We invite you to share your comments after browsing the song tools and tell us how you have used these tools, what you enjoyed about them, and what could be improved. We have set up this page in a discussion format so that you can post and read comments by others, exchange ideas, and make suggestions for other Arab arts education tools.
Shukran – Thank you!

WATCH VIDEO RECORDING of University of Pennsylvania student Oscar Chim singing along with the audio track of Nassam Alayna. Chim recorded this after participating in the choir of Al-Bustan’s Arab Music Ensemble class. April 2014

WATCH VIDEO RECORDING of Arabic language students at Safford Middle School in Tuscon, Arizona singing along with the audio track of Nassam Alayna. The students learned the song with their teacher Fatima Abdulkazem. May 2014

139 thoughts on “Discussion

  1. My name is Kiley Mahoney and I am a Penn student currently enrolled in Arab Choir. I am incredibly impressed by this website and how easy it made it for someone like me, with only a Western musical background, to learn a song like Nassam ‘alayana al-hawa, that really captures the unique beauty of Arabic music. My favorite part of the website, and the feature that I found most useful in learning the song, was the ability the user has to isolate the strings, percussion, or vocals of the song in learning mode. Furthermore, I liked how the same formatting of the music is used in the ‘play and sing’ mode because it is one that the user has already become familiar with through the ‘learn’ feature which makes for a very easy transition. As someone who can find themselves intimidated by technology, I was worried at first that I would find the website too confusing and would have to just watch a youtube video of the song and lyrics. I was completely surprised to find that this was not the case and can’t imagine how else I would have completed my recording of this song without the website. Overall, it felt very similar in ways to the way we had learned new songs in our traditional class setting because it took everything one step at a time, making sure that you have every component of the song down–rhythm, lyrics, diction– rather than rushing to a complete performance.

  2. As a person without any musical background I found this website extremely helpful in completing my assignment. With all the features available like listening to the pronunciation of the lyrics and the music that went with it my experience learning the song was quick and easy. I would definitely recommend this to anyone trying to learn Arabic music becuase there are so many tools to help you learn even if you do not know anything about music or the language. With that being said, my process of learning the song consisted of listening to it to get a general idea of how it went, then I listened to the dictation and the instruments that went with it, after enough practice I was belting out the song on my own. Overall, I had a great experience and look forward to learning more songs in the future!

  3. While I was not able to use this educational tool, the lyrics sheet and the youtube video were helpful in learning the song with alot (ALOT) of repetition. Overall enjoyed learning the music on my own!

  4. I am a student at the University of Pennsylvania currently in the Arabic Choir class. I used this site to learn the song Nassam Alayna. I was really worried about learning the pronunciations to the words in the song but this website made it easier to learn them. The breakdown of the words into syllables and the ability to rewind helped me to take my own notes and pronounce the words. Listening to the song with diction only and then the vocals was very helpful to learning the song as well.

  5. I am a Penn student currently enrolled in Arabic Ensemble’s choir. I have always been interested in Arab culture and language, so I was decently surprised when I discovered I could learn more about it through music. I never thought I would be able to pronounciate, even less sing, in Arabic without having a professor go through it with me. This tool made it extremely easy not only to get the pronunciation right, but also to discern words and be able to compare them in English. This platform is helpful for music professionals as well as for newbies such as me. I will definitely continue to use it in the future!

  6. I am a Penn student currently enrolled in Arabic Ensemble’s choir. As an Egyptian, this class was very interesting and educational! Arabic is my mother language and I take it for granted. This class has helped me greatly apprieciate both my language and my culture. Through my exposure to these very influential yet almost forgotten songs, I have come to see my identity as an Arab in a new light. Concerning this website, the “About the Song” section has significantly helped me in gaining a new more profound understanding of the music and the significance of this music.

  7. I am a student in Professor Khuri’s Arabic Choir Class at the University of Pennsylvania. I found the tools on this website very useful in helping me learn the song Nassam Alayna. I don’t have much knowledge regarding how to read sheet music, but I did previously have some exposure to Arabic music while growing up. I was familiar with Nassam Alayna prior to the class, but I could have never imagined myself singing it properly, hitting most of the notes and such. This website helped me learn the song given my limited knowledge about sheet music. Through the many tools available especially those that allow you to add and take away certain elements while learning the song, I was able to separate the various layers of percussion, vocals, and diction, which helped me better learn it. I usually have trouble keeping up with the pace and rhythm but I found that singing along with the backing track as it moves along helps me stay focused and aware while I was moving between sections both when I was learning, rehearsing and recording myself.

  8. I am student in Music 007 at UPenn. The educational tools were very very helpful in learning this song. I very much enjoyed this experience of learning the song. It was easy to follow along the music even without much of a musical background and help me get the right diction.

  9. I’m a student of Hannah Khuri’s Arabic choir class at the University of Pennsylvania. I used the online tool to learn “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa”. I found the tool very useful. I found the ability to select for diction especially helpful as I don’t speak Arabic. Since, I don’t have practice singing and have a hard time staying on beat the moving cursor really helped me stay on track. I’m excited to use this tool in the future to learn more songs and enjoy doing it too.

  10. I am a student at the University of Pennsylvania taking Professor Hanna Khuri’s Arabic Choir class (MUSC 007-016). For this assignment, I was initially scared to use this tool because I had never taken a music class before or taken an Arabic class. Hence, I thought that it would be very difficult for me to learn this song by myself. I found this tool to be very helpful because it helped you with all the aspects of the song: dictation, vocals, percussion, etc. It definitely helped me learn the song and accelerated the learning process. Singing along the music helped me improve my dictation. This is a tool I would recommend for people who want learn songs in a fast way and perfection them. This was a positive experience and in some sort of way it resembled an in-person class.

    The Arabic Choir class not only introduced me to a different genre of music, but it also showed me the aspects of a different culture. It was nice to learn about the Arabs and appreciate their music. This was a fun and engaging class from which I learned a lot.

