Classical Arabic Oud Player’s Repertoire (part 1)

1:02 pm Arabic Music, Music, Oud, Taqasim

In this long series of posts we will try to accomplish two goals:

1- Build a library of essential recordings that every oud player intending to know the Arabic repertoire and have an ear for the style.

2- Build a repertoire list of art pieces that every oud player needs to know. These pieces will reflect the variety of styles in the Arab world as well as reflect the basic set of oud techniques.

Please note that a large amount of subjectivity is involved in attempting to do such a thing. I welcome your comments, suggestions, and additions to the list.

Several web stores sell CDs and / or sell downloadable music. Choose your favorite stores or do a web search to find a store.

Listening Guide, Part 1: Egyptian Music

Umm Kulthoum (also spelled Om Kalthoum, Kulsoum, Kolsoum etc.)

Hundreds of songs are available for purchase all over the web. Many albums contain one song only because her songs can be very long. Any recording of Umm Kulthoum is worth buying (although some are more accessible to newcomers into Arabic music than others). By listening to Umm Kulthoum, you will be listening to the best Arabic performer in the twentieth century. Furthermore, the greatest composers in the twentieth century wrote their best works for Umm Kulthoum. A lot was written about her and you might want to consider reading a book on her life. In English you can check out Virginia Danielson’s biography of Umm Kulthoum “the voice of Egypt”, or the documentary narrated in English: “A voice like Egypt”.

Whatever recording of Umm Kulthoum you choose, they should reflect the variety of composers that composed for Umm Kulthoum. Here’s a list of songs with the names of the composers in parenthesis. Please notice that few web sites follow the standard transliteration system. Therefore, the spelling of names can vary slightly. Please notice this list is partial and reflects my own views of the most important works to know.

Madam Tihibb (Mohammad El-Qasbgi)

Raqq El-Habib (El-Qasabgi)

Inti Fakrani (El-Qasabgi)

Emta El-Hawa (Zakariyya Ahmad)

Elward Gamil (Zakariyya Ahmad)

Ghannili Shway Shway (Z. Ahmad)

El-Amal (Z. Ahmad)

Ana Fi Intizarak (Z. Ahmad)

Gaddedt Hobbak Leh (Riadh Al-Sunbati)

Al-Atlaal (Riadh Sunbati)

Lissah Fakir (R. Al-Sunbati)

Ansak Da Kalam (R. Al-Sunbati)

Hubb Eh (Baligh Hamdi)

Zalamna El-Hobb (Baligh Hamdi)

Baeed Annak (B. Hamdi)

Alf Leila Wa Leila (B. Hamdi)

Fat El-Maad (B. Hamdi)

El-Hobb Kulloh (B. Hamdi)

Amal Hayati (Mohamnad Abdel Wahab)

Fakkarouni (M. Abdel Wahab)

Inta Omri (M. Abdel Wahab)

Inta El-Hobb (M. Abdel Wahab)

Daret Al-Ayyam (M. Abdel Wahab)

Matsabbarnish -AKA Lissabr Hudoud- (Mohammad Al-Mougi)

Is’al Rohak (M. Al-Mougi)

Ya Msahharni (Sayyed Makkawi)

More Egyptian music tomorrow.


2 Responses
  1. nemo :

    Date: February 8, 2008 @ 11:52 am

    Suggestion: oud player & composer Dawood Hussnei

  2. Saed :

    Date: February 8, 2008 @ 1:54 pm

    Thank you for the suggestion.

    Yes, you are right. I have omitted a few including Dawood Hussni, M. Sabri Al-Nijridi, and Abu-ElIla Mohammad, mainly for difficulty of obtaining recordings.

    My suggested listening list for Umm Kulthoum songs by Daoud Housni (another common spelling) would include:
    - Sharraf Habib El-Qalb
    - El-Bou’d Allimni
    - Gannit Na’imi

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