Image courtesy of AMAR Foundation


In collaboration with AMAR Foundation (Arab Music Archiving and Research), Sharjah Art Foundation presents Rawdat al-Balabel: a series of podcasts about classical Arabic music.

Launched in March 2013, the original series consisted of 104 episodes posted online over the course of 52 weeks, new episodes are available on the website every Thursday. It is divided into four programmes each featuring 26 episodes.

Founded by Kamal Kassar, the Beirut-based AMAR Foundation holds the largest and most unique collection of classical Arabic music in the world, containing recordings from the Arabic Renaissance period (1903-1930’s).


The series is divided into four programme strands each with a particular focus.

• Part 1 Sama' (Audition) – is the analysis of a given work: putting it under a microscope and looking at it from a musical angle, studying its Maqam, rhythm and performance, as well as the circumstances surrounding it including events, historical changes and/or musical changes.

• Part 2 Nizamuna al-Museeqi (Our Musical System) – is the treatment of anything related to the Arabic Musical Experience, systems of composition and rhythm. This program explains the various musical and singing Maqamat (keys), rhythms and forms in the Arabic Classical Music traditions.

• Part 3 Min al-Tareekh (History) – focuses on the historical events and figures that were contemporary or had an influence on Arabic music, especially during the renaissance period in the second half of the 19th century and the early 1900s.

• Part 4 Duroob al-Nagham (The Paths of Melody) – this section explains the systems of performance and its paths, as well as the instruments and various musical traditions existing in the Arabic Orient.