Video-Analysis of “Akh tagorye hʾashyrie” (Syriac Orthodox Chant) performed by Evelyne Daoud

(Video-analysis and URL updated 22/01/2019)

This 45th video-analysis of the VIAMAP series features an introduction explaining the basics of video-analyses for maqām music. Note that this analysis is included under “maqām and not under “Byzantine” analyses, due to the particular scale of the chant.

Video-analysis of the takhshefto (“supplication”): “Like the Merchants” Akh tagorye hʾachirye 4:50+ trimmed (caudal silence) to 4:48, performed by Evelyne Daoud (Evlīn Dāwūd), recorded in the town of Qamishli (North-east Syria)

Analysis and editing: Amine Beyhom

Special thanks to Hamdi Makhlouf and Saad Saab for their insight for the maqām analysis, and to Aboud Zino who kindly provided additional historical and descriptive material concerning this chant and the performer

A CERMAA production

Notes for the graphic representation

The pitch contour is shown as a black broken line, with the relative intensity shown as a reddish (maroonish) line. Score scales are based on the conventional quarter-tone division (half-flat and half-sharp accidentals). The graphic scales are based on the same intervallic division and feature to the left (and in the intermediate column) the names of the degrees of the scale: these follow Amine Beyhom’s proposed solmization (available as FHT 57 p. 245 in the article “MAT for the VIAMAP” by the author/editor – downloadable here), namely, for the main degrees of the scale of maqām Rāst: rā = RĀST = c, = DŪKĀ = d, = SĪKĀ = e, ja = JAHĀRKĀ = f, na = NAWĀ = g, ḥu = ḤUSAYNĪ = a, aw = AWJ = b and Rā = KIRDĀN = c’ (C). The tonic is relative with note names undergoing a change of the case of the initial letter with the change of octaves. Intermediate notes (ʿarabāt) are likewise given corresponding solmization syllables. The upper stripe features a division of the vertical space based on the tonic and its octave (red horizontal lines, plain for the tonic), the fourth (green dashed line) and the fifth (blue dashed line).
Note also that s_a = “Analysis time”; s_v = “Video time”. The original tonic is dū = DŪKĀ, which corresponds to an unstopped string of the ʿūd.

Further notes

The upper and lower cases lettering differentiates (the scale of) for example maqām Rāst (initial uppercase) from the (pitch) tonic RĀST (uppercase) and the polychord (or jins) rāst (lowercase). In both literal analysis and annotations to the graphical analysis numbers between brackets are additional bordering intervals used (or not used) in performance; for example, a rāst tetrachord on NAWĀ = na will be noted na [3]433[4] if the performer uses one-interval extensions for the original tetrachord rāst 433 on RĀST. The rest note of the tetrachord is always na but the performer may use a lower interval of one tone (“4”) between f and g, and a higher one-tone interval between = upper RĀST = KIRDĀN = c’ or (Cand Dū = upper DŪKĀ = d’ (or D). In a similar way, a ḥijāz tetrachord on DŪKĀ = will be noted 26[2] if the performer does not use the upper semi-tone of the original tetrachord ḥijāz dū 262 (the [2]) in the described performance.

Preliminary research and analysis

From the CD Syrian Orthodox Church – Antioch Liturgy (1983/1992) D 8039 Auvidis-Unesco (rights of the recording acquired to date by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings).

Track and liner notes courtesy of 
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Cover of the liner notes of the CD Syrian Orthodox Church – Antioch Liturgy ‎‎(1983/1992) D 8039 Auvidis-Unesco (retrieved from ‎‎
Back cover of the CD Syrian Orthodox Church – Antioch Liturgy (1983/1992) D 8039 ‎Auvidis-Unesco (retrieved from‎antioch-liturgy-mw0000069908)‎
Excerpt from the liner notes: [p. 5]

This is another takhshefto (supplication) based on the sixth mode[1] according to the tradition of Tur ʿAbdin [Ṭūr ʿAbdīn, طور عَبْدِين] (the equivalent of the maqām ʿajam)[2] which, due to its melismatic character, does not function at all like a qinto [melodic style], but is rather in the spirit of the maqām.