  11. I’m a student of Hannah Khuri’s Arabic choir class at the University of Pennsylvania. I found the online tool very useful to learn “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa”. I especially liked the ability to isolate different instruments. I was also very helpful to be able to practice and keep track of the diction and music with the moving cursor. The one thing that I had trouble with was skipping to other parts of the song. Overall, I found this online tool to be not only helpful, but also enjoyable to use.

    The liked the song itself very much. Growing up, I had never been exposed to Arabic music before, and came into class not really knowing what to expect. What I found was that there is a whole other world of musical tradition filled with interesting and unique songs unlike much of what is found in America. I appreciated the class for allowing me to learn about this and I also had fun doing it.

  12. I am a student at the University of Pennsylvania in Professor Khuri’s class. I utilized this platform, Al Bustan Seeds, to learn the song Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa. I was definitely nervous that I would not be able to learn the song without physically being in Professor Khuri’s classroom and without his help, but the tools on this website were very helpful. I still feel like the experience was very different from that in the classroom. I think I would have been able to learn the song a bit quicker and better with the professor’s help and the help of my peers, but after many hours of practice with this website I learned the song to the best of my ability. I struggled at first with figuring out how to use all the tools, but once I did I was able to learn the song better.

    I started out by using just the diction, and then added in the percussion, strings, and vocals, as I felt ready to progress. In a way, the tools on this website imitated the way that Professor Khuri would teach us new songs, step by step. Before this class, I knew very little about music and the Arab world/Arabic language and I had never sang before, so this tool was very helpful for those who are not native speakers and know little about music. I love how interactive the website was because it made learning the song more fun. Again, the platform was a drastically different experience from what I was used to in the classroom being surrounded by my peers, but it was very helpful in this remote learning situation. Overall, the experience was enjoyable and I am glad I had the opportunity to continue learning outside of the classroom.

  13. I am a student in Professor Khuri’s Arabic Choir Class at the University of Pennsylvania. At first, I was a bit skeptical of using an online service to learn a song, but once I started using the program it was surprisingly easy to learn. The song I chose was Nassam Alayna, and I really enjoyed how you could selectively turn on and off diction, vocal, percussion, and strings, which made it very easy to figure out which parts of the song I had a harder time understanding. The diction portion was extremely helpful, as a non-Arabic speaker it has always been difficult in class to learn some of the pronunciations for certain words, but this part of the software was easy to use. As a person who can read sheet music, the software was allowed a comprehensive view of tonal shifts and hitting specific notes, which made the song I chose much easier to learn. Overall, I really enjoyed using this software, and would gladly use it again if in-class learning was not an option.

  14. I am a student at the University of Pennsylvania currently enrolled in Professor Khuri’s Arabic Choir course. Before this semester, I had no prior choir experience and very limited musical experience overall, only seen in my music classes in middle school. Given this, the features on the website were straightforward and simple to use. It allowed for a slow pace and step by step approach of learning the song, much how it was done in the classroom. Therefore, I found the website to be both effective and practical. I decided to learn Nassam ‘alaynā al-hawā.

    I started by using the Strings and Percussion feature exclusively to get a sense of the rhythm. I then combined these with the Diction and the Vocals to adequately pronounce the words while trying to stay both in rhythm and in tune. The ability to oscillate between these features proved essential in learning the piece as it permitted me to see how the song grew and tried to simulate the classroom instruction. Likewise, I could focus on just one part: either the rhythm with the Percussion or the pronunciation with the Diction. All this combined with the music sheet which helped me learn the song and its meaning, avoiding seeming like empty lyrics.

    Overall, my experience with the website has been very positive as I believe it is the closest possible approximation to an in-person class.

  15. I’m in Professor Khuri’s class at UPenn, and I really enjoyed using these tools. Though I miss learning in the classroom, the language and music tools provided on this platform offered a great supplement. When I first listened to the song on youtube I was completely lost, and doubted I would be able to adequately learn it on my own. However, the tools broke everything down for me in a way that felt much less overwhelming. By the time I was ready to record after practicing the words and tune for several days, I felt confident in my ability to perform the song. Since I am also a beginner Arabic language student, these tools are an excellent supplement to my language practice that will allow me to also foster a deeper cultural understanding and appreciation.

  16. Though I definitely missed working on the song in class, the online tools were sufficient to help me learn Nassam Alayna. At first I had some issues with the mobile version of the website which made it difficult t complete. When I borrowed my brothers laptop however the platform worked exceedingly well. I started out just by listening to the pronunciations of the words which gave me a solid grasp of the song. Then moving to the vocals I was able to put everything together. Overall, I found the class and the online tools to be very enjoyable and brought great exposure to a new genre of music.

  17. I’m a student at the University of Pennsylvania in Professor Khuri’s Arabic Choir course. This website and its’ tools definitely helped me as I sought to learn “Nassam Alayna.” In particular, the feature allowing me to go back and repeat sections or skip around the song was helpful while I was trying to learn the verses I was having more difficulties with. In addition, being able to filter out vocals, diction, percussion, and strings, helped me isolate the different components of the song that comprised the rhythm, lyrics, and melody, so I could better learn each component on its own and how they come together in the complete song.

  18. I am a Penn student taking Arabic Choir with Hanna Khuri. This website and its tools were extremely helpful in helping me learn the song “Nassam Alayna” as I was able to practice different components of the song at my own pace. The instrumental/percussion portion helped me learn the melody and rhythm, while the diction tool allowed me to learn how to pronounce the lyrics correctly. This application was very intuitive and accessible to anyone who wishes to learn Arabic songs. I appreciated that the lyrics were in tune with the sheet music, as it gave cues as to when to sing each lyric.

    Thank you!

