A music session at the Beit Al Oud by Egyptian oud player and musicologist Mustafa Said. Photo NeilvdL.

The Beit Al Oud music academy was founded under the umbrella of ADACH as a collaboration with the renowned Iraqi oud (oriental lute) player Naseer Shamma. It was set up as a counterpart of Nasseer Shamma’s Beit al Oud in Cairo. Ahmed Hameed, a cousin of Shamma, has been running Abu Dhabi’s branch for some years now. The institute provides lessons in playing the oud, the Middle-East lute, and the qanun, the Middle-East zither. There have been plans to turn the Beit Al Oud into a fully equipped academy for all Arabic instruments, but no concrete steps have been taken in that direction, which may possibly be related to the uncertainty regarding the position of ADACH. However, there are regular guest musicians who play other Arabic and Western instruments, and concerts tale place as well.

The students consist of both indigenous Emirati musicians and expats, from other Arabic countries living in the UAE.

There are initiatives to focus on traditional Gulf music as well, which is different from the music of Egypt and Syria. In fact, there are many types of Gulf music, from the sea, from the port cities, from the settled inland populations, from the Bedouin in the desert, and from the inhabitants of mountainous regions. The Takht Al Emirati, founded by oud graduate Ali Al Obeid, is a music ensemble that is making a name for itself in a combination of various styles of Emirati music, mixed with Egyptian and Syrian elements. Several members of the ensemble are former students of the Beit Al Oud and the ensemble regularly gathers here.

Another former student of the Beit Al Oud, who was able to start a solo career, is Faisal Al Sari.

Naseer Shamma is a regular guest at the Beit Al Oud. He also regularly performs in the ADMAF’s Abu Dhabi Festival.

Students pay an admission fee. More on the fees can be found on the website of the institute.

More on Abu Dhabi’s music life in general can be found on Music life of Abu Dhabi.

The Beit Al Oud still officially operates under the ADACH banner, while some of its activities already carry the ADTCA logo, an indication of the transition of the remaining activities of the ADACH into the ADTCA.

Masterclass by Egyptian musician Mustafa Said at the Beit Al Oud. Photo NeilvdL.

Members of the Takth Al Emirati including Ali Al Obeid (left) rehearsing in Beit Al Oud. Photo NeilvdL.

Written by: Neil Last modified: 20th Nov 2012
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