Like the merchants, the martyrs entered into battle. They shed their blood in order to obtain spiritual wealth, in the manner of skilled merchants. They bartered their lives for death, preferring torment to rest. They chose death rather than a short life. They are in the kingdom, guests of the son of the King and we are invited to participate in the feast, proclaiming: Glory to thee, Ruler of the Universe

Note on the title (incipit): the word hʾachirye is pronounced “kashīrīh” by the singer as can be read in the “Karshuni” (translitteration of Syriac in Arabic) version “Akh tagorye hʾachirye” (below) listed as No. 419 in the book The Bread of Life published in 2002.

“Karshūnī” (transliteration of Syriac in Arabic) version of “Akh tagorye hʾachirye” from the Lahmo Dhayé (The Bread of Life) published in 2002 – Courtesy of Aboud Zino
Cover of the book Lahmo-Dhayé (The Bread of Life)
More about the chant (freely translated from a private communication by Aboud Zino – See also at the end of the post the Arabic translation and the original Syriac version) …

The takhshfotho (pl. of takhshefto) are a melismatic, non-measured type of chants which span a complete octave. This particular type of takhshfotho is attributed to Bishop Rābūlā a-r-Rahāwī (“Bishop Rabola of Raha”) who died 425 CE. These were gathered and classified by one of the fathers of the Syriac Church, Jacob the Rahawite (Yaʿqūb a-r-Rahāwī) who died in 708 CE.

… and about Evelyne Daoud (same source as above)

Malfonito Evelyne Daoud (1935-2002) was a respected Lebanese cantor of the Syriac Orthodox Church who lived in Qamishli in Syria. She was very active in Church life, including teaching and scout movement.

Video Analysis (updated 22/01/2019)

Literal Analysis

On the general ascending scale of what the analyst called maqām Syriac Bayāt (equivalent to the scale of maqām Ḥusaynī dū 3344334) the singer begins with a jump of third from to ja slightly lower than the theoretical pitches corresponding to the first (more or less) stabilized tonic measured around 7 s_a rising then to na to complete the jins bayāt 334 on and concludes this introductive section of the first part on the tonic [end at 11.5 s_a]. Follow then [14-38 s_a] in a very linear manner a jahārka trichord ja 44 with a brush of the aw, a rāst 433 on na with occasional brushes of the ja and a stop on ja for what may be understood as a transitory (and intricated) jahārka 44 in trichord (skimmed from the usual caudal semi-tone when tetrachordal) then by a conclusive bayāt 334 on . This first part is similarly concluded [40-53 s_a] by a jahārka trichord on ja intricated with however a bayāt trichord 33 on.

The second part [55-103 s_a] has a similar structure (as with the first part). The third part [105.5-142 s_a] is initiated with a (near) jump of fourth on the (upper) and features a jins rāst 433 on na with a rest on this secondary tonic, the whole repeated once, followed after a silence directly by [144.5-193 s_a] a jins bayāt which announces the remake (here by the same performer) of Part 1, 3, and 1 [Parts 4, 5 and 6]. (Note a clear tendency to raise the final na for jin rāst on na.)

Additional info

About the recording

The recording was made ca 1980 (or before – estimated). The original LP was released in 1983, and the CD version in 1992, but the liner notes (by Christian Poché, [p. 3]) say that the first track[3] was recorded in Damascus: the former “Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, who died suddenly on 25 June 1980, celebrates in this track the prayers of consecration”. However, the web page featuring the extract of this song on the Smithsonian Folkway Records website[4] says that the original album was released in 1971 under the title Ritual Chant and Music with the catalog number UNES08103_114, as Track 14 (the caudal number 114 seems to indicate the CD number “1” and track number “14”) with duration 3:58… However,  the web page of the album[5] and the release tab[6] list August 10, 1996 as the first release.

