About the session: A musical performance for tourists in the southern town of Ouarzazate. Though divorced from its celebratory context, this dance performance exhibits the polyrhythm and accelerating tempo typical of ahwash music. As noted by Alan Lomax, the dancing differs from the ahwash of Aguelmouss, and the music differs as well, particularly in its use of the darbaka (hand drum) in place of bendir (frame drum) and the presence of only one chorus. Lomax describes the scene: "At the palace in the courtyard for tourists (100 present). 75 or 80 women in long, colored, factory-made kaftans in a broken circle, close formation, surrounding 40 or 50 men kneeling, playing hand drums. The women divided into two groups singing lead and chorus. The songs accelerate gradually with two shifts of rhythms—two had male drummers play in a polyrhythm. The dancing differs from Aguelmouss where we recorded the night before. Alan Lomax's notes seem to indicate that the site of this performance was the former palace of T'Hami al-Glaoui (1879–1956), Pasha of Marrakech, formidable political rival of Sultan (post-independence King) Muhammad V, and descendent of the same Glaoua family whose musical traditions are documented throughout these recordings."
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