Syrian music has united the Arab and Muslim worlds for many centuries. Even though Syria has been in a constant state of war currently its extensive musical history illustrates the cultural beauty that was, and still is, Syria: a vibrant culture. The Arameans and Babylonians are contemporaries of the Syrian people; during biblical times music was revered among these contemporary ethnic groups.
Traditional Syrian Music
Musical instruments such as the harp, the violin, and the flute became popular 3,500 years ago in what is now Syria. Musical dances that involved sensuality and sexual acts as a worship to pagan gods and goddesses were prevalent during this time period. During the period of King Rezin, around 734 B.C. musical styles such as the translation of Greek texts and poetic compositions were introduced and done in song forms. Prior to these aforementioned instruments, the guitar was created by Arameans in what was called Mesopotamia around 5,000 B.C. It was the most widely used instrument in the world during biblical times.
Modern Syrian Music
Syrian music involves an amalgamation of religious music and also folk music, popular around the 15th century. This effectively blends Syria's rich past with its musical present. The Muwashshashat are musical sound bites heard on radio, television, and Internet broadcasts, which is how Syrian music is heard as the Islamic government controls all facets of life. As a respite from the war, Syrian youth will listen to bootlegged Western music, not allowed under the law.
Artists such as Asala Nasri and George Nassouf are international exponents of Syrian music. More than 30 years after his death Farid Al Atrash is the most listened to artist on Syrian media. He's revered and respected, leaving a legacy of a transformation of Syrian music from using the guitar, the harp and contemporary instruments into the use of synthesizers, electronic music, and modern influences still heard today.
Listen to Syrian Music Online
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