Blog Content

THE SIKAH DANCE for solo flute | رقصة السيكاه
Published on 18 June، 2021
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OPERA WORLD, here I come!
Published on 18 June، 2021
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THE KHOSH RANK DANCE | رقصة الخوش رنك
Published on 12 June، 2021
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THE AWISS DANCE | رقصة العويص
Published on 19 May، 2021
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SAMA’I WAJDI | سماعي وجدي
Published on 19 May، 2021
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A CRY FROM THE FROZEN POLE | صرخة من القطب المتجمّد
Published on 17 May، 2021
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Samme’na Shi Mna’erfou |سمّعنا شي منعرفه
Published on 14 March، 2021
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Chicago Arabic Music Workshop
Published on 4 February، 2021
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Published on 3 February، 2021
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تفاعيل: في ايقاع الشعر العربي
Published on 18 December، 2020
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عن مبادرة التعليم الموسيقي عن بعد المجانية
Published on 13 November، 2020
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Music for Story Performance
Published on 21 October، 2020
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“Majnoun Layla” suite
Published on 7 September، 2020
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Warm-up Chorales for orchestra
Published on 19 August، 2020
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Lunigiana International Music Festival COMPOSITION COMPETITION 2020
Published on 10 August، 2020
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Scales and Arpeggios for piano
Published on 11 July، 2020
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Arabic Folk Tunes for Solo piano
Published on 11 July، 2020
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موسيقى الصّور الشّمسيّة
Published on 20 June، 2020
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The Lebanese National Anthem
Published on 12 June، 2020
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Tyre International festival 2017 with composer Jamal A. Hosn
Published on 5 June، 2020
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Projects with the Composer Nabil Jaafar
Published on 5 June، 2020
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Works for Recorder
Published on 31 May، 2020
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A Tribute to Zaki Nassif
Published on 23 May، 2020
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Dances for an asymmetrical world
Published on 23 May، 2020
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Projects with the Oud player Abbas Kassamany
Published on 23 May، 2020
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Our Special Quarantine
Published on 23 May، 2020
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Ya Hnayena
Published on 23 May، 2020
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“From Far Away”
Published on 23 May، 2020
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Longa and Samai’ – with Piano Accompaniment
Published on 23 May، 2020
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World Music online course
Published on 17 May، 2020
(read more…)

THE SIKAH DANCE for solo flute | رقصة السيكاه

THE SIKAH DANCE | رقصة السيكاه
Opus 23
Composed by Wajdi Abou Diab
Performed by Ramy Maalouf
Recorded at Jihad Zgheib Studio
Mastered by Charbel Bark

“Sikah Dance” is a solo piece for flute, based on the Arabic traditional rhythm “Sama’i Aksak” which is a combination of two rhythms: the Arabic rhythm Sama’i thaqil with 10/8 meter, and the Turkish rhythm Aksak with 9/8 meter. the melodic material is inspired by an Arabic Makam called “Sikah”, which includes many microtonal intervals, and it’s one of the most used Makams in the middle east, especially in folkloric music of Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine (the Arabic Mashreq)

OPERA WORLD, here I come!

I am thrilled to receive an invitation from Cluster to attend the fifth edition of the PUCCINI International Opera Composition Course, that will be held in lucca – Italy from July 18 till august 1, 2021.

“I hereby declare that composer Maestro Wajdi Abou Diab is officially invited to the fifth edition of the PUCCINI International Opera Composition Course. (…)
Maestro Wajdi Abou Diab was selected among many applicants because of his talent and dedication. He will be required to attend private lessons, concerts, seminars and public masterclass. (…)
The course is organized by Cluster – Compositori e Interpreti del Presente in collaboration with: Fondazione Giacomo Puccini, Fondazione Zeffireli, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca, Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca, Teatro del Giglio, EMA Vinci Produzioni discografiche (audio- video), editoriali e artistiche.
The course commission composed of Maestro Girolamo Deraco, Artistic Director, and Maestro Francesco Cipriano, President of Cluster, due to the high artistic qualities of his compositions, decided to grant him a scholarship of € 1,250″
The Artistic Director
Maestro Girolamo Deraco

