Awesome Orchestra Composition

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by PowerMac G4 MDD, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #1
    Unsure as to whether or not a thread about strings already exists, so I'm making one now:

    Just wanted to share this to musicians out there. So my family on my dad's side is Armenian, but they come from the Middle East (beginning with the 1915 genocide). Relatives of mine grew up with Arabic music, which I find to be some of the most well-composed stuff on the planet.

    I'm sure most Americans wouldn't really have thought that Arabic music sounds nice, but it's actually very sophisticated - even their pop. In fact, their pop STILL contains real, acoustic strings, no matter how pop-ish it becomes. I like that, rather than pushing buttons on a synth, genius composers take the time to produce some of the most insane strings pieces I have ever heard; I mean, they REALLY have the most difficult violin/viola/cello pieces you've ever heard.

    Of course, the Middle East is huge and is full of many different genres of music (since countries have their own dialects and styles of music), but most of them - either new or traditional - contain outrageous violin pieces.

    I can add more to this later on, but here is a 50-second sample of possibly the most epic-sounding orchestra piece I've heard. It's from a modern song by this famous singer (George Wassouf) who's been an idol since the 1980s. That's the other thing: While the 1980s was full of one-hit "wonders" in America, the Middle East produced great music and have had many of its artists live on today. There are very few washed-up artists out there.

    Here's the Quicktime file. Listen through and enjoy!

    http://www.mediafire.com/watch/nziuk8gvnzmp6i2/EpicArabicOrchestra.mov

    (Please let me know if the link DOESN'T work!) EDIT: Don't choose 'play' for the file - download it instead. I had no success viewing it from Mediafire. Also, I would crank up the volume for this!


    (If you want to see a video of a 1980s performance from this same artist, I will gladly post that. Even though it was the 1980s, the music is sophisticated enough that it required a six violinists, a bass player, a guitarist, three on percussion, a keyboardist, a singer, a flute-player, and a qanun player. Attached below is a screenshot of the concert - minus the percussionists, guitarist, and a couple others.)


    - Note that everything I have mentioned is in regards to POP music. The modern Arabic music (1950s-ish) is a bit harder to appreciate until you've developed an ear for it... but I guess I could post that stuff upon request, for audiophiles alike -
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #2
    I love obscure, or strange, or new, music and have eclectic and esoteric tastes in music, and will happily listen to anything new or interesting.

    However, I won't download a file of this sort. Give us a you tube or other link that we can play.

    Also, please give the formal name of the group orchestra, - the name it was called, or chose to be known by - to enable some of us to do a search for it.

    Googling 'epic Arab orchestra' threw up several entries.
     
  3. PowerMac G4 MDD, Feb 2, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016

    PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #3
    It was merely a Quicktime file, but I uploaded it to YouTube for you. I can understand being iffy about downloading a random file from a random person.

    Here you are:

    (This is an unlisted video)

    The reason why I didn't include the rest of the song is because it's actually rather unusual, even for an Arabic song. I actually don't like its intro.

    I'll add more if this intrigues you. (P.S. Boost your volume and bass for the best results. This doesn't sound half as good on low volume.)
    --- Post Merged, Feb 2, 2016 ---
    Okay, here's a bonus video (which is the one I said I would upload later):

    This is the same singer whose song that previous clip is from, but this is older (1986). It's a live performance with a full-on orchestra. This isn't unusual for Arabic songs, as they are composed with extreme detail in mind, and many still use traditional instruments - even in pop songs.

    First off, this keyboardist is amazing; but pay close attention to the violinists. Notice how they don't play in unison. This is typical with Arabic pieces; they purposefully are queued with separate parts and, with great precision, are able to all play in an orderly fashion. The reason why they don't play in unison is because it makes for this nice oscillating/swaying sound, which is a rather unique thing. It should sound more apparent in the FIRST link that I gave you, or in other links that could come if you are interested. This 1986 performance is on a smaller scale since it only includes about 6 violinists. Studio Arabic songs sound as though they include at least 20, unless possible digital enhancements account for a lack of players (?).

