Tag Archives: kanun

Anatolia’s Joyful Celebration of Turkish and Arabic Folk Traditions

The Best of Folk Music Group Anatolia (Edward Hines Music, 2018)

The Best of Folk Music Group Anatolia is a compilation that includes recordings from Anatolia’s previous three albums: Folk Songs and Dance Music of Turkey and the Arab World (1996), Lost Songs of Palestine (2001), and Middle Eastern Songs and Dances for Children (2005).

Anatolia is a world music group led by American multi-instrumentalist Edward J. Hines, whose goal is to preserve the folk,classical and dance music traditions of the Middle East.

The Best of Folk Music Group Anatolia presents a fascinating overview of the rich and varied folk traditions of Turkey and the Arab world, using a wide spectrum of traditional musical instruments performed by Hines and his collaborators.

Even if you don’t speak the language, the popular Turkish children’s song “Ali Baban’ın Çiftliği” reels you in right away with its catchy hooks. It’s a lot of fun, featuring various mimicked farm animal sounds.

The lineup includes Edward Hines on ‘ud, divan sazi, kaval, clarinet, zurna, buzuq, cura, sipsi, ocarina and vocals); Taner Okatan on saz, baglama, divan sazi, percussion and vocals; Michel Moushabeck on percussion and vocals; Jamal Sinno on kanun; Jenny Killgore on violin, kasik and vocals; Bruce Rawan on kanun; Mohammed Mejaour on nay, percussion and vocals; Saied Khoury on violin, buzuq, ud and vocals; and V. Tailan Yildiz on accordion.

Buy The Best of Folk Music Group Anatolia


Syrian Kanun Dreams

Maya Youssef ‎- Syrian Dreams (Harmonia Mundi, 2017)

Syrian Dreams brings together Arabic and western classical music traditions as well as other influences like jazz and flamenco. Maya Youssef is a London-based Syrian musician and composer specialized in the kanun, the ancient plucked zither used in Arabic music.

On Syrian Dreams, Maya’s virtuosic kanun is joined by Barney Morse-Brown’s cello, Attab Haddad’s ud and Sebastian Flaig’s percussion. Flaig uses a wide range of percussion instruments from the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

The album includes solo recitals by Maya Youssef as well as duets and ensemble pieces. While Maya Youssef and Attab Haddad contribute performances based on maqam and modern influences, Barney Morse-Brown adds the western chamber music tradition. Meanwhile, Sebastian Flaig’s percussion cuts across traditions, bridging various genres.

The CD booklet includes liner notes in English, French and Arabic.

Personnel: Maya Youssef on kanun; Barney Morse-Brown on cello; Attab Haddad on ‘ud; and Sebastian Flaig on dobolla, bells, riq, frame drums, tasmburiq, cymbal and pitched udu.



Syrian Dreams is a set of mesmerizing and beautifully-crafted interpretations by one of the finest kanun players in the current contemporary Arabic music scene.

Buy Syrian Dreams


Artist profiles: Tamer Pinarbasi

Tamer Pinarbasi

Tamer Pinarbasi was born in Karaman, Turkey in 1970. He attended the Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory of Turkish Music, where he developed his own technique for playing the kanun (zither). Instead of using msrabs (plectrums) on each pointer finger, he plays with his fingernails, a technique that allows him to use all ten of his fingers while playing.

Combining this technique with his knowledge of makam (Turkish modal system) and western harmony, Mr. Pinarbasi has become one of the world’s leading kanun masters.

He has appeared on numerous recordings with the top singers of Turkey, and has performed solo concerts throughout Europe.

Mr. Pinarbasi relocated to the United States in 1984 and lives and teaches in New York City.

He has performed as a featured instrumentalist and composer in the New York Gypsy Allstars Band that also features clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski.


Romantech (Traditional Crossroads, 2011)
Dromomania (New York Gypsy All-Stars, 2015)


Labyrinth Musical Workshop in Crete Announces Summer Seminar Program 2016

Labyrinth Musical Workshop, one of the most respected series of seminars and master classes in Europe, has announced its Summer Seminar Program 2016. The workshops target musicians of all levels who wish to study the modal musical traditions of the world.

Labyrinth is located in Crete (Greece) in the picturesque mountain village Houdetsi 20 kms from the capital city of Heraklion.

In addition to helping students learn the necessary technical and theoretical skills of each musical idiom, the seminars and master-classes encourage students to come closer to the spirit of the tradition they are studying, and to eventually enter into this world where musical language is just one of many other intertwining elements.

Throughout the seminars, teachers and students become part of one big “parea” (company in Greek). Aside from the time spend in the classes, teachers and students play music together, eat together, talk about matters of common interest, share stories etc.

Summer Seminar Program 2016

June 13-18, 2016

Efrén López – Music Group, An introduction to Modal Music.