THE KHOSH RANK DANCE – رقصة الخوش رنك

Composed by Wajdi Abou Diab
Performed by Jana Semaan
Recorded at Redbooth Studio

“The Khosh Rank Dance” – Opus 13B, is a piece for solo Cello based on the traditional ancient Arabic rhythm called “Khosh Rank”, which was used in old Arabic tribes to make horses and camels dance by their Arab riders.
The rhythm consists of a 17/8 meter that gives the music a moving forward feeling, combined with one of the most expressive Arabic scales (Maqamat) called “Rast”, which has a serious and steady mood, though suitable sometimes for dance and fast movement.
The piece used the Cello as a melodic instrument to call the ancient Arab old, using some microtonal elements that come from the nature of Arabic maqam music and also used as a percussion instrument to introduce the rhythm and the camel dance spirit.
Starting with a “Mawwal”- a group of small improvised melodic phrases that Arabic singers used to start with it their performances – in which we can hear the Cello play freely in ad libitum tempo.
Then, moving along to introduce the rhythmic elements using some of the most percussive techniques on Cello, and gradually adding the melodic elements, alternating between normal and harmonics (resembling the Arabic old instrument “Rababa” that is well known for its very breathy nasal sound), in addition to the clear rhythmic accent that keeps the “Khosh Rank” pulse alive.

THE AWISS DANCE – رقصة العويص

Wajdi Abou Diab – Music and video
Dustin White – Bass Flute

The world premiere performance was given on April 16, 2021, at West Virginia University’s Bloch Hall by Dustin White.
The Piece is included in the “RI Ra” album after winning the call for score by Dustin White for his album project.
“The Awiss Dance” Opus 13A, is a piece for solo bass flute, based on the traditional ancient Arabic rhythm called “Al Awiss”, consists of an 11/8 meter that gives the music a moving forward feeling, combined with one of the most expressive Arabic scales (Maqamat) called “Saba”.
The piece used the bass flute as a melodic instrument to call the ancient Arab world, using some microtonal elements that come from the nature of Arabic maqam music and also used as a percussion instrument to introduce the Awiss rhythm and the camel dance spirit.
Starting with a “Mawwal”- a group of small improvised melodic phrases that Arabic singers used to start with it their performances – in which we can hear the flutist sing on the instrument while playing it.
Then, moving along to introduce the rhythmic elements using some of the most percussive techniques on flute, and gradually adding the melodic elements, first with half sound half air (resembling the Arabic old instrument “Shabbaba” that is well known for its very breathy sound), then with full sound, in addition to the clear rhythmic accent that keeps the “Awiss” pulse alive.

Bringing sonic variety to the album is Wajdi Abou Diab’s The Awiss Dance. Abou Diab writes beautifully for the bass flute, playing to its strengths as both a melodic and percussive instrument. The opening combines short melodies with vocal drone in a Mawaal, a group of improvised phrases common to traditional Arabic performances. The fast-paced rhythmic selections, based on the traditional Arabic rhythm Al Awiss, are riveting. Abou Diab requires the flutist to play numerous techniques in rapid succession, a challenge in coordination and endurance that White tackles with energetic precision.

An excerpt from the review on Dustin White CD “Rira” on the “Flute view magazin

SAMA’I WAJDI – سماعي وجدي

Wajdi Abou Diab – Music & Video
Anna Suhaila – Flute
Ramzi Hakim – Piano

“Sama’i Wajdi” Opus 22, is a piece for Flute and piano based on the traditional Arabic rhythms called “Sama’i Thaqil” of 10/8 meter, and follow the structure of the Arabic classical music form called “Sama’i” (also known as a traditional ottoman form), resembling a rondo form, with the last “Khana” (couplet) has a fast tempo and based on the “Dawr Hendi” rhythm of 7/8 meter.
The piece used the flute as a melodic instrument to call the ancient Arab world, using some microtonal elements that come from the nature of Arabic maqam music and also used as a percussion instrument to introduce the rhythmic pulsation.
After a small piano introduction, the flute plays the ‘Taslim”, or the refrain, then, moving along to explore in the Arabic Makams and modulation, inspired by the Arabic performance technique and the Taqassim.

