The music of Oman has been strongly affected by the country's coastal location, with Omani sailors interacting with, and bringing back music from, Egypt, Tanzania and elsewhere. More recently, a Portuguese occupation has left its own marks, while geographic neighbors like the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran have also had a profound influence. In contrast to other Arab countries, Omani traditional music has a strong emphasis on rhythm.
Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Its official religion is Islam.
Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.
Tanzania officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; Comoro Islands at the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania.
Traditional music marks all the stages in the life of an Omani, including birth, circumcision, marriage and death. In contrast to many Arab countries, all Omanis participate in music, men and women, young and old.
Liwa and Fann at-Tanbura are types of music and dance performed mainly in communities of descendants of Bantu peoples from the African Great Lakes region.
Līwa is a traditional dance of African origin performed in Eastern Arabia, mainly within communities of descendants of people from the Swahili Coast. It is also performed by the African-descended Sheedi community, as well as the Baloch of Pakistan's Makran Coast and Karachi area.
Fann aṭ-Ṭanbūra is a traditional music and dance genre in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, especially Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. Musically, the tanbūra instrument plays a central role, along with several drums and the manjur—an instrument made of several goat hooves wrapped around the waist of the performer.
Bantu people are the speakers of Bantu languages, comprising several hundred indigenous ethnic groups in sub-Saharan Africa, spread over a vast area from Central Africa across the African Great Lakes to Southern Africa. Linguistically, Bantu languages belong to the Southern Bantoid branch of Benue–Congo, one of the language families grouped within the Niger–Congo phylum.
The Omani Centre for Traditional Music claims that Arabic music in Oman can be characterized by "tetrachords with typical Arabic intervals, including three-quarter tones taken from the Arabic musical scales; the maqamat".
Arabic music is the music of the Arab World with all its different music styles and genres. Arabic countries have many styles of music and also many dialects; each country has its own traditional music.
Notable Omani musicians include Salim Rashid Suri, the "Singing Sailor", a 20th-century singer and oud player from Sur who combined strains of the ṣawt of the northern Persian Gulf and other musical traditions of the Indian Ocean as a pioneer of the genre called Ṣawt al-Khaleej ("Voice of the Gulf").
Salim Rashid Suri was a 20th-century ṣawt singer and oud player from Oman. He is particularly associated with the ṣawt genre called Ṣawt al-Khaleej.
The oud is a short-neck lute-type, pear-shaped stringed instrument with 11 or 13 strings grouped in 5 or 6 courses, commonly used predominantly in Western Asia and North Africa: in Egypt, Syria, Sudan, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Kurdistan, Yemen, Arabia, Iran, Greece, Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and other ethnic music like Jewish music, North African Chaabi, Classical, and Spanish Andalusian.
Sur is the capital city of Ash Sharqiyah South Governorate, and the former capital of Ash Sharqiyah Region in northeastern Oman, on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. It is located about 93 mi (150 km) southeast of the Omani capital Muscat. Historically, the city is known for being an important destination point for sailors. Today, the sea still plays an important part of life in Sur.
There is also a very small underground metal scene with bands like Arabia and Belos emerging from there, the former moving to the UK.
Kuwait is well known in the region for its exploration of many different and new forms of music and dance. Kuwait is the birthplace of various popular musical genres such as sawt. Kuwait is widely considered the centre of traditional music in the Persian Gulf. The Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre is the largest opera house in the Middle East.
Ancient music is music that developed in literate cultures, replacing prehistoric music. Ancient music refers to the various musical systems that were developed across various geographical regions such as Mesopotamia, India, Persia, Egypt, China, Greece and Rome. Ancient music is designated by the characterization of the basic notes and scales. It may have been transmitted through oral or written systems.
Suhar (Sohar) is the capital and largest city of the Al Batinah North Governorate in Oman. An ancient capital of the country that once served as an important Islamic port town, Suhar has also been credited as the mythical birthplace of Sinbad the Sailor.
The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman was a thalassocratic nation that encompassed the present-day Sultanate of Oman and parts of present-day United Arab Emirates and Gwadar, Pakistan. The country is not to be confused with Trucial states, which were sheikhdoms under British protection since 1820.
