> Baghdad tradition. A tribute to Yusuf Omar (1918-1987)
Iraqi Maqâm - Masterpiece of Intangible Cultural Heritage (Unesco)
Golden Tuning Fork by Diapason magazine
Monde de la Musique: SHOCK!
Yusuf Omar, vocals
Al-Tchalghi al-Baghdadi Ensemble
The Iraqi maqâm is a set of traditional vocal and instrumental suites. Each of one is built on a specific melodic mode. The poems of love, most of the time, are chosen by the singer in a vast literary and dialectal corpus. The maqâm is an expressive music, with nostalgic or dramatic colours enhanced by various ornemental techniques which sound like sobs or lamentations. The singer is accompanied by a small ensemble, tchalghi baghdadi, comprising a zither santur, a fiddle djoze and percussion instruments.
Yusuf Omar (1918‐1987) is one of the two singers who left their mark on the maqâm in the 20th century. These six maqâm were recorded in 1972 as he was at the top of his art and his fame.