Egypt Arts and Music

Egypt Arts and Music


In Egypt, where the beginning of modern art in the Western sense coincides with the opening of the School of Fine Arts in Cairo (1908), many schools and many styles have followed one another: from the Cairo academy, point of Later training of many artists of the Arab world, painters such as Yūsuf Kamāl and Muḥammad Nāǧī and the sculptor Maḥmud Muḥtār came out. Between 1937 and 1945 the most important Egyptian avant-garde group, Art and Freedom, found inspiration in surrealist poetics and had Ramses among its most significant exponents.Youan (1914-1966) and Fu’ād Kāmil (1919-1973). The contemporary art group founded in 1946 with Ḥamīd Nada and ‛Abd al-Hādī al-Ǧazzār was inspired by the Egyptian folkloric tradition. In a variety of styles, in an intertwining of experiences, in keeping with Western art or sinking into ancient Egyptian or Islamic art, the search for one’s own identity shines through in the experimental activity of Muṣṭafā Ramzī al-Sayyid, in the geometry of space and of the color of the paintings by ‛Abd al-Raḫmān, in the signs traced on the particular material element (Nile silt and straw) by‛ Abd al-Hāfiẓ Farġālī, in the kaleidoscopic effect of geometries and figures by Maǧdī Kanawī, in the sculptures and paintings of Ḥandī ‛Aṭiyya Aḥmad, in the embroideries on paintings or sculptures and in the installations of Gadha Amer.


Ancient Egypt

According to listofusnewspapers, liturgical music was initially administered by priest-musicians and was probably only vocal until the New Kingdom; then the instruments entered the temple (the sistrum, the flute, the lute, the double clarinet, the double oboe, bronze bells, the Greek trigonon, etc.) and women musicians also participated in the cult. Music was present in the celebration of feasts, as evidenced by the reliefs and paintings, and in funeral rites. We have received the names of some instrumentalists and court singers, but no trace of musical notation remains. Some attempts have been made to identify by basing the studies on the position of the fingers on the strings or on the type of tuning of the instruments reproduced in the paintings.

Modern Egypt

Modern music is influenced by the Islamic tradition, even if it was contaminated during the period of Turkish domination, between the 16th and 19th centuries. The first half of the 20th century saw the flourishing in Cairo of opera companies, operetta and comic and dramatic theater. Thanks to talented musicians, Egyptian music found its own connotation and, in the wake of this rebirth, schools and conservatories of oriental and classical Egyptian music (1925) were born, protected above all by the Institute of Oriental Music (1929) and by the Department of oriental music of the Conservatory of Cairo. Some forms belong to the classical repertoire such as the Egyptian concert (wasla), the taqtuqa (light song for female voice), the tahmila, the dulab and the long one for instruments only.

Egypt Arts and Music