Back cover of the CD Ritual Chant and Music (1996) D 8039 Auvidis-Unesco (retrieved ‎from‎

Track 14 in D 8103 was clearly picked up from D 8039 (Track 7), as the CD rank numbers indicate (8039 comes before 8103). The back cover (last line) of D 8103 (above) also states that recording copyrights (℗) for this compilation range from 1971 to 1996, which would explain the confusion on the track page.

[1] The sixth mode in the Greek-Orthodox tradition is a plagal mode the scale of ‎which is equivalent to the scale of maqām Ḥijāz-Kār (d 2 6 2 4 2 6 2 in an ascending scale expressed in approximate multiples of the quarter-tone). ‎

[2] The scale corresponds theoretically to (ascending) 4 4 2 4 4 4 2 on bb for maqām ʿAjam-ʿUshayrān in multiples of the quarter-tone, and to (ascending) 3 3 4 4 4 2 4 on d for maqām ʿAjam as such (without the caudal ʿUshayrān which points to bb as a tonic).

[3] “Sanctus” from the tradition of Mardin, Tagrit, Urfa.

[4] “Smithsonian Folkways.” Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Accessed December 19, 2018. accessed 18/12/23.

[5] (accessed 18/12/23).

[6] (accessed 18/12/23).

About the Tur ʿAbdin tradition and the Syriac oktoechos (liner notes p. 3)

The tradition of Tur ʿAbdin, tenaciously upheld in the Syrian border town of El qamishli (Syria), is a reflection of the remarkable golden age of Syriac, from which it has assimilated the various tendencies.

The Syrian Church, as is the case for all the eastern Christian communities, groups its melodic styles (qinti) within an overall unit (oktoechos, or set of eight modes), also known as ikhadia, and indicates the mode to be used for each Sunday of the year, rising every week by one scale degree.

The Syriac word ikhadia was formed from the Greek ikhos, meaning “sound” and athos, meaning “chant”. It refers to simple melodic formulae which, by virtue of the historical developments, have begun to relate to the Arabic notion of maqām, without adopting all its aspects, however.

The bet-gazo, or treasure of melodies, also known as shimo, or ferial breviary, is a compilation of non-biblical texts used as reminders for the deacons.

In practice, it is impossible to generalize the use of the eight modes throughout the community. Experience shows that the oktoechos varies in terms of the nomenclature of its scales according to province. It is as though a practice, patterned after the musical dialects stemming from local customs and usage, corresponded […] to a universal theory of oktoechos.

The scale

At first sight (listening) the scale is composed of two sometimes slightly shrunk bayāt tetrachords with central disjunction – sometimes wide – and a steadily changing tonic. This is equivalent to the scale of maqām Ḥusaynī as explained for example under maqām Bayātī (no. 59 p. 118-119) in

Ḥilū (al-), Salīm سليم الحلو. الموسيقى النظرية Al-Mūsīqā a-n-Naẓariyya [La Musique Théorique]. 2nd ed. بيروت – لبنان Beyrouth – Liban: منشورات دار مكتبة الحياة Dār Maktabat al-Ḥayāt, 1972, p. 119

but also in

Erlanger, Rodolphe (d’). La Musique Arabe (5) – Essai de Codification Des Règles Usuelles de La Musique Arabe Moderne. Échelle Générale Des Sons, Système Modal. Vol. 5. 6 vols. Paris, France: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner, 1949, scale under no. 57, p. 240

and others…

[see Beyhom, Amine. “3. Systématique modale ‎–‎ Volume III.” Thèse de doctorat, Université Paris Sorbonne, 2003 ( p. 57, scale (0,19,4,4,3344334)].

