Music of Jordan
The traditional music of Jordan has a long history. Rural zajal songs, with improvised poetry played with a mijwiz, tablah, arghul, oud, rabab and reed pipe ensemble accompanying is popular. Recently Jordan has seen the rise of several prominent DJs and popstars.
Traditional Jordanian musical instruments
The musician and composer Sameer Baghdadi, the Bedouin singer Omar Al-Abdallat (known for his patriotic song "Hashemi, Hashemi"), Diana Karazon (winner of the Arab version of Pop Idol), Toni Qattan and singer Hani Mitwasi (the winner of the Jordan Awards 2010) are perhaps Jordan's biggest stars. Other well-known Jordanian musicians are Qamar Badwan, who won the golden prize in the 2000 Cairo Song Festival, percussionist Hani Naser, and the pianist, and composer Khalid Asad.
A new age group called Rum has gained regional and international popularity since its inception in 1998. Rum is considered the most successful Jordanian musical group, and has gained a wide range of fans from all over the world. Rum has performed in Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Palestine, Turkey, Kazakhstan, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and the United States. A very important factor that contributed to Rum group's huge success is the fact that the group performs original compositions by Tareq al Nasser (the composer, founder and leader of the group), many of which were composed for Arabic TV drama series that gained wide popularity in the Arab world, including the TV drama series Nihayat Rajol Shuja, Al Jawareh and Al Kawaser, Al Malek Farouq, Yawmeyyat Mudeer Amm, and many others. The group performs instrumentals, songs, and rearranged Jordanian folklore. Rum group has represented Jordan in many international events, including at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in March 2009 as part of the "Arabesque .. Arts of the Arab world" festival in the United States.
Sign of Thyme has been gaining regional popularity with its oriental-jazz-ethnic fusion. The band has been active since 2004 and has produced two albums. Many Jordanian singers constantly use Western melodies and fuse it with Middle Eastern music, bringing a fresh new generation of music. The controversial female singer Malak El Nasser, known for her extremely seductive video clips, is another popular Jordanian singer.
In Amman, the capital of Jordan, there has been a movement of alternative music in the last two decades. Rock bands that mix western and eastern influences are becoming more popular. Ethereal was a famous oriental rock band early in the decade of the 2000s. They were the first band in Jordan to have a large base of fans. They ranked first when they represented Jordan in the European youth festival in Turkey in 1999.
At the present there are some popular bands in Jordan such as JadaL, DistorteD, Murjan and Illusions - who are famous for their pure classic rock style. Although not based in Jordan, hard rock guitarist Naser Mestarihi is Jordanian on his father's side. The alternative music scene in Jordan boomed after 2008 with the appearance of post-rock band El Morabba3 and other bands such as Autostrad, Akher Zapheer, and others.
Jordan also has a fairly large underground heavy metal scene that is always erroneously connected to Satanism, causing people to attack it. Examples of Jordanian metal bands are Tyrant Throne (death metal), Relics of Martyrs (thrash/death metal), Chalice of Doom (doom/death metal), Bilocate (doom/death metal), Esodic (thrash/death metal), Eternal Insomnia (melodic death metal), and Ajdath, who currently reside in Poland. Other bands, like Augury (black metal) and Darkcide (doom/death metal) had to stop due to lack of support or to band members leaving the country.
Some of the most important musicians in Jordan are the Faqir family, which extends back for more than 100 years. Jordan's western radio station, Play 99.6, works towards exposing new local artists, including many western pop singers such as Humam Ammari, Al'a Ayyoub, and Walid Karadsheh.
The thriving indie rock scene was achieved thanks to artists such as Kais Khoury, Ibrahim Baggili, Hani Mitwasi and Yousef Kawar, as well as the Cowboys from Jordan, a band managed by Yousef Kawar. Other notable genres in Jordan are hip hop; which was popularized through DJ Shadia (Shadia Bseiso) through her regional radio show The 5th Element, the only show in the Middle East to broadcast in three different countries every week (Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) from 2005 to 2008. DJ Shadia had previously opened for global stars such as Akon, 50 Cent, Sean Paul and Massari. Other popular hip hop artists include Last Standing Poet and MC Niz-r.
As of recent times, Jordan's electronic music scene is rising rapidly among the Jordanian youth, and house music has become a staple in the musical tastes in Jordan. Many raves and underground techno gatherings occur, and electronic music is currently reaching number one status among music genres in Jordan.
The most notable Jordanian musician is Zade Dirani, an internationally known composer and pianist, releasing his newest album named Mediterrani.
- Jordan Awards 2010
- Badley and al Jundi, pg. 392
- Badley, Bill, and Zein al Jundi. "Europe Meets Asia". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 391–395. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0
- "Jordan: Arts and Literature". Cultural Profiles Project. Retrieved September 9, 2005.[permanent dead link]
- "Tuning in". Al-Ahram Weekly. Archived from the original on October 25, 2005. Retrieved September 9, 2005.
- "Jordan Talents". Play 99.6. Archived from the original on 2008-06-02.
- Sakher Hattar's Music From Jordan Playlist on Youtube
- BBC Radio 3 Audio (60 minutes): The Bedouin. Accessed November 25, 2010.
- BBC Radio 3 Audio (60 minutes): Amman: Ilham Al madfai, Toni Qattan and Shou Al Ayam. Accessed November 25, 2010.
- BBC Radio 3 Audio (60 minutes): Jordan - Amman: Ilham Al Madfai. Accessed November 25, 2010.
- Jordanian songs (in Arabic)
- JadaL band
- Kais Khoury .external'
- JORavers.com (in Arabic)