  19. I am a student at the University of Pennsylvania taking Prof. Hanna Khuri’s Arabic Choir class. Since I appreciate the oral tradition that we utilized before to learn these songs, I was initially a bit apprehensive about how well this platform would work. I learned the song “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa” and had a really great experience. I particularly appreciated that I could choose to listen to the diction first and learn it that way, then add percussion/strings/vocals as needed. I could repeat certain sections as often as I liked to learn at my own pace, which was very useful. Another feature that I used was the information on the song’s origins and lyrical meaning. I appreciate how much detail Professor Khuri goes into during class to explain each song, so I was glad that I could accessibly learn about the song’s background. I

    One small suggestion I have is that when I am trying to go back to a section, it is a little hard to see where I should click (it took me a little while to figure out that it would restart after I pressed play again. But this is a very minor issue, and I don’t think this takes away from the experience at all. Additionally, I didn’t see the option to record on the website, so I did record the song on my phone. Overall, I would highly recommend this website and its features to anyone who wants to familiarize themselves with some beautiful music.

  20. I utilized the Al Bustan Seeds website to complete assignments for my Arabic Choice course. Our assignment was to record ourselves performing the songs “Yalli zara‘tū-l burtu’ān” and “Nassam ‘ layna Al-Hawa”. In order to learn these songs, I used the lyrics PDF and followed it along with the “Vocals” on the Play, sing, record page. I found this technology extremely easy to use and greatly resembled the structure of the in-person class that we had before Spring break. I have no previous experience with musical performance or with the Arabic language so it was very helpful to have the words broken up into the syllables that coincided with each note. This made the lyrics much easier to read. Once I learned the songs, I recorded using my phone and used the instrumental on the website. Great learning tool that I highly recommend for the future of the course.

  21. The features on the website have provided me with the opportunity to learn the song “Yalli zara‘tū-l burtu’ān”. As a student enrolled in Arabic Choir, I found that learning within the classroom setting was exceptionally enjoyable and enriching; however, the website was able to provide a complementary experience as it proved to be efficient and functional. In order to learn the song, I began by using the “Strings” and “Percussion” features, which allowed me to examine the rhythm and the style of the song before I practiced the lyrics. After garnering a sense of the song, I then used the “Diction” and “Vocals” tools alternatively to practice the pronunciation and to structure my pace when singing. When I felt comfortable, I then used the “All” feature, and practiced the song using this tool numerous times.

    The ability to select which features to use, from one to all, was instrumental as it provided me with the opportunity to personalize the manner in which I learned the song. In addition, the option to select which part of the song to play proved to be helpful, as I could go back to repeat a portion of the song that I felt I needed to practice. I particularly used this feature continuously, as I divided the song into parts and repeated the lyrics a number of times to thoroughly memorize them. This was also complemented by the “Play” and “Pause” buttons, which serve as extraordinary tools when practicing the song, as they provide the opportunity to individually coordinate the learning process. In this sense, the extensive level of customization was a particular factor that contributed to my positive experience using the website.

    Furthermore, the “Music Sheet” and “Lyrics” features were particularly important. The translation included by the “Lyrics” feature was beneficial in providing me with an understanding of each line, which contributed to my approach when singing. In addition, the “Music Sheet” was helpful when practicing the song, and it included credits for the music and lyrics. These tools were particularly beneficial when I used the “Play, Sing, Record” feature, although I had some issues with the recording of the video. I was not able to upload a video via the website. I utilized my laptop in order to record myself singing, using the instrumental version of the song in the background. Aside from recording issues, my experience was extremely positive as a result of the comprehensive learning tools on the website.

  22. I am a student in Professor Khuri’s Arabic Choir class at the University of Pennsylvania. I have been utilizing the online tools provided by the Al-Bustan Seeds website to learn “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa”. It was really easy and convenient to use, especially since you can hear separate parts individually. For example, you can start out with learning diction, then you can progress to the vocal part. I enjoyed how you could slowly add in the other instrumentals to help you stay in rhythm and on beat. I would definitely recommend the Al-Bustan Seeds website to others who want to learn about Arabic music. You will be sure to have a fun and enjoyable time learning Arabic songs through this website.

  23. I am a student at the University of Pennsylvania in Professor Hanna Khuri’s Arabic Choir class and used Al-Bustan’s Digital Education tool to help me learn the song “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa”. What I found most helpful was the diction option as I am not a native Arabic speaker and I struggled with a few of the song’s phrases. To help me get those phrases down, I would start with only having the diction on and then going over the same line over and over again until I got it right by rewinding the song using the progress bar at the top of the page. As I became more comfortable with the diction, it was nice to be able to add in the percussion and then the strings before attempting the melody. I also liked how as the song went on, the sheet music automatically scrolled up for me and I could easily move onto the next line. This platform helped me learn this song at my own pace and I really enjoyed this assignment.

  24. I am a college student at the University of Pennsylvania with minimal background in both singing and Arabic, although I am familiar with musical notation as I play the clarinet and piano, and found the site to be extremely helpful. I used the site to learn Nassam Alaya-I Hawa. I really enjoyed the features that allowed me to listen only to the diction. This was very helpful in getting the pronunciation correctly. Then, it was really fun to add the melody to the words with the vocals. When I finally could follow along with the percussion and strings, I felt really proud and accomplished. The way the site gave me the option to break down the song was crucial to this learning. Although it was a little difficult, I also liked the ability to isolate specific sections of the song with the time bar at the top. I think perhaps it would be a great addition if the user could click the measure they wanted to play and the song would start there. Also adding an option to change the tempo, half speed for example, would help beginners like me learn. I also really liked having the lyrics in English so I could know what I was singing. Overall this site was very fun, easy, and helpful to use.

  25. I am a student in Professor Hanna Khuri’s Arabic Choir class at the University of Pennslyvania. Prior to taking this class, I had no musical experience and spoke zero Arabic. Initially, I was really intimidated by the idea of singing a song in Arabic a language I cannot speak. However, this website made the task a lot less daunting. At first, I was a bit confused on how to use the website, but once I figure it out, it was extremely helpful. I liked that you can choose if you want to listen to the dictation, percussions, strings, or the vocals on there own, or together. I also really appreciated that the website provides a pdf of the lyrics, I found that to be very usefully. Overall this website made learning how to sing in Arabic much easier and more enjoyable! I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning how to sing in Arabic.