The Arab states of the Persian Gulf are the seven Arab states which border the Persian Gulf, namely Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This excludes the non-Arab state of Iran. All of these nations except Iraq are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and prefer to use the term "Arabian Gulf" rather than the historical name of the Persian Gulf.
Arab culture is the culture of the Arabs, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea. Language, literature, gastronomy, art, architecture, music, spirituality, philosophy, mysticism (etc.) are all part of the cultural heritage of the Arabs.
Khaliji is a type of modern contemporary music characteristic of Central and Eastern Arabia and popular across the Arab world. It is characterized by heavy use of the oud and other string instruments such as the violin, the occasional use of bagpipes, and the inclusion of percussion instruments such as the mirwas, tabl, and duff drums. Khaliji incorporates elements of African, Indian, and Iranian music overlaying indigenous Arabian genres such as Samri, Liwa, and Sawt. Kuwait pioneered the Khaliji genre into its modern form in the second half of the 20th century and soon became the focal point of the industry in a fashion similar to Cairo and Beirut in the case of Khaliji (music). Kuwaitis, in addition to Saudis, were also among the first commercial recording artists and composers in the Persian Gulf region and the Khaliji scene continues to be dominated primarily by Saudi, Kuwaiti, and Bahraini artists and composers today.
There is a rich and ancient culture in Eastern Arabia. Eastern Arabia's culture has always been oriented towards the sea. While being Arab at its core, it has been heavily influenced by the cultures of Persia, South Asia and Horn of Africa, because of extensive trade links.
Aziz El-Shawan was one of the most prominent Egyptian composers of the twentieth century. He completed his primary and secondary education at the St. Joseph – La Salle College in Khoronfish, Cairo where he also received a Higher Diploma in Commercial Studies. He studied the violin privately with the German Joseph von Aubervon, a student of Jan Kubelick, and joined the school’s choir and band where he played the clarinet and French horn. His violin teacher obtained a scholarship for him to study at the Berlin Conservatory, however, his father objected to his interest in pursuing a musical career. An accident disabled one of the fingers of his left hand, obliging him to give up his dream of being a virtuoso violinist. He then studied piano, theory, harmony, composition and orchestration with the Italian Menato and the Russian Orlovitsky who were part of a community of European musicians and music teachers who lived and worked in cosmopolitan Cairo.
The habbān is a type of bagpipe used in the southern coast of Persian Gulf. The term ḥabbān (هبان) is one of several Arabic terms for the bagpipes. The term may be drawn from Hanbān (هنبان), the Persian word for "bag.". In Kuwait, the term habban refers to the traditional Holi bagpipe The habbān is also called the jirbah (جربة).
The mirwās or marwas, plural marāwīs is a small double-sided hand drum originally from the Middle East. It is a popular instrument in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf, used in sawt and fijiri music. It is also common in Yemen.
The International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) is a scholarly non-governmental organization which focuses on the study, practice, documentation, preservation, and dissemination of traditional music and dance of all countries. Founded in London on 22 September 1947, it publishes the Yearbook for Traditional Music once a year and the Bulletin of the ICTM three times a year. The organization was previously known as The International Folk Music Council (IFMC). In 1949, it helped found the UNESCO International Music Council and remains a non-governmental organization in formal consultative relations with UNESCO. Since 2013, its president has been Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco, director of the Instituto de Etnomusicologia – Centro de Estudos em Música e Dança at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa.
Al-Hajar Mountains in northeastern Oman and also the eastern United Arab Emirates are the highest mountain range in the eastern Arabian peninsula. Also known as "Oman Mountains", they separate the low coastal plain of Oman from the high desert plateau, and lie 50–100 km (31–62 mi) inland from the Gulf of Oman.
Ahmed Faraj Abdullah Al-Rawahi, commonly known as Ahmed Al-Rawahi, is an Omani footballer who plays for Al-Nasr Club in the Oman Professional League.
Tawam, also Tuwwam, Tu'am, or "Al-Buraimi Oasis", is a historical oasis region in Eastern Arabia that stretched from, or was located between, the Western Hajar Mountains to the Arabian or Persian Gulf coast, nowadays forming parts of what is now the United Arab Emirates and western Oman. It is marked by the twin settlements of Al Ain and Al-Buraimi on the UAE-Omani border.