"The qsida is the traditional popular music or Morocco, based on Andaluz music now in the cities of Fez and Meknes, as it was in Spain before the exodus of the Moroccans from there. It existed, however, before the arrival of the. Moslems in Morocco, although in quite a different form. The Melhoun qsida, besides being of considerable beauty musically, is primarily interesting because it can be considered an example of fossilized medieval European music.
This ensemble comprised two kamenjas, two ouds, one guinbri (ferkh). one banjo, one tarija and one tar. Each qsida featured a different vocal soloist, all of whom were equally good technicians. The text to the Qsida el Farraj is of relatively recent origin, having. been written about 1820 by the Moroccan poet Sid! 'Qaddour el Alami. The subject is religious, being a request to Allah for the forgiveness of worldly sins.
The soloist is Si Mohammed el Yacoubi Bertan who accompanies himself on the guinbri.
Bowles, Paul F. "Meknes." 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.