    In most other kinds of orchestras, the violinists play in unison. It makes for a sharp and orderly tone, but it doesn't sound as nice in my opinion. The violinists in Arabic pieces, while seemingly all over the place, are heavily coordinated and produce a sound that's much more interesting and far less uniform.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 2, 2016 ---
    Here is a third video:

    Okay, I thought I would also put this up because I like it so much. Here is a second clip from that 1986 concert. More fast violin, keyboard, drums, etc.
     
  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #4
    Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to upload the three videos, and thanks for sharing them. Very interesting, and quite lovely.

    Now that I have listened to them all, I am not sure that this style is confined to what you have described as 'Arabic' music.

    Rather, it seems to me that it shares features with Persian music, and certainly, modern Turkish music has some similarities to what you uploaded, as I have quite a few CDs from Turkey. Moreover, if you listen to the brass bands from the Balkans, some of which were influenced by the Ottoman Empire when Turkey ruled that region, you may also hear some echoes of these styles.

    Actually, I suspect that some of the music found across a swathe of central Asia might share some of the features of those pieces of music.
     
  5. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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  6. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6
    Actually, I tend to agree - there is a touch of the sort of popular music one would hear in the Indian sub-continent.

    If I had to characterise it, I would describe it as the modern version of a form of popular music that has grown out of the culture of Islam - ranging from North Africa, across central Asia, and terminating roughly in the Indian sub-continent.
     
  7. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #7
    I think it's mostly the keyboard synths used. They love using keyboards in Arabic music, but not always. One thing, though, they also use sometimes is the accordion. However, it's way more exciting than it sounds; it's not merely that which you might expect from stereotypical French songs or something, or a mariachi band.

    In fact, I should upload a nice clip that includes the most difficult accordion playing you might hear.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 3, 2016 ---

    The older, 1950s Arabic (which is technically "modern" Arabic) will sound more like stereotypical Arabic music. THIS that I've shown you, on the other hand, is more loose and pop-like - especially with that humorous 1980s synth. One of the most famous singers from way back when is Sabah Fakhri, who is still alive today. He sings and is accompanied by a traditional Arab orchestra. He also holds the world record for longest concert ever given: As a senior, he sang for about 10 hours straight without stopping. His voice doesn't sound that unusual-sounding, but it's interesting that NOBODY else really sounds like he does. This, of course, is harder to get into than Arabic pop. I only became a bit interested in it now as my tastes matured a bit, and that's after having listened to the music since I was a toddler.

    BTW, there are several styles of Arabic music - whether new or old. The main styles are Egyptian-Arabic, Lebanese-Arabic, African, Syrian-Arabic, and 'Gulf style.' The best orchestras seem to be the Syrian ones, Egyptian-Arabic sounds like stereotypical Arabic music, Lebanese-Arabic music sounds the more cheerful/happy, and Gulf Arabic sounds traditional and enchanting. There is also Algerian Arabic (where the language is actually a completely different type of Arabic) music, which also sounds very traditional and stereotypical.

    I will update this thread with new clips now and then.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 3, 2016 ---

    Interesting - I never considered this myself. It may be that I am just used to this type of music. While I cannot even speak Arabic, I've listened to the music long enough that it's pretty much second-nature to me. If and when I post future clips, I'll make sure to include other styles of Arabic, since that which I have shown is more of a Syrian style. The singer whose songs these are is Syrian: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Wa…

    This is 'George Wassouf' (famous world-wide) - even Europeans indulge in Arabic music. Contrary to popular Americans belief about Syrians, this guy is Christian. A good 10% of Syrians are Christian, in fact. I know this is off-topic, but I'm sure a lot of the hate would bubble down if everyone knew this.
     
  8. JamesMike macrumors demi-god

    JamesMike

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    #8

    Having worked in all the areas and listened to the music, I agree with you.
     
  9. PowerMac G4 MDD, Feb 3, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016

    PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #9
    Here's yet another song:

    This is Algerian-Arabic (entirely different dialect), which is its own style of Arabic music... and it also happens to be the most stereotypical-sounding. This is the 1997 remake, by a different artist, of the original 1970s song. The remake is just it but more refined and produced with better instruments.

    This is likely the song to relax with, rather than sit and listen to.
     

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