Have You Enjoyed any Sudanese Song?

sudanese song

This page highlights the development of the Sudanese song through decades. Please read the notes at the 3rd right column and below to know more about this topic. Take action too. "Like", or "follow", or "tweet" using the buttons at the top of the 3rd column. Thanks.

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The rich lyrics and the musical environment in Sudan have streamlined the Sudanese songs with some stand alone styles. They have "standardized" the song of Sudan.

Here below is a lecture on this topic, which I have covered in 1983, when I was journlaist in one of the most popular and socialist Kuwaiti newspapers.

People sang in Sudan before the development of televisions, TV shows, wireless technologies and cables development throughout the planet.

I found this article in my archives here, while I was searching for such topic I wrote earlier in the beginning of the eightieth.

The press coverage accompanied by reviews highlighted a lecrure on this topic, I published that time. Many readers found it comprehensive and I received some telephon calls from many readers. I hope you enjoy reading it after all these years.

There are many useful articles I wrote which make my journalism experiences interesting... yes, at least to me personally. But, you may find it interesting too.

I have lost so many of these journalistic activities during long and hard period to escape one of the worst religious military dictatorhip in the Sudan's modern history. The second one, which exists until this moment has been inspired and developed by the first one.

However, the first dictatorship in Sudan has happened before the two religous dictatorships I mentioned here. Pleasee refer to the political website at Sudan to read about this.

The archives search I conducted resulted on this page. I hope it is interesting topic to read and know something about the development of this kind of the Sudanese song.

I found that it is difficult to translate some local terms in the Sudanese language into English, so I just worded them in English letters. I have given them more highlights, herein to explain what they mean.

The Evolution and the Genre of the Sudanese Song Through History!

The Sudanese poet and Professor, Hassan Mubarak Al Khalifa presented a lecture on the evolution of Sudanese songs in the "General Federation of Trade Unions of Kuwait" on October 1983.

When the "Sudanese Song" began traditionally, it began with that local kind of songs called "Haqiba song" in the Arabic term, which means "Bag". So, it is the "Bag's song" and it is still sung.

In such public terms in the Sudanese Arabic language, people signalize the single word meaning the plural. However, they sometimes say, "Haqiba songs".

People hang with this song because it is intimate and pure and it describes a world of virginity, where virginity is the method and the ethic that develops the Sudanese moralities decades after decades.

Then the Sudanese "Tom Tom" songs have emerged from the same kind of that Sudanese song. But, the "Tom Tom" performs with a different rhythm in the "Bag's Songs". It is regarded as a development in the Sudanese song.

Mubarak Hassan Al Khalifa, the Sudanese poet and lecturer in Sanaa University said, "The - Sudanese Song - has been evolved, but we're still to say, there're songs for the bridegroom and the bride.

"However, there are other songs for different seasons and occasions." Thus, spoke the Doctor in one of his public lectures in Kuwait.

The lecturer highlighted the terms, methods and themes of the Sudanese songs. He analyzed the socio-political impact of the Sudanese song and its reflection on the local milieu.

He explained how the old Sudanese song or the "Bag's Songs" transformed to modernity. The lecturer presented at the same time excerpts of some of them, capturing the attention of the audience and tidily focusing them on the history of the Sudanese song, its broadcast, transcendence, events and occasions.

These kinds of songs in Sudan, as I can see include also such methods of singing to children. Children songs are natural songs that mothers and grandmothers used to create the flow of their lyrics naturally and harmonize them using the music of thier throughts.

They in fact used this method even whithout having to move their lips, so the sounds they made by their throughts made the tones of that music.

They sang to children, while dealing with toys and they performed some local singsongs or lullabies during bedtime, which intended to educate, amuse, or get children in rhythm and harmony with something, or to attract the angel of sleep to land on their beds.

Presenting his theses, the lecturer answered first the question of why the Sudanese song called the "Bag's Songs" starting from the 1920s and so far.

He stated that had happened in a radio program when the programmers recorded the names of the songs on the papers and mixed them in a bag to withdraw and choose headlines of songs from these papers, whenever they wanted to broadcast a song.

The records and pictures of various types and methods of the Sudanese songs presented distinctive singing, which has been associated with productivity factors, which in turn has contributed to such methods.

