The art of the Buzuq (2)

Matar Mohamed
Musique Traditionnelle Arabe 
Sur Bousoq


A Rash Sur Le Maqam Atarkord     23:02

B1 Takssim Nahawand Ochak     12:06
B2 Takssim Bayati Nawa     11:43




Traditional arab music on buzuq

Matar Muhammad was born in 1939 in the Bekaa plain (Lebanon) and died in 1995. He came from a family of Gypsies, wandering musicians from father to son. From the age of seven onwards, his father and elder brother initiated him into buzuq playing. He made his professional debut in the early sixties, through the BBC’s Arab programmes, but he really became famous through the performances of “Arduna ila al-abad” during the Festival of Baalbek. After that, his reputation extended throughout the Arab world and beyond. Heir to an oral tradition, his inbred gifts allowed him to practice a truly sophisticated art in an empirical manner. His course has been that of an outstanding soloist and an imaginative improviser who nevertheless remained faithful to the spirit and theoretical principles of Arab music.


The buzuq belongs to the large family of tanbûr, long-necked lutes, the existence of which has been traced back to Al-Farâbi – Al-kitaâ al-musîqi al-kabîr [The Great Book of Music] – who describes it as identical to the tanbûr al-baghdâdi. The pear-shaped sound-box measures approximately 40 cm long and the neck about 80 cm. The latter carries twenty six frets (adjustable ligatures). The two double metal strings are usually tuned to the octave and plucked with a horn or quill plectrum (rishah).


 Matar Muhammad, a virtuoso with an expressive style, has been acknowledged in the Arab world as the greatest player of the long-necked buzuq lute, one of the symbols of the Gypsy communities in the Middle East.


Anonymous said...

You're on quite the roll with this fine content emphasizing traditional MidEastern instruments, aren't you? It's great to see. While there are a number of sites devoted to the latest Arabic pop stars, the serious, instrumental traditional music is fairly neglected. You're serving an important need for those of us who enjoy this kind of thing. Thanks, again.

Miguel said...

Thank you for your kind words...

need, yes :-)

How can I send you a pm...

bruno said...

Im a buzuq player and have been looking for this Mattar Muhammed records for a long, long time. Thank you so much! Greetings from Brasil.

Miguel said...

Glad I could help :-)

maybe you also leave a thank you at the source...

Greetings from Spain.

Janas said...

Thank you, Miguel!

Miguel said...

De nada : )