Sunday, May 31, 2009

While I think not technically a "song," the declamatory tajwid (Qur'anic recitation) of Abdul Basit 'Abd us-Samad is startlingly musical. Born in Southern Egypt in 1927, he is said to have memorized the Qur'an by the time he was 10. Although based in Cairo, he traveled the world reciting and was particularly known for his rendering of the seven verses of the Sura al-fatiha. It's interesting to hear the differences from a recitation in Urdu, like the one below by Sadaqat Ali, having (to my ear at least) more similarities to the rhythm and tone of Qawwali singers like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Ahlul Bayt

Abdul Basit 'Abd us-Samad recites Surah Balad

Sadaqat Ali recites Surah Fatiha

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan -- Jhoole Jhoole Lal

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