Arabic music is intensely emotionally charged. The advent of radio and of disc recordings at the beginning of the 20th century saw it spread throughout the Middle East. Meanwhile, classical music grew in popularity under the French Mandate (1920-1943) thanks to the establishment of conservatories, particularly in Beirut. Before the start of the Lebanese Civil War in 1975, Beirut was one of the most active music capitals of the Arab world. For the past 30 years, composers, performers, and orchestras have attempted to recover its ranking and aura, despite the multiple challenges the country has faced.
This interview with Zeina Saleh Kayali, musicologist, editor, and journalist at L'Orient-Le Jour, and Kamal Kassar, who set up the AMAR Foundation for Arab Music Archiving and Research, will takes viewers on a tour of Lebanon's rich music culture, past and present.