Mohammad Abdel Wahab was born in 1907 and died in May 3, 1991. He was a prominent 20th century Egyptian singer and composer born in Bab El Shriyah area of Cairo Egypt. He composed 10 songs for Omm Katherm, the greatest Arab songstress in history. Mohammad Abdel is a legend to the vast majority of Arabic speaking people. Mohammad was a renown singer, composer and actor and who lasted in musical career for spanning seventy four (74) years. He had a captivating voice and his melodies were of the classical poetry from the Arab’s golden age and that of their modern struggle against Western colonialism.
Through this composition he instilled in his listener a feeling of pride in their Arabic’s rich culture and heritage. Though Abdul Wahab is known for his music, he composed more that he sang. Exploring the life of Abdul Wahab as a composer without referring to his songs or music and acting is inadequate for all of were a part of him and his many released songs and movies that later became `hits` were as a result of his creativity and talented mind. His enjoyed musical voice and the melodies were no doubt a product of his great composition.
His songs were his own compositions and it is said that from his teens Mohammad had composed for himself and other leading Arab singers over 1800 romantic and patriotic songs (Salloum. Habeeb). His composition had the Western taste due to his innovative nature of always thinking of new and better ways to enrich the traditional songs. This is a factor that has contributed to a great extent to the popularity and influence of his compositions among the youth, a reason that has made his compositions to maintain the lead in music industry up to date.
In the 1920s Mohammad is said to have become a close friend of a well known poet, Ahmad Shawky who helped him excel well in compositions and boost his talent as a composer. In the following years the world watched Muhammad Abdul Waham climb the ladder to later become a star and earned himself the title ‘singer of princes’ When the Egyptian monarchy was overthrown in 1952 by young nationalist army officers his perception of life changed drastically and radically.
His songs which were purely his own compositions became more inspiring and more patriotic. He produced some of his finest works which included ‘The Eternal Nile’, ‘Damascus’, Palestine the musical scores for Egypt’s national anthem and the national anthems of Oman and the United Arab Republic. He composed political, national and Arab national songs; Muhammad also composed more songs after 1933. His compositions underwent different stages of development due to the environment in which he lived.
Muhammad as a person accepted the changes and that is why his music in great deals synthesized the two worlds (both Western world and Arab world). (Levinson. M. L, 1995) His music was at first traditional a thing that later changed to westernization after he underwent formal training in both Arabic and Western music. Among his early composition of song was the Goose Consul Operetta, based on a theme of Naguib El Rehani which became a great success.
Later his movie composition introduced female artist such as Leila Murad a thing that may have been found awkward during the time. Muhamad Abdul Wahab in his own way was a revolutionary leader in some sort of special way. His compositions featured large orchestras with a Western blend of instruments such as the guitar bass, accordion and later the organ and synthesizer. He also added new rhythmic formulas, including the tango, the mambo, samba and rumba, as well as the Arabic oriental rhythms, maqsoum and baladi in his compositions.
(The story behind the stomp) In the 1960s Abdul Wahab composed songs for other singers such Om Koulthom. He released Omri a recording that later became Egypt’s all time best seller. In the 1970s he started fading from the public though his music from his own compositions continued with the same energy and vigor but in 1988 when he was (81), he emerged again to the surprise of many with new composition of his own. Age to him was nothing, infact it gave him more reason to write and consequently more reason to live.
In his life time Abdul Wahab was recognized for his work in his great compositions, music and movie industries and hence received a lot of awards. Suprisingly enough his work is still rated as one of the best to have ever come from an Arab world. (Levinson. M. L) He died at the age of ninety and Egypt country honored him with a huge military funeral at the Rabia-al-Aldawiya Mosque in Cairo. After his death, his work was covered in newspapers, radio and television ranging from his compositions of songs and movies.
He was accorded the title `The father of modern Arabic songs`. He died in 1991 of heart failure; he left a legacy nobody can afford to forget especially in the world of modern Arabic music and melody. Up to until his death Mohammad sorts peace in his writings, writings that appealed to both the old and the young. He stole many hearts with his music and compositions and became a beloved figure. Although he is gone he speaks to us through his work Works Ci