Music of Lebanon

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The music of Lebanon has a long history. Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, has long been known, especially in a period immediately following World War II, for its art and intellectualism. Several singers emerged in this period, among the most famous Fairuz, Sabah, Wadih El Safi, Nasri Shamseddine, Melhem Barakat, Salwa Katrib, Majida El Roumi, Ahmad Kaabour, Marcel Khalife, (activist folk singer and oud player), and Ziad Rahbany, who—in addition to being an engaged singer-songwriter and music composer—was also a popular playwright. Lydia Canaan was hailed by the media as the first rock star of the Middle East. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

Beirut City in Lebanon

Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. No recent population census has been conducted, but 2007 estimates ranged from slightly more than 1 million to 2.2 million as part of Greater Beirut. Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coast, Beirut is the country's largest and main seaport.

Lebanon Country in Western Asia

Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

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During the fifteen-year civil war, most of the Lebanese music stars moved to Cairo or Paris, with a large music scene in Beirut only returning after 1992. Modern pop stars include Najwa Karam, Diana Haddad, Nawal Al Zoghbi, Elissa, Ragheb Alama, Walid Toufic, Wael Kfoury, Fares Karam, Amal Hijazi, Nancy Ajram, Melhem Zein, Fadel Shaker, Assi El Helani, Myriam Fares, and Yara.

Lebanese Civil War Civil war

The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon, lasting from 1975 to 1990 and resulting in an estimated 120,000 fatalities. As of 2012, approximately 76,000 people remain displaced within Lebanon. There was also an exodus of almost one million people from Lebanon as a result of the war.

Cairo Capital and largest city of Egypt

Cairo is the capital of Egypt. The city's metropolitan area is one of the largest in Africa, the largest in the Middle East and 15th-largest in the world, and is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. Located near the Nile Delta, modern Cairo was founded in 969 AD by the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of ancient national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life, and is titled "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Cairo is considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification according to GaWC.

Template:Infobox settlementnicenice Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.

The annual Fête de la Musique, held in late June, brings the whole country out for organized and spontaneous underground concerts.

Fête de la Musique annual music celebration on 21 June

The Fête de la Musique, also known in English as Music Day, Make Music Day or World Music Day, is an annual music celebration that takes place on 21 June. On Music Day the citizens of a city or country are allowed and urged to play music outside in their neighborhoods or in public spaces and parks. Free concerts are also organized, where musicians play for fun and not for payment.

Rock is very popular in Lebanon. During the Lebanese Civil War, rock, hard rock, and heavy metal were very popular. Bands like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Iron Maiden, and Scorpions were extremely popular. In 1978, Rolling Stones booked a concert in Lebanon which was sold out in five hours. The concert was canceled, causing many Lebanese rock fans to burn tires on roads, blocking it of anger.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Hard rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music that began in the mid-1960s, with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. It is typified by a heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, and often accompanied with keyboards.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

During the Lebanese Civil War, Lydia Canaan's initial performances under the stage name Angel [7] were historically unprecedented on more than one front; her career began with her risking her life to perform amidst enemy military attacks, her concerts literally being held in vicinities of Lebanon which were simultaneously being bombed. According to Arabian Woman magazine: "As...A girl who grew up in the midst of a bloody civil war...Canaan was breaking down seemingly insurmountable barriers...She rocked the establishment". [8] As noted by The Gulf Today: "It is incredible that amidst the state of civil war that existed in Lebanon at that time, when most people had no idea if they would see another day, she managed to keep her ambitions alive". [7] Society magazine attests: "In a small country that was ripped by war, there was this young girl making a difference". [9] Concerning Canaan's first concert as Angel, The Gulf Today writes: "The first show produced a phenomenal reaction". [7] Society magazine states: "Tickets were sold out but more teenagers stormed in to see the young Angel perform...To accommodate the crowd, the concert organizers had to stamp on each fan's hand as they ran out of tickets. It was...Her first success". [9]

The underground music scene became vibrant in Lebanon after the end of the civil war in 1990, spearheaded by the rock-pop duo Soap Kills. Various rock and alternative rock bands such Meen and Mashrou' Leila are also gaining in popularity. New indie artists such as IJK (singer songwriter) are also increasingly recording in the West and releasing materials in English.

Soapkills or Soap Kills is an indie electro-pop band based in Lebanon. The group was formed in October 1997 when Zeid Hamdan and Yasmine Hamdan, both born in Beirut in 1976 but not related, decided to explore and combine their interest in classical Arabic song and electronic music.

MEEN is a Lebanese rock band founded by Fouad and Toni Yammine in 2006. The band is best known for its humorous and sarcastic style, and most notably for performing in native Lebanese, not traditional Arabic.

