By Mudassir Raja
Oud is a very popular musical instrument in West Asia and North Africa, and the stringed instrument has a special place in the musical landscape of Qatar. The Qatari people have been showing immense love and reverence for what is dubbed as the ‘kind of instruments’ among Arabs.
The love and enthusiasm for Oud’s melodies and sweet sound was witnessed during an Oud music concert at W Doha Hotel on Tuesday evening. It was a melodious treat for Oud lovers as five young and talented Qatari Oud players performed in ensemble at a serene atmosphere of the Art 29 – located at the top floor of the hotel.
The music lovers and Oud appreciators were in the art gallery at the 29th floor of the hotel to enjoy the harmonious tones played by the five Oud players – Abdul Rehman al-Thani, Abdul Aziz Saleh, Jassim al-Siddiiqui, Ali al-Khalosi, and Mohammad al-Shamma.
The five Oud players were led by their teacher Fawzi Khalifa al-Lanqawi, a Kuwaiti national, who has been a frequent visitor to Doha. They learnt how to play the instrument with Fawzi for about two weeks, following which they decided to exhibit their talent before those who love the sound of Oud.
The concert was also attended by Khalid al-Salem, Director of the Center for Music, Ministry of Culture. The noticeably pleased and impressed Khalid appreciated the budding musicians and their teacher for presenting the beautiful Oud performance.
Talking to Community, Khalid said: “It was a kind of Oud concert. This kind of Oud concert is not very well-known in Qatar as Oud is usually played alone by a single musician. It was very good to see five Oud players performing together with different melodies and harmonies.
“With maestro Fawzi, the performers managed to play five Ouds together as one piece. We witnessed a fantastic harmony of the music. It proved to be a great concert. It was very pleasing to know that the concert was organised by the self-motivated young Oud players. They have done this by themselves. They had their rehearsals with Fawzi and then they decided to perform in front of the select audience. Music is something that gets motivation from within us and I am happy to see the motivation of the young musicians.”
Fawzi said: “I have been playing Oud for about 37 years now. I visit Qatar very frequently. Primarily, I came to Doha for my vacations. People know me here as an Oud player. Some interested people got together and we started teaching a course for Oud players at W Doha Hotel.
“We practiced the instrument for 16 days before we decided to perform for a select gathering of people. We played international Oud music, and Mozart, Arab traditional songs, Othmani music, Khaliji music, classic lyrics and modern songs. We played almost everything.
“It is right that Oud is often played alone but we got the idea of playing it in a group. Each one of my students played a different tone at the performance but in the end it was one harmonious melody. Such kinds of music groups are called furqa in Arabic. I plan to stay in Doha for some time and will offer teaching course for those who are interested in learning how to play Oud. I teach music in a university in Kuwait.”
Ali al-Khalosi said: “Our training with Fawzi has been a very good experience. We would like to learn more from the master. I started playing Oud when I was barely 10-year-old. Today, this was my second performance before the people. I will get more and more training in Oud. I will continue playing Oud. It is good seeing the encouragement and support from the Ministry of Culture.”
Abdul Aziz Saleh said: “I love Oud. I started following Oud when I was studying in the UK. One of my uncles also plays the instrument. I bought Oud and started playing it with the help of my uncle. For this performance, I will like to thank Fawzi. There is a lot of appreciation for Oud in Qatar. I would like to thank Katara for having the annual Oud Festival. We see many players and makers coming from different parts of the world.”
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