Tetouan is located in the Rif mountains of northern Morocco, just over 60 km east of Tangier and 225 km northwest of Rabat. 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.
“There is some confusion in the nomenclature of Moroccan instruments. What is called the liara in the towns is called the aouada by the Raha, and what is called the aouada in most parts of Morocco is called t he chebaba in Fez and eastern Morocco. In the Rif the names are still different. (The chebaba is about two feet long, whereas the liara measures from eight to ten inches. Both are
fashioned of a single reed of cane, but whereas the liara has a mouthpiece and is played like a recorder, the chebaba is open at both ends and is played like a flute.)
I think the general inferiority of Reel 19 is a result of inexpert musicianship, particularly on the part of the drummers. However, it is always necessary to take into consideration the psychological component: these were musicians from the country playing in a closed room with no audience. It is possible that the same men performing in their accustomed environment would produce much better music.
The resonator of Heuzoumri's guinbri was the shell of a turtle about six inches long by four inches wide. Like the greater part of music elaborated in the cities (Nifdik ya Rhzali is native to Tetuan itself) no. 3 is of Arab inspiration melodically. Occasionally the rhythm automatically discloses its Berber antecedents.
It is difficult to consider no. 4 as two separate numbers, considering the almost identical melody which both songs use. In the very beginning the scale sounds like the first five notes of the major scale, but it quickly becomes clear that the lowest note is sharpened almost a half tone.”
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