Charbel Rouhana
شربل روحانا


Charbel Rouhana was born in 1965 in Aamchit, a town north of Beirut in Lebanon). He studied music at the Holy Spirit University in Kaslik and obtained a Diploma in Oud Instrumentation in 1986, followed by an MA in Musicology in 1987. During the 1980s he was a member of the group Al-Mayadine and played alongside Marcel Khalife; in 1995 the pair released a CD, 'Jadal', as an oud duet. Rouhana is also a prolific composer, and he has written music for film and theatre, as well as recording a CD every few years. In 2007 he formed the Beirut Oriental Ensemble, with which he gives regular concerts across Europe and the Middle East. As a solo performer he has also participated in many oud festivals and workshops. He has developed a new methodology for playing the oud, which has been adopted by the Faculty of Music at the Holy Spirit University, where he has taught since 1985, and the National Conservatory of Music, where he taught from 1993 until 2006. It also forms the basis for his new oud method, Maqam El Oud.

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Selected Recordings

Jadal - Oud Duo
(Nagam Records NR 1009 CD)

This double CD set is comprised of four extended movements, and Rouhana accompanies his cousin Marcel Khalife on oud, Abboud El Saadi on bass and Ali El Khatib on riq.

Disc 1
1. 1st Movement 21:16
2. 2nd Movement 15:36

Disc 2
1. 3rd Movement 22:22
2. 4th Movement 19:54

(Voix de l'Orient VDL CD 653)

This CD features a number of original compositions together with classical Arab pieces. The accompaniment by accordion and violin lends a distinctly French feel to the music, and jazz influences are also evident.

1. Ya Hala (Welcome) 2:28
2. Kanet Iyam (Days, They Were...) 3:09
3. Sima'i Shad'Ourban (Parts A & D) 3:55
4. Hikayat Kel Yaoum (Everyday's Story) 2:48
5. La Tez'ali (Don't Be Sad) 3:30
6. Bashraf Min Wahi El Hader 3:33
7. Balad Al Mahboub (Beloved's Country) 4:09
8. Mahla Nourha (Sweet Brightness) 4:23
9. 'Am Ishtalik (I'm Missing You) 6:26
10. Sima'i Bayati 5:21
11. Salamat (Greetings) 4:40
12. Ila Lika' (Goodbye) 2:33

Mazaj Alani
(Voix de l'Orient VDL CD 694)

On this recording, which is in the same vein as 'Salamat', Charbel's oud is joined by a range of instruments, including accordion, woodwind, strings, bass, qanun, ney and percussion.

1. Siwar 5:40
2. Just Like That 7:04
3. 13th of July 6:03
4. Passion 3:04
5. Mazaj Alani (Unveiled Mood) 5:43
6. Flamenco 4:08
7. Mood 4:59
8. Memory 4:58
9. Noun 5:31
10. Noun (Solo) 1:57

The Art of the Middle Eastern Oud/Vice Versa
(ARC Music EUCD 1863)

Another great recording featuring Charbel Rouhana together with his ensemble. The emphasis is again on original compositions within the frame work of tradtional genres, and this is reflected by the CD's subtitle 'New Perspectives on Traditional Maqams'.

1. Nara [D major] 2:13
2. Ajami [Ajam on D] 2:25
3. Mouassal [Kurd on A] 1:22
4. Mayass [Hijaz on D] 2:39
5. Manara (Lighthouse) [Hijaz on D] 3:11
6. Rewind [Bayati Shuri/Bayati] 4:34
7. Forward [Bayati on D] 3:49
8. Li Anni Oughanni [Bayati on D] 5:14
9. Tourism [Rast on C] 5:30
10. It's Over [Hijaz on F] 2:52
11. Samai Rast [Rast on F] 3:48
12. Ourakhoutyoun (Joy) [Nahawand on G] 2:54
13. Wissal [Saba on D] 1:30
14. Tamrin [Bayati] 2:02
15. Again? [Rast on G] 2:46
16. Ya Ghosna Naqa [Huzam on E flat] 4:25

Hand Made
(Forward Music)

Charbel is accompanied here by the Beirut Oriental Ensemble, consisting of Antoine Khalifeh on violin, Elie Khoury on buzuq, Abboud Saadi on bass and Ali Khatib on percussion.

1. Om El Maradem 4:25
2. Clin d'Oeil 4:02
3. Wedding 5:33
4. Al Bint El Shalabiya 5:10
5. First Meeting 2:14
6. Second Meeting 2:39
7. Sham El Nassim 6:30
8. Diyarna 3:24
9. Ya Asmar (Folklore) 4:07
10. Bavardage 2:01
11. Lady Fingers 1:44

Doux Zen (with Elie Khoury)
(Forward Music)

On this album Charbel Rouhana is joined by fellow Lebanese oud player Elie Khoury to perform a series of his own compositions for two ouds.

1. Doux Zen 4:55
2. Before Tuning 6:11
3. Kermelon 5:56
4. Retour 7:10
5. Hakaya 5:49
6. Missing You 6:49
7. Basma 3:52


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