Modern Song: Viewpoints and Solutions [Archives:2000/02/Last Page]

January 10 2000

Saleh Abdulbaqi,
Cultural Editor, Yemen Times
Many questions have come to my mind about what has befallen our song and the reason why it is leading to a low standard reality, through the chaotic nature of tunes, chanting and its lyrical poetry. Our modern song is lacking the beautiful taste and the beauty of artistic and musical creativity. It has cut its relationship with our artistic originality and tradition.
When we look at the reality of songs and singing today we find that everything is confused about it because of this scattered mixture and quantity of young vocalization. These young vocalists do not know what they are aiming at attaining or where they may go by their songs? Singers must comprehend well that their musical ears could not understand or distinguish anything amidst this lyrical confusion prevalent all over the country. Those youth rush randomly in their songs like a flood. So, who is responsible for this? Could responsibility be put on the audience as encouraging the spread of these trivial songs, or the effect of the song which differs in accordance with the difference of the audience’s taste and according to the difference of the song? So, this indicates that the national culture is not available or it has not developed yet in our society. But the experiences have proved that most of people are ready to receive beautiful and good songs, and to be influenced and interact with them. This is through the lyrical rhythm of the song. They respond to those songs even though they do not understand the meaning of their words.
The responsibility is on the vocalists and composers of lyrical poetry because the originality of the song lies in the quality and the meaning that it carries, and the meaningful expression of it.The responsibility is also borne by the poets because they are more conscious than others, and because of their culture and knowledge.
Unfortunately, we find that they do not offer us works harmonious to the essence of our life and the environment where we live.
Hence, the problem lies in our artistic life. The poets who write in the classic language abstain from writing in the colloquial language and local dialects. So, they prefer to stay aloof although they express their dissatisfaction towards the vulgar language with which the lyrics are written. Now, will these poets try to contribute to upgrading the language of our songs by composing lyrical poems easily understood by our society as well as the Arab people in other Arab countries? In view of that, we can say that the song is still tumbling aimlessly away from the taste of the public, and it does not appeal to or address the core of our life and has nothing to do with reality of our life. Therefore, singers have to realize that art is one of the human values and must be put in its proper place in order to realize the target we want to attain. It is the time to join hands to encourage the talented young voices to go into the depth of our life and to work to fulfill the taste of the people and create an art expressing our reality. Hereby, we call upon our poets that the modern song must be developed now, more than at any time before, because the trite artistic works are so widespread that they threaten our national art. We feel that there are some hidden hands which do not want the development of this nation. It is necessary that each member of the society work to develop and protect our songs.
So, we affirm that we have only one way, that is to create a perfect song, which is the unique way through which we can preserve our old songs, which are about to disappear. Each singer should hear those old songs and enjoy their beautiful melody by himself. Old songs can be described as a passport for any one who wants to become a famous singer. Singers must follow the ways of the old great singers.
We have to summarize some words said by Sheik Ahmed Hassan Al-Bakori in his book “Arooba Wa Deen Moqada”:
” Those who like art must remember that they shoulder a responsibility towards their nation. This responsibility is borne by the artists and their activities and ways in which they express their art. Perhaps I appreciate the role of those poets and their works. People never forget the singer whom they like most. They spend more money to reserve a seat in any party of those singers. The songs of that singer go to the heart of those people. Therefore, people throughout the world pay attention to such artists.”
In fact, what the Sheik said is considered to be true. Hence, we have to pay attention to those people who had positive contribution to defending the Yemeni revolution in the South and the North in order to stay at their country instead of traveling abroad.
The artistic advancement needs an active work. We have to know the right way and the environment of the national song.
We also call upon those who are responsible for this to open the door to the modern song and embrace young vocalists by showing them the right way for serving this art and their people .