1st Semester Project


French Rai music


Rai music has several influences from throughout the world. Bedouin desert music, Pop music, Folk music and poetry all put together creates Rai. There is also a touch of jazz, mambo, echo and cha-cha. It originated in Algeria and is popular in Spain, Morocco, France and many more countries. It is sung mostly in French and Arabic. The genre started in the 1900's but modern Rai came to be in the 1950's and 1950's. Rai radio stations were formed in the 1980's and were tuned into throughout Europe. The stations were based in the South of France. The name Rai means 'opinion' and fits because the genre is influenced by the world’s culture and diverse religions. Some people say that it is the world version of the American blues. Rai lyrics can be slightly provocative and blunt which created a reputation between Rai artists and the government. Also Muslims in Algeria don't like Rai music because of their dirty lyrics. Even though Rai artist don't have the best reputation, they still are very talented.
Most Rai artists live in Egypt or France. One of the most transforming artists is Ahmad Baba Rachid. Rai artist have several different names based on gender and age. A Cheba is a young girl artist and a Chiekha or Shikah is an older female artist. A young boy artist is called a Cheb and an older boy artist is called a Chiekh or Shikh. Some of today’s most popular Rai artists are Cheb Mami, Cheba Fedela and Cheb Sahraoui. Many of these artist draw inspiration from the 1930’s and 1940’s artist, Medina J’dida. In tradition styles, girls would sing Rai music at private parties and artists with different lyrics sang at more public places like, bars and cafes.
There are many different types of instruments used in Rai music. The boy artists used accordions and violins. Percussion and rosewood flutes are also common. The popular artist, Bellemou Messaoud, used lutes and trumpets in their songs. Bass guitars, synthesizers and drum machines were use by the artist, Ahmad Baba Rachid. Because of its world like sound, Rai music is loved all around.
cheb mami
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Shilbeck, Rod. "Rai Music." 13 Feb 1999 1. 25 Oct 2008 <http://pagesperso-orange.fr/mohamed.sahnoun/Rai_engl.html>.

Romer, Megan. "Rai Music 101." About.com 2008 1. 25 Oct 2008 <http://worldmusic.about.com/od/venues/p/RaiMusic.htm>.

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