  26. In an effort to complete this remote assignment in learning the song “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa” for Professor Khuri’s Arabic Choir class, I found great success with this teaching/learning tool. Initially I was uncertain how I was going to learn the diction or lyrics of the songs. Arabic is a much different language from English and it is often difficult to pick up on certain voice inflections or and pronunciations. I was worried that without Professor Khuri being there to teach us the lyrics I wouldn’t be able to learn the song well. However, with the diction tool I was able to work my way through the song several times, working on perfecting the lyrics of the song. While it is not the same as being able to learn from a person, it was still very helpful. Then, I was able to add the percussion and singing to get a feel for the beat and pitch of the song without being distracted by the strings. Finally, once I got the pitch down I could add the strings and successfully sing the song. By being able to choose what parts of the song you can listen to through Al-Bustan Digital Education, it made learning the song much easier and more exciting. I did not get upset learning this song, but rather enjoyed breaking it down and learning it step-by-step.

    I just had one small problem while using this platform. When I wanted to go back to a previous part of the song I often had trouble rewinding to a specific spot. Often times I had to rewind all the way to the beginning and restart from there. A suggestion I would have is to add a feature to allow the user to change the volume of certain parts of the song. For example, I found it difficult somewhat to hear the singing over the strings. If you could lower the volume of the strings or increase the volume of the singing I think it could help people focus on different parts of the song better. Overall though this was a great learning tool!

  27. I am a student in Professor Khuri’s Arabic Choir class at the University of Pennsylvania. For the past couple of days, I have been utilizing the online tools provided through the Al-Bustan Seeds website in order to fully learn “Yalli Zara Tu-l Burtuan.” Though using these online tools do not compare to learning the songs in person with my peers, the educational tools were extremely useful in learning the song from home. Not only was I able to better my diction, but I was also able to understand what I was singing through the translation of the song offered in the lyric sheet. The online tools were very easy to use, and I believe can be used by absolutely anybody no matter their expertise on technology.

    Additionally, though I am not of Arabic descent/background, I am very appreciative of this tool for allowing me to learn more about Arabic culture through its music. I will definitely be recommending this tool to my friends and family for the purpose of spreading knowledge, as well as having fun doing so.

  28. In my experience, I found Al-Bustan’s Digital Education tool to be extremely user friendly and interactive. I chose to learn ‘Yalli zara’tu lburtuan’ for my Arabic Choir class with Prof. Hanna Khuri. Everything about the online tool and platform worked seamlessly to provide an enjoyable learning experience. I really enjoyed the presence of an “About the Song” tab. It helped provide an overview of the song’s meaning. Along with the translation of the lyrics, it really helped me understand the feeling behind the song. Before I immersed myself in the musical component, I was also pleased to see a Lesson Plan for instructors’ feature. This shows the thinking that went into the creation of the platform. The platform’s best feature is the musical learning tool. In this, I was able to select different layers of the song to break it down and understand every aspect of it. Initially, I was challenged by the lyrics. Then I wanted to understand the phrasing and tempo. This musical tool was so useful in allowing me to understand all the different components and piece them back together. The visual sheet music and scrolling feature also allowed me to strengthen specific sections and keep track of pace and tempo. Then, after spending considerable time practicing the song, I chose to record myself. The record feature was challenging for me, but I was able to make it work with some effort. Overall, I am extremely thankful to my professor Hanna Khuri, and Hafez Kotain, who have both been very supportive in my exploration of Arabic music. This project was a great experience.

  29. I am a student in Professor Khuri’s Arabic Choir class at Penn, and I chose to learn “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa” for our online assignment, because after listening to this song on Youtube, I really loved the vocals and accompanying instruments. After playing around with the platform a bit, I found that using this platform was relatively simple and effectively taught me how to learn the rhythm and diction before recording myself singing the song. As a non-Arabic speaker, the diction option was particularly useful for me, because like we did in class, I first worked on the pronouncing the words correctly before moving on to the singing part. I liked that you could build and add the diction, vocals, percussion, and strings into learning the song. Additionally, I also enjoyed being able to see the lyrical translation to English that was provided in the “Learn” section. Even before understanding the lyrics, I thought the song was beautiful, but I really enjoyed understanding what I was singing about, which I felt connected me to the song even more.

    I did experience two minor problems while using this platform. The first I figured out relatively quickly, but I initially had trouble rewinding parts of the song to relisten to them. The second was that I didn’t see a record option on the “play, sing and record” page so I just ended up recording this on my phone. Neither problem severely inhibited my experience as I was able to work them both out, and overall, I really enjoyed this assignment and this educational, comprehensive platform as a whole.

  30. I am a student in Professor Hanna Khuri’s Arabic Choir course at the University of Pennsylvania. As someone who has zero prior musical experience and no familiarity with the Arabic language, I expected to face a steep learning curve when I signed up for this class. Personally, the most significant challenges are learning the correct pronunciation of Arabic words, the pitch in which they should be sung, and matching the vocals to the melody of the song. Prof. Khuri’s instruction during class and this platform have proven invaluable in overcoming these barriers. I found that the combination of the Diction tool and the written lyrics (broken down by the specific syllables) on this learning platform were very helpful to learn and correctly pronounce the lyrics. The ability to replay certain portions of the song was very beginner-friendly and allowed me to focus on practicing certain phrases that I had trouble with. I also appreciated the explanations of the context and background of the song provided in the “About the song” section, which deepened my understanding of Arabic musical culture and history. I would highly recommend this platform to anyone interested in learning how to sing in Arabic!

