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130 – Ala rōḥī anā el-gānī 2, Dawr



Asma-ElKumsareyyah, Dawr Aala Rouhi Ana ElJani, Odeon (1)The Arab Music Archiving and Research foundation (AMAR), in collaboration with the Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF), presents “Sama‘ ”.

“Sama‘ ” discusses our musical heritage through comparison and analysis…

A concept by Mustafa Said.

Dear listeners,

Welcome to a new episode of “Sama‘ ”.

Today, we will resume our discussion about dawr “ ‘Ala rōḥī anā el-gānī”.

We had ended our last episode with ‘Abd al-Ḥayy Ḥilmī’s recording of this dawr that he interpreted to the jahārkāh and sometimes swayed to the rāst mustaqīm following the baladī style.

Note that in ‘Abd al-Ḥayy Ḥilmī’s mysterious and strange recording, the instrumentalists played the dūlāb to the rāst whereas he sang it to the jahārkāh, thus adding more mystery to his persona.

Let us start with the recording where he sings to the rāst… we will listen to the dūlāb rāst and to the dūlāb jahārkāh…


Let us listen to the madhhab rāst and to the madhhab jahārkāh


I will play both on the ‘ūd because the difference may not be clear in the recordings.

I will play the madhhab of the dawr to the jahārkāh then I will play it to the rāst


Now I will play it to the rāst…


First, there is a difference in the dimensions and, second, the rāst imposed different ornaments than the jahārkāh.

Great Sitt Asma is accompanied by an excellent takht: the ‘ūdist plays the overture with an inverted pick, proving that this is the right way to play and that the inverted pick, as some books say, was not only adopted in the fourth decade of the 20th century. We will discuss this point in an episode dedicated to the ‘ūd.

Let us listen to the dūlāb rāst played by Sayyid al Suwaysī…



Later, Asma al-Kumthariyya sang it exclusively to the rāst. After the madhhab, she sings dawr “ ‘Ala fikrak yiṭūl lēlī yizīl el-dam‘ min ‘ēnī, yā khōfī we-in shaghaf ghērī we-yishmat ‘adhūlī fīnā” –that is not written in any book and that no other muṭrib sings–. She repeats the madhhab in the end, followed by beautiful layālī to the bamb. There are also taqsīm played on the qānūn, the nāy, added to the ‘ūd that achieved taqsīm of infinite salṭana.

Let us listen to the full recording of Sitt Asma. We will later resume our discussion about the lyrics of the dawr


Beautiful Sitt Asma! She sang dawr, she improvised… she sang this dawr to the rāst and she sang the maqām’s jawāb sometimes reaching the ḥijāz sub-maqām, while maintaining the simplicity of the dawr. She was of course capable of doing much more than this, as in her excellent performance of dawr “El-kamāl fī el-milāḥ ṣudaf”, yet she knew that this dawr required complication-free simplicity.

We mentioned that some exploited the lyrics of the dawr and used elisions, such as ‘Abd al-Ḥayy who sang: “Amāna yā rāyiḥ yammuh, tibuslī Muḥammad min fummuh”. Ṣāliḥ ‘Abd al-Ḥayy exploited the same verse for a completely different purpose. Shall we listen to him?…


This was Baidaphon’s recording made during the second exile of Sa‘d Bāshā Zaghlūl.

There is another point in relation with the lyrics: Ṣāliḥ ‘Abd al-Ḥayy repeats the word “Amāna” with a fallāḥī (peasant) pronunciation, i.e. “Amānih”.

Let us listen…


Incredible Ṣāliḥ!

Here is an important remark: some will say that the qānūn is tuned to the rāst. Indeed, it is. Its third scale-step is actually tuned a little higher than the rāst so it remains ready for both the rāst and the jahārkāh. ‘Abd al-Ḥamīd al-Quḍḍābī who plays in both recordings never uses ‘urab and always performs ‘afq, and is thus always ready for the rāst and for the jahārkāh. Furthermore, the dūlāb in the Polyphon recording is played to the rāst, like the dūlāb played in the recording of his uncle ‘Abd al-Ḥayy Ḥilmī.

“Amāna” is followed by a modulation to the ḥijāz’s fifth scale-step, i.e. rāst/sūznāk, which we heard in the full Columbia recording and that he performs in all his recordings.

Ṣāliḥ ‘Abd al-Ḥayy’s interpretation of the previous ghuṣn “Anā yā ḥelū ḥabbētak” recorded by Polyphon and by Columbia includes some similarities and demonstrates his wish to insert a short hank.

Let us listen to the Polyphon recording and to the evolved version recorded by Columbia. We have already heard the Columbia recording, but it won’t hurt to listen to this section again …


Remark: he performed this hank to the bayyātī not to the maqām’s fundamental position, i.e. neither rāst nor jahārkāh, but a bayyātī at the fifth scale-step, which complies with both the rāst and the jahārkāh.

Conclusion of the episode:

The dawr is a very short full waṣla made of:

a dūlāb;

marvellous ‘ūd taqsīm;

Ṣalībā al-Qaṭrīb’s

Ṣalībā al-Qaṭrīb’s

followed by the performance of someone who sounds very confortable and not worried about the switch from one record-side to the other… or about anything else for that matter. He recorded a tape accompanied by a trained band. The gap is in fact the period gap between him and the band accompanying him. They memorized the piece but were unable to keep pace with his improvisations. Strangely, the one who was the most able to keep up with the improvisation is the double bass player. –We are talking about Ṣalībā al-Qaṭrīb’s recording made in the 1950s–. So, the double bass player is the most able to keep up with the improvisation, as well as a violinist. I remain very sceptical about using the double bass as a percussion instrument because it puts a limit to initiative and improvisation. I do not know why he did not use the arch… but he is free. Yet, despite this, I praise the attempts of the Double Bass player to keep up with Ṣalībā al-Qaṭrīb who starts with a dūlāb he seems to have composed;

followed by taqsīm on the ‘ūd;

he sings the madhhab and the group answers him with the same madhhab;

he sings dawr “Amāna yā rāyiḥ yammuh” and they answer him with the madhhab;

he sings dawr “ ‘Ala rōḍ el-ḥabīb futnā, aṭafnā el-ward w-el-fitna, sihirnā w-el-ḥabīb ma‘nā, ḥiyīnā ba‘d mā mutnā” –that is written in a book but that no one else besides him sings–. “ḥīnā ba‘d mā mutnā” means “we died then resuscitated”.

They go back to madhhab “ ‘Ala rōḥī anā el-gānī” again, then he sings it alone following the style of the 1920s discs that recorded ṭaqṭūqa. Yet, in the middle, he improvises as if in a dawr.

This is a strange dawr performance interpreted by a person who is between someone who has heard the 1920s’ ṭaqṭūqa recorded by Ṣāliḥ ‘Abd al-Ḥayy, ‘Abd al-Laṭīf al-Bannā, Munīra al-Mahdiyya, or Na‘īma al-Maṣriyya and someone who has heard the dawr of Sayyid al-Ṣaftī, Al-Manyalāwī, and ‘Abd al-Ḥayy Ḥilmī.

Let us listen to this great recording of Ṣalībā al-Qaṭrīb…


Dear listeners,

We have reached the end of today’s episode of “Sama‘ ” and the end of our discussion about dawr “ ‘Ala rōḥī anā el-gānī”.

We will meet again in a new episode of “Sama‘ ”.

“Sama‘ ” was presented to you by AMAR.


  2015  /  Podcast  /  Last Updated September 24, 2015 by Amar  /  Tags:
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