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Music and Postcards

The online exhibition 'Music and Postcards' will take place on Instagram from October 19 to November 12.

The Museum of Music continues to offer you exhibitions to discover from your home with this second exhibition of Moroccan postcards.

The postcard appeared at the end of the 19th century, a period when technical advances in reproduction, the development of education, and the creation in 1879 of the Universal Postal Union and its communication network, enabled its birth and success. The colonial postcard, of which this exhibition presents examples mostly dating from before 1956, is above all a constructed image: it represents a fantasised image of the country, an image of colonial representation conveyed by the authorities of the time, to the detriment of the local population (as one sometimes found confirmed in the texts written on the back of the postcards).

This exhibition also shows the messages written on the back of the postcards. This complicated period of lockdown and remoteness is the ideal time for the return of the postcard: it can now regain its role of connecting and its very existence helps during this period when work, social exchanges and cultural outings are all becoming less and less possible. Thus the solidarity movement, known as "les cartes vitales", gathers artists' postcards to "give meaning to our existence", an initiative launched during the Covid-19 crisis. It is therefore with a certain nostalgia that we look back to those messages sent in the last century, which brought the senders and their recipients closer together with tender thoughts, but which also served as a medium for more trivial messages, thus giving relevance and substance to these long-distance conversations.

The exhibition will finish on November 12th on Instagram, so don't forget to follow the Museum of Music on Instagram so you don't miss any of our exhibitions and news!

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Hamid Al-Zahir, pioneer of popular music in Marrakech

The exhibition-playlist n°2, Hamid Al-Zahir, pioneer of popular music in Marrakech, has been on Youtube since October 12th.

Hamid Zahir (حميد الزاهر) or Hamid Ben Taher, was an oud player, a popular Moroccan singer, and an iconic figure in Marrakech singing. His musical playing was unique: he drew his inspiration from the musical heritage of his native city, namely the daqqa and gnaoua styles, to give his songs a festive air.

In the 1950s Hamid Zahir started producing his own songs. Recorded in the studios of the Sabah production company, songs such as "AwinAwin", "Rouah Li Bgha Yzour", and "Lila a Sidi Aâmara" quickly became big popular hits. These songs, which were copied by singers all over Morocco, paved the way for Marrakesh's musicians to achieve national success.

In the mid-70s, Hamid Zahir was already a national star. Songs such as the famous "Lalla Fatima" and "Ach Dak Tmchi Lzine" went beyond national borders, having success under such unexpected skies as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. They earned the author a number of international tours that were to take him around the world, with concerts in places as far away as Japan and Australia.

Closer to home, Hamid Zahir also became the darling of the North African public. In Tunisia, where he frequently travelled, his success was such that he was decorated by the Tunisian president of the time, Habib Bourguiba. Visit the second playlist of the Museum of Music on Youtube - enjoy the discovery or re-discovery of this music!

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Hajja El Hamdaouia, diva of modern Aïta

The exhibition-playlist n°1 Hajja El Hamdaouia, diva of modern Aïta, can be listened to continously on Youtube since August 31.

Born in 1930 in a popular district of Casablanca, Hajja El Hamdaouia discovered music through her music-loving father. Her career began at the beginning of the 1950s, first in the theatre, and then quickly in music. After a political song in which she made fun of Ben Arafa ('Waili a chibani'), considered as an illegitimate substitute for Mohamed V, she went into exile in France where she was the first female artist to sing 'châabi' in Europe. She performed in various Parisian cabarets and rubbed shoulders with the North African artists of the time (Mohamed Fouiteh, Maurice Mimun, Samy Elmeghribi...).
She returned to Morocco after King Mohamed V's return to power in 1955 and performed at the prestigious Casablanca music hall, 'Le Coq d'or', alongside Salim Hilali.
The 80s and 90s were years of oblivion for her, but she made her big comeback in the 2000s, particularly in performances in France and Canada.

"I'm always moved when I see children or young people singing my songs, I tell myself that I've achieved something in my life, I think."

Hajja El Hamdaouia
Hajja El Hamdaouia vinyl sleeve

Hajja is particularly famous for having modernised the Aita Marsawiya, a political musical style (Aïta means 'call'), originating from the Greater Casablanca region and sung in Moroccan dialect. Hajja El Hamdaouia was the first to mix the popular music of the châabi with the Aïta and to incorporate modern instruments, thus participating in the 'urbanisation' of rural singing in the Atlantic region.
Her many encounters with the world of North African music, notably in Paris during her exile, also led her to excel in Mawal gharnati, Algerian and Tunisian songs, Judeo-Arabic and even Spanish flamenco. She can also be seen singing in the film 'Retrouver Oulad Moumen' by Izza Genini, where she performs 'Ma yiddishe mama'.
She accompanied her unique voice with the bendir and the taarija: she created her first orchestra in 1959 to perform this. Her songs, which cover many subjects - courteous and daring love, betrayal, family, domestic violence, resistance, love of her country - are all full of nostalgia and humour for the Moroccans who hum them.

Hajja El Hamdaouia vinyl sleeve

The career path of this artist, with her songs and clever, mischievous allusions, make Hajja El Hamdaouia 'the iconic figure who enabled women to find the words' for Rabah Mezzouane, music programmer at the Arab World Institute and music journalist.
n the 1950s, when people began to notice her, and she began to act in the theatre with Bachir Laalej's company, she was one of the first women in Moroccan theatre, for at that time even the roles of women were played by men. She defied her father, who initially refused to let her act, and almost disowned her. Hajja also played football and committed herself to her country against France.
Her life as a committed woman can be found in her songs, where she openly expresses her femininity, talks about sex and love, domestic violence, the resistance and her country.
This exceptional artist is to be discovered and rediscovered in the first playlist of the Musée de la Musique on Youtube - enjoy discovering or re-discovering this artist!

And to continue to be informed of new exhibitions-playlists, follow us on Instagram:

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Musicians and Instruments of Africa

The first temporary exhibition of the Music Museum made with Afrikayna takes place from February 28, 2020 to February 28, 2021 (the exhibition is subject to an extension due to the Covid-19 crisis).

Exhibition poster

Through its geography and history, Morocco has been linked to both Andalusia and Africa.
The exhibition displays musical instruments and photographs which give the visitor a better understanding of the diversity of African music. There are four main categories of instruments: aerophones, membranophones, cordophones and idiophones.
In the West the first references to African music appeared in the 18th century. We present two 18th century engravings that show the European interest in these distant cultures.

Cordophones

This exhibition highlights the Museum of Music's vocation: to collect, understand and illustrate musical instruments, thus opening up understanding.


The Museum of Music has joined forces with partners who, like us, are concerned with transmitting and making known the music of Africa and Morocco. The Afrikayna association has worked closely with the Museum of Music in creating this exhibition.


The "Musicians and Instruments of Africa" exhibition was also the first "Online Exhibition" offered on Instagram.

Since the 2020 Covid crisis and lockdown, the Museum of Music has decided to offer exhibitions in different ways, even making them available from home.
To make sure you don't miss any of these exhibitions, don't forget to follow us on Instagram!