  31. I am a student in Arabic Choir at The University of Pennsylvania, and I found this website to be an excellent educational experience. The website certainly accommodates people of all skill levels with transliterated Arabic that is easy to follow along as the song is playing. I found it to be a very enjoyable experience. One piece of constructive feedback is that it was a bit difficult to use the record function, and the Flash Player is becoming a bit outdated, so it might be worth updating, since it is quite difficult to use with Chrome. Other than that, excellent site. I will certainly be showing this to my family and friends, so they can learn and sing along too! Half of my family is of Arabic descent, so I am sure that they will love using this tool as well!

  32. Hello, I am a student in Professor Hanna Khuri’s Arabic Choir class at the University of Pennsylvania (MUSC 007). I spent many hours over the last month practicing the diction, melody and words of the song Nassam ‘Alayna Al Hawa. I am not someone who came into this class with much musical experience, so typically find it hard to hit the right notes, and maintain pitch correctly. The hardest part for me typically, however, is being able to pronounce Arabic words correctly. I really liked the diction feature on the e-tool, because it reminded me of class, when we would recite the lyrics to a song without any percussion or instruments. That process was always helpful for me to accomplish two things: firstly, learning the pronunciation of the words in the song, and secondly getting a feel of the rhythm. In trying to learn Nassam ‘Alayna Al Hawa, I began by listening to the full song a few times, and then listening to the diction a few times after that. After that I practiced each line on its own to try and make sure I was getting the diction correct. In some ways, I found this to be slightly more helpful than in-class because I could focus on the lines that were challenging me the most without holding the rest of the class back.

    That being said, this e-tool is great to be able to practice consistently, but it cannot replace the fun and unique learning aspect of being in the classrooms. I feel as though I could have benefited from Prof. Hanna’s corrections and advice as I was going along, because I wasn’t sure if I was really fixing my mistakes or just thought I was. Regardless, I hope everyone is safe and well, and I want to thank the creators of this resource for allowing students like me to learn more!

  33. As an ethnic Syrian who grew up in America to immigrant parents that held on tightly to their motherland, my family dedicated a great amount of time to cultural preservation. My mother and father made it a point to ensure that me and my siblings understood and spoke the Arabic language and were exposed to Arab culture, cuisine, customs – and most importantly, music. I’ve spent my entire life surrounded by Arabic music so I have never been a stranger to the melodies of the Arab world; my exposure, however, has always been passive. This platform aided me greatly in understanding the deeper significance of the music that I knew and loved. When learning the song Nassam 3alayna Al Hawa by Fairuz, I was able to use this website and the section titled “About the song” to learn the deeper significance of this piece. I was further immersed into the piece by understanding its purposeful shifts in melody (maqsum at the start with a shift in the middle), its origins, and its global significance to the entire Arab community.

  34. I am a student in Arabic Choir at the University of Pennsylvania. I thought this website was super helpful in teaching me how to sing Yalli Zara’tu Lburtuan. I really appreciate that it provides separate features for you to listen to the diction, vocals, strings, and percussion each individually. This allowed me to first learn the diction of the song slowly, before adding the melody, and so I was able to pronounce the lyrics better. I also really appreciated that they included a PDF of the lyrics as well. This made it really easy to learn the lyrics, and through this website I honestly felt like I was using the exact same process to learn this song as I did for songs in class. It provided a similar educational experience to the class environment. It was also super helpful that the English version of the lyrics were included so I could learn the meaning and significance of the song as well. Thank you for creating this platform!

  35. In my past, I have never used a platform to study Arabic music. I was definitely surprised to see the amount of functionality available on the platform. These tools helped me learn the diction and sing with the melodies. As I began to sing with the platform, I noticed myself growing better at an exponential rate. I was able to pick up on the minutia that was not previously clear to me by listening to the full song with all of the pieces together. In the same vein, I listened to the diction without any other music to clearly hear the enunciation which brought my abilities into a different state. The percussion also helped me with timing when to begin singing and when to pause. After practicing a few times, I was surprised at how easy I was able to sing along with the music. This platform gave me a newfound appreciation of musical tools and learning. I am confident that others after me will be able to benefit.

  36. This assignment was really different from anything I have ever done before, I as do not have much of a musical background. For someone like me who is not really proficient at reading sheet music, I found this website to be really helpful and made it easy to learn the song. I also feel as though it was possible to create a very similar atmosphere to the one we have in class by being able to add/take away different elements when learning. I started out just using the diction, and then slowly added the other elements like percussion and vocals once I got more comfortable. This format was really similar to how we do the song progressions in class, so I feel like I was able to get an effective lesson from this website. Overall, I thought that all of the features on this website made learning the song very easy and much more enjoyable than just trying to memorize lyrics and melody.

  37. Like most, I am not a native Arabic speaker, however I do have some musical experience. This meant that while studying Yalli, I was able to focus on the lyrics and the meaning of the song instead of just trying to memorize the music. I found the site extremely helpful when working through the diction as well as when working through the melody itself. Although it is not the same as an in-class environment, I was able to learn the song while also understand the meaning of the song and its significance.

  38. I am in Arabic Choir at the University of Pennsylvania, and it was an enjoyable in-person class before the pandemic closed school. Since I am not an Arabic speaker, our system of first learning the diction, especially focusing on the most difficult words, then moving onto whole phrases, and then adding in the melody made learning whole songs in a new language much easier. When we couldn’t learn at school anymore I was concerned that I would miss out on learning ” song step-by-step and the task would be very difficult. However, this website allowed me to learn “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa” with this same step-by-step process. I was able to start with just the percussion, strings, and diction to learn the rhythm and lyrics before I replaced diction with vocals to learn the melody. I went through each of these steps several times, reading and singing along as it played. I really enjoyed this song. It was fun to sing because of the maqsum beat. This website is great for learning about the song before hand — learning a little about the Rahbani Brothers and the meaning of the song was interesting — and then taking the steps to learn to sing it.

