Sayyed Darwish Remembered as the People’s Musician
Despite his short lifetime, Sayyed Darwish is viewed as one of the most prominent musicians of the 20th century. He had a huge impact on the development of Arab music in general and Egyptian music in particular.
His influence on his successors was crystal clear, especially on Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Sayyed Makkawi. One of his most important achievements was his ability to intermingle Arab and Western music, producing a harmonious blend, according to the Syria Times.
Music researchers say Darwish’s fame was due to his ability to change the concept of music and singing from a means of entertainment into an objective art that expresses the ambitions of people. His songs emerged from reality and from the daily life of people, and this accounts for the wide reputation he still has in the Arab homeland. He composed about 25 songs for the stage: the most important of which are Shahrazad, Al Baroque and Al Eshara Al Tayeba. He also composed another 260 songs.
The anniversary of Darwish’s death is usually commemorated in a great ceremony in which Egypt’s great writers, poets and thinkers eulogize him, for he was rightly called the People’s Musician. In 1957, a stamp commemorating him was issued, and a street in Cairo bears his name. The Alexandria municipality erected two statues of Sayyed Darwish and named the greatest stage and street after him in honor of his great contribution to the development of Arab music.
At the beginning of the 1960s a feature film was produced about him. The late Egyptian actor Karam Mutawe played the role of Darwish, the man who composed the Egyptian national anthem.
The singer played a great national role in resisting the occupation forces and raising the national awareness of the Egyptian and Arab people.
All the composers and singers who have followed him have acknowledged Darwish’s crucial role in the development of Arab music, and his ability to employ Western instruments in the service of Eastern musical scales, as well as his invention of new methods for musical composition – Albawaba.com
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