Musical MENA: Traditional Music from Mauritania to Egypt (Part I)

Ever wondered what traditional Djiboutian, Mauritanian or Tunisian music sounded like? Find out below! Click here for Part Two (From Palestine to Qatar)


Traditional music from Mauritania is called Neifara. Mauritanian music is primarily wind and percussion.


Moroccan music is a mesh of influences including Berber, Chaabi (popular) folk music, Gnawa, Classical and Classical Sufi. Gnawa was born from the nation’s mystical traditions.


The most popular forms of Algerian music reflect the nation’s incredibly diverse population. Influences include Chaabi, Arab-Andalusian, classical Arabic, Bedouin, Berber and Rai.


Tunisian music tradition is split into three main camps; Maalouf (orchestra with Berber elements), Mazwed (pop) and Salhi.


Libya has adopted a wide mixture of music across the MENA region, such as Andalusi, Berber, Chaabi and so forth.


Here’s my favourite, enjoy.


Here’s a nice sample of traditional Nubian music from the north of Sudan.


One of the main genres of music from Djibouti is Afar music. The following video belongs to one of its most noted singers.


Somalia’s traditional music is based in folklore and the musical system is pentatonic – only using five pitches per octave (as opposed to the standard European seven).

Who are your favourites?

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