Salem Style Of
Salem had never felt or considered himself as merely an
executant or player on the Oud but he is a speaker by
it. Thus Oud for him (and so music) is his tongue and
his means of expression of what he feels in such away
that normal language cannot say or express. This vision,
sense and understanding led to such organic relationship
with Oud to the extent that he used to puts Oud beside
him when he sleeps (and he stills does sometimes). This
connection had Crystallized, framed and set his relation
and feelings with Oud.
According to such basis, his knowledge of Oud started
determined his tracks of studying Oud and also his
struggling (after the primary stages ) to know and learn
Oud in a deep, thorough and continuous study.
Then depending on himself as self-taught student with
his own hardworking he sought to study classic guitar
and piano seeking to improve the performing and
expressive capacities of the Oud.
With such hardworking, will and self-development, he had
a special style of composing and performing Oud, by such
style, the audience knew him from his beginnings and
distinguished him from the others, he designed such
style and put his properties by himself. He never
imitated nor mimicked any one. This style is one of his
many inventions and it has many features such as tone
clearance and advanced performance based on a deep
understanding of Oud.
With a lot of patience, musical knowledge and logical
mathematical thoughts, Salem worked hard on developing
concepts that has not been known on the Oud before him
such as working to develop tone color, register and
execution. He also developed the use of plectrum till he
reached unprecedented speed.
Moreover he invented a new style of tuning for Oud which
he had developed according to a mathematical basis and
he also worked hard and persistently to widen the
register of Oud vertically and horizontally.
By widening the register of notes that can be performed
on the Oud until he reached four complete octaves.
He developed many techniques like using chords on Oud,
using left hand only, using right hand only, harmonies
(natural, artificial), pizzicato, etc...
As a composer for Oud and because of his deep knowledge
of the techniques of performances, his natural readiness
and his deep studies for the European sciences of
harmony, counterpoint, and music composition in addition
to studying properties, basis, and concepts of Iraqi,
Arabic and middle east music, he started to compose
special composition for Oud which reflect and show the
performance and technical concepts aforementioned.
By developing the performing and technical aspects of
Oud, Salem has prepared arrangements for many of musical
compositions which was originally composed for other
instruments such as piano, guitar, cello and full
He prepared and adapt many of such pieces keeping its
original soul and performing it on Oud on a creative
interesting successful style, he played many of them in
his recitals in several countries over the world, among
them we can mentioned;
written for Violin].
24...........Paganini........[originally written for
March.......Mozart..........[originally written for
written for Organ].
written for Piano].
Dance No.5.....Brahms....[originally written for
written for Symphonic Orchestra].
...[ for vocal and Classic Guitar].
of the bumble bee...R.Korsakov..[ for Cello and piano].
Dark Eyes... Anonyms......[ vocal. Russian folk song].
Another point to refer to is his concern with keeping
Arabic and Middle East identity and personality of the
Oud. He believes that music is an identity, for him it
is a means of expression, understanding, enrich and
communication thus he worked hard to confirm and stress
the identity in all his works, performances,
arrangements and adaptations although his concerns, work
and compositions cover wide area from classical music to
Iraqi Maqams including Arabic music, folklore and
contemporary music of several ages, eras, cultures of