Mashrou Leila Lebanese indie rock and alternative rock band

Mashrou’ Leila is a Lebanese four-member indie rock band. The band formed in Beirut, Lebanon in 2008 as a music workshop at the American University of Beirut. The band has released four studio albums: Mashrou' Leila (2009), Raasük (2013), Ibn El Leil (2015) and The Beirut School (2019); and an EP, El Hal Romancy (2011), while causing many controversies due to their satirical lyrics and themes.

Instruments of Lebanon

Lute

The lute is a word which comes from the Spanish laud, which came from the Arabic word for the instrument, al-ud (meaning the branch of a tree). The lute is shaped like a half pear with a short fretted neck.

Mijwiz

The mijwiz, which literally means "double" in Arabic, is a very popular instrument used in Lebanese music. It is a type of reed clarinet. It is played by breathing smoothly through a circular aperture at the end and by moving the fingers over the holes down the front of the tube in order to create the different notes. The minjjayrah is similar to the mijwiz, an open ended reed flute played in the same style. It is very popular among mountain villagers of Lebanon.

Tablah

The tablah is a small hand-drum, also known as the durbakke. Most tablahs are beautifully decorated, some with wood, tile or bone inlay, etched metal, or paintings in designs typical of the Near East. One of the most commonly played percussion instrument, the tablah is a membranophone of goat or fish skin stretched over a vase-shaped drum with a wide neck. Usually made of earthenware or metal, it is placed either under the left arm or between the legs and struck in the middle for the strong beats and on the edge for the sharp in-between beats.

Daf

The daf, also known as the rikk, is a popular instrument corresponding to the tambourine. It consists of a round frame, covered on one side with goat or fish skin. Pairs of metal discs are set into the frame to produce the jingle when struck by the hand. The sounds of this percussion instrument sets the rhythm of a lot of Arab music, particularly in classical performances.

Buzuq

The word buzuq comes from Turkish and occurs in bashi-buzuq, the name given to the Ottoman troops, literally meaning "burnt head" or "uprooted". The buzuq, which is an essential instrument in the Rahbani repertoire, is a hybrid instrument that is not classified among the classical instruments of Arab music or among those of Turkish music. However, this instrument may be looked upon as a larger and deeper-toned relative of the Turkish saz , to which it could be compared in the same way that the viola is compared to the violin in Western music. Before the Rahbanis popularized the use of this instrument, the buzaq had been associated with the gypsy music of Lebanon. A long-necked fretted string instrument, the buzuq is furnished with two metal strings which are played with a plectrum. Famous Lebanese players of this instrument are Zaki Nassif, Philemon Wehbe, The Rahbani Brothers, Romeo Lahoud, Walid Gholmieh, and Boghos Gelalian.

See also

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Dabke

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Buzuq long necked fretted lute

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Libnan (Lydia Canaan song) 2004 song performed by Lydia Canaan

Libnan (Arabic: لبنان‎ Libnān or Lubnān; Lebanese Arabic: [lɪbˈneːn]; English: Lebanon is a Lydia Canaan song. Canaan, who in 1997 was awarded the Lebanese International Success Award by the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism, wrote and recorded the song in 1993 as a loving tribute to her country, Lebanon.

References

  1. O'Connor, Tom. "Lydia Canaan One Step Closer to Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame", The Daily Star , Beirut, April 27, 2016.
  2. Salhani, Justin. "Lydia Canaan: The Mideast’s First Rock Star", The Daily Star , Beirut, November 17, 2014.
  3. Livingstone, David. "A Beautiful Life; Or, How a Local Girl Ended Up With a Recording Contract in the UK and Who Has Ambitions in the U.S.", Campus, No. 8, p. 2, Beirut, February 1997.
  4. Ajouz, Wafik. "From Broumana to the Top Ten: Lydia Canaan, Lebanon's 'Angel' on the Road to Stardom", Cedar Wings, No. 28, p. 2, Beirut, July–August 1995.
  5. Aschkar, Youmna. "New Hit For Lydia Canaan", Eco News, No. 77, p. 2, Beirut, January 20, 1997.
  6. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives – Lydia Canaan Subject File
  7. 1 2 3 Chandran, Sudha. "An Angel's Song", The Gulf Today , Sharjah, November 24, 2000.
  8. High, Claire. "With Her Debut Album, The Sound of Love, Recorded in English, Lebanese Singer Lydia Canaan is Tipped to Be the First Middle-Eastern Female Singer to Break into the International Market", Arabian Woman, No. 21, Saudi Arabia, September 2000.
  9. 1 2 Habib, Hala. "Lydia Canaan: A Star is Born to The Sound of Love", Society, No. 3, Beirut, February 1997.

Notes