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Egypt: Taqâsîm & Layâlî - Cairo Tradition

Various Artists
Egypt: Taqâsîm & Layâlî - Cairo Tradition

The foundation of classical Arabic music are the maqâm, any one of various modal forms based on a great variety of scales, and the taqsim, a melodic, instrumental improvisation that “may serve as a musical introduction for a … maqâm, before a song begins, or … as a musical break during the middle of a song” (Scott Marcus, Music in Egypt: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture). In vocal music, such improvisation is called layālī. Among the tracks presented here are two extended performances of taqâsim and layālī in the same mode, selected to provide listeners an opportunity to compare the instrumental and vocal styles of improvisation.

The principal instruments employed in Egypt are the zither-like qanun, the oud, or lute (the word “lute” comes from the Arabic “al- 'ud”), and the nay, a vertical flute without a mouthpiece. All of them may be heard here. Liner notes in English and French accompany the recording.

Please enjoy a free download of the song “Darabukka solo”

Darabukka soloMP3 FLAC

This album is part of the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music. More than 125 albums are being released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to make the series publicly available again, including more than a dozen never-released albums of musical traditions from around the globe.

Track Listing

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Layâli^ & Mawwâl (maqâm Bayâtî) Ibrahim El-Haggar, Sami Nussair 15:02
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Taqsîm Bayâtî Wahbi Labib, Muhammad el-Arabi 5:23
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Samâ'î El-'Aryân The Takht Ensemble of Cairo 4:19
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Taqsîm Bayâtî Gomâa Muhammad Ali 13:39
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Taqsîm Farah-faza Sami Nussair, Muhammad el-Arabi 8:47
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Darabukka solo Muhammad El-Arabi 3:58