Fes II 9/67

September 27, 1967
Fez, Fès-Meknès, Morocco
Recordings of amdah nabawiya (praises of the Prophet) from the Moulay Idriss Festival (moussem) in Fes, featuring the folkloric orchestra directed by al-Haj Mohamed Bouzoubaa, a master of the malhun song form. Malhun (from the arabic "set to music") refers both to a strophic song form developed from classical Arabo-andalusian music and to the vernacular poetry from which the song's lyrics are drawn. There is a long tradition of poetry and song in Moroccan Spoken Arabic (darija) -one of its foremost proponents was Abderrahman al-Majdub (d. 1568), whose mystical couplets remain popular in Morocco. Malhun is thus the distinctly Moroccan, vernacular expression of the classical Arabo-andalusian patrimony. Alan Lomax notes: "The folklore orchestra of Radio Fes, 1 violin, 2 lutes, 6 or 7 hand-drums, 2 or 3 little hourglass drums, a brass rod and a brass [?]."