Oum Kalthoum - Howwa Sahih El-Hawa Ghallab (nazara) improvisation part 2 of 2




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Published on Oct 9, 2008

Om (or Oum, Omm, Omme, Oom, Um, Umm) Kalsoum (or Kalsum, Kaltsoum, Kalthoum, Kalthum, Kalthoom, Khalsoum, Khalsum, Khalthoum, Khalthum, Kaltoum, Kolsoum, Kolsum, Kolthoum, Kolthum, Kolthom, Koolsum, Koulsoum, Koulsoun, Koulthoum, Kultum, Kulthum, Kulthume, Kelthoom)



Egyptian-born voice of Arabs: Umm Kulthum (1898-1975):

Umm Kulthum is the Arab world's most famous and distinguished singer of the 20th Century.

Few Westerners ever fathomed the appeal of Umm Kulthum, the buxom, handkerchief-waving Egyptian singer who was known to her Middle Eastern fans as The Nightingale of the Nile.

She had a stentorian contralto and a quavering wail that grated on the ears of those attuned to the trills of opera divas.

Not only was her voice strong, but she perfected a technique of rephrasing passages. She once sang a single line in 52 different ways — that drove audiences to rapture.

Her voice was a near-perfect instrument for expressing the sinuous quarter tones of Arabic music.


Her voice:

It is known that she had the ability to sing as low as the second octave, as well as the ability to sing as high as between the seventh and the eighth octave at her vocal peak; yet she also could easily sing over a range surpassing two octaves near the end of her career. Her remarkable ability to produce approximately 14,000 vibrations per second with her vocal chords, her unparallelled vocal strength (no commercial microphone utilized for singing could withstand its strength, forcing her to stand at a 1-3 meter radius away from one), her ability and capability to sing every single Arabic scale, and her voices unique and breathtaking beauty that surpasses convention, arguably makes her the most incomparable voice of all time. In her final few years, recordings show a slight coarsening of her voice, a loss of the silken golden thread of coloratura which in her earlier years, in songs such as Bairam al-Tunsi's Beredaak, she displayed with an ease and stupendous nonchalance.


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