Muwashshah - Wikipedia
Muwashshah (Arabic: موشح‎‎ muwaššaḥ  literally means "girdled" in Classical Arabic; plural muwaššaḥāt موشحات‎ or tawāšīḥ تواشيح‎) is the name for both an Arabic poetic form and a secular musical genre. The poetic form consists of a multi-lined strophic verse poem written in classical Arabic, usually consisting of five stanzas, alternating with a refrain with a running rhyme. It was customary to open with one or two lines which matched the second part of the poem in rhyme and meter; in North Africa poets ignore the strict rules of Arabic meter while the poets in the East follow them. The musical genre of the same name uses muwaššaḥ texts as lyrics, still in classical Arabic.[1] This tradition can take two forms: the waṣla of Aleppo and the Andalusi nubah of the western part of the Arab world.
The poetic form
Examples of muwaššaḥ poetry start to appear as early as the 9th or 10th century. It is believed to come from the Arabic roots wšaḥ (وشح) which means any thing that a woman puts on her neck from a neckless to a scarf, and the verb Tawašḥ means to wear.[2][3] Some relate it to the word for a type of double-banded ornamental belt, the wišaḥ, which also means a scarf in Arabic.[2] The underlying idea is that, as there is a single rhyme running through the refrain of each stanza, the stanzas are like objects hung from a belt.
The musical genre
Musically, the ensemble consists of oud (lute), kamanja (spike fiddle), qanun (box zither), darabukkah (goblet drum), and daf (tambourine): the players of these instruments often double as a choir. The soloist performs only a few chosen lines of the selected text. In Aleppo multiple maqam rows (scales) and up to three awzān (rhythms) are used and modulation to neighboring maqamat was possible during the B section[clarification needed]. Until modernization it was typical to present a complete waslah, or up to eight successive muwaššaḥ including an instrumental introduction (sama'i or bashraf).[4] It may end with a longa.
Arguably the most famous Muwashshah still played in the Arab World today is Jadaka Al Ghayth, which has been performed by famous musicians such as Sabah Fakhri and Fairuz.
See also
  1. ^ Touma 1996, p. 71.
  2. ^ a b Lane, Edward (1893). An Arabic-English Lexicon: Derived From the Best and the Most Copious Eastern Sources. Williams and Norgate. p. 2943.
  3. ^ Manzur, Ibn. Lisan Al-Arab. 2. p. 632.
  4. ^ Touma 1996, p. 83.
Last edited on 4 May 2021, at 13:55
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