Sunday 28 January 2018

Thursday 25 January 2018

Az Yashir Moshe Traditional - אז ישיר משה

Shabbat Shira is always a beautiful week in synagogue. The bakashot are spectacular and the hazan will fill the room with some of the most beautiful melodies to sing. It has become a staple in synagogue's around the world that Shabbat Parashat Beshalah is known as a day of song and joy.
Moroccan Jews have the custom to add special lines preceding the recital of Az Yashir Moshe specifically on Shabbat Beshalah. They are sung in the same traditional tune as Az Yashir Moshe.
The song Ashira Keshirat Moshe can be found here: (Az Yashir Moshe is below)

French Moroccan Jews were accustomed to sing different melodies for Az Yashir Moshe for every week with different maqamim. (For example see HERE in maqam zarka). They would only sing the traditional tune for Shabbat Beshalah.
Spanish Moroccan Jews almost always sang the traditional tune and only on the Hagim did the paytanim change the tune. Whichever group you belong to, knowing the traditional tune for Az Yashir Moshe is a must. Here it is:

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Yafa VeTama (kseda) bakashot - יפה ותמה קסידא בקשות

At the end of all bakashot are called "ksedot," plural for one "kseda." These are lengthy songs usually sung in a faster pace, relating the importance of a certain topic or praise of God. There will be ksedot on Mashiah, the End of Days the beauty of Torah etc.
One of the ksedot of Parashat Beshalah is called "Yafa VeTama" which has recently taken the Sephardic Music world by storm. It's a beautiful song sung in the maqam Hijaz el Msirki.
Open up the song with the Petiha found HERE, followed by the kseda, by yourself or with a group.

Thursday 18 January 2018

Yodu Lecha Rayonai - יודו לך רעיוני

This song is of the most popular songs attributed to the Abuhatzeira dynasty, written by the famed Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira, also known as the Baba Sali.
The maqam is sahli and is quite easy to learn
In this recording I adapt the Kadish to the tune as well.
This tune can fit in any other quatrain song or part of Tefila such as:

  • Ki Eshmera Shabbat
  • Yoducha Rayonai
  • El Adon
  • Yigdal
  • Lecha Dodi

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Esta Rahel La'Estimoza - אסתא רחל לאסתימוזא

This classic song written in old Spanish used to be sung for the bride before her wedding. Today, many Moroccan Jews have the custom to sing it at the Henna ceremony or at the wedding. In short, we tell the bride that the material figures in life are of least importance and all what matters is being thankful to Hashem our God.
The maqam of this song is misirki.
I like to sing this tune during Hallel since the chorus contains the words of הודו לה' כי טוב. I would open with a petiha for הללו את ה' כל גוים and then continue with this tune beginning with Hodu, continuing through min hametzar and ending with ze hayom asa adonai. In this recording I continue using the tune straight until the end of Hallel. However, as many are accustomed to, after ze hayom, we go back to pithu li and repeat it using a different tune.
In honour of Rosh Hodesh Shevat, I post this today for your learning pleasure.

Sunday 7 January 2018

Ya Ribi Tismah (hilula) - יא רבבי תשמאח (הילולא)

I heard this catchy tune when I visited Morocco over ten years ago at the kever of Rbi Amram BenDiwan. It is my go-to tune for any hilula. The tune and words were composed by Albert Suissa and many lyrics of our tzadikim have been adapted to this tune since everyone loves it so much.
I do my best to sing it in Arabic (words posted). If I made some mistakes in pronunciation, I apologize.
This song's maqam goes well with Zarka or Mzmoum. 
In the recording I sing the tune to Rau Banim and Lecha Dodi, however it can be used for any quatrain song.

Haftara Vaera French and Spanish tunes - הפטרת וארא נוסח מרוקו צרפתי וספרדי

French Moroccan

Spanish Moroccan

Saturday 6 January 2018

Eeroch Mahlal Nivi Lichvod HaKadosh Ribi Yaakov Abuhatzeira - אערוך מהלל ניבי לכבוד הקדוש רבי יעקב אבוחצירא

As one of my all time favorites, this song goes down in the record books for the most sung piyut for a hilula; any hilula that is. Composed by Rabbi Yaakov Ben-Atar in honour of the Rabbi Yaakob Abuhatzeira zt"l, Moroccan Jews around the world wait for the 20th of Tevet to celebrate his life and the ceremony is culminated by singing this piyut.
There have been many adaptations to the song in recent years. Some have changed the tune, some have altered the words to fit their own respective tzadik, but I assure you this is the original.
The maqam is Iraq (as are many songs of the hilula).

Thursday 4 January 2018

Yigdal (mzmoum) - יגדל (מזמום)

This Yigdal in maqam mzmoum I heard from Rabbi Eliyahou Elbaz from France, one of the great hazanim of our generation. Although I never met him personally, I confirmed with one of his students (which I met recently) that indeed he sings this a lot. The tune comes from one of the songs of Sami El Maghribi z''l. (if you are aware of the exact name of the song, please send me a note in the comment box. I'd love to know)
Towards the end, I switch the tune to "Meshe Yah Asur" - part of the Koudam el Jdid compilation which is also in maqam mzmoum. I hope to record the entire Koudam el Jdid in the near future.

Tuesday 2 January 2018

Nakdishach Kedusha- קדושה נקדישך

 Arguably the nicest tune for Kedusha out there. Made famous by R' Haim Louk. Enjoy!