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The national cultural festivals are a set of annual ethically related festivals that takes place in Seattle center in Washington. These festivals aim at connecting and celebrating different ethnic and internal community. America houses different people from different societies all over the world. Being a cosmopolitan country, the country has a great purpose of celebrating and recognizing the different cultures. For this reason, cultural festivals conducted in different parts of United States to accomplish this mission. People from different cultures meet for this important event. The program for the festival has various art performances that include dances, films, and theatre and music ensembles. This performance attracts people from all cultural backgrounds who are either participants or the audience. One of these festivals is the Arab Middle East festival that has a large attraction due to the large group of Arab Americans held in United States of America. The festivals started in 1999 and include all 22 Arab communities. America is a main market place for the Arab goods hence a great population housed in America. The Arab has a very rich culture and history that enrich the festival. This year the festival was in October that marked my first attendance of the historical festival that I had never attended.
In this first attendance, very many participants had turned up for this festival. I was enthusiastic to learn about this great Middle Eastern music. From history, my experience was that it is a very interesting festival. In these festivals, I learned about the language and vocabulary of the Arabic languages. Their language is musical in nature that makes it more interesting. By the time, the music performed by a group of both men and women of moderate age was at the middle, my classmate who hails from the Arabian countries had introduced me to the expectations. The music is generally monophonic and has only one line that instruments and sound follow in unison. The solo singer starts with the instruments in the background or the other singers. The songs were mostly love in nature or about the thirst and the feeling of missing their home country. The theme for the Middle East music fits very well in other cultural practices including America. Other countries who participated with similar cultural music include Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and Persia.
The Middle East practices a wide range of musical instruments in line with their songs that are characteristic of their culture. One f the most popular of the stringed instrument is the pear-shaped lute (oud) that is traditionally made with four strings however currently, some of these instruments has more than six strings. The oud from legend is an invention of Lamech the sixth grandson of Adam according to the culture of Middle East. The folklore states that the invention was from the grandsons bleached skin that inspired Lamech to make the instrument. Other instruments in stage included Qanoun, Saz amongst others. A group of percussion instruments also in the festival created a great entertainment. The percussion instruments contribute to a great complex tune that matches the voice of the singers. The instruments are playable with sticks, fingers and drums. The instrument from legends is commonly in Egyptian music, Lebanese music and Palestinian music. Other instruments include the wind instruments that comprise of the woodwinds. The Rhaita (Moroccan oboe) has a double reed mouthpiece with a long and narrow body that echoes down the sound. There are also other common similar instruments like the Persian Oboe commonly known as the Zumas. People from Turkey, Egypt and Persia use these instruments for festivals and celebrations.
In the Middle Eastern music, the roles played by both sexes are almost equal. The women seemingly perform a greater dancing than the men do. This however has no characteristic meaning of the music. From the experience in the festival, men do interact with women but keeping a safe distance from the opposite sex. The folktale goes that he influence of the Islam influences the way of dancing, as some dancing styles are associated with prostitution. This is quite different from the American lyrics where people from the opposite gender dance holding one another. Among the Middle East music, the suggestive dancing by the women is against the culture. Initially the women and men practiced drunken dancing and prostitution. Meditation and self-flagellation serve the purpose of making somebody high while listening to the music. The social ranking of the musician just like the American music influences the music of Middle Eastern people. The audience listens to the music equally irrespective of the group playing the music. The higher ranked civilians tend to listen to Arabian pop music while the common people like the traditionally ranked best percussion music. The festival determines the best musician of the festival after a serious vetting by the judges. The Persian classical is a popular secular music among the Arabians.
The Middle Eastern music festival is an important event in the history of America as it makes all races in America to feel at home. The recognition makes everybody feel at home while in the soil of America. The festival is also for determining the best musician of every category hence a source of career development. The influence of religions such as the Christianity, Islam and Judaism is a great influence of the Middle East music. The religion serves a major role in the determination of the cultural music of the Middle East. The Middle East from their music and dance implicates them to the focus of a woman as a submissive person in the society. This however does not oppress the rights of the women in the society. Middle East music festival is an important event that should continue forever to enforce the cultural practices of all races in America.