectrum, 2008).

Each nouba is based on the tabc mode, which usually gives it its name. In the Algerian school, there are twelve of them: dîl, m’djanba, h’sîn, raml al-mâya, raml, ghrîb, zîdân, rasd, mazmûm, sîka, rasd ad-dîl, mâya.

Legend has it that Ziryâb’s repertoire comprised 24 noubas, based on 24 modes, one for each hour of the day. However, even if certain noubas include references to dusk or daybreak, there is no concrete evidence to support this theory.

The original instruments included the lute (cûd) and its cousins (lute carbî, kwîtra), the qânûn (zither), the flute-nây and percussion: t’biblât and târ. Other instruments were added to the core grouping over time: the doumbek or goblet drum, violin, viola, mandolin, even the piano.

The structure of the nouba was very precise. Not all the noubas have retained each of their movements and some have had other elements or istikhbâr, added to them that fall within the realm of improvisation.

Each nouba begins with the m’shâliya, a hesitant, non-rhythmical, instrumental overture, ending with a final harmonious phrase, that leads into the tushiya.

The latter is still an instrumental passage, but with the addition of the percussion and it prefigures the tunes that will be sung in the sections that follow. The tempo gathers momentum to the point of trance before slowing down to prepare for the first vocal piece: the m’saddar.

Performed in duple time, austere and slow, the m’saddar is designed to display the voice of the soloist at its best; the instruments respond. The btayhî remains in the same metre, even if the tempo is freed from constraint. Then comes the kursî, or chair, a short instrumental bridging passage, linking up with the darj, whose rhythm accelerates, moving into triple time at the end of the sung verse.

The tushiya-t al-insirâfât gives the singers time to rest and prepares the audience for the second part of the nouba, performed in triple time. After a new kursî, come the last two sections: the insirâf and the khlâs. The music gradually speeds up, culminating in the khlâs, an invitation to the dance, before coming to an abrupt end. The tushiya-t al-kamâl closes the piece, but may lead on into the following nouba.

Jessie Magana
Translated by Reena Khandpur

The Recordings

CD n° 1 – The Nouba M’djanba

The nouba m’djanba, which means “forelimb” or “flank” is the piece that is performed at the moment just after dawn, when the sun begins to rise on the southern side of the sky. The text of this sung poem evokes nature lit up by the first rays of daylight: the flowers are in bloom and each feature of the landscape offers the marvellous spectacle of life awakened. Humanity is caught up in its activities and human feelings respond harmoniously to their surroundings. Nature is revived and all beings feel the need to live and place all their energy in work and joy. The poet also awakens, but when confronted with the brightness of the sun casting its rays across the countryside in bloom, he feels the memory of radiant love come back to him and suddenly wishes to remind the woman who provoked these feelings of the delightful moments that they have spent together.

The nouba m’djanba opens with a m’saddar as it has lost its original tushiya. The sheer amplitude of the day that is dawning immediately becomes apparent. It is only just the start and hope is great, for, as Baudelaire said: “Everything is order and beauty, luxury, peace and sensual delight.”

In such a context, with such lush vegetation, such radiant sunlight and such a gentle climate, emotional outpourings seem only too appropriate and encourage the poet to express what he feels for the woman he has awakened. The sensual atmosphere inspires him to declare his passion, but also to complain of her coldness and sulkiness.

The flame of passion burns so brightly that it blinds him and leads him to feel doubt and uncertainty. Bewitchment and passion let a thousand improbable echoes reverberate. The beautiful woman is present, smiling at him, but this does not reassure the poet, for the love he feels is so strong that it enslaves him, robbing him of the capacity to act or think clearly.

The darj, or ascent, translates this agitation into a lament that is both beseeching and pitiful. It expresses sorrow and melancholy and a despairing languidness, without hope. He is so sincere that the woman watching him is touched and to everyone’s astonishment the unhoped-for miracle takes place.

The final khlâs, transforms despair and through its beauty, restores the will to live. The poet can rejoice fully knowing that he is loved by the queen of his heart.

The nouba evokes a gradual awakening, a consciousness that reminds us that whatever the circumstances, where there is life, there is hope.