MaqāmʿAjam is frequently equated today with maqām ʿAjam-ʿUshayrān with the scale bb 4 4 2 4 4 4 2; maqām ʿAjam per se (without the caudalʿUshayrān) may have an equivalent scale to maqām Bayāt (3 3 4 4 2 4 4 – see Erlanger no. 62 p. 250) but would be notably distinguished by the necessary use of aʿajam tetrachord (4 4 2) or trichord (4 4) on bb and of a jahārkā tetrachord (4 4 2) on f. However, the use of NAWĀ = na = g as a secondary (if not first) tonic and the rare use of the upper DŪKĀ (MUḤAYYAR) = Dū = d’ argue in favor of a tetrachord rāst (4 3 3) on na = g instead of a bayāt (3 3 4) on ḥu = a; while a few maqām(s) have such a configuration in the ascending lower octave, maqām Ṭāhir (aforementioned Erlanger, no. 72 p. 270) seems to be another maqām based on the tonic which has an identical ascending scale (in the lower octave) composed of tetrachords bayāt on and rāst on na=g, with an insistence on the central na. The descending scale contains however a būsalīk tetrachord, which makes it a poor candidate for this performance.

More important however is the inner structuring of the scale in Daoud’s performance, made up of (effectively) a lower bayāt tetrachord 3 3 4 on dū = DŪKĀ = d and of a joint rāst tetrachord 4 4 3 on na = NAWĀ = g, but with an intermediate, and sometimes intricated trichord jahārkā 4 4 on ja = JAHĀRKĀ = f. This seems to indicate that this maqām, that we shall call “Syriac Bayāt” (Bayātī-Siryānī), is specific to this particular tradition, or at least not of common use as I could not find an equivalent in the literature nor could specialists of Arabian music which I consulted do so.

Arabic version of “Akh tagorye hʾachirye” from the Lahmo Dhayé (The Bread of Life) published in 2002 – Courtesy of Aboud Zino
Original Syriac version of “Akh tagorye hʾachirye” from the Lahmo Dhayé (The Bread of Life) published in 2002 – Courtesy of Aboud Zino
A capella choir of deaconesses of the Church of the Virgin (Qamishli) and conductor Malfono Paul ‎Mikhael (detail). Back cover of liner notes SOC Auvidis D 8029 – Photo credit: Jochen Wenzel

Public presentation of Amine Beyhom’s book on Byzantine chant – Orient Institut Beirut – 16th February 2016

Amine Beyhom will present his new book on Byzantine chant (and animating a seminar On priests and modes. Or how the author finally got to understand Byzantine chant theory and praxis) in the Orient Institut Beirut on the 16th of February 2016 (from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. – please see details on – pick “16th February”; contact, address and map available at

Mīkhāʾīl Mashāqa (1800-1888) was the first known modern theoretician of music to explain in written form the 24-quartertones system that was to become a standard in most Arabian countries. The lecture will reflect briefly how the personal development of this historian was closely bound with the history of the Middle East in the 19th century before shedding light on his musicological writings which, unlike other theories of Arabian music, compare the latter with the theories of Byzantine chant, namely the system of Chrysanthos of Madytos (1770-1846), who was the leader of the first “modern” reform of the Byzantine orthodox chant. This characteristic of Mashāqa’s treatise on music led the speaker to a thorough research on the two Patriarchal reforms of the 19th century.

It will be therefore shown how the theory of Chrysanthos is related to other Eastern theories like the Indian śruti system or the maqāmāt of Shihāb al-Dīn al-Ḥijāzī. At the same time, this reading will be contrasted  to Western musicological theorieson Eastern chant and their focus on Hellenistic rereading of Ancient Greek theories which, apart from trying to reduce Byzantine chant to a by-product of Western music, became the main tool of Orientalist studies on the music of the Middle East.

The presentation includes audio excerpts/analyses and liveʿūd examples.

This seminar / presentation, based on Amine Beyhom’s new book on Théories byzantines de l᾽échelle et pratiques du chant byzantin arabe, published 2015 (see: and co-organized with the Centre de Recherches sur les Musiques Arabes et Apparentées, is placed under the Auspices of the Ministry of Culture in Lebanon.


New book launch from Amine Beyhom / Publication du livre d’Amine Beyhom sur le chant byzantin

New book launch from Amine Beyhom

Publication du livre d’Amine Beyhom



(Byzantine Scales Theory and Arabian Byzantine Chant Praxis)

ISBN: 978-9953-0-3048-7

To buy the book, please follow this link / Pour acheter le livre, clicker sur ce lien.