    One of the main issues I had with the program was how the red line that keeps you on-beat would freeze-up sometimes, especially when I tried to zoom in to read the lyrics better. Also, I was hard to rewind the song to specific parts. When I clicked the time bar to rewind it was always a guess and never the part of the song I wanted. Also, it was a little difficult to read when the red line would jump down to the bottom like for a second or so and then shift up. This threw my eyes off sometimes. I think if this transition was more smooth and maybe scrolled continuously, the experience could be improved. I also was unable to locate the record section of the website, so I just recorded on PhotoBooth on my computer with the website pulled up.

    Overall, I enjoyed this project and I think this website is a great platform for non-Arabic speakers to learn songs. With a few improvements the experience would be flawless.

  39. The website Albustanseeds turned out to be both useful and informative in helping me learn the song “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa” for my Arabic choir class at the University of Pennsylvania. I had been so accustomed to the teaching style of Professor Hanna Khuri, that I became anxious at the task of learning an Arabic song alone. However, Albustanseeds did not make it seem like I was alone. Prior to learning the song, I was able to learn about some background information in the about tab including the composers of the song and where the song was featured, which ultimately gave me a greater appreciation for the song. As well, the vocals tab allowed me to hear the clear pronunciation of the words in the song, which helped immensely as I often struggle with my Arabic pronunciation. I did, however, find some difficulty in locating and playing specific parts as it was not connected to the musical sheet. However, this was merely a small inconvenience that didn’t detract from my experience. Overall, I thought the website was a great tool for learning Arabic music and would definitely recommend it to people interested in learning.

  40. This website and its innovative educational tools helped me learn “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa” for my Arabic Choir class at the University of Pennsylvania. I loved how the tool allowed me to add and remove different aspects of the song to help me learn, test my ability, and ultimately combine everything smoothly. As a non-Arabic speaker, I found the feature that allowed me to add and remove diction and vocals to be the most helpful in learning the proper pronunciation and melody of the song. While I was at first tentative about learning a song without our professor walking us through each step, I was pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of this tool in helping me do the same break down of diction, rhythm, and melody, as we normally do in class. With the help of this uniquely comprehensive learning platform, an assignment that I at first dreaded soon became a delightful, fun, and stress-relieving experience.

  41. I have sung this song a lot of times, once even during an Arabic choir performance. As a Chinese, I did not have a lot of knowledge of the Arabic culture in the past. But after taking the Arabic Choir class with my professor, I started to feel the amazing culture of the Arabic world. I also began to love Fairuz! This song truly has an amazing melody and poetic lyrics. The yearning for the reunion with the motherland and the eagerness to go home and return to families have touched me greatly. This song is truly a masterpiece. I greatly enjoyed singing it with the choir.

  42. I am a student at the University of Pennsylvania and I recently use this tool to learn Yalli zara’tu lburtuan for the Arabic Choir class. I found that the software was very user friendly and easy to use as someone who has no musical background. I particularly enjoyed the options to isolate different parts of the song such as percussion, strings and vocals. I also found the diction function very useful in learning the pronunciation before moving on to singing. Overall, while I believe that this is an excellent tool it pales in comparison to the experience of professor Khuri’s in-person class.

  43. With the help of this website, I was able to learn “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa” for my arabic choir class at the University of Pennsylvania. This website made it incredibly easy to learn the song at my own pace. With the help of the interactive tools, I was able to learn the diction of the song. Learning the diction was the most challenging part for me because I had never studied arabic before this class. Once I was confident with the diction, I was able to easily translate that into the vocals. The website allowed me to learn the song in the way that was easiest for me personally and I think that is incredibly useless when learning online.

  44. I was skeptical about using a website as something to take place of the classroom environment which is so important in conducting music classes, but this website provided a number of interactive settings and ways to learn the music of such an interesting and beautiful culture. The diction portion was especially helpful for me because I really had trouble in learning the correct pronunciations of each word that made up the language. The ability to turn off some attributes of the website and turn on others made it super easy and fun to learn this new song and I would highly recommend anyone use it if they want to learn to sing in arabic outside of the classroom setting as this is the with great degree of certainty the next best thing.

  45. I really enjoyed working with this website. Sometimes I had a hard time with the pronunciation of many words, but when I selected only vocals I could clearly understand these words. In addition, the percussion and strings tools allowed me to sing to the pace of the song. The percussion, especially, helped me be in rhythm with the song, and allowed me to get a sense of the beat. This facilitated my learning greatly. This website also allowed me to go back whenever I wanted. Hence, I could repeat lines as many times as I wanted to learn them. By doing so, I was able to rehearse the most difficult lines many times. I went on my own pace, and I loved that. This is a great platform to learn music!

  46. I really enjoyed using this tool and playing around with the different components such as lyrics, diction, melody and rhythm. The learning curve is not steep and you can get a hang of it fairly quickly. It was interesting to see how this tool helps you break down a song into smaller parts so you can familiarize yourself with the diction first and then follow with melody. I also appreciated there was an “About this Song” tab where you could learn more about the history, culture, and context in which this song was composed. I also noticed there is a Lesson Plan for instructors to guide their students. I am very proud of my Professors, Hanna Khoury and Hafez Kotain, for developing this powerful, instructive, and fun educational tool and I am glad I had the opportunity to test it. The only point I had trouble with is using the recording feature, but as I said, other than that I was impressed at the user-friendliness of this educational tool and I hope more people consider incorporating it into their practice.

  47. My overall experience was positive. At first it wasn’t very intuitive what things needed to be highlighted in blue and in which in red to play the diction, lyrics, percussion and strings. However, after figuring out that “All” had to always be blue it was a very straightforward tool to use. Being able to go back and forward was also not great as you had to guess at what point in the song you wanted to go, without actually knowing where you would be redirected. I think a more user-friendly approach would be to allow users to click on the actual musical script. However, I do think this was easier than learning a song in class as you can repeat the sections you do not understand as many times as you wish, without wasting time on the sections you already got.

