23B 2 Medouni Mouts el Houah (qsbah, darbouka, 2 benadir) (Boujmaa ben Mimoun, qsbah).
Music of the Beni Bouifrour Tribe
Performers: Cheikh Hamed bel Hadj Hamadi ben Allal and Ensemble
Recorded by Paul Bowles at Segangan, Rif, Morocco. September 15, 1959.
23B-2 Medouni Mouts el Houah (qsbah, darbouka, 2 benadir) (Boujmaa ben Mimoun, qsbah)
1959, Video 2017
”This group would accept no signal
for starting; they also had a propensity for stopping a piece in the middle of
the phrase, on a completely arbitrary signal from the Cheikh. This behavior of his left me
mystified. I never knew when the music was going to start or stop, nor, it
appeared, did the musicians. The cheikh seemed to derive a strange pleasure from his high-handed assertion of
authority, although it made no musical sense whatsoever.
The bendir in northern Morocco is an
instrument I could do without. The membrane is loose and thus has a
reverberant sound; this is augmented by a wire stretched across its
from one side of the room to the other, so that what is heard is a dull
when it is struck. This sound is appreciated and sought after; it makes
auditory confusion and recordings; unhappily also the bendir players are
usually the singers, so that there is no way of reducing
the noise of the drums without losing the voices entirely. In the South
membranes are tight and not wired, so that the sound is high and clean.
(Compare the benadir of the Haha and Tafraout Tribes with those of the
Beni Bouifrour and the Beni Ouriaghel.) In Einzoren I sent the bendir
players out to build a fire and
heat their membranes, but it did no good.
very brief sequence which I have labeled ”Impromptu Dance” is a recording of a
little jam-session the musicians had got into while we were being served
tea. When the performers became aware
that they were being watched and recorded, they put an end to it.”
Bowles, Paul F. "Segangan." 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