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Andalusi nubah

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Andalusi nubah

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Andalusi nubah is a genre found in the North African Maghrib states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya but, as the name indicates, of Spanish origin. The name replaced the older use of sawt and originates from the musician waiting behind a curtian to be told it was his turn or nawbah by the sattar or curtain man. (Touma 1996, p.68)

Lyrics are sung by the soloist or in unison by the chorus are chosen from the muwashshah or zajal poetic forms, being in classical and colloquial Arabic, respectively. (ibid, p.70-71)

Andalusi nubah uses one tab' (similar to maqam) per performance, and includes several instrumental pieces and predominantly vocal pieces accompanied by instrumentation. These differ as to mizan or rhythmic pattern (wazn). (ibid, p.68)

Formally the tempo increases while the awzan simply within each of five sections. The sections are introduced by short instrumental pieces and vary according to region, the name indicating the awzan used:

  • in Algeria: msaddar, btayhi, darj, insiraf, khlas
  • in Tunisia: btaybhi, barwal, darj, khafif, khatm
  • in Morocco: basit, qayim wa-nisf, btayhi, darj, quddam

The ensemble used includes the ud, rabab or rebec, nay, box xither, tambourine, and goblet drum, the players of which also serve as chorus. (ibid, p.70)


  • Habib Hassan Touma (1996). The Music of the Arabs, trans. Laurie Schwartz. Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0931340888.

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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