  48. As a current student at Penn taking Professor Hannah Khuri’s MUSC 007 Arabic Choir course, I found this interactive and simple to use website very useful. Whilst I was initially worried about lacking physically interactions in a singing/music class, I felt this tool really did a great job in making learning the song simple and enjoyable as an alternative to classroom learning. I chose to learn the song “Nassam Alayna” and learnt it through the website. I felt the website was extremely self-explanatory and allowed me to pause and play the song in whatever section I felt I needed to work more on. With the options of eliminating the background vocals and the pronunciation of the Arabic words, I found the song easier to learn than I expected. I also saw that the website included a section that provided me with the origins and history of the lyrics of the song, leaving me intrigued to learn not only how to sing the song but also what the lyrics in the song meant. This allowed me to further implement more emotional connections with the song when learning how to sing it. Overall, I think whilst this tool cannot fully replace MUSC 007 in a classroom setting, due to the importance of truly learning the language and pronunciation of the song from an amazing professor like Professor Khuri, I felt this is a good alternative to learning how to sing Arabic songs for individuals interested in both the Arabic culture and Arabic music, like myself.

  49. I don’t really get the beat and follow it easily so this platform is really useful in making you follow the beat. It also made learning and singing the song such a fun process! I really enjoyed using the tools it provides in learning Nassam Alayna El Hawa and singing it.

  50. In my experience, I found Al-Bustan’s Digital Education tool to be incredibly user friendly and a great tool to learn music. With this program, I learned “Nassam ‘Alayna” for my Arabic Choir class at the University of Pennsylvania. Initially, I was nervous at the thought of learning an Arabic song online, seeing as I am not an Arabic speaker myself and the only way I had learned music before was in person. However, with this application I was able to learn not only the music but the meaning behind the music as well.

    Before I attempted to sing the song, I wanted to know about the song itself. A great feature this application has is the “About” section where I was able to learn about the Rahbani Brothers, Fairuz, and the translation of the song. The website also detailed the theme of longing for one’s homeland that is prevalent in Arabic communities and music. I loved how I was able to learn about that significance of the song and see how it was conveyed through rhythm changes.
    When learning the song, I really appreciated the ‘diction’ option and love being able to hear each part by itself and then put together. The instrumentals and vocal audio they provided was beautiful. I also really liked having the sheet music in front of me and liked how it scrolled but also included a guiding line that told you where you were in the music. I found it really easy to follow.

    I had a very small issue when first trying to learn the words. I liked to go back and re-listen to phrases in order to better understand them. The only issue I had was that it was difficult to rewind or go back to a specific section of the song when it was paused. I was able to go back in the song when the music was playing though. Overall, that was a very minor problem and learning the song was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed using this tool and would definitely recommend it.

  51. I am currently a student in the Arabic Choir class at Penn. While I was initially worried about the task of learning a song in Arabic online without in-person guidance, I was happy to find that learning the song “Nassam Alayna” using this website was a very user-friendly experience that allowed you to work at your own pace. I have no prior vocal instruction, and as a result found the ability to toggle on and off different aspects of the song to be very useful. For instance, I began by going through the diction of the words several times as we used to do in class when first learning a song. I was then able to gradually add in the other musical components such as background music and vocals which was extremely helpful. I also enjoyed being able to see the musical sheet with the notes so that I had a better idea of when my vocal pitch was supposed to go up and down rather than just listening to the song and hearing the changes since I don’t have much experience doing this. Lastly, I also liked the facts that the red bar was moving as the song progressed so you could follow along exactly where the music was at that point. I was able to effectively break down the process of learning the song into gradual steps which allowed for a smooth and successful result.

    I also found the website to be very useful because in addition to actually learning the song, I appreciated the “about” section as I was able to learn more about the origin and meaning of the actual lyrics. I enjoyed being able to see an English translation of the lyrics so that I was aware of the words I was singing, and getting to read more about the composer and context of the song. I was able to learn about the various parts of the song and the meaning behind why some parts are faster and more upbeat and why some are slower which really helped me appreciate the overall piece much more than simply just listening to it.

    However, despite the many positive aspects of my learning experience, I did face some difficulties. For one, the “record” feature on the “play, sing, record” section was not working so I could not use the website to record my video. I also had trouble accessing the song “Yalli zara’tu lburtuan” all together without downloading a flash player resulting in me choosing the other song by default.

    Overall, I had a great experience with the website and was able to successfully learn a song in Arabic, a language that prior to this class I had never spoken a word of. I highly recommend this website for beginners who are looking to try something new, and would definitely use this resource again in the future!

  52. Although learning the song was difficult and I’m not sure my performance was the best ever I really enjoyed using the Albustan tool to more adequately learn the song and melody. Glad, I didn’t have to sight read it.

  53. I had a very positive experience with this online tool which allowed me to efficiently learn the song. I enjoyed the option to isolate certain elements – I started by isolating diction so that I could focus on the pronunciation of words I was uncomfortable with, then progressed to singing the song without the diction and just the melody – percussion and strings.
    Although I am not well acquainted with reading sheet music, I found the website to navigate around this issue by making it possible once the music starts, to read the lyrics in tandem with the sheet music. The time bar allowed me to center my attention on certain parts of the song which I was having difficulties with and the diction tool which really helped me improve my pronunciation to a greater degree than I anticipated as opposed to in class instruction. However, the recording function did not work which was frustrating so I had to use another device. This technical difficulty aside, I feel the tool performed to my expectations. I found the ‘About’ section to be very informative for non-arabic speakers as the background reading provided offered a nuance to the song which I believe helped me appreciate the lyrics and sing the piece with more emotion once I learnt more about the themes of displacement from one’s homeland and the accompanying feeling of loss.

