Hamza El Din (1929-2006)





Born in Toskha, Nubia, in Egypt, Mr. El Din began playing oud while studying engineering at the University of Cairo. He also studied at the King Fouad Institute of Middle Eastern Music. Learning of plans to build the Aswan Dam, he quit his engineering job in Cairo and set off to preserve Nubian music before the people were dispersed. With his oud, an instrument unknown in Nubia, he travelled from village to village by donkey, gathering songs. He was playing in traditional Arabic style; it wasn't until his music acquired a distinctly Nubian flavour that it caught on.

"One day I felt the oud had a Nubian accent,'' Mr. El Din told The Chronicle in 1995. "I played for people in my village and they were mesmerized. I knew I had something.'' Hamza El Din .com

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