El Mahoun

The poem written in zajal is enriched with folk melodies; this
creation will give birth to Malhoun. The popular song Arabic in Morocco
borrows its modes of Andalusian music. It is known from the Almohad era
where many productions of Moroccan and Andalusian zajal emerged. The
Almohad art marked the apogee of artistic Maghreb. It is characterized
by a reduction of forms reflecting the religious rigor. It is an affirmation
of geometric shapes. The buildings are massive but lightened by scenery.
This gives an effect of majesty. They are the builders of cities like Ribat
al Fath (Rabat) and that time is a highlight of the cultural union between
the Maghreb and Andalusia. A religious rigor is also a deployment of
Sciences. Elites opened the Andalusian culture (poetry, medicine,
philosophy …) before coming to reign in the capital Marrakech. The
difference between culture and urban elite culture more frustrated
tribes became more and more.
The first form of malhoun was conveyed by maddahin,
accommodated itself very well indeed with the mission of disseminating
information that had assigned the first Almohad.
The qacidate convey a memory, a story. Melhoun not only expresses
the feelings, it is memory that has been the history of Algeria and the
Maghreb. Contrary to popular belief, the melhoun not exclusively oral, it
led to a profusion of manuscripts that had circulated in the form of
records. These documents known as the Diwan, true works of art were
beautifully hand-lettered. It is through the writing they had read the
Andalusian Bengouzman zajal Sheikh. Leo Africanus who already lived in
the sixteenth century wrote in his book “Description of Africa” as the
poets took part in competitions where he gave free rein to express their
art. Until we write a history of Malhoun must be noted that the Moroccan
claim to the authorship of this art. It probably originated Tafilalet and
experienced a transformation after being in contact with the Andalusian
music and folk songs. The genre emerged during the time of Almohad in
1147 and has grown about Dynasty Saâdiens. At that time it had received
its codification in so-called “Surûf” equivalent to “taf’ilât” of classical
poetry. Sheikh Abd El-Aziz El-Maghraoui would be the forerunner, he had
designated the metric foot to as “Dan.” He had disciples, the most
prominent is the El-Masmuda poet, who had opted for the word “Mili” to
refer to the foot. If Tafilalet was the birthplace, gender has not least
spread in cities just like Marrakech, Meknes, Fez, Taroudant, Asfi, Salé
and Rabat. Anyway, the masters of Algerian chaabi drew mostly
Moroccans in texts which they have given new strength by using an
original interpretation of the colors of the country.
The Malhoun Essaouira has experienced heady days in the
nineteenth century with its most famous representative Mohamed Ben
Sghir. According to researcher illustrates Heritage malhoun. Souhoum
Ahmed, Mohamed Ben Sghir is a strong link of malhoun and the poetic
tradition souiri of this century. This teacher was a follower of the
Brotherhood of Aissaoua for which he composed many religious songs
(ADKAR). His poetry of extreme delicacy marries the culture of his time.
However the richness of his lyrics and his repertoire earned him great
fame is in all of Morocco and until today. Among his famous qaçaïd include
in particular Lafjar (dawn); achamâa (the candle), al falaka (punishment),
et al warchane al Kasbah (the dove). Al Warchane is a hymn to love the
author for his hometown, poetry in which the dove of Essaouira
périgrinatio performs a long, imaginary to Tlemcen in Algeria.

“O dove …
Dove goes to the son of Essaouira
residing in Tlemcen.
Hello them the door of Allah
pray for their fame and their light
For that we return as they left us.
From the Lion’s Gate you get out dove,
you ask protection Sidi Mogdoul, lord of the port.
His news came to Istanbul.
Be cautious and alert.
Exceeds heaps of stone beyond the high hill,
and touches your wings dourain Moula (holy Regraga)
Glory of our country.
Tomorrow at dawn you purify yourself listening to prayer. “

Mohamed Bassis (born 1927), was also an authentic interpreter of
malhoun for several decades.
The dean of the music Melhun Haj Houcine Toulali who had established
a school of Malhoun who contributed to the preservation of this musical
expression typical reflecting different aspects of daily life.
Malhoun is an art that still lives with the younger generation of voices
like Asma Lazrak, Majda El Yehyaoui, among other cities are deemed to
represent Meknes Tafilalt, Taroudant, Marrakech, Fez.