Courses and seminars

Index / Activities / Courses and seminars / Arabic Music Essentials

Arabic Music Essentials

From March 01, 2021 until April 12, 202112:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe’s YouTube channel. 6:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m.
In English, with Spanish subtitles.

On Monday, March 8, we begin a series of five videos in which Iraqi-born violinist Layth Sidiq will guide us through the essential features of Arabic music, using songs from the popular repertoire of music.

Arab music has a huge following in our country, both among music fans and musicians, composers and event planners. We can regularly find stages and concert halls which host events that show a liking for melodies of Eastern inspiration, the rhythms of North Africa or well-known influences like those from Al-Andalus. 

However, the wide range and wealth of musical heritage from the Arab world includes many different elements which, though essential in that region, are not yet very well known or understood among all Arab music fans... For instance, what is a maqam? What is the difference between the Bayati maqam and the Hijazi maqam? What is the style of improvisation known as the taqsim? Who was Sayyid Darwish, and why is his name so important in the history of Arab music?...

To answer these questions in an informative way, Casa Árabe has teamed up with Iraqi-born violinist Layth Sidiq. For five weeks, we will be showing “Arabic Music Essentials,” short videos in which Layth guides us through all these concepts, using songs from the popular repertoire of different countries, along with his explanations given to the incomparable sound of his violin. 

The five sessions will be based upon the following:

March 15 – The song “El Hilwa Di”

March 22 – The song “Nassam Alaina el-Hawa”
March 29 – The song “Lamma Bada Yatathanna”

April 5 – The song “Taqasim: Instrumental improvisation.


Layth Sidiq (violin)

A Jordanian-Iraqi violist, composer and educator, Layth Sidiq has shared venues like the London Jazz Festival, Boston Symphony Hall, WOMEX Expo and Carnegie Hall with renowned artists such as Simon Shaheen, Danilo Pérez, Javier Limón, Jack Dejohnette and Tigran Hamasyan, as well as others. He has taken part in several award-winning albums, and his own first album, Son of Tigris, was presented at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2016. He began his musical training at the National Conservatory of Music in Amman with Timur Ibrahimov, and at the age of eleven he made his debut as a soloist in the European String Chamber Orchestra, performing before Jordanian royalty. Layth completed his bachelor’s degree at the prestigious Chethams School of Music in Manchester in the United Kingdom, and he completed his training at Berklee College of Music in Boston on a full scholarship. In 2018, Layth was one of the winners of the Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition and became the first Arab musician to participate.
Arabic Music Essentials
Layth Sidiq