THE MORABA’ DANCE (رقصة المربّع)


Honorable mention in Gardner composition competition by The American Viola Society, “The Mourba’ Dance” is a contemporary Arabic piece for solo viola written under the request form, and recorder and premiered by, the Lebanese-American violist Noemie Chemaly

“The Mouraba’ Dance” Opus 13C is a piece for solo Viola, based on the traditional ancient Arabic rhythm called ” Al Mouraba”, which was used in old Arabic tribes to make horses and camels dance by their Arab riders. The rhythm consists of a 13/4 meter that gives the music a moving forward feeling, combined with some of the most expressive Arabic scales (Maqamat).

The piece used the Viola 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 it 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 Viola play freely in ad libitum tempo. Then, moving along to introduce the rhythmic elements using some of the most percussive techniques on Viola, 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 ” Mouraba’ ” pulse alive.

Composed by Wajdi Abou Diab
Performed by Noemie Chemaly
Recorded at Skillman Music Studio
Sound engineer Mie Hirschfield

Small changes mini-grant for “Free Music Education For All” project

I was pleased to be a part of the online cultural exchange and public dialogue on artistic freedom in Lebanon held by Freemuse and ESA Business School, as a receiver of the “Small changes” mini-grant from Freemuse for my project “Free Music Education For All” in which I presented my project and take a part in the panel discussion.

The event took place on 24 November 2021 at 15:00 – 17:00 CET online.

The open dialogue aimed to define problems artists and cultural workers face and identify possible solutions, suggestions, and related stakeholders.

Open Dialogue and Cultural Exchange – Lebanon

Thank you for Freemuse for the next video, in which we listen to the grantees of small changes mini-grants briefly introduce their projects.
This is the first clip in the video series that will document the grantees’ creative process and their projects’ development.

Introducing the SCMG projects

From Lebanon:
Wajdi Abou Diab – Music education for all
Bassam Abou Diab – Beiroot Bordies
Art of Change – Underline
Nayzak project – Marhaba artist

From Jordan:
Theadonce for youth – Artvision
Social innovation and creative minds – Sarah Jaloudi
Send me a postcard – Sarah Nowar
Late night thoughts – Ahmad Shehadeh
Peace through movement – Tales of Jordan

From Tunisia:
Elias Fatnassi – Barkoon
Rochdi Belgasmi – I am just an image
my body is no longer mine ATAC – Small Screens
Cite’Ness – Cinema in their eyes
Fanni Raghman Aanni – Walls of Hope

Free Music For All project second season announcement

تعلم الموسيقى بالعربية – إعلان الموسم الثاني

Useful links
Free Music Education For All web page
Free Music Education For All YouTube playlist
Free Music Education For All Facebook page
Free Music Education For All Instagram profile

From Berlin to Beirut workshop

Screen shot from the last workshop

Presented by Music For Identity, From Berlin to Beirut is an intercultural music exchange project that aims to connect the German musical culture with the Lebanese musical culture. Our goal is to build bridges and a communicative environment between the participants, allowing the different cultures to open toward each other and interact together. We believe that music is a critical part of the cultural development process, and by this project we aim to open the doors between the people living in the Middle East and Germany.

These workshops was not lectures; they was interactive activities between the participants, as each group contributed to the workshop with their different musical backgrounds by sharing their stories and experiences.

The workshops was respectively on Saturday the 20th of November 2021, and Saturday the 27th of November 2021, and between the two workshops, each participant communicate with with another participant from the other culture and shared music to each other.

Workshops themes

The role of music in my culture
The role of my instrument in my culture’s music
The music education system in my country

All the presentations and discussions was held in English and the participation was free of costs.
This project was funded by Goethe Institute, and presented by Mr. Alan Ibrahim (Berlin) and Mr. Wajdi Abou Diab (Beirut)

Meet the Trainers

Alain Ibrahim

Alan Ibrahim/Berlin
Born in Syria in 1989, Alan Ibrahim studied at the International Guitar Academy, Berlin. He is currently after studying Music Teacher Training Programs (Lehramt Musik/Udk), studying Music education/KPA، both with the main focus on classical guitar at the university of Arts Berlin/Udk.
His passion for music and aim for social change and peace building through music education have contributed to his present work in various music schools and organizations in Germany. Since the beginning of 2016, he has been working at MitmachMusik organization, where He is the head of the guitar department and site manager at the Potsdam branches, in addition to leading the youth guitar ensemble that he founded himself.
Alan Ibrahim still continues to work with Tontalente in Lübeck as a project coordinator and trainer for community music activities for projects aimed at anti-racism and discrimination in music, art and culture fields.
His experience in Community music came as a result of his intensive focus in the university of Arts Berlin on leading groups, Orff instruments and free improvisation courses. In addition to different trainings for trainers organized by Musicians Without Borders.
Since the beginning of 2020, Alan Ibrahim is establishing a non-profit enterprise ”Music For Identity” with a group of musicians and experts in different fields, aiming to strengthen the voices of marginalized minorities from the Middle East through music education programs and projects, along with other projects related to peace building and social change.