Livre sur le chant byzantin - Amine Beyhom (page de garde)


Amine Beyhom’s new book on Byzantine chant offers a novel solution about Chrysanthos Madytos’ Theoretical system as well as an indepth tonometrical study of today’s praxis of the Byzantine chant in Lebanon.


About the author

  • Amine Beyhom is a musicologist specializing in scale theories and their praxis.
  • He has published the reference work ‘Théories de l’échelle et pratiques mélodiques chez les Arabes – Une approche systématique et diachronique’. The first tome was published by Geuthner, Paris, 2010.
  • He has written numerous ‘in-depth’ articles on modality, and founded two musicological reviews including the most recent NEMO-Online ( and is the director of CERMAA (Centre de Recherches sur les musiques Arabes et Apparentées – in Lebanon. He is a musician and a composer and has produced many CDs, concerts and various
    arts festivals within his company ‘Experimental Art Concept’.
  • He holds a Ph.D. since 2003, followed by his Habilitation in 2010 at the Université Paris-Sorbonne.
  • Since 2005, Amine Beyhom has mainly devoted his time to the teaching of musicology and the writing of his works.

Présentation Livre byzantin 151006-Images_Page_4

  • Figure Hors Texte 8 of the book: scales for the 3rd mode of Byzantine liturgical chant


Short description

  • The book has four chapters with a synthesis of about 50 pages and an appendix devoted to the origins of Byzantine chant, discussing among others the “Byzantine organ”.
  • The first chapter discusses Mīkhāʾīl Mashāqa’s works and analyses various theories.
  • The second chapter discusses the Arabian perception of Byzantine chant theories and the differences between the two major 20th-century theories.
  • The third chapter is about the Greek sources of the 19th-20th centuries Byzantine theories.
  • The fourth chapter is about Byzantine chant as it is practiced in the Lebanon in both Catholic and Orthodox churches.



Présentation Livre byzantin 151006-Images_Page_1French

Le nouveau livre d’Amine Beyhom sur le chant byzantin propose une approche comparative et analytique comportant une solution inédite pour le système théorique de Chrysanthos de Madytos.


Quelques repères biographiques

  • Amine Beyhom est musicologue, spécialisé dans les théories de l’échelle et leurs applications pratiques en musique.
  • Il est l’auteur du livre de référence « Théories de l’échelle et pratiques mélodiques chez les Arabes – Une approche systématique et diachronique » dont le Tome I (sur quatre tomes) a été publié par Geuthner en Novembre 2010.
  • Auteur de plusieurs articles de fond sur les musiques modales, fondateur de deux revues musicologiques (dont la plus récente est NEMO-Online – et directeur du CERMAA (Centre de Recherches sur les musiques Arabes et Apparentées – au Liban, il est également musicien et compositeur, et a produit plusieurs disques, concerts et festivals d’arts du spectacle via sa société de production Experimental Art Concept.
  • Titulaire en 2003 d’un doctorat, puis en 2010 d’une Habilitation à diriger les recherches de l’université de la Sorbonne – Paris IV, Amine Beyhom se consacre exclusivement depuis 2005 à l’enseignement de la musicologie et à la rédaction de ses ouvrages sur la musique.


Pourquoi un livre sur le chant byzantin arabe ?

Les relations entre la musique modale orientale et le chant byzantin ont été très peu explorées à ce jour, probablement pour des raisons de compartimentage des spécialisations artistiques au sein des communautés religieuses au Proche et Moyen-Orient(s), mais également à cause de la nature liturgique, exclusive, du chant byzantin.

Il est néanmoins certain que des interactions nombreuses ont existé (et continuent de l’être) entre musiques de cette région et ce, depuis probablement la plus haute Antiquité. Il n’en est que plus étonnant qu’aucune recherche sérieuse sur le sujet ne soit disponible actuellement, à part des articles épars constituant de maigres contributions, parfois contradictoires et souvent partisanes, à l’étude de ce domaine.