The Sudanese tutor Mubarak mentioned some examples of songs in Sudan. He included the following exaples:

  • ... singing of women on some social or individual activities while pounding grain during coffee or during agricultural activities;
  • ... singing of mourners on some social mourning events, laminating their lost;
  • ... singing of boatmen on board while they are working on boats fishing or sailing;
  • ... singing of porters or even their melody or ecstatic regular rhythm which comes in musical murmurs while they are carrying hard weights or shouting the word "Helahub" so many times to encourage each other.

These kinds of songs as I can see include also such methods of singing to children and children songs while dealing with toys, singsongs or lullaby during bedtime, which, intended to educate, amuse, or get children in rhythm and harmony with something.

The lecturer added to the records that this inheritance has created a climate from which the Sudanese "Bag's Songs" had to contain various subjects and to bifurcate even within the framework of modernity.

Great-Awarded Sudanese Songs:

He said that some records of the "Bag's Songs" prove that the old elaborated Sudanese song still emphasizes survival, although some may get tide to modernity.

In fact, most of those "Bag's Songs" has gone under development with the use of the modern musical instruments instead of the old traditional musical instruments.

The lecturer explained that there are two leads through the traditional way of a song and those kinds performed on rapid pace or lightweight and slow type.

He pointed out that, factors of innovation in traditional dance style and the emergence of modern dancing or rapid turn has led to such a division in the wake witnessed of the Sudanese song in the 1940s, which has distinguished itself as a result of the rapid development of the political shifts.

He explained that those methods above include the awarded "Tom Tom" song, which acquired its name from the rhythm of the drums used in such song, in addition to other types of songs known as "sera" songs.

Those kinds of songs are actually "biography" songs praising the bride, or the bridegroom. They sing them while they accompany the bridegroom in a very intimate social march to his bride's house.

He said that, since the bridegroom has his songs in his day, the bride has also songs in her day called "songs of the bride". I think (in some cases, some families do not allow the bride to do those dances in public, because they are sexier than the forbidden dance, the "Lampada".

In the "neighbourhood" of so many big towns, there is another kind of singing in the rural districts known as couplet, or "Addobait" in Arabic, and that kind is more poetic.

While it is actually lyrics done by semi-nomads during pasture driving their animals, it runs sometimes, as I can see, in rivalry poetic and advances process. It includes poetry, called "Heda".

This kind adds musical tones to the lyrics while the nomads are pasturing or travelling with their stock. The "Heda" is primary sang to make the camels hurry during mass march for grass, or cross-borders trade, or immigration.

These kinds of songs actually inherited from the deep Arabic lyrics in its old style. Each of these methods images craft in vibrant social relations and humanitarian amalgamation and solidarity. (Author)

Political Song:

Another genre of the Sudanese Song is the "National Song". The lecturer pointed to records on national song coverage from the 1920s, when the song "Among the Ribs of the Dearest Homeland" sprang to touch the national heart by storm.

This national Sudanese song has become a norm and given a strong notion, which identifies the Sudanese political struggle during a sensitive period of Sudan history.

That struggle began popular by naturally socialist people to be inherited by landlords or military adventurers. (Author).

"In the heart, sponsored by care among the ribs of the dear nation" hides good and lovely wording between its lyrics, in the period following the Sudanese political revolution of the year 1924.

Then starting from this period in the national political struggle, some national songs followed the national theme.

Those themes unleashed the national feelings from fear and enriched it by logic, rationality and credibility, while dealing with two kinds of imperialists, one was international and the other was regional (Author).

The lecturer spoke at this point, about how the national song has built solidarity with other revolutions. He pointed some national songs that responded to the global liberation movements.

Among these Sudanese national songs, he said some called for unity with Egypt, and sang lyrics against "Hitler" and "Mussolini". Those national songs embodied the spirit of the people and they rose all the hope and ambitions to gain unity, justice, peace and freedom.

In addition to a multitude of factors and circumstances during the national struggle, the lecturer considers these songs as national seeds of modern political struggle.




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I wrote the Sudanese-song primary after reportage about a lecture on this theme earlier on 17 October 1983. I have translated it to English here after seeing that the Arabic Electronic translation failed to stress those lyrical words in the article. You can read it in Arabic here too.

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The Sudanese Song should be by now published at the HOAs Cultural Project on the HOA Political Scene Blog here. I published that website few years after the Ezine Act. But, since this page on this website has good presence, I am forced to leave it here. It performs good with its article.

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