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Khaliji (also spelled Khaleeji; Arabic: الموسيقى الخليجية meaning Gulf music) is a type of modern contemporary music characteristic of Central and Eastern Arabia (see Arab states of the Persian Gulf) and popular across the Arab world. It is characterized by heavy use of the oud and other string instruments such as the violin, the occasional use of bagpipes, and the inclusion of percussion instruments such as the mirwas, tabl, and duff drums. Khaliji incorporates elements of African, Indian, and Iranian music overlaying indigenous Arabian genres such as Samri, Liwa, and Sawt. Kuwait pioneered the Khaliji genre into its modern form in the second half of the 20th century and soon became the focal point of the industry in a fashion similar to Cairo and Beirut in the case of Khaliji (music). Kuwaitis, in addition to Saudis, were also among the first commercial recording artists and composers in the Persian Gulf region and the Khaliji scene continues to be dominated primarily by Saudi, Kuwaiti, and Bahraini artists and composers today.
Prominent Khaliji singers
- Talal Maddah
- Ibtisam Lutfi
- Abadi Al-Johar
- Mohammed Abdu
- Rashed Al-Majed
- Rabeh Sager
- Abdul Majeed Abdullah
- Majid Al-Mohandis
- Talal Salama
- Aseel Abu Bakr
- Saad Al-Fahad
- Dalia Mubarak
- Ayed Youssef
- Arwa (singer)
- Suha Al Masri
Starting in the 1990s, several khaliji artists from outside the Gulf Cooperation Council have attempted cross-overs into the industry. Prominent examples include:
- Angham, Saad Al Sagheer and May Kassab from Egypt
- Rajae Belmlih, Dounia Batma, Saida Fikri, Najat Aatabou and Salma Rachid from Morocco
- Thekra and Latifa from Tunisia
- Assala Nasri, George Wassouf from Syria
- Diana Haddad, Dina Hayek, Moeen Charif, Assi El Hallani, Wael Jassar, Julia Boutros, Melhem Zein, and Nawal Al Zoghbi from Lebanon.
- Liwa (music)
- Sawt (music)
- Arabic music
- Music of Saudi Arabia
- Culture of Eastern Arabia
- Culture of Saudi Arabia
- Eyre, Banning. "Feature: Africans in the Arabian (Persian) Gulf (interview with Joseph Braude)". Afropop Worldwide. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Mustafa Said. "The History of Recording in the Gulf Area". Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
- Laith Ulaby. "Performing the Past: Sea Music in the Arab Gulf States". p. 99. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
- Mustafa Said. "The History of Recording in the Gulf Area (2)". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
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