Présentation Livre byzantin 151006-Images-2_Page_1

Le connaisseur sera encore plus étonné en relevant que le fondateur (vers 1820-1830) de la musicologie arabe moderne, le docteur Mīkhāʾīl Mashāqa avait basé sa description des théories de l’échelle arabe sur une comparaison entre celle-ci et l’échelle byzantine de l’époque, en considérant d’ailleurs que la dernière était plus à même de reproduire la musique pratiquée par les Arabes que celle, qu’il dénomme « arabe » et qu’il a été le premier à introduire dans un écrit moderne, en quarts de ton égaux.

Cette comparaison, généralement occultée dans les écrits postérieurs s’inspirant du traité de Mashāqa, est restée orpheline dans la littérature traitant de la musique des pays arabes, bien qu’une copieuse littérature comparative existe, plus particulièrement depuis le début du xixe siècle, entre chant byzantin et musique ottomane ou turque.

C’est à partir de ce constat qu’Amine Beyhom décide d’entreprendre une comparaison approfondie entre les théories et les pratiques de ces deux musiques, avec des résultats qui sont exposés dans le livre proposé à l’attention du lecteur et que le présent document se propose de décrire succinctement.

Présentation Livre byzantin 151006-Images_Page_2


Court descriptif du contenu du livre et des résultats qui y sont exposés

Le livre comporte 4 chapitres ainsi qu’une synthèse d’une cinquantaine de page, un appendice (50 pages) consacré aux origines du chant byzantin (dont la fameuse question de l’« orgue des églises byzantines ») et, enfin, une série d’annexes consacrées à des problématiques particulières de ce chant.

Amine Beyhom se cantonne au début du livre à l’attitude du néophyte (qu’il a été au début de ses recherches [1]) et prend comme point de départ la comparaison effectuée par Mīkhāʾīl Mashāqa dans la première moitié du xixe siècle et ses échos dans la littérature contemporaine ; il expose dans un premier (court) chapitre les théories de ce musicologue tout en relevant certaines incohérences, concernant plus particulièrement le chant byzantin, dans le discours de musicologues du cru qui se sont intéressés à son traité.

Dans un deuxième chapitre Beyhom s’attaque aux représentations, par des spécialistes arabes de ce chant, des théories de l’échelle byzantine et met en exergue les différences entre deux théories principales, bien que toutes deux basées sur des principes qui semblent être équivalents ; une étude parallèle de la littérature disponible sur le sujet en langues occidentales courantes (française, anglaise, allemande) lui permet d’identifier la théorie byzantine proposée par Mashāqa comme étant celle de Chrysanthos de Madytos [2] tandis que les théories orthodoxes courantes de nos jours se basent sur une version modifiée qui est issue des travaux de la Commission de Musique du Patriarcat œcuménique [3] formée en 1881.

À partir de ce constat, l’auteur entreprend (Chapitre III) une vaste recherche sur les principes à la base de ces théories en s’appuyant sur les sources originales grecques ou en traduction, tout en développant dans l’Appendice une argumentation détaillée réfutant les arguments confinant le chant byzantin originel à une structure semi-tonale. Ce faisant, Beyhom applique une méthodologie qui lui permet de proposer une explication alternative de l’échelle byzantine proposée par Chrysanthos et relève une évolution fondamentale, plus politique que musicale, de la théorie du chant byzantin entre Chrysanthos de Madytos (1818) et la « Commission de musique » (1881).

Présentation Livre byzantin 151006-Images-2_Page_2

La théorie du chant byzantin étant ainsi remise en perspective, il restait à la confronter à la pratique de ce chant notamment, et pour rester dans le cadre d’un seul ouvrage, au chant byzantin au Liban, dans les deux liturgies orthodoxe et catholique [4] : en appliquant une méthodologie originale basée sur les recommandations précédentes de l’auteur dans plusieurs articles, et au bout de quelques années d’analyses de hauteurs et de comparaison des résultats, les conclusions apportées par Beyhom lui permettent de réaffirmer la primauté de la pratique musicale sur la théorie et de proposer de cantonner cette dernière au rôle, purement qualitatif, de guide non contraignant de la première.

