Music of Kuwait

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Tabla player Ustad Munawar Khan at the 8th International Music Festival in Kuwait

The music of Kuwait was well-recorded until the Gulf War, when Iraq invaded the country and destroyed the archive. Nevertheless, Kuwait has retained a vital music industry, both long before the war and after.[1]

Traditional Kuwaiti music is derived from Kuwait's maritime heritage.[2][3] The Kuwaiti pearl diving tradition is known for songs called "Fidjeri".[4][5] "Al Arda Al Bahariya" is a well-known Kuwaiti sailor song, as are the "al-Nahma", a class of songs that accompanied many sailing activities. Kuwaiti music reflects the diverse influences of many peoples on the culture of Kuwait,[6] including Indians and East Africans.

Kuwait was the pioneer of contemporary music in the Gulf.[7][8][9] Kuwaitis were the first commercial recording artists in the Gulf.[10][11][12] Nawal El Kuwaiti, Nabeel Shoail, Abdul Kareem Abdul-Qader and Abdallah Al Rowaished are the most prominent modern performers.[1]

Traditional[edit]

Traditional Kuwaiti music reflects the diverse influences of many peoples on the culture of Kuwait, including Indians.[13] In pre-oil times, Kuwait's seafaring community was known for its music.[14] 20-30% of seafaring Kuwaitis were professional musicians.[15]

Kuwait's seafaring tradition is known for songs such as "Fidjeri".[16] "Fidjeri" is a musical repertoire performed traditionally by male pearl divers. It involves singing, clapping, drums and dances with earthen water jars. "Liwa" and "Fann at-Tanbura" are types of music performed mainly by Kuwaitis of East African origin. "Al Arda Al Bahariya" is a well-known Kuwaiti sailor song, as are the "al-Nahma", a class of songs that accompanied many sailing activities.

Contemporary[edit]

Kuwait was the pioneer of contemporary music in the Gulf.[17][18][19] Kuwaitis were the first commercial recording artists in the Gulf.[20][21][22] Kuwait is known as the center for "sawt", a bluesy style of music made popular in the 1970s. Kuwaiti music is popular throughout the Arab world. Nawal El Kuwaiti, Nabeel Shoail and Abdallah Al Rowaished are the most prominent modern performers.[1]

Kuwait has a reputation for being the central music influence of the GCC countries. Over the last decade of satellite TV stations, there has been a stream of Kuwaiti pop bands that have been successful in reaching other Arab countries with their unique style of pop. Bashar Al Shatty is a young artist who became famous due to Star Academy.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Badley, Bill. "Sounds of the Arabian Peninsula". 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 351-354. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0
  2. ^ "Kuwait’s musical heritage: The heartbeat of a nation". 
  3. ^ "Hidden Treasures: Reflections on Traditional Music in Kuwait". 
  4. ^ "Ya Bahr". 
  5. ^ "The Innerworkings of Kuwaiti Pearl Diving: Ghazi AlMulaifi". 
  6. ^ "Ya Bahr". 
  7. ^ "The History of Recording in the Gulf Area". 
  8. ^ "Performing the Past: Sea Music in the Arab Gulf States". 
  9. ^ "The History of Recording in the Gulf Area (2)". 
  10. ^ "Performing the Past: Sea Music in the Arab Gulf States". p. 99. 
  11. ^ "The History of Recording in the Gulf Area". 
  12. ^ "The History of Recording in the Gulf Area (2)". 
  13. ^ "Ya Bahr". 
  14. ^ "Hidden Treasures: Reflections on Traditional Music in Kuwait". 
  15. ^ "Kuwait’s musical heritage: The heartbeat of a nation". 
  16. ^ "The Innerworkings of Kuwaiti Pearl Diving: Ghazi AlMulaifi". 
  17. ^ "The History of Recording in the Gulf Area". 
  18. ^ "Performing the Past: Sea Music in the Arab Gulf States". 
  19. ^ "The History of Recording in the Gulf Area (2)". 
  20. ^ "Performing the Past: Sea Music in the Arab Gulf States". p. 99. 
  21. ^ "The History of Recording in the Gulf Area". 
  22. ^ "The History of Recording in the Gulf Area (2)".