Indiana University Bloomington


America's Musical Diversity Media Examples

The Music of Arab Detroit: A Musical Mecca in the Midwest: Example 5

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Figure 4.1. Musicians on stage at a haflah (music party) in New York during the 1950s.


5) Ma Hadi Zayeh (No One Was Ever So Distressed). Early 1900s
Moses Cohen-vocalist; Naim Karakand-violin; unknown-qanun

From album: Musics of Multicultural America. Shirmer Books 1997.

Example Information:

“An excerpt of a 78 rpm recording from the early 1900s (Track 5 to accompany the Musics in Multicultural America Textbook)
Like many forms of Arab music, this piece is performed in free rhythm. The singer’s
melody and the instrumentalists’ accompaniment are improvisatory. the excerpt concludes with a brief violin taqasim (improvisation), the length of which was presumably determined by space remaining on the 78 rpm disc. The vocal exclamations heard toward the end of the excerpt are in praise of the musicians’ playing.

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