Tetouan is located in the Rif mountains of northern Morocco, just over 60 km east of Tangier. The area has been inhabited at least since the Roman era, as evidenced by the ruins of the Roman city of Tamuda located nearby. The medina of Tetouan is approximately 10 km from the Mediterranean Coast. Fortification have existed in the area since the 8th century onwards. The town as it exists today rose to prominence with the arrival of Andalusian refugees expelled by the Spanish in the 11th century.
“In no.3 of this tape, we have a strong
influence of Arab music because Bacali, who composed the song, is a proponent
of the “modern”school, which necessarily means assimilating many elements of
Egyptian music. (Egyptian popular music [film music, to be exact] has been the
favorite music of the Moroccan public for the past three decades.) In the realm of melodic explorations, Ya en Nass Khaïf could be considered the Moroccan equivalent of progressive jazz there is also the same relative onshore notice of the performance which characterizes the playing of so much progressive jazz, whereas in the traditional pieces there is no hint of the equivocal. Numbers two and three deploy the services of a boy drummer whom I had heard prior to the recordings and whom Buck Ali was loath to allow you to perform. It took a great deal of work to get him into the ensemble, but the precision and liveliness of his drumming made it worthwhile.”
Bowles, Paul F. "Tetouan." in Folk, Popular, and Art Music of Morocco. The Paul Bowles Moroccan Music Collection. Washington, DC: American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 1959-1962.
The Paul Bowles Moroccan Music Collection (AFC 1960/001), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., Courtesy of the Paul Bowles Estate and Irene Hermann / Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies