Monday, January 19

The Blues of Arabia: The history of sawt al-khaleej


Portraits along a wall in the Muhammad bin Faris house museum in Muharraq show prominent Bahraini folk musicians and singers, including, from left, Ali Khalid, Yousif Fony and Muhammad Zuwayyid.
"If you climb into a taxi in Doha, capital of Qatar, and Arab music is on the driver’s radio, the station may well be 99.0, Sawt al-Khaleej, one of the most popular and powerful radio and digital streaming broadcast networks in the region. Based in Doha, its name translates to 'Voice of the Gulf'—a fitting name for a network that seeks to appeal to a broad, Arabic-speaking audience with pan-Arab popular music up and down the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, from Kuwait to Oman. But if you ask someone who knows the music of the eastern Arabian Peninsula about this name, you might get a puzzled response: 'Which sawt al-khaleej do you mean?' Today, the influence of the 12-year-old radio network, both on the dial and at www.skr.fm, is so pervasive that for many, the words have become synonymous with Arab pop."
Aramco (Video)
Spectrum Radio (Video)
YouTube: Traditional Kuwaiti Sawt Oud Music- جاسم بن حسن صوت كويتي

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