Farrah Haidar 
Center for Arabic Culture 
877.222.9740 x.701 


March 13, 2010 at 12:00 PM 
March 14, 2010 at 08:00 PM 

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Arts at the Armory 
191 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA 02143
The Armory is accessible by T and car.  Free parking available on site.  More information here.
Driving Directions 

March Music Workshops with Master Instructor Bassam Saba 

CAC is now offering monthly music workshops taught by Master Instructor Bassam Saba (more information on Bassam below). At the end of the semester, a concert will be held to showcase all the students work.

Our plan is to make Arabic music education a part of CAC's main educational curricula - offering a uniquely authentic instruction in the theoretical and practical approach to Arabic music to the many eager music students and classically trained musicians. The group of participants will become a living, breathing, growing body, bonding around the common love they share for Arabic music, realizing the dream of performing within an ensemble under the direction of Bassam Saba.

Each month will bring new work and new material, giving students another session to look forward to and work towards.

Workshops will be held on the following dates:

  • March 13-14
  • April 10-11
  • May 8-9

Each workshop will consist of two days of musical instruction.  (See below for course descriptions):

Day 1
1:00-2:00 PM   Maqam
2:00-2:45 PM   Rhythm
2:45-4:00 PM   Improvisation

Day 2
12:00-4:00 PM  Private Lessons (purchased separately with limited availablity-details at registration)
 4:00-5:00 PM  Break
 5:00-7:00 PM  Ensemble

Pricing per workshop*

  • Student Workshop Rate - NO private lesson: $100.00
  • Student Workshop Rate with 40 minute private lesson: $140.00
  • Student Workshop Rate with 60 minute private lesson: $160.00
  • Regular Workshop Rate - NO private lesson: $150.00
  • Regular Workshop Rate with 40 minute private lesson: $200.00
  • Regular Workshop Rate with 60 minute private lesson: $225.00
  • Private instruction without workshop - 40 minutes: $75.00
  • Private instruction without workshop - 60 minutes: $95.00

* You must register for each workshop separately.

We are now accepting registrations for the March session.  Please register below.

About Bassam Saba
Bassam Saba is one of the nation's leading figures of Arabic music. Saba is a world-renowned nay virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist, performing on oud, violin, buzuq, saz and western classical flute. He has worked extensively with the biggest stars of the world: Fairouz (the diva of Lebanon) Marcel Khalife, Ziad Rahbani, Simon Shaheen, Wadi El-Safi, Paul Simon, Alicia Keys, Sting, Santana, Yo-Yo Ma and Herbie Hancock. Saba directs the prestigious 30-member New York Arabic Orchestra, which has enjoyed sold-out performances in some of New York’s greatest venues since its inception in 2007. The NYAO’s trademark lies in the performance of Saba’s original compositions and fine-tuned traditional works, and and in bringing Arabic music education into the NY public school system and universities across the country. As one of the most sought-after teachers of Arabic music, Saba has led numerous Arabic workshops, lectures, orchestras and ensembles worldwide.

To learn more about Bassam Saba please visit the following sites:

Facebook: Bassam Saba
Facebook: The New York Arabic Orchestra

Course Descriptions

Maqam – Learn maqamaat (Arabic modes) through the practice of solfage (singing). Each semester will focus on the full embodiment of a particular Muwashshah.  

Rhythm – Study the essential iqa’at (rhythms) of Arabic music through the learning of the frame drum, ideal for the vocalist and melodic instrumentalist who wish to improve his or her rhythm; better understand Arabic ornamentation; and learn the art of accompanying a percussionist. Participants will eventually pair up as duets with percussion, prepare a piece at home, and perform together in front of the class for the final workshop of the semester.

Improvisation – The complex art of taqasim (improvisation) simplified through the rare study of pre-notated melodies composed by Bassam Saba, fine-tuned patchworks that lead students effortlessly to the appropriate destinations and modulations within a maqam, while offering multiple options for direction and growth.

Ensemble – Participants learn repertoire together as an ensemble, tying in the many teachings and practices of the program, namely maqam, ornamentation, rhythm and improvisation. Participants will enjoy the rare experience of these monthly sessions to fine-tune each piece as an ensemble, and will have the opportunity to perform at the conclusion of the semester. The continuity of the program promotes participants to practice together as an ensemble and prepare for each workshop throughout the semester.