Beihdja Rahal, adapted from the original text by Ahmed Sefta, “Etudes sur la musique algérienne/Studies in Algerian Music”, ENAL, 1988.

1- Inqilâb Zidân : Ahabba qalbî/My Heart Has Been Captured – 4’26

My heart has been captured by a Turkish gazelle,
Her cheek, the colour of roses, has the scent of musk;
Her eyes are made for laughter and mine for tears.
Her gaze has stirred up the fires of my passion.
And then I spoke to her: O, my dark-eyed gazelle
Be generous and from your lips, let me drink
Let me admire your pearl-like teeth.
She yielded like a sapling
Then looked at me and pushed me away
Thus those bright eyes brought about my demise.
Gently, my gazelle, I said, your eyes have enslaved me.
You are a queen amongst women, so take care of your subjects.

2- M’saddar : Qum yâ habîbî/Awake, My Love – 9’37

Awake, my love, and listen to the nightingale
Pour out its song across the garden
Where all the flowers are assembled;
The lily and the gillyflower have enlaced the marsh mallow
And the dog rose struts amongst the foliage;
Dawn is breaking and casts its rays across the horizon.

3- Btayhî : Law kân al-milâh yansifû/Ah! If Only Fair Women Were Just – 10’06

Ah! If only fair women were just
And took pity on a lovelorn soul, like mine
Then they would know what I have endured
Because of the love I bear them.
Bring on the goblets of wine,
And let me drink the juice of the vine!
No reproaches for this goblet I hold
And for the wine shared as the evening ends.

4- Istikhbâr Zidân : Nadharî ilâ wadjhi l-habîb/I Gaze upon the Face of My Beloved – 5’46

I gaze upon the face of my beloved with tenderness,
And being separated from him brings such suffering.
Never had I any pity for lovers before this,
And here I am today, in love, and worthy of compassion.

5- Darj : Sâltak yâ badîc al-shabâb/Youth of Peerless Beauty – 7’55

Tell me, youth of peerless beauty
Why are you so cruel?
To be abandoned is suffering indeed
After love and hope.
So stop rebuking me
And come and renew our vows of fidelity.
The past is over and done
Today we sign a truce.
What joy! the beloved of my heart consents,
Light of my eyes, you are the moon ushering in bliss.

6- Insirâf : Mâ-lî shamûl/What Sorrow and Woe – 10’35

My only drink are my sorrows and my woes
Mingled with the copious river of my tears.
By God! What tears he has wept
The lover tortured by his burning passion.
A gazelle has brought about his downfall.
Poor victim, a lance has pierced him to the quick.
He who between hope and despair
Has passed from life to death.

7- Insirâf : Sabat qalbî/She Has Bewitched My Heart – 3’27

O my friends, she has bewitched my heart
The lady who shines like the sun and surpasses all other gazelles
Today, fate is subjecting me to the torments of doubt.
Ah! If only I had never known love nor passion.
She is the bearer of light and radiance, but also absence
My beloved revels in everything that befalls her.
Touching her indifferent heart is such a hard task.
To suspicion, I prefer death;
Now victor, now vanquished,
My heart is tormented and beyond consolation.

8- Insirâf : Dir al-qatîc/Pass on the Goblets – 5’01

Pass on the goblets and serve my sweet gazelle, light of all hearts
While the sun sinks in the west;
Serve us some wine
As the sun of our being reddens

And leads us gently towards the night.
Serve all the guests and take a drink yourself
While the sun sinks in the west.
Drink to the light of the star,
Nestling amongst the cluster of tall trees
This is spring, the joyful season that revives hearts;
We have shared wine
While the sun was sinking in the west.

9- Khlâs :Yâ turâ in kân tacûd/Ah! If They Would Only Return – 6’28

Ah! If the joyful days would only return
And if we could again be one;
We would revel in past delight
And the seven verses twice invoked would be amongst us.
The tambourine, the lute, the rabâb and the flute
Would keep us company
As would the guitar and the lady drink, daughter of the earthenware jar.

10- Qâdriyya : Hâdjib maca khûh/Linking Brow to Brow – 2’26

Linking brow to brow,
She has covered her eyes with beauty.
Love is kept locked within the heart
But it burns my breast with its blazing coals.
Her eyes have a spell entrapped within them
And as for her body, may God keep it safe!

