Omar Naqichbendi
عمر النقشبندي


Omar Naqichbendi was born in 1906 in Istanbul, Turkey to a Syrian father and Turkish mother. Omar grew up surrounded by Turkish music and his elder brother played the oud. In 1914 the family moved to Beirut and Omar entered the American college, where the principal saw him playing a crude home-made instrument and presented him with a small oud of his own. In 1919 the family moved to Damascus, by which time Omar had become a proficient singer and violinist as well as an oud player, and he began to give regular concerts in the city. His reputation spread and he soon found himself in demand in Damascus, Aleppo and Beirut. In 1940 he settled in the Syrian city of Hama, where he taught the oud, but by the end of the decade he was back in Damascus and working with Syrian radio's musical ensemble. This radio work presented opportunities for travel, and over the next few decades he visited many countries including Russia and China. Naqichbendi passed away in 1981 and sadly left few recordings of his unique style of oud playing, which reflected his own background in combining both Turkish and Arab influences.


Selected Recordings

Luth Traditionnel en Syrie
(EMI Pathé 2C 066-95.161)

This vinyl recording from 1974 was volume 5 of the 'Arabesques' series of recordings of Middle Eastern instruments made by Jean-Claude Chabrier. You can listen to this album on the 'Rare Recordings' page at

1. Rast 6:50
2. Sikah-Huzam 5:30
3. Nahawand 8:00
4. Saba-Husayni 7:10
5. Sikah-'Iraq 6:10
6. Hijaz-Nawa 6:30


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