Interview about the piece

A CRY FROM THE FROZEN POLE – صرخة من القطب المتجمّد

Music – Wajdi Abou Diab
Lyrics – Shadi Sawan
Vocal performance – Ahmad El Kheir
Piano – Liana Haratyunyan
Violin – Mario Rahi
Viola – Charbel Bou Antoun
Cello – Jana Semaan
Supervision and editing – Scarlett Saad
Videography – Joe El Hajj
Recording engineer – Rami Ouzoun
Mixing and mastering – William Mahfoud
Sound and Video Production – Redbooth
Recorded and filmed at Antonine university – Baabda

الترجمة العربية في الاسفل
A piece composed in 2020 by the Lebanese composer Wajdi Abou Diab, for Male singer, violin, viola, cello, and piano, based on a poem by “Shadi Sawwan”.
Winner of the special price by Cluster and an honorable mention in the Lunigiana International Festival composition competition 2020, “A cry from the frozen pole” is a poem written by the Syrian poet Shadi Sawan in 2010, lunching a cry to save the humanity in our souls, against the system that barries our souls before we are even born, leaving us without hope, to live our lives in the emptiness, rigidity, coldness, and pain, as if we are living in a frozen world, traveling from ice to ice.
The rhythm elements in the piece are inspired by an Arabic folk tune called “Aintoura” that uses the Dabkeh rhythm of 6/4. The melodic elements are the result of the merging of four of the most significant Arabic Makams (scales), which are: Rast, Bayati, Sikah, and Saba.
All these elements (in addition to using the instruments in an Arabic traditional way) combined with the baritone oriental singing, help us to sense an echo of the ancient Arabic traditional music, in a contemporary context that reflects at the same time our new world and new sounds.
The music as well as the poem, help this piece to present an image of the reality of living in this region: always trying to relive our beautiful memories, but faced with an echo that we can barely hear or acknowledge, an echo that we rely upon to get the hope we seek to skip this big prison someday.

كتب القطعة المؤلف اللبناني وجدي أبو دياب عام 2020 ، للمغني، كمان، فيولا، تشيلو، بيانو، بناء على قصيدة للساعر شادي صوان.
حائزة على الجائزة الخاصة من "كلاستر" ورتبة شرف في مسابقة لونيجيانا الدولية للتأليف 2020 ، "صرخة من القطب المتجمد" هي قصيدة كتبها الشاعر السوري شادي صوان عام 2010 ، تطلق صرخة لإنقاذ الإنسانية في روحنا،صرخة ضد النظام الذي يدفن أرواحنا حتى قبل أن نولد، يتركنا بلا أمل، نعيش حياتنا في الفراغ والقساوة والبرودة والألم، وكأننا نعيش في عالم متجمد، ننتقل من الجليد إلى الجليد.
عناصر الإيقاع في القطعة مستوحاة من الاغنية الشعبية اللبنانية "العينطورة"،ويستخدمفيها إيقاع الدبكة 6/4. اما العناصر اللحنية، فهي نتيجة اندماج أربعة من أهم المقامات العربية ، وهي: الراست، البياتي، السيكاه، والصبا.
كل هذه العناصر(بالإضافة إلى استخدام الآلات بالطريقة العربية التقليدية) جنبًا إلى جنب مع الغناء الشرقي، تساعدنا على سماع صدى الموسيقى التقليدية العربية القديمة، في سياق معاصر يحاكي عالمنا الجديد وأصواته الجديدة.
تساعد الموسيقى والقصيدة هذه القطعة في تقديم صورة لواقعنا المعاش في المنطقة العربية: نحاول دائمًا استعادة ذكرياتنا الجميلة، لكننا نواجه صدى بالكاد نسمعه أو نتعرف عليه، وهو صدى نعتمد عليه للحصول على الأمل الذي يساعدنا في تخطي هذا السجن الكبير يومًا ما.

“صرخة من القطب المتجمّدْ”
شعر شادي صوّان

ومن الجليدِ إلى الجليدْ
قالوا لنا يومَ الولادةِ
إذْ ولدْنا ميتينْ
هذي لكمْ تفاحةٌ قضمتْ مفاصلها السنونْ
فمنَ الجليدِ إلى الجليدْ
ماتتْ معاولنا الحزينةُ في الضبابْ
لاروحَ توقظها ولا أبواقَ موسى في الهضابِ
وحين نغفو في الأسرّةِ
يستحيلُ الحلمُ حزناً غارقاً
وصراخَ أغنيةٍ تمرّغُ مقلتيها بالعذابْ
عاشَ الشبابْ.. عاشَ الشبابْ
قالو لنا: هذي لكمْ تفاحةٌ
نخرتْ معالمها ذبابةْ
وضعتْ بيوضَ اليأسِ في أحشائها
للّذي خلقَ البعوضةَ والذبابةْ!
هذي لكمْ لنْ تحلموا فوقَ السحابِ بغيرها
أفواهُكمْ فُطمتْ على قضمِ الرغيفِ المُستعارْ
بالثلجِ تحترقونَ
بالأملِ المضرّجِ بالغُبارْ
فمنَ الجليدِ إلى الجليدْ
ومنَ الجليدِ إلى الجليدْ