CD n° 2 – The Nouba Mazmûm

The mazmûm mode is one of the most typical features of Andalusian music. Performed in the key of ‘F’, it corresponds, according to Jules Rouanet in his study of Arab music, to the lydian scale and thus to the modern major mode. For this reason, it has frequently been used in experiments in harmony on sancâ music.

In this recording, Beihdja Rahal revisits the nouba mazmûm, a mode that she first performed in Paris in 1997 in Paris for her second recording, with as the ultimate offering, her interpretation of the famous m’saddarYâ mân saken sadrî/O you who dwell in my heart”.

Ranked ninth in the list drawn up by Edmond Nathan Yafil in his collection of sancâ poems published in 1904, the nouba mazmûm is today considered to be one of the most limited in terms of the number of pieces on offer. It is true that this nouba provides material for just a single programme. For this reason, past performers tended almost systematically to weigh down the Algiers nouba with pieces belonging to related traditions, for example the Tlemcen repertoire, which is more or less compatible, but also with that of Constantine or even of Morocco, which provided an unending series of khlâs.

Generous, spontaneous and determined, Yacine Bensemmane, son of the late lamented Hadj Omar Bensemmane, passed on the pieces that comprise this programme – some of which were considered to be lost forever – to Beihdja Rahal, in the space of a few meetings.

In this recording, Beihdja Rahal wishes to pay a modest tribute to the extraordinary achievements of Hadj Omar Bensemmane and to express her sincere thanks to the members of the Bensemmane family, and in particular to Yacine for his devotion and for being the faithful guardian of his father’s repertoire.

Tarik Hamouche

1- Inqilâb : Mâ ‘whash nahar as-safar/How Sad I Was on the Day of Your Departure – 5’18

How sad I was on the day of his departure!
When he left and bid us farewell.
How long will the beauty of the moon be absent?
When I speak of love, my sorrow increases.

No soon does he return than once again he sets off.
O my heart, you are to be pitied, but be patient!
He will certainly return.
How long will the beauty of the moon be absent?
By God, my dove, carry this message,
Be sure to send my love my greetings,
Tell him that he has left his subject wandering and exhausted
With waiting on the road home.
How can he enjoy life in such a fashion?
How long will the beauty of the moon be absent?

2- M’saddar : Anâ cîshqatî fî sultân/I Am Enamoured of the Sultan – 17’00

I am enamoured of the sultan who scorns me.
He dwells in Tlemcen, God has sent him far away from me.

Why, beautiful creature, do you look daggers at me?
Your sky blue eyes have bewitched me.
Your swaying walk has unsettled my mind,
You have filled my heart with doubt.
Glory to God, who has created you to bring me suffering,
You, with the waist of a lily stem.
If only you would deign to hold me in your arms,
I would be a stranger to all worry and sorrow.
Amongst all these gentle faces, it is the sultan’s that I love.
And pressed against his cheek, I am intoxicated.

3- Btayhî 1 : Afnânî dal hubbu raghma/This Love Has Crushed Me – 5’12

This love has crushed me and our separation has struck me down.
If you wish to judge me, then let your judgement be merciful.
For he who kills an innocent soul will burn in the flames of hell.
Why do my enemies persecute me? I have wandered too far.
For in this state of love, I feel like Layla’s madman.

4- Btayhî 2 : Atânî rasûl/A Messenger Was Sent to Me – 17’21

A messenger was sent to by the one I love.
His approving glance filled me with joy as he announced his return.
My heart endures and my tears stream down.
When my fair lady visited me,
She took pity on me and asked my forgiveness.
She cried out in my presence and beat her wings.
She took me in her arms and I had all I yearned for…

5- Istikhbâr : Qadîbun min ar-rayhani/Like a Star – 4’32

Like a stem of basil erect beneath the moon
Her eyes filled with magic, her cheeks flushed
Her words burst forth like a scattering of pearls,
Her sweet saliva has the taste of liqueur.

6- Darj : Yâ nâ’imîn lâ tarkudû/You Who Sleep, Awake – 5’02

You who sleep, awake!
Let us drink and feast over and over again.
You who sleep, let us exchange goblets, for it is dawn.
When the light of day appeared,
And threw its veil over the branches,
My heart took pity on me.
You who sleep, let us exchange goblets, for it is dawn.