Une vaste synthèse finale permet à l’auteur, au terme de ce quatrième chapitre, de resituer les théories et la pratique du chant byzantin dans le vaste courant de la musique de l’Orient Proche (de l’Occident) et de retracer leur évolution aux derniers deux siècles, en interaction avec les bouleversements géopolitiques qui ont rythmé la vie politique, sociale et culturelle de ces régions.

[1] C’est-à-dire vers 2005-2006.

[2] Qui devint après la rédaction de son traité sur le chant byzantin le métropolite (orthodoxe) de la ville de Durazzo (actuellement en Albanie).

[3] De Constantinople.

[4] Dans le rite catholique en Orient la liturgie est pratiquement identique à celle du rite orthodoxe qui en est l’origine.




Reminder / Rappel

To buy the book, please follow this link / Pour acheter le livre, clicker sur ce lien



Documents promotionnels / Further links and downloads:

FOREDOFICO, CERMAA and ICONEA with the “Friends of the National Museum” foundation to produce a documentary film on the Making of Hurrian Song H.6.

A lyre reconstructed by Richard Dumbrill for the Hurrian song H.6. project in Lebanon

In October 2012, ICONEA Director Richard Dumbrill visited Lebanon, initially to attend a conference in Beirut on Rituals in the Ancient Levant. The conference was cancelled following a bombing in the metropolis. Dumbrill seeked help from CERMAA/FOREDOFICO to produce a documentary film on the subject he had intended to give at the National Museum. The documentary, funded by the Friends of the National Museum and CERMAA/FOREDOFICO is about the research work Dumbrill has undertaken for the past 25 years on the translation of the oldest known musical text, written in the Hurrian language, dating from about 1400 years BC, and found at Ugarit in North East Syria in the 1950s. The documentary was shot by Paul Mattar, Founding member of FOREDOFICO, in a renowned archaeological site, and at the headquarters of CERMAA, in the suburbs of Beirut.

Rosy Azar Beyhom and Amine Beyhom, CERMAA founding members contributed to the Orientalisation of Dumbrill’s original rendition of the Hurrian material. The song was recorded at the CALA recording studios, a subdivision of FOREDOFICO specialised in archival recordings. Saad SAAB, President of FOREDOFICO made improvisastions on the Ꜥūd on the theme of the original music. The singing of the melody, and the acting on site was entrusted to a young and promising Lebanese singer, Lara Jokhadar Al-Aro. There, Lara played the role of a young woman afflicted with the curse of being childless, and sang her sorrow to the moon goddess NIKKAL so that she may bear child.


Lara Jokhadar al-Aro



The original score for the Hurrian H.6. song has been published in Richard Dumbrill’s article for NEMO N°1 :

  • Dumbrill, Richard : “Modus Vivendi,” Near Eastern Musicology Online 1 1 |2012-11| p. 89–116.


Amine Beyhom of CERMAA and Richard Dumbrill of ICONEA presented papers on July 12-14 2012 Conference at the University of the Holy Spirit (USEK) at Kaslik Lebanon.

Amine Beyhom spoke about the need for accurate definition in specific terms.

Richard Dumbrill spoke of possible Near-Eastern origins of both maqam and Pythagorean systems in Bronze Age archeomusicology.

Research on Aesthetics in music with Jean During (CNRS – France)

CERMAA welcomed recently Jean During, a senior researcher at CNRS – France. Jean During led three interviews on June 03 2012 with renowned Lebanese music teachers and musicians Imane Homsy (qanun), Joseph Loueizeh (teacher of singing and numerous other activities – member of CERMAA and founding member of FOREDOFICO) and Saad Saab (`ud teacher and performer – President of FOREDOFICO and member of CERMAA). He was accompanied by Amine Beyhom for CERMAA.

The subject of the interviews was “Music Aesthetics”.

Jean During is also a member of the Academic Board of NEMO-Online, the Musicological Journal co-founded by CERMAA, ICONEA (British Museum and University of London) and PLM (Université de la Sorbonne – France).