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Syrian National Symphony Orchestra
Syrian National Symphony Orchestra

Musical composition in Syria

(Dp-news – Sana)

DAMASCUS- Experiences in the field of developing musical composition in Syria range from those that remain at the threshold of this art form to those who sail boldly into it to prove their presence on Arab and international levels.

Musical composition is an important indicator of the development of a country's musical movement. In Syria, there are around 20 important names in this field, with their musical styles and projects ranging from oriental heritage music to contemporary western music, while others adopt a fusion of classical western music and oriental music.

In an interview, composer and pianist Ghazwan Zarkli said that establishing Selhi al-Wadi Institute for music in 1961 marked the beginning of a musical renaissance in Syria, noting that the Institute seems to neglect musical composition in favor of musical performance.

Zarkli said that the current trends in Syrian musical composition are mostly based on western techniques, but composers tend to focus more on music and neglect singing.

He pointed out that the phenomena of songs from the Syrian coast region filled a void in Syrian folk music, causing controversy in the cultural community.

For his part, composer Hassan Taha said that musical composition is an intellectual and artistic process that expresses the composer's vision, noting that Arab music is distanced from the intellectual state of Arabs both on the level artists and audience.

He pointed out that there is no Syrian music on the level of international classical repertoire, with Syrian musicians traveling abroad to perform folk music as a simple, nostalgic cultural case, adding that Syrian composers are virtually unknown locally, and that they gravitate towards the more popular music that appeals to the audience and attract sponsors.

In turn, young composer Wasim Ibrahim said that musical composition is a creative state that requires great skill and experience, stressing the importance of study alongside experience in the career of musicians and composers.

Conductor Missak Bagbodrian said that musical composition is a very complex science and not just a natural gift as it relies on very deep knowledge of music, musical theory and technique.

Bagbodrian said that there are two generations of Syrian composers: pioneers who made personal efforts and studied to create personal styles heavily influenced by European romanticism, and the younger generation which is influenced by modernity and whose music reflects contemporary life.

Regarding the attempts made by some Syrian bands to reinvent heritage music, Bagbodrian said that this is a mistake because heritage is society' legacy, and that these attempts will distort heritage because was influenced by a specific time period, while life continues to change and develop.

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