Sometimes referred to as Maghrebian Music, Northern Africa has contributed much to the popularity of the African Entertainment Industry. Although, the styles of music vary considerably from country to country in sub-Saharan Africa, they all share an Arabic cultural influence.
The musical culture of the region can be said to be divided in two; that of the coastal region (commonly referred to as the “urban” and “rural” or “Andalusian” music) and that of the interior (popular known as “Berber” music). Apparently, Northern African Music can be considered as a musical crossway of many traditions, such as, Old Mediterranean, Berber, Bedouin, Near Eastern, Andalusian and Saharan.
As a way of understanding the sub-Saharan Music better, we have listed out some of the unique genres the region has to offer, according to each of the countries. Check them out:
- Egyptian Classical: Classical music becomes popular in Egypt in the 18th century when instruments such as the piano and violin were adopted into the Egyptian music. Early 20th century saw the first generation of Egyptian classical music composers like, Yusuf Greiss, Abu Bakr Khairat and Hassan Rashid. The second generation of Egyptian classical composers included popular star, Gamal Abdelrahim. So far in this century, the country has produced international renowned composers such as Mohammed Abdelwahab Abdelfattah and Abdel Halim Hafez.
- Other famous genres: el Gil, Shaabi and Egyptian Pop.
- Rai: The Algerian Rai originated in the Algerian cities of Oran and Aiin Temouchent from Bedouin shepherds. The music form which dates back to the 1930s is a blend of Spanish, French, African and Arabic music styles. Singers of Rai are locally referred to as Cheb or Shabab. Traditionally sung by men, by the end of the 20th century, female singers had become common. Cheb occasionally sing about social issues that affect native populations such as disease, ineffective policing and lots more.
- Algerian Nuubaat: Nuubaat is a kind of classical music that is believed to have descended from Andalusia music in the 15th The Nuubaat style is related to the hawzii and rabaab styles.
- Chaabi: Chaabi is the general name used to describe the several types of popular music of Morocco. Chaabi combines the traditional rural and urban folk music. The rural varieties include Jerra and Aita. Some notable artists that perform the rural genre of Chaabi include Hajib, Najat Aatabou and Khalid Bennani. On the other hand, the urban varieties are called Sahli and are performed by few urban and Jewish artists such as Abdessadeq Cheqara, Haim Botbol and Pinhas Cohen. Nowadays, Moroccan Chaabi is usually fused with the Algerian Rai styles and this has attracted thousands of people in across the region.
For a variety of reasons, Libya does not have extensive popular music traditions as its neighbors. However, frequent condemnation and suppression from the governments have limited the few folk music available.
- Malouf: Tunisian Malouf is derived from Andalusian music introduced to North Africa in the 15th Many organizations have been promoting Malouf since the 1930s, with the view of maintaining the important ancient traditions of the Tunisians.