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Famous Nubian musicians

Hamza el-Din, born in Toshka, is also called the father of the Nubian music. His exact age is not known, it is estimated that he has become 75 years. He was the first Nubian musician who has composed music for the oud as a solo instrument. He also played the tar, a percussion instrument, that in felucca's is commonly used to join the tourists to make music and sing. Then in 1964 he performed for American audiences. The folk singer Joan Baez brought him to the attention of Vanguard Records, which ultimately released his album "Music Of Nubia". Another very famous album is "Escalay: the Waterwheel". This album has been a major influence on the now popular genre of "world music". After Hamza el-Din had emigrated to America, he had a strong influence on the musical culture of African Americans. More information


Ali Hassan Kuban (1929 – 2001). He was the first with his own band starting to play the girba (some kind of bagpipe), in Nubian weddings in Cairo. In the fifties’ he also added Western instruments to his band, like the saxophone, electric guitar, bass guitar, organ, trumpet and accordion. Through his contract with the German record Piranha, he became internationally known in the genre “world music”. More information


De Sudanese Mohammed Wardi has built a rich singing career in the Nubian and Arabic languages, using various instruments including the Nubian tambur. He belongs to the top of African singers, with songs about romance and passion, Nubian folklore, patriotism and politics, which brought him repeatedly in prison. On the other hand, he received a doctorate in literature at the University of Khartoum for his research into the Nubian language. More information


Mohamed Mounir (born in Aswan in 1954) is extremely popular, not only in the Arab world, but also far beyond. His pop-oriented style has its roots in various Egyptian and African music. Also his music is inspired by reggae and jazz. His lyrics are often social and political. Furthermore Mounir is a famous actor in Egyptian movies. More information

Nubian music culture


When the Nubians had to leave their original habitat by the creation of Lake Nasser, it was feared that the Nubian culture would disappear. Certainly what the music culture is concerned, those dire predictions did not materialize.

On the contrary, Nubian music is very popular in Egypt and elsewhere, partly because many songs are performed in Arabic (with a Nubian accent). Nubian music was also an important source of influence of the blues before. Nubian music new style has a growing number of fans, not only inside but also outside the Nubian community.

The Nubians also have their own dance styles, which is transferred from generation to generation (in weddings e.g.). Many tourists acquainted with performances by Nubian folklore groups on cruise ships and in hotels.


Musical instruments

Drums and clapping characterize the ancient Nubian music. Typical Nubian musical instruments are the rababa (a kind of one-stringed fiddle), the oud (a kind of lute) and various percussion instruments such as the tar. Nowadays also modern instruments are used, which is very appealing to the younger generation.

Click for the Nubian National Song

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