Wajdi Abou DIab

Wajdi Abou Diab/Beirut
Born in Lebanon in 1991, got his license in piano in 2014, then in Music Composition and electronic music in 2016, from the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music, where he also teaches piano, harmony and music theory. and he is currently pursuing a master’s degree in “Musicologie de tradition” in the Antonine University.
Founder and director of The “Lebanese Living Composers Channel (LLCC)” and the “Free Music Education For All” projects, and he’s also founder, the principal conductor, art director, and arranger for “Orchestra El Moukhayam” and “Choueifet Orchestra and Choir”. And lately was chosen as the global youth ambassador to represent his country in the “Global Music Conference 2021”.
Wajdi has released a several music albums and music books, and received many awards, grants and honoraria for his musical work and compositions.
Wajdi’s compositions was performed and published in more than 10 countries around the world, by many orchestras, ensembles and international musicians.

Workshop poster

Global Youth Ambassador at World Music Conference 2021



The world music conference theme for the 2021

I am honored to be presenting Lebanon at the World Music Conference 2021, where I shared my experience as a founder, artistic director, and conductor of “Orchestra Al Mokhyam”, and “Choueifet Orchestra and Choir”, and talking about how music, through the orchestra practices and routines, can be used as a powerful tool to protect our kids from any cultural, sociological, psychological, and even physical dangers.

And i was pleased to participate in the panel discussion under the title of “Participatory music interventions for children and adolescents” that was streamed during the conference that’s was held virtually on the December 11th and 12th.

We were glad to introduce the Palestinian Folk music through our performance as “Orchestra Al Mokhayam” during the world music conference streaming on December 12th 2021.

Picture of Orchestra Al Mokhyam performance during the World music conference 2021

Check the full performance of Orchestra Al Mokhyam for the WMC here

Certificatef participation

Thank you World Music Conference for your huge effort in organizing all these valuable panel discussions, and bringing together an amazing international community of professionals in various fields including music, therapy, medicine, psychology, sociology, from 30 countries, and for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this great event helping in conveying the important message of achieving positive mental health for young people and adolescents through music.

You can know more about the World music Conference 2021 by visiting their website


For Concert Band (grade 4.5) – ca. 14′
1picc, 2fl, 2cl in Bb, 3sax(A,T,B), 2hn, 2tr in Bb (st. mute), euph, tba, 4perc (glock, vib, b. dr, sus. cym, sn. dr, tamb)
Opt. 2ob, 2bs, b. cl, trn, b. trn.

The Unsquare Suite is a suite of five pieces for the concert band, composed as a reflection of the asymmetrical world that we live in.
Based on many Arabic ancient traditional rhythms, the first movement takes a journey on the 11/8 rhythm called “AL AWISS” with a small introduction, then a lyrical theme, followed by a middle section of 9/8 rhythm (Aqsaq), and back to call the first theme to round up.
The second movement is based on the rhythm “Dawr Hendi” of 7/8 meter and has an energetic feeling, featuring a solo for the horns in the middle section.
The third movement features a flute choir creating an extraterrestrial mood and functions as an introduction to the fourth movement.
The fourth movement starts with an exposition of the theme in 4/4, then turns to the 5/4 rhythm featuring a solo French Horn, then develops the theme through the end of the movement.
The fifth and last movement starts with a slow introduction calling an echo from the first movement theme, then takes us on a trip into the Arabic world with an oriental mood theme of 7/8 rhythm that continues to develop until the end, culminating in a Maestoso Coda.

Wajdi Abou Diab’s “The Unsquare Suite” (4.5) is a suite of five pieces for concert band, composed as a reflection for the asymmetrical world that we live in.
As is hinted in the title, “The Unsquare Suite” makes use of asymmetrical time signatures – many of which are base on Arabic ancient traditional rhythms.



Composed By Wajdi Abou Diab
French Horn: Amr Selim
Piano: Seba Ali
Violin: Mario Rahi
Recorded, mixed, and mastered at redbouth studio

“BEL AFRAH” (بالأفراح) – opus 11B for French Horn, Violin, and Piano.
This Trio is the second in the Opus 11, inspired by the Arabic wedding tradition, and a folk tune that used to be sung during these events. in this trio, the French Horn, as a soloist, plays as an Arabic instrument, in a clear oriental mood, including the three-quarter tone from the Arabic Maqam world, and adding the accent following the rhythm used, which is the “ZAFFA” rhythm. the ambiance in the piece turns gradually from a peaceful memorial mood to a messy anxious one, with a long progression in elements, dynamics, and tension, to round it up with a memory from the introduction, resembling the emotional state that the family passes through during the long days of the wedding.

