Universiteit Leiden

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Nizar Rohana

PhD candidate

N. Rohana
+31 71 527 2999

Nizar Rohana is an Israeli-born Palestinian oud player.

More information about Nizar Rohana

Research: ‘Ūd Taqsīm as a Model of Pre-Composition

In this research project I analyze and reflect on taqsīm recordings by two leading figures of ‘ūd playing who were pillars of modern Arabic music, namely the Egyptians Muḥammad al-Qaṣabjī (1898-1964) and Riyāḍ al-Sunbāṭī (1906-1981). I decode and underline their most significant traits in order to: 

1) enrich and develop my melodic-rhythmic vocabulary; 
2) deepen my understanding of the structural, melodic and rhythmic processes underlying the genre;  
3) design a structural framework or a model for pre-composing taqsīm-like pieces of   music.

To put it another way, the dissertation discusses the creation of pre-composed taqāsīm. The pieces follow a specific model of pre-composition that was designed while taking al-Qaṣabjī and al-Sunbāṭī’s taqsīm practice as a reference and a source of inspiration. This model contributes to both artistic research and practical knowledge, and provides new insights into structural, melodic and rhythmical processes of the genre. The artistic outcome of this project includes five new works for solo ‘ūd. 

Curriculum vitae

Nizar Rohana is an Israeli-born Palestinian oud player. He was born in the village of Isfiya on Mount Carmel in 1975, and began playing music while still very young. He discovered the oud when he was 15, and in 1996 he moved to Jerusalem to study. In 2001 he was awarded a Bachelor of Music and Arts (specialisms in oud performance and Musicology) from the Arabic Music Department of the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance and the Musicology Department of the Hebrew University. For some time he then focused his work on the music of the great Egyptian composer Muhammad Al-Qasabji, completing his Master’s degree in 2006.

Today, Nizar is a prominent oud player on the Palestinian music scene and internationally. He has gained wide experience on the stage as a soloist and within a range of groups, playing traditional, modern, experimental and world music. During the last twelve years he has performed in prestigious venues in countries such as Japan, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, the USA and in Europe.

Nizar launched his first album "Sard" (Narration) in May 2008. Here he maintains an idiomatic language for the oud, yet achieves refreshing expressions and rhythms through dialogues with double bass, qanoun and percussion.

Between 2000 and 2007 Nizar worked as one of the main oud teachers at the Edward Said National Conservatory in Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Bethlehem. He was the Academic Director of the Jerusalem branch in 2003 and 2005 and also the Deputy of Academic Affairs in the academic year 2006-2007.  

Grants and awards

  • Joep Bor (promotor)
  • prof. Frans de Ruiter (promotor)
  • Anne Van Oostrum (supervisor)  

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Academie der Kunsten

Work address

P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden


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