Rababa Qurashi #561

Part 2 of a 4 part interview of Sa’idi Rababa musician Qurashi – Filmed July 2015

This clip immediately starts out with Saad making a request of Qurashi, then explains to me this is the music they play for a “man to dance with a stick.” This was interesting to me to record this music that I had heard at so many weddings. But what astonished me was when this clip was translated, Saad had asked for “Ashra Baladi”!

“Ashra Baladi” – This was an answer to a 30 year question!

In my working with Egyptian musicians in both California and Cairo I was familiar with the terms Awadi Baladi or Baladi Awad, and Tet Baladi. When I got to Cairo there was a new term “Ashra Baladi” used on cassettes and by people who were not musicians. When asked, Cairo musicians told me it was often what the normal non-musician would call Baladi Awad. And surely enough that is what would be on a cassette, or something close to it. But still the term Ashra Baladi interested me, and I would ask my questions to anyone who used this term.

(In Luxor I knew if I wanted something close to Cairo style Baladi I would say “Baladi Awad”.)

And now the beginning of an answer to my quest was here in front of me. Is it Upper Egyptian? Or a rural term that the Delta would use as well? I do want to pursue the roots and parameters of this term, but it was exciting to hear “Ashra Baladi” as a meaningful phrase between musicians.

Two other special categories of what a Rababa musician would play are Historical stories and the “Salam” that they will play when particular visitors come into the party or when they leave.

  • 0:08 Saad; “Show them, for example, when someone wants to dance “Ashra Baladi.”
  • 0:15 Saad in English; “when you want man dance with stick.”
  • 0:19 Qurashi and drummers; “Ashra Baladi.”
  • 1:45 Rababa musician and singer as folkloric history poet and story-teller.
  • 2:32 Qurashi and drummers; “Abu Zaid.”
  • 4:00 Explanation of “Abu Zaid.” It is a “historical drama, but folklore.
  • But maybe a real story… like King Arthur, something like this.” (wink)
  • 4:26 The welcome “Salam.”
  • 4:31 Qurashi and drummers; “Salam.” The welcome and the farewell.

We continue the interview with Ghawazee music in #562 and Mawwal in #563.

Interview location was Gezira Gardens Hotel, Luxor west bank, with the permission of owner Mr. Gamal. With interview assistance by impresario Saad Hassan and translator Wael Mohamed Ali. Delanna as research assistant.
Interviewed and videotaped by Sahra C Kent.
July 13, 2015
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