Tribute to Wadih El Safi

The tribute full video

A special tribute to the great Lebanese singer and songwriter WADIH EL SAFI, With our special guest Dr Elia Francis El Safi (Wadeeh El Safi brother) talking about Wadeeh’s life and music, and a selection of Wadih’s immortal melodies (Mawwal Lebnan ya ot’it sama, Ya bou l Marjaleh, Mawwal Walaw) arranged for piano by the Lebanese composer Wajdi Abou Diab and performed by Pianist Chantal Francis Menassa.

Arranged for solo piano by Wajdi Abou Diab
Performed by Chantal Francis Menassa
Special guest General Dr. Elia Francis El Safi
Recorded and mastered by Charbel Barq
Filmed and video editing by IAM production
Translated to English by Mariebelle Francis Naffah
Special thanks to Theatre Habchieh Ghazir and Ghazir municipality

Wadih El Safi rare photos
Chantal Francis El Safi plays El Safi/Abou Diab piano medley

The tribute in the Press

7-8-2021 | MTV | Alive | وجدي ابوذياب | شنتال فرنسيس الصافي
6-8-2021 | MARIAM TV | وجدي ابوذياب | شنتال فرنسيس الصافي | عالموعد
13-8-2021 | كلام تربوي | وجدي ابوذياب | شنتال فرنسيس الصافي | صوت كل لبنان

Puccini International Opera Composition Course 2021

After the participation in Lunigiana International Music Festival COMPOSITION COMPETITION 2020 , my piece “A CRY FROM THE FROZEN POLE” won a scholarship to attend the Puccini International Opera Composition Course 2021, that took place in Lucca-Italy, for 12 days from July 19th to 31th.

Attendance certificate

The PUCCINI International Opera Composition Course is a course addressed to composers willing to investigate thoroughly all compositional techniques in use in opera writing today, focusing both on the Italian tradition and on the genre’s contemporary international developments.
The course’s aim is to hand down the great opera tradition, having as a target the creation of new operas, bridging the past and the future in a new and enthralling vision.
and for me, that was the perfect introduction to the opera world!

PUCCINI International Opera Composition Course
Cluster – Compositori interpreti del presente

MIUR – Ufficio Scolastico IX di Lucca e Massa Carrara

Fondazione Franco Zeffirelli
Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca
Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca
Teatro del Giglio di Lucca
EMA Vinci Produzioni discografiche, editoriali ed artistiche

Ecce Musica – Magazine


Alessandro Solbiati (Composer and Composition Teacher of the ‘Conservatorio G. Verdi’, Milan)
Massimo Luconi (Stage Director)


Girolamo Deraco (Composer, Contemporary Opera Stage Director, Principal Teacher and Artistic Director of the PUCCINI International Opera Composition Course)
Maria Elena Romanazzi (Soprano, Performer)
Luigi Esposito (Composer, Visual artist, Sound designer, Performer pianist, Writer)
Antonio Agostini (Composer, Guitarist)
Stefano Teani (Composer, Conductor, Performer pianist)
Gabriele Micheli (Librettist, Conductor, Pianist)
Giuseppe Nicolò (Gramophones Collector, TV Presenter, Writer and Librettist)

Through out two weeks attending this course, I was pleased to meet all these amazing composers, musicians and stage directors who shared with us (me and other five composers from all around the globe) their experiences in composing,  writing, directing, and producing operas, and helped us work on our Chamber Opera compositions.
The course included several master classes on different topics related to the Opera world, starting by analyzing and discovering “The yellow sound” opera by Maestro Allessandro Solbiati, then a masterclass about “Libretto” by Librettist Grabriele Micheli, followed by a masterclass with Carlo Centolavigna about “Set Design”, and more masterclasses on “Graphic notation” by Maestro  Luigi Esposito, “Opera analysis” by Antonio Agostini, “opera arias” by Maestro Stefano Teani, “composition of operatic elements” and ” How to finalize an opera project” by Maestro Giralemo Deraco.

During those two weeks, my new chamber opera “The Dream” (inspired by the Greek – Phoenician myth “the kidnap of Oropa” ) took its final shape.

And here is the big news!

My chamber opera “The Dream” will be premiered at the Puccini chamber opera festival in May 2022! And it will be the first Lebanese opera produced in Italy!
A new phase in the Lebanese opera life will begin soon! Stay tuned!

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