music of the near east

Ucla Ethnomusicology



"The Birth of Light" by Maroun El-Hakim


"Sidewalk in Beirut" by Elias Dib

The UCLA Near East Ensemble, directed by Dr. Ali Jihad Racy, presents music from East Mediterranean cities such as Cairo, Damascus and Beirut, and pieces from the pre-20th century classical Ottoman repertoire. The program consists of both instrumental and vocal pieces, as well as solo improvisations. Students of the Ensemble learn the repertoire of Arab classical and popular music, including the works of composers such as Muhammad Abd al-Wahab, on  instruments such as the kamn (violin), the 'd (lute), the ny (flute), the qnn (zither), the tablah (hand-drum), and the riqq (tambourine).

Audio Examples
Spring concert 1997 _Raqs al-Hawnim (unknown composer)
Spring concert 1997 _Sam'i Mhr' (A. J. Racy)


The Director Metric and Melodic Modes The Instruments The Rehearsal The Performance