Music, Dance and Folklore

Overview of Moroccan Music

  • Amazigh Music is the music of the indigenous Moroccans. It varies in style, instrumentation, and rhythms according to geography.
  • Andalusian classical music (Arabic: ṭarab andalusi or Musiqa al-Ala, Spanish: música andalusí) is a style of Arabic music found in different styles across the Maghreb (Morocco, and to a lesser degree in Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya in the form of the Ma’luf style). It originated out of the music of Al-Andalus (Muslim Iberia) between the 9th and 15th centuries. Some of its poems were found to be composed by famous poets and authors of that era such as Al-Shushtari, Ibn al-Khatib and Al-Mu’tamid ibn Abbad.
  • Chaabi (popular in English) is a music consisting of numerous varieties which descend from the various forms of Moroccan folk music. Chaabi is performed in markets, weddings, and any celebration or meeting.
  • Gnawa is a form of music that is mystical. It was gradually brought to Morocco by Sub-Saharan Africans and later became part of the Moroccan tradition.
  •  Malhun meaning “the melodic poem”, is a form of music originated in Morocco that borrows its modes from the Andalusian music. It is a kind of urban, sung poetry that comes from the exclusively masculine working-class milieu of craftsman’s guilds.
  • Tarikas/Sufi Brotherhoods are common in Morocco, and music is an integral part of their spiritual tradition. This music is an attempt at reaching a trance state which inspires mystical ecstasy.

In addition to being an expert tour guide, Mohamed Aoualou is one of the founding members of the band AZA. Here is a video of their song Gar agar.

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