Articles and interview about the piece

السلّم والمقام وصرخة من القطب المتجمّد – العربي الجديد بقلم علي موره لي

“صرخة من القطب المتجمد” مقطوعة عربية للمؤلف وجدي أبوذياب تحصل على جائزة عالمية ورتبة شرف من ايطاليا

Samme’na Shi Mna’erfou (سمّعنا شي منعرفه)

A new album for solo piano by the Lebanese-Italian pianist Ramzi Hakim, and the Lebanese composer Wajdi Abou Diab.

Wajdi Abou Diab – arrangement

Ramzi Hakim – piano performance, recording, mixing, and editing

Charbel Bark – mastering

Agnese Franchini – cover design

The album is a collection of the most famous Arabic songs, arranged for piano solo.

This work comes as an attempt to bring together the various traditional Arabic musical dialects, and to present them in a unified musical language.

The aim of choosing the classical musical style, as a means of presenting it, specifically by adopting the piano instrument of global spread, was to try to build a bridge of communication between European classical music and Arab music, and to expose the audience of classical music to our Arab heritage.

The publication of these arrangements in a digital book, and placing it within the reach of professional musicians, pianists, piano professors and their students, had a great impact on compensating for the shortage in distributions of Arabic songs for the piano instrument, especially after the increased demand for such works by fans of Arabic music all around the world.

Among the biggest challenges of this work was the transfer of lyrical Arabic music to instrumental piano music, including its melody and rhythm, adding to it the piano classic harmonic character while preserving the Arab identity in melody and content, and being careful not to distort the melody and rhythm, while taking into account the lyrics and its content in terms of the story and the symbolism of each song.

This album plays an important role in preserving a group of Arabic melodies that occupied a prominent place for a long period of time in our social life and our musical memory, through the written and audio archiving of the melodies of these songs

The entire work was recorded remotely, as the musician Ramzi Al-Hakim prepared the pieces and recorded them, then sent them to the author to share opinions and reach the desired goal, and it is interesting that the author and the musician did not actually meet at all, and they got to know some of them through social networking sites.

About the Artist

Pianist Ramzi Hakim

    Ramzi Hakim Italian-Lebanese, born in Lebanon in 1977, began studying piano at age of six, obtaining a Bachelor in the Higher National Conservatory of Lebanon. Since 1998, he pursued his studies and professional activities in Italy. He achieved his piano Master degree with Professor Maria Teresa Carunchio and higher diploma in Electronic Music and Sound Design with M° Eugenio Giordani in Conservatory of Music “G. Rossini” in Pesaro. He continued his studies at National Conservatory of Music “A. Buzzolla” Adria and the International Academy of Padova with Federica Righini. He attended several master classes in chamber music with Alla Volkova, and Massimiliano Damerini. He joined the International Academy of Music in Rome with Konstantin Bogino.
    For seven years he has been working regularly with “Fortuna Theater” in Fano in various productions and Opera festivals, both as piano accompanist and soloist in their the recitals. Since 2011 he has been pianist of the Singing Opera School in the same Theater with Professor Agata Bieńkowska.
    In 2009 he founded Trio Ayesha and won several international competitions in  International Chamber Music Competition “Città di Pesaro”, XVII Competition “Giulio Rospigliosi”, International Competition “Pietro Argento” Gioia del Colle, and XIII International Competition of Corato Euterpe.
    He was invited to perform throughout Italy and abroad in major season’s festival. Some of the major venues are: Teatro della Fortuna in Fano, Teatro Rossini in Pesaro, Teatro comunale in Cagli, Festival Eté Mosan in Belgium, Auditorium Hariri in Lebanon, Festival Duni in Mater, Taranto, Bologna and Lecce. He played in various chamber ensembles and orchestras such as Symphonic Orchestra Rossini.
Since 2014, he has been actively engaged in intense teaching and concert performance in UAE.

