Iraqi Maqam
Hussein Al Adhami

Tuesday 13 July 2010

The “Maqam” is a four hundred year old genre of music found in several countries including Iraq where it is often considered the most perfect form of Maqam. The focus is on the poem sung in classical Arabic or Iraqi dialect. It primarily consists of several passages which at times are completely improvised and heavily depends on the hearing and laryngeal sounds in a manner free from anomaly, which are created by using metric accompaniment that often lead to a medley of strophic songs.

Hussein Al Adhami was born in Baghdad in 1953. He became a prominent Maqam singer and was famously known as “The Ambassador of the Iraqi Maqam.” In 2003 Al Adhami’s research on Iraqi Maqam was inscribed in 2008 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, UNESCO. Al Adhami excelled in the performance of the Iraqi Maqam for over thirty years, as well as being a prominent writer and researcher on the subject. His essays include: ‘The aesthetic ideal in performance”, ‘The Iraqi Maqam within the Religious Secularized World’, ‘Memory of Travel’ (multiple parts), ‘Iraqi Maqam in the Twentieth Century’, ‘The Alqubanji Approach in Iraqi Maqam” and ‘Iraqi Maqam Between the Two Methods.’