The National Arab Orchestra
The National Arab Orchestra (NAO) brings you music through education and performance with an emphasis on preserving the musical traditions of the Arab world. The National Arab Orchestra was originally founded in 2009, named the Michigan Arab Orchestra (MAO) was originally a takht, a small chamber music group comprised of ‘oud (Arab lute), qanun (Arab zither), violin, nay (Arab reed flute), and riqq (Arab tambourine). The ensemble has grown to become an orchestra under the leadership of its music director, Michael Ibrahim. The MAO Orchestra is comprised of musicians from both Arab and non-Arab backgrounds who are either students or professional musicians.
The National Arab Orchestra celebrates Arab heritage, and its music through educational outreach and performance. The National Arab Orchestra is home to the Michigan Arab Orchestra (MAO), the Michigan Arab Orchestra Takht Ensemble (MAOTE), and the MAO Community Choir (MAOCC); with dedication to preserving and performing the classical and contemporary traditions of Arab music. The MAO provides opportunities that will bridge social and cultural barriers through its work in the greater community.
The National Arab Orchestra introduces Michigan Arab Orchestra Takht Ensemble (MAOTE) a classical Arab music chamber ensemble comprised of instruments such as: ‘oud (Arab Lute), qanun (Arab zither), nay (Arab reed flute), violin, bass, and percussion. Established in April 2010, the MAOTE includes musicians from the greater Detroit community; and performs classical and contemporary Arab music otherwise known as tarab music. Tarab music is characterized by its melodic modes known as maqāmāt (sing. maqām) and complex rhythmic modes (iqā’at). It is also distinguished by the art of improvisation, or taqāsim, during which a musician outlines a melodic mode and/or modulates to other related modes. The audience plays an extremely important role in tarab music, since listeners (sami’ah) will often respond with applause during and after a musician’s improvised solos.