Music of Algeria

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Algerian music is virtually synonymous with Raï among foreigners; the musical genre has achieved great popularity in France, Spain and other parts of Europe. For several centuries, Algerian music was dominated by styles inherited from Al-Andalus, eventually forming a unique North African twist on these poetic forms. Algerian music came to include suites called nuubaat (singular nuuba). Later derivatives include rabaab and hawzii.

Algeria Country in North Africa

Algeria, officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north of the country on the Mediterranean coast. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi), Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, the world's largest Arab country, and the largest in Africa. Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the west by Morocco, to the southwest by the Western Saharan territory, Mauritania, and Mali, to the southeast by Niger, and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea. The country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1,541 communes (counties). It has the highest human development index of all the non-island African countries.

Raï music genre originating in Algeria

Raï, sometimes written rai, is a form of Algerian folk music that dates back to the 1920s. Singers of Raï are called cheb as opposed to sheikh, the name given to Chaabi singers. The tradition arose in the city of Oran, primarily among the poor. Traditionally sung by men, by the end of the 20th century, female singers had become common. The lyrics of Raï have concerned social issues such as disease and the policing of European colonies that affected native populations.

Al-Andalus The territories of the Iberian Peninsula under Moorish rule between 711 and 1492

Al-Andalus, also known as Muslim Spain, Muslim Iberia, or Islamic Iberia, was a medieval Muslim territory and cultural domain that in its early period included most of Iberia, today's Portugal and Spain. At its greatest geographical extent, it occupied the northwest of the Iberian peninsula and a part of present-day southern France, Septimania, and for nearly a century extended its control from Fraxinet over the Alpine passes which connect Italy with the remainder of Western Europe. The name more generally describes the parts of the peninsula governed by Muslims at various times between 711 and 1492, though the boundaries changed constantly as the Christian Reconquista progressed, eventually shrinking to the south around modern-day Andalusia and then to the Emirate of Granada.

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Genres

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Traditional instruments.

Music in Algeria offers a rich diversity of genre: popular music (Chaabi), various genres of Andalusian classical music such as Sana'a, Gharnati music, Ma'luf, as well as classical Arabic, Bedouin, Berber music (Staifi, Raï, Kabyle, Shawi, Tuareg, Gnawa, etc.),

Chaabi is a traditional music of Algiers (Algeria), formalized by El Hadj M'Hamed El Anka.

Andalusian classical music Music genre

Andalusian classical music is a style of Arabic music found in different styles across the Maghreb and the Levant. It originated out of the music of Al-Andalus between the 9th and 15th centuries. Some of its poems were found to be composed by authors such as Al-Shushtari, Ibn al-Khatib and Al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad.

Gharnati refers to a variety of Algerian music originating in Al-Andalus. Its name is related, being derived from the Arabic name of the Spanish city of Granada.

Andalusian music is particularly well developed in Algeria, and is considered the most sophisticated by musical scholars - there exist three schools,the greatest number in the Maghreb region, and the performers invited to festivals across the Maghreb are usually of Algerian origin. Famous performers include Beihdja Rahal, Brahim Hadj Kacem, Nouri Koufi and Leila Borsali.

Haouzi music is another style of Algerian music. It took the melodies of Andulusian music and modernized them. Haouzi music is most often played at weddings and ceremonies.

Khaled known as Cheb Khaled, is considered as the King of Rai music, has achieved international fame, as Rai music is very popular in Algeria, Morocco France, Tunisia, Turkey, Libya, and Egypt. Staifi is a genre of music which began in Eu-eulma City, and is mostly played at weddings and celebrations, primarily featuring lyrics which symbolize purity and love.

Khaled (musician) International Arab singer

Khaled Hadj Ibrahim, better known by his mononym Khaled, is an Algerian musician, singer and songwriter born in Oran, Algeria. He began recording in his early teens under the name Cheb Khaled, and has become the most internationally famous Algerian singer in the Arab world and across many continents. His popularity has earned him the unofficial title "King of Raï". His most famous songs are "Didi", "Aïcha" and "C'est la vie" as well as "Alech Taadi", which was prominently featured in the film The Fifth Element.

Chaabi refers to a style of recent urban popular music,inherited from the older Andalusian repertoire, of which the best known performer was El Hajj Muhammad El Anka, considered to be the Grand Master of Andalusian classical music. True styles of folk music include hofii, a form of female vocal music, and zindalii, from Constantine.

Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional or "folk" music. Art music was historically disseminated through the performances of written music, although since the beginning of the recording industry, it is also disseminated through recordings. Traditional music forms such as early blues songs or hymns were passed along orally, or to smaller, local audiences.

Hofii is a form of female vocal folk music that is believed to have originated from Tlemcen, Algeria. It is known to have existed from the 14th-century, when it was mentioned by Ibn Khaldun in his work Muqaddimah. It is often sung to the accompaniment of a lute.

Zindalii is an Algerian musical genre. It is a type of folk music from the city of Constantine. As a type of music, recordings of zindalii are very rare.

Raï is a creative outlet to express love and romance; a mix between Western music and Bedouin music.

Ma'luf is a genre of Andalusian classical music from Constantine which has survived because of the efforts of the Tunisian government and a few private individuals. Malouf is still performed in public, especially at weddings and circumcision ceremonies, though recordings are relatively rare.

Ma'luf is a genre of art music in the Andalusian classical music tradition of Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia. It is of Iberian origin and was introduced to North Africa by Andalusian refugees. A detailed description of Ma'luf in Tunisia can be found under "Music of Tunisia".

Souad Massi Souad Massi 2012.jpg
Souad Massi

Important musicians

See: List of Algerian musicians

See also

Related Research Articles

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