Listen to the full Album here

Watch the Release video here

Download press kit here

Visit Ramzi Hakim profile here

Articles about the album release

Agenda Culturel

NNA – الوكالة الوطنية للاعلام

موقع بشوفك

Al Modon – المدن


Leb journal

Palestine news

كل يوم

بوابة الاقليم والشوف

SouthLB – جنوب لبنان

Cover design by Agnese Franchini

Chicago Arabic Music Workshop

After receiving an invitation from the Chicago based pianist/bassoonist/composer Angela Salvaggionne to give a workshop about Arabic music, and meet her students and listen to them perform selections from the two books “Longa and Sama’i” and “Arabic Folk Tunes“, and to guide them through the pieces, a workshop with the Lebanese composer Wajdi Abou Diab was hold via ZOOM on 30 January 2021 for almost 5 hours, that included three main parts.

In the first part, Wajdi gave a lecture titled “Music of Al Mashriq Al Arabi”, in which he discussed, after a historical introduction, many topics including the Arabic music alphabet, the Arabic music structures, the Maqams families (composition, scales, “Sayr”…), the Arabic instrumental and vocal traditional forms, and Arabic traditional Rhythms.

The second part was dedicated to the students’ performances, through which Wajdi listened to 12 selections from his two book “Longa and Sama’i” and “Arabic Folk Tunes” performed by the workshop participants, and presented a detailed review about every performance, including the story behind every piece, information about the composer, and advice on Arabic music performance technique.

In the third part, Wajdi met 3 composition students, shared with them his ideas about composition, instrumentation and orchestration, and talked in details on “how to benefit from Arabic music elements in our contemporary compositions”, then listened to the students’ compositions and gave them his feedback, after sharing with them some resources and material that can help develop their musicianship as composers.

This workshop was a part of a many other workshops and activities that aim to spread the Arabic music knowledge, and to present the Arabic traditional music for non Arabic musicians, and help Arabic music take a bigger part in the worldwide music scene.

You can download the Workshop Materials for free from the Free Scores Page

and we are delighted to share with you Angela’s words about the workshop

“Dear Wajdi, 

Thank you so very much for the workshop and master class you presented to my students and colleagues on January 30, 2021. It was delightful to meet you, learn from you, and watch you work with my students.

 The theory information you presented was exactly what we all needed and met us where we were at, as complete beginners with Arabic music theory. The worksheets you created were well done and very informative. That discussion gave us good information to help us all begin understanding how the music is constructed, which will help us all in our performances and become more informed listeners.

 I loved how you were able to work very well with the wide variety of students, both in age level and in experience. Your comments were excellent and well received. Students are now beginning to see how to make their performances more effective and musical.

 The time you spent with the composers was also excellent. They are each happy to have met you and appreciated your critique and insights in composing. We’re thankful you were willing to take time with each of them and give positive comments and excellent suggestions to help them grow and improve.

 Again, thank you very much for being willing to work with us all. You presented an excellent musical experience for us all. Your musical and teacher’s heart and expertise are amazing, as are your breadth and depth of knowledge. Each of us is a better musician now because of the time you spent with us. I’m very hopeful we have another opportunity to work together again.

 Wishing you continued success and excellent in all your musical endeavors! 

Angela Salvaggione”

DABKET El 2020

A new project I worked on during the last 2 weeks of 2020, I wrote a short melody Inspired by the Lebanese folk dance called Dabkeh, to celebrate the end of the 2020 year, and to dance with those who survived it! I recorded the same piece 12 times, and I shared one recording per day for 12 days, with each video featuring a new instrument and a new friend, with the 2020 Dabkeh band joining us in all the videos to celebrate the end of a messy year!

you can download your instrument score for free on the Free scores page

Day 1
for “Bass Trombone
Performed by Joshua Gaub
Day 2
for “Clarinet in Bb”
Performed by Marvin Madi
Day 3
for “a pianist with a dog”
Performed by Joseph Saleh
Day 4
for “Piccolo”
Performed by Antonio Mallah
Day 5
for “Vibraphone”
Performed by Christelle Njeim
Day 6
for “Oud”
Performed by Abbas Kassamany
Day 7
for “Violin”
Performed by Joelle Khayyat
Day 8
for “Tenor Saxophone”
Performed by Thomas Horing
Day 9
Bepop version with solo
Peformed by Ramzi Bou Kamel
Day 10
for “Double bass”
Performed by Makram Aboul Hosn
Day 11
for “Bassoon”
Performed by Bălănuță Irina Elena
Day 12
for “Trumpet”
Performed by Ion Todei

Meet “Dabket El 2020” Characters from Left to Right

Barda’ (بردع), Shaflah (شفلح), Jamloot (جملوط), Satlan (سطلان), Safkhath (صفخظ), and Shalshaban (شلشبان)