The History of Traditional Music in Syria


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If you want to hear about what is the spirit of oriental music and how it is related to mathematics, Golden ratios, modal and tonal possibilities from Maqam approaches cone join our talk at…… you will hear how about traditional and authentic music and the many possibilities to enrich may genres of music including western classical music, electronic music, and many other genres of music.If you come we can guarantee you one hour of condense and fun talk about oriental music and it’s philosophy. You will be informed about great Syrian masters like the composers Nouri Iskandar and how he approach contemporary composition and Mikhail Allah Weirdi philosophy of oriental music. This talk is in honor of the late Dr. Hassan Abbas who wrote a beautiful book; Syrian Traditional Music.
This talk will be presented by Fawaz Baker. Hannibal Saad. And Khaled Alhafez who will demonstrate with his amazing voice some songs to illustrate what we are discussing.

Syria’s musical heritage is vast as it is diverse, with a long history, various cultural influences that still play a major role in Syrian musical productions. For a more intricate look at Syrian music traditions and its role in forming the musical heritage that today’s musicians inherit, and finally, in homage to Prof. Hassan Abbas*, Fawaz Baker, Hannibal Saad and Khaled Alhafez will offer their insights on the history of traditional music in Syria, during which they will discuss Abbas’ book “The History of Traditional Music in Syria”.

*Prof. Hassan Abbas was the Program Director of “Culture as Resistance” at the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship, American University of Beirut and a leading scholar and expert on Syrian culture, and Syrian traditional music in particular. In his book ‘Traditional music in Syria’ Dr. Hassan Abbas distilled his knowledge of years of extensive research on the musical tradition of Syria.

Your can download his book (in Arabic) here.

More on the panelists

Fawaz Baker

Fawaz Baker is a musician, composer, and scholar hailing from Syria and currently living in Paris, France. A former director of the Aleppo conservatory, Baker is also a musicologist and architect. He plays the Oud and the double bass in several ensembles in France, including his own, and previously performed in Syria with Nouri Iskandar’s ensemble. A world-class scholar on the geometry of intervals in Oriental music, he has published several articles and given talks on the topic in Syria, Egypt, France and Italy. He co-founded the first online portal dedicated to current research on modal music and heads the Middle Eastern chapter. A passionate teacher, Fawaz Baker shares his knowledge with the next generation of musicians, whether in Europe or in the Middle East.

Hannibal Saad

Hannibal has been a guitar player since late 1980th. He plays jazz, rock and electronics.

He wants to fuse many styles of music and always creates new sounds and new ideas.  He made over ten bands including Fattet Le3bet, Journey, Syrian big band, Energy, Kimya, and many others. He is a music manager and a festival artistic director. He created and ran two major international music festivals and conferences in Syria until the crisis began. Hannibal now runs the Global Week 4 Syria, Syrian Music Lives and other international cross-over projects between the Arab world and the rest of the world, along with the “Culture Unlimited” festival in different cities in the Netherlands. He wrote several unique articles about Syrian music. 

Khaled Alhafez

Professional singer and singing teacher in Syria. He was a teacher of oriental muwashahat singing at the Damascus Conservatory. He is a member of ensembles such as Nawa and Ramal, he sang in Fabrizio Cassol's Alefba project, and recently joined the Wajd ensemble. He has given numerous concerts and masterclasses in Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Turkey, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium. 



*Book cover credit: Edward William Lane

Date & Time
May 9, 2022
6:00 PM 8:00 PM Europe/Brussels

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Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains 5
Bruxelles 1000
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Lagrange Points Brussels


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