Mohamed Abdel WahabView In iTunes
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As a singer and an influence on Egyptian music during its renaissance, Abdel Wahab was equaled only by Umm Kulthum. But while she was a traditionalist to the core, Abdel Wahab believed in learning from Western music. Yet he too was a musical nationalist, renewing rather than diluting Egyptian tradition. Starting from a highly traditional sound as a teenager, he gradually moved into a highly varied (and internationally popular) film-based repertoire. But besides contributing to the pop world, he introduced more fundamental elements, such as long instrumental passages, a major element in his work. ~ John Storm Roberts