Selectionnez une rubrique, un article ou un numéro du GUIDO
At-Tarab al-andaloussi or Arab-Andalusian music is more commonly called « Al-âla” which means the “enchantment prompted by Andalusian music”.
This not surprising at all when one knows that it was the musical expression of the very refined Hispano-Maghreb civilization that Morocco essentially inherited.
Arab music unquestionably influenced Spanish music (as we can still see in flamenco) but the opposite is also true as Gregorian chanting reminds us of the fact that the chanting of the first Andalusians was inspired from Christian singing.
Historians tell us that a very talented musician, Ali Ibn Nafi, better known as Ziryab, fled Baghdad and arrived at Harun Al-Rashid court in Cordoba in 822 where he introduced a new way of singing. This composer had a decisive influence on Andalusian music. He was a virtuoso with his lute and he had an encyclopaedic mind : he is supposed to have had a repertoire of 10 000 songs. The musical genre and mode of the old Nubas with their basic rhythmic pattern called “mizan” are still practiced today. In fact the Nuba is a succession of lyrics and music varying in tempo and generally preceded by a prelude called “Elkoursi or elkrissi”. Some movements are entirely musical as in the “Touchia”.
After a very successful period during the reign of the Almoravids (1061-1147), Arab-Andalusian music fell into disrepute completely under the Almohades (1147-1248) as they were very strict in their religion: singers were arrested and musical instruments destroyed. Andalusian music then was covered up behind canticles or “madihs” praising the Prophet.
When Granada fell in 1492, this music experienced a new expansion in Morocco where most of the refugees from Granada had settled and contributed to enrich it. What remained then was from the Seville school of music.
Arab-Andalusian music is part of the heritage of humanity as a first rate musical monument. With the Christian reconquest of Medieval Spain, Morocco inherited several musical trends which crystallized into two main schools: Fez School with two main traditions since the beginning of the 20th century. The El Brihi tradition was carried on with Abd El Karim Raïs and ends up with Mohammed Briouel who distinguishes himself by a high level of musical culture and poetry and by his chosen field of secular concerts and of representing the Royal Palace official music. The latter decidedly followed the new fashion of Arab orchestration in which the instruments of Western string quartets tended to stifle traditional tones.
At the beginning of the 20th century, schools were founded in Fes and Marrakech to spread the teaching of this music. For the first time symposia were held in order to study the means of protecting the Andalusian musical heritage.
It seems that the original characteristics of the Arab-Andalusian music were generally well kept especially in Morocco compared to other countries and it has remained a refined and scholarly art for Moroccan people.
The Moroccan Arab-Andalusian music, a synthesis of traditional Arab, Berber and Spanish music, differs widely from Eastern music. Constant efforts are being made to make it known, to spread it and to protect it in particular through numerous festivals in Morocco as well as in Europe.
The promotion of current practices especially the use of more modern instruments and new interpretations seems to contribute to the protection of this priceless heritage.
This music generally involves the following instruments; the Derbouka, the Tar, the Rebab, the Oud, the Nay (a flute), the Tabilate as well as more recent instruments like the mandolin, the alto, the violin or the cello.
The Daf or Bendir is a round satinwood instrument covered with camel or goatskin where two nylon or gut strings are attached inside in order to balance the vibrations. This instrument is used in all Arab music as well as in Sudan and in Mali but its size may vary; generally it is not included in Gnaoua music. The Bendir provides musical pieces with energy and ensures the complicity between all other instruments.