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Munir Bashir was born in Mosul, situated in northern Iraq. According to different references he was born between 1928 and 1930 and he died September 28, 1997. Munir Bashir was one of the most famous musicians in the Middle East during the 20th century and was considered to be the supreme master of the Arab maqamat scale system.
In the long history of the oud / ud, Munir Bashir is one of the most important players. His style noticeably differs from other oud-players, for example from the urban “showmanship” in the “typical Egyptian” style of Farid El Atrache, or from the heavily jazz-oriented music of Lebanese Rabih Abou-Khalil, who is very popular in Europe.
In particular in the field of soloistic improvisation (Arabic: taqsim) over the common scales (maqam, plural maqamat) in Arabian music, his colleagues considered him to be an unsurpassed master. It is surely thanks to Bashir’s pioneering work that nowadays oud-players are able to give solo-concerts all over the world.
He created different styles on the Arabian short scaled lute, the oud. He was one of the first Arabian instrumentalists known to Europe and America. Bashir’s music is distinguished by a novel style of improvisation that reflects his study of Indian and European tonal art in addition to oriental forms.
Despite not being an ethnic Arab, Munir played a big role in Arab culture throughout the 20th century. Born in Iraq, he had to deal with numerous disruptions of violent coup attemps and multiple wars that the country went through. He would eventually exile to Europe and become noticeable first in eastern nations such as Hungary and Bulgaria. Bashir's musical legacy is continued by his son, Omar Bashir
Please visit Munir Bashir Foundation official website: www.munirbashir.net
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