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Arts and culture




Moroccan music and dance


THERE ARE many genres of Moroccan music. It includes Arab, Berber, classical, and popular elements. Musicians perform in concerts, in cafes, at private homes, ceremonies, marriages, funerals, and religious processions. It is also used to accompany dancing and storytelling:


Andalusian music   

Berber music 

Chaabi / Shaabi  

Classical Arab music 


Gnawa / Gnaoua 





Sephardic music

Samples of Moroccan music  
[Focus Multimedia]

A Mile in Our Shoes 
A musical journey through Morocco [moroccanmusic.com] 

Cultural mix

Moroccan music and Western pop

Marrakesh Express
The hippies have long-since gone, but you can still hear the song that sent them flocking to Marrakesh in the 1960s.

Rolling Stones
Back to Morocco in 1989 to record with Moroccan musicians for the track Continental Drift. "Continental Drift is an interesting experiment with Moroccan rhythms".

Contemporary Andalusian music and dance by a group currently based in the US. Their artistic director is from Morocco and they have many Moroccan and Arab musical influences.

Brian Jones
Brian Jones, djellabahs and the Master Musicians of Jojouka: Got together to record for an album in 1968, 'The Pipes of Pan'.  It sounds a bit like modern jazz, like John Coltrane or Ornette Coleman, although it’s really pagan trance music.


THESE dances are performed on festive occasions, often at night around a bonfire:

AHOUASH (High Atlas): Only women  perform in this dance, forming a large circle while the men, each holding a bendir, squat around a big fire.

AHAIDOUS (Middle Atlas): Singers and dancers make a huge circle where men and women beat the ground rhythmically.

GUEDRA (southern Morocco): The dancer starts her performance kneeling, entirely covered with a black veil. The steady rhythm of the guedra (a "cooking pot") becomes insistent and the dancer's fingers start undulating.

TISSINT (south of Agadir): men and women entirely clad in indigo-blue dance as if performing a rite. It is the dance of the dagger.

GNAWA: Of African origin, the dance of the gnawa has a magico-religious aspect. Some of the dancers achieve great acrobat skills.

TASKIOUINE (High Atlas - Ouarzazate): This is a warriors' dance. Dancers with white tunics, holding a powder flask on their shoulders, beat time to the music of a drum.

The Casbah Dance Experience
Based in New York, this is a non-profit organisation which seeks to preserve traditional dances and present them to a wider audience.

Al Guedra
Guedra is a trance ceremony from the Southwest of Morocco. It belongs to the Blue People of the Tuareg Berber. The word Guedra means cauldron/cooking pot.

Belly Dance from Morocco
- with Real Audio


In the Moroccan music section


In the Moroccan arts and culture section


In the Morocco section


Quote ...

The most important single element of Morocco's folk culture is its music ... the entire history and mythology of the people is clothed in song. - Paul Bowles


The Music of Islam and Sufism in Morocco***
Various Artists. Audio CD, 1999
(with on-line sound samples)

Songs & Rhythms of Morocco***
Audio CD, 1993 (with on-line sound samples)

Morocco-Music from the High Atlas***
Ait Bou Geemmez. Audio CD, 1996 (with on-line sound samples)

A Journey to Morocco
Audio CD, 1995 (with on-line sound samples)

Alcantara: Arabo-Andalusian Voice
Amina Alaoui. Audio CD, 1998 (with on-line sound samples)

Art Vocal Et Instrumental Du XIXeme Siecle (Morocco)
Aicha Redouane. Audio CD, 1994

Belly Dance from Morocco
Chalf Hassan. Audio CD, 1996

Berber Music from the High Atlas and the Anti-Atlas
Audio CD, 1994

Best of Bellydance from Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon...
Ramzy, et al. Audio CD, 1994 (with on-line sound samples)

Brides' Joys & Sorrows: Women of Tetuan
Women of Tetuan Morocco. Audio CD, 1997 (with on-line sound samples)

Gharnati: Arabo-Andalusian Music
Amina Alaoui, Ahmed Piro. Audio CD, 1995 (with on-line sound samples)

Gnawa Songs & Music from Morocco, Vol. 1
Amida Boussou. Audio CD, 1994

Hadra of the Gnawa of Essaouira
Audio CD, to be released 2000

Morocco-Musical Travelogue
Audio CD, 1997 (with on-line sound samples)

Morocco: Crossroads of Time
Audio CD, 1995 (with on-line sound samples)

Songs & Dances from Morocco
Chalf Hassan. Audio CD, 1994

The Splendid Master Gnawa Musicians of Morocco
Randy Weston. Audio CD, 1995

El Sueño de Al-Zaqqâq
Luis Delgado (Moorish Spain)

Life Around the World
Hassan Hakmoun

Sabil 'a 'Salaam 
Nass Marrakech 

Music of the Western Sahara


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Last revised on 03 August, 2015