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A website for K-12 educators featuring innovative resource on the culture, geography, history and religions of the Middle East, including essays, classroom activities, downloadable multimedia content and interactive Google Earth tours.


Saïd Chraïbi-Chaama

From: Harmonia Mundi Records

© Institut du Monde Arabe

This clip is 1.01 megabytes in size

Running time is 4 minutes and 25 seconds

This track features a virtuoso performance by the Moroccan lutist and composer Saïd Chraïbi, with Jamal Rioui on percussion. This piece bears the name of Chraïbi’s daughter and is an original composition. It is, however, a contemporary manifestation of a form of classical music that had its roots at a time when the cultures of Al-Andalus and the Maghreb shared much in common, with intellectual, cultural and political influence flowing both ways across the Straits of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean. The title of the CD, The Key to Granada, is both a reference to this heritage and a literal reference to Chraïbi’s lineage, his ancestors very likely being "Andalusian" or "Moorish." In the liner notes to the CD, he tells the ethnomusicologist Frédéric Deval, "Once a year, in Chaouen, my Andalusian grandfather used to take out the key of the house in Granada and weep. We left Andalusia a hundred years after 1492." At its height, Andalusian culture was a time of great cultural fermentation from which arose some of the greatest achievements of human civilization. It is this spirit of innovation and openness that Saïd Chraïbi tries to capture in his compositions. This composition is in a 7/8 rhythm known as dour hindi. It also represents a traditional Andalusian maqqam known as nahawand. Numerous examples of Andalusian music or music influenced by the Andalusian tradition include the video clip from Lutes and Delights and Malhoune. See, also, the article on The Musical Pulse of Tunisia and the accompanying gallery.

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