7- Insirâf 1 : Dir yâ nadîm kâss al-cuqâr/My Companion, Prepare a Goblet of Wine – 5’30

My companion, prepare a goblet of scented red wine.
Congratulate me! For yesterday, my star came to visit me.
Yesterday, my sweet gazelle came to see me,
She had turned away from me and now she has filled my heart with joy.

And I hastened to taste the honey,
I plucked flowers of every hue.
Congratulate me! For yesterday, my star came to visit me.
Yesterday, my beloved came to see me and soothed my sorrow.
He slept close to me and put out the fires of my wretched heart.
O my guardian, thus you die, for luck has smiled on me,
I can be but overwhelmed, O my friends.
Congratulate me! For yesterday, my star came to visit me.

8- Insirâf 2 : Zâda l-hubbu wajdî/Passion Has Increased My Feelings – 4’33

Passion has increased my feelings,
And I cannot put out my fire.
I was master of my heart,
And I warned it against love.
And then with my own hands, I gave my heart
To the one who crushed it.
I can wait no longer and I long for your embrace,
Like a blind bird, who escapes from a trap only to return.
If God took pity on me, I would no longer give in,
And I swear by God no longer to love the one who despises me.

I repent, O my God.
My heart and my eyes have tricked me,
My secret was revealed to those who knew nothing of it,
Like a blind bird, who escapes from a trap only to return.

9- Insirâf 3 : Hal dâra dhabiyu l-himâ/The Gazelle Who Dwells Here – 4’52

The gazelle who dwells here, does she know she has inflamed
A loving heart by drawing it away from home?

It beats with ardour like an ember teased by the wind.
O stars that light up the day of our separation
Like the first glimmer of dawn.
I have committed no sin through love,
Unless it be through my eyes, feasting on your beauty,
Wounded, deprived of pleasure,
I can draw close to my beloved in thought alone.
My laments provoke only a smile,
Like the rain that casts a pall over a meadow,
While giving it a new lease of life.

10- Insirâf 4 : Qad bashsharat bi qudûmikum/The Morning Breeze Announced Your Arrival – 4’18

The morning breeze announced your arrival,
Welcome to you, o visitors!
Our souls have sensed the perfume of our meeting,
How wonderful it is to hear the songs that celebrate our reunion!

11- Khlâs 1 : Yâ rûhî, yâ rihânî/You Have Taken Hold of My Heart – 2’15

O my soul, you have taken hold of my heart,
You with the beautiful crimson cheeks.
I pray that God may preserve your grace,
You are my Sultan and I am your subject.
You are the prince with the radiant face,
You are charm, you are elegance.
We are together, the rest is of little importance.

12- Khlâs 2 : Yâ muqâbil/Friends, I Am Losing Patience – 3’10

Friends, I am losing patience, but my passion endures.
He, whom I love, takes revenge on me for no reason,
He no longer thinks of me.
May God reunite me with the one I cherish,
Then will I scoff at my guardian.
What joy, luck is smiling on me,
My love is sitting by my side.
I will give a feast in his honour,
While my enemies remain outside.

[1] The rabâb is the symbol of Arab-Andalusian music. It is a bowed instrument with one or two strings. The body of the instrument is a hollow wooden bowl. A very curved bow is used to sound the strings. It is only heard nowadays in the Maghreb as part of a classical music ensemble, as, unfortunately, there is a tendency to replace it with the more high-pitched violin. Its range corresponds to the tenor register and its highly distinctive sound makes it the instrument that is closest to the human voice.
[2] Technical terms used in Algeria and Morocco to describe musical and instrumental improvisation without the accompaniment of percussion. The istikhbâr and the mawwâl provide the singer with the possibility to display his/her musical inventiveness and imagination.

  • Reference : 321.079.080
  • Ean : 794 881 832 125
  • Main artist : Beihdja Rahal
  • Year of recording : 2004
  • Year of publishing : 2010
  • Music style: Andalusian Nuba
  • Country : Algeria
  • City of recording : Algiers
  • Main language : Arabic
  • Composers : Traditional
  • Lyricists : Traditional
  • Copyright : Institut du Monde Arabe

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