June 20-25, 2016

Efrén López – Hurdy Gurdy (zanfona)

Giorgis Manolaki – Bouzouki

Ross Daly – The structure & phrasing of Makams

June 27- July 2, 2016

Ido Segal – Improvisation in North Indian classical music

Ciro Montanari – Tabla and the rhythmic cycles of North India

Giorgis Xylouris – A journey into Cretan music

July 4-9, 2016

Evgenios Voulgaris – Yayli Tanbur & Makam

Murat Aydemir – Tanbur Through The Ages

Patrizia Bovi / Peppe Frana – Medieval Music

Pavlos Spyropoulos/Theodora Athanasiou – Accompaniment in modal music

July 11-16, 2016

Martha Mavroidi – Motif & Rhythm

Senih Űndeğer – Turkish style violin

Muhittin Kemal Temel – Ali Ufki, Dimitri Kantemir and 17th century Ottoman Music

Manos Ahalinotopoulos – Modal music in the world of the Greek clarinet

July 18-23, 2016

Tigran Aleksanyan – Armenian Duduκ

George Papaioannou – Violin 2nd Part

Uğur Önür – The music & instruments of the nomads of South West Anatolia

Yiorgos Mavromanolakis – Oud for less advanced students

July 25-30, 2016

Kourosh Ghazvineh – Kurdish Makam with Tanbur

Arslan Hazreti – Kamancha

Ivan Varimezov – Gaida, Balkan rhythms and repertoire

Tzvetanka Varimezova – Bulgarian choral singing

August 1-6, 2016

Hooshang Farahani – Iranian Tar & Radif

Daud Khan Sadozai – Afghan rabab

Periklis Papapetropoulos – CİHAN TÜRKOĞLU- Saz

Djamshid & Bijan Chemirani – Τhe poetry of rhythm

August 8-13, 2016

Yurdal Tokcan- Turkish Oud (Master Class)

Göksel Baktagir – Kanun

Eleonore Billy – Nyckelharpa

Christos Barbas – Music Group: The Instrument as a Voice

August 15-20, 2016

Ahmet Erdoğdular – Classical Ottoman Singing

Ömer Erdoğdular – Ney

Derya Türkan – Kemençe

Periklis Papapetropoulos – Lavta

August 22-27, 2016

Ross Daly – Modal composition

Kelly Thoma – Lyra with sympathetic strings

George Papaioannou – Violin 1st part

Adel Sαlameh – Arabic Oud

August 29- September 3, 2016

Zohar Fresco – Frame Drums (Master Class)

Harris Laμbrakis – Rhythmic improvisation

Vagelis Karipis – Percussion in Greek tradition, Rhythms & Techniques

Peppe Frana – A modal perspective

Anna-Maria Hefele – Over-tone singing (Master Class)

September 5-10, 2016

Zacharis Spyridakis – Cretan Lyra

Michalis Kontaxakis – Cretan Mandolin

Giorgis Manolakis – Cretan Laouto

Fragiskos Baltzakis – Askomantoura

More information at http://www.labyrinthmusic.gr/en


Artist Profiles: Abdel Karim Ensemble

Abdel Karim Ensemble
Abdel Karim Ensemble

Formed by professional musicians from several countries (Syria, Egypt, Morocco and Spain) and under the direction of Abdel Karim, this ensemble has the purpose of studying and popularizing Arabic classical music.

Its repertory includes music from throughout the Middle East, from Turkey to Egypt, ranging from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Abdel Karim Ensemble also performs Andalusian Arabic music, a genre that originated in Al-Andalus, Islamic medieval Spain, where it was cultivated as a poetic-musical form known as Muwashaha.

Andalusian Arabic music has been preserved not only in the Magreb (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya) under the name of Andalusian Music, Maluf, etc, but ratherit has had great influence in the countries of the Middle East such as Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, etc.In these countries, Andalusian music has been cultivated with great zeal and without hardly changes to the tradition of the Muwashaha, conforming the nucleus of the Arab-Andalusian Music of the East, called this way in memory of its origin.

This Eastern Arabic cultured music tradition must be distinguished from the one preserved in the Magreb by its musical, rhythmic and literary differences.This repertoire can be regarded as early music and classical music, born in parallel with the Baroque and classicism of the Western musical tradition. Its language is, therefore, of an enormous wealth, unlike Andalusian music, which uses scales that are very close to western music.

One can point out the use of the quarter tones, perfectly written within a very complex modal system called Maqam, as well as subtle rhythmic formulas called wazn, of difficulty that parallels its beauty.

The instruments used have been around for centuries in Arab countries: the Nay (Arab reed flute), the Kanun (Arab zither), the ´Ud (Arab lute) and the percussion characteristic of this music: Darbuka, Bendir and Riqq, presided over everything for the melodious voice of the Mughanni (singer) that weaves with skill the feeling of the music with the refined beauty of the poetry.

At the end of the 19th century European bowed instruments began to be adopted. First it was the violin and then the cello and double bass, performed with a different, perfectly coordinated with the traditional instruments.

Although he started from a solid classical training, soon he went searching for music rooted in the past, such as music from the Middle Age, the Renaissance, the Baroque period or Arab Classical Music, learning from Moroccan masters in Tangier and TetuanDamascus (Syria), Spain, Italy, etc., and performed these styles in ensembles such as “The Earth is Flat” (Medieval Music), “Neocantes” (Renaissance) “Lúdicus Consort and Divertimento Musicale” (Baroque) and Al-Baraka (Traditional Music of the Middle East and The Magreb).

Abdel Karim has learned the Maqam (Mode), Wazn (Arabic rhythmic patterns), the technique and interpretation of the Nay with the noted specialist in Middle Eastern music Noureddin Acha, in Tangier. He has also received classes from Ziyad Qadi Amin, (Ensemble Al-Kindi) considered the best nayati (nay player) of Syria.At the moment he is deepening the knowledge of this fascinating art with diverse Arabic music specialists. He was director and professor of the Municipal Classroom ofMusic of Aracena, 1992-96 in the subjects of transversal flute and recorder flute.Abdel Karim was the founder and director of the Festival of Ancient Music of Aracena (Huelva) 1994 to 1998, as well as coordinator of the First Festival ofAncient Music of Ubeda and Baeza.