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date: 13 December 2019

Raḥbānī familylocked

  • Ali Jihad Racy

Extract

Lebanese family of musicians .

‘Āṣī Raḥbānī and Manṣūr Raḥbānī were usually known as al-Akhawān Raḥbānī (‘The Raḥbānī Brothers’). They came from a musical family; their father Ḥannā al-Raḥbānī was an amateur player of the buzuq (long-necked fretted lute). In their early lives the brothers worked as policemen. They studied music in Lebanon with Father Būlus Ashqar (1881–1962) and Bertrand Robillard (d 1964). In 1954 ‘Āṣī married Fayrūz Fayrūz, who became one of the most popular singers of Lebanon and the Arab world. Between the late 1950s and the early 70s ‘Āṣī and Manṣūr created a vast vocal repertory for Fayrūz, who sometimes performed with other well-known artists. Working together, the brothers and Fayrūz became widely recognized as a musical team; their repertory included hundreds of songs and about two dozen musical plays which incorporated dialogues, songs and folk dances with new choreographies. Presented at the Baalbek International Festivals and other important Arab and Lebanese venues, the plays and songs became collectively known as ...

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