Note: Translation of the girl’s replies: (When Lomax asks her to speak Arabic) “What’s the news how are you? Uh, what do you want? What should I say… [indistinct] for the occasion of the Moulay Idriss Festival.” [When Lomax asks her age.] “I’m fifteen years old." [Tape fault] “…morning there will be some Hamadcha Aissaoua and Gnawa and Shiakh (?) …there will be a whole lot of people.”
About the session: Arabo-Andalucian music, recorded at the Moussem Moulay Idriss in Fes. In Morocco, a moussem (ar. season) is a festival held in honor of a locally revered Sufi holy man. This moussem commemorates Moulay Idriss, the ruler of the first independent Moroccan Islamic state as well as the founder of the city of Fes in 789 CE. Arabo-Andalucian music in Morocco (often called musiqa al-'ala, or "high music") is based on the musical traditions of al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) which were brought to North Africa byJewish and Muslim refugees expelled by the Christian Reconquista in the 15th Century. Arabo-Andalucian music is based on a modal system of orchestral suites called nubaat. Within the framework of the nuba there is considerable room for improvisation within the dominant musical mode. Lyrically, al-Andalus witnessed the development of new verse forms such as muwashahat and zajal in order to better fit poetic speech to song. Lomax notes: "A rectangle of 30 men, 6 violins, 2 cellos, 2 lutes, one kanoon [sic] (zither), one frame drum, 3 little drums—all men clap and sing. Sherifa, the woman in black, gives her high lonesome cry in the background."
Rights: The rights to the audio, photographic, and video materials contained within the Lomax Digital Archive are administered by various publishers, record labels, collectors, estates, and other rights holders. Any uses, commercial or not, must be cleared by the specific rights holders. For questions regarding the use of any material on the LDA, please contact Permissions.
Do you have something to add, or do you see an error in this record? We'd love to
hear from you.