Aziz Samsaoui



This workshop, of a theoretical-practical nature, aims to cover one of the basic aspects for the interpretation of Arab-Andalusian music, ornamentation and improvisation, covering the medieval periods and the present day. There are many treatises on musical theory from this period, both Andalusian modes and Arabic modes, which illustrate this practice, so frequent in its time but so little used nowadays by performers specialised in Arabic music. In order to approach this subject, some studies by specialists in Arab-Andalusian music from its double theoretical and practical dimension will be presented. Analysis of the norms and rules present in these theoretical sources and, above all, their direct implementation will give the participants new tools for the approach.

Among others, special attention will be given to the following topics:

  • Theoretical introduction on the rules of ornamentation according to different styles
  • Andalusian Rhythmic Interpretation
  • Interpretation from original 10th century sources
  • Theoretical introduction to the rule of ornamentation and improvisation in both Arabic and Andalusian music.
  • Practical exercises applying the theoretical formulas of ornamentation and improvisation.
  • Introduction to instruments, lute (ud), kanun (psaltery), fiddle (rebel) and winds
  • Analysis of the evolution of the ornamentation of the Andalusian and Eastern Arabic mode from different musical styles and sources.

An essentially self-taught multi-instrumentalist, he was born in Marrakech and trained at the Conservatoire of Andalusian Music in Tetouan. He studied the Andalusian lute and violin under the direction of Telemsani, perfecting his skills with maestros Mezuak and Amin Al-Akrami, among others. His interest in ancient, ethnic and traditional music has led him to progress in an inexhaustible musical itinerary through different string instruments (lute, oud, rebaba, viola, psaltery and kanun). Parallel to his work as a cultural agent and manager of a cultural project design company, he has directed festivals and cycles of great prestige, such as Etnosur Coproduction, Ciclo de Música en Castillo Santa Catalina de Cádiz and Festizaje (Jaén) and Festival de Música Antigua de Granada, as well as collaborating with the International Classical Music Festival of Santander, Canary Islands, Islamic Festival of Mértola (Portugal) and the European project: Oralidades (Bulgaria, Malta, Portugal and Spain). In 1999 he was invited to the Early Music Festival of the University of Tartu (Estonia), giving lectures and weekly lectures. His artistic career has been enriched by collaborations and recordings in different groups of different musical styles, especially early music and world music; among them we can highlight: Cinco Siglos, Alía Música, Capella de Ministrers, Estampie, Dufay collective, Veterum Mvsicae, Michel Nyman & Orquesta Chekara and Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga (Clásica). Enrique Morente, Arcángel, Segundo Falcón, Ana Reverte, Anda-Ara (Flamenco). Tejemaneje, Wafir y Basido (Ethnic), L’Ham de Foc (Folk), Nassim, Al-Maqam, Samira Kadiri, Ensemble Andalusí de Tetuán (Andalusí), and Al Andaluz Project.