  54. I found learning the song “Nassan Alayna” using Albustanseeds to be a very easy and intuitive process. Having never learned Arabic before this class, but coming from a musical background (as a piano player), I appreciated the musical scoresheet and I enjoyed being able to follow along to the instrumental track, something that being in class would not have afforded (as in class, we only look at the lyrics). I also enjoyed being able to toggle through different options for what I wanted in the background as I was learning the song. In the beginning, I just practiced my diction, and I enabled the “Diction” function to help guide me through being able to pronounce the words correctly. I also put the “Percussion” function on, to help myself keep a good pacing as I spoke the words out loud. Then, as I familiarized myself with the words, I soon was able to add on “Vocals” and lose “Diction,” and I also added “Strings.” It was a fantastic way to be able to have full control over how I learned this song, as adding all four things (Vocal, Diction, Percussion, Strings) would have been too overwhelming in the beginning. Thus, I was able to break my learning down into steps, which made for a much smoother and effective learning process, and made the learner curve a lot less difficult to climb. The way I broke down my learning was akin to how I would learn a song on the piano; when learning piano, first, I would practice with a metronome, working on my two hands separately. And slowly, once I felt comfortable, I’d take off the metronome and play with both hands together. This digital education website made it easy for me to learn an Arabic song and treat it in the same way I’d treat my piano music – as a gradual learning process.

    Despite having an overall positive experience, I did however, also experience technical difficulties with the website at times. For example, the record feature was not working, so I was not able to directly record a video from the website, and I had to resort to my laptop’s web camera function instead. The website also did not allow me to skip to different parts of the song whilst the song was paused, but only allowed me to do so when the song was playing. Thus, it made it difficult for me to rewind and practice certain sections that I was having trouble with, without replaying the entire song. It may be helpful to add “skip 10 seconds forward” or “skip 10 seconds backward” buttons, or rewind and forward buttons, similar to how YouTube videos and other video platforms have them.

    But, overall, I really enjoyed learning the song and was pleasantly surprised by how much fun it was. I hope other students benefit from this website’s usage as well, and I would recommend it to anyone trying to learn Arabic songs or music in general.

  55. This platform, Albustanseegs.org helped bridge the gap between our typical classroom experience and our new online platform. It helped me greatly in my work to learn “Nassam Alaya-I Hawa.” In class, we began to learn songs by reviewing the diction. This was often very challenging for me, as I had no previous experience with the Arabic language.

    This website allowed me to practice and adjust various aspects of the song, sch as the percussion, strings, diction and vocals. Having just the diction on allowed me to learn the proper pronunciation of each of the words. After practicing with the diction, I listened to the vocals. In class, we had live music, which was always very exciting and intriguing. This website allowed me to listen solely to the vocal and practice singing to each note. The next step in my learning was to play all of the pieces together, just as we did in class. These practices allowed me to be much more confident when it came time for me to record my final version.

    The “For Education” section of the website allowed me to download a document with a lesson plan for clearly learning about the section. I used the “Nassam Alaya-I Hawa Lesson Plan-1.” The background and descriptions were very helpful in learning more about the context of the song. While I do not know any Arabic, I was able to understand the cultural importance of this song and how it greatly connects daily life with the overarching theme of diaspora. This song is an emotionally varied piece, that taught me a great deal about the feelings of interconnectedness within a culture that is so different from my own. The English translations of the music through the educators tab provided a similar feeling as the introductions to pieces and videos that we viewed during the class.

    There were some technical challenges to using the website such as the use of sheet music and lack of coordination with the time on the platform. I was not able to scroll through the parts of the song in correlation with the sheet music. Another issue with the platform is the difficulties of practicing sections repeatedly, because of the lack of the forward and backwards button. The recording function also could be streamlined to be more efficient.

    In conclusion, I am very happy to have had the opportunity to use Albustanseeds.org. During quarantine, I have recommended the platform to several of my peers who want to learn something new. I am really glad that this platform exists and was able to make this experience as similar and useful as regular class session in person were.
    Overall, I really had a lot of fun learning this song and I think others using this platform will have a similarly enjoyable experience!

  56. Albustanseeds.org was very helpful in how it went about teaching be “Nassam Alaya-I Hawa.” The website offered me help in both learning how to sing the lyrics properly and gain insight into the historical and cultural importance of the song.

    The website allowed you to mute the vocals, diction, percussion, strings, or everything when listening to the song. Muting everything but the diction helped me to hear the correct pronunciation of each word. Next, listening to solely the vocals helped me really hear the way the singer is meant to sing each note. Finally, being able to play everything but the diction and the vocals was good practice for my eventual recording. I was able to rehearse repeatedly in the exact way my final submission would be created. Each time felt like a mini dress rehearsal for my video-submission recording.
    One critique I have for the website was that in order to go to a different part in the song you had to click on the bar above the sheet music, and the only indication of where you clicked to was from the time count of where you were in the song. I wasn’t able to scroll down and click on a different part of the song directly inside the sheet music. This made it harder to practice the specific parts of the song that gave me more trouble because I couldn’t find them quickly, and I couldn’t isolate those measures and just practice them on their own.

    The next assistance to my learning that this website gave me came from under the “For Educators” tab. There was a downloadable document clearly titled “Nassam Alaya-I Hawa Lesson Plan-1.” Even above this link, there was a brief and helpful description of the background information about the song. The document dives much further into helping you gain an understanding of the song’s importance. Themes of homesickness and diaspora are embedded within. I found several of the questions included in this lesson plan very thought-provoking and it made me realize how much emotion and beautify is inside “Nassam Alaya-I Hawa.” Additionally, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the lyrics in English, for in addition to the history lesson contained in the lesson plan, the lyrics presented the song to me like a poem that I could understand in English.

    One critique inside the lesson plan is not even a real critique—it’s simply that it felt like it was meant for very young students, which it was, so that is why it isn’t a real criticism. I just didn’t find the questions like “What are places you consider to be ‘home’?” very insightful or necessary.

    Overall, I found Albustanseeds.org to be a terrific website. I think future students would benefit from its use, even when classes are no longer online.

  57. I used Al-Bustan’s tool to learn “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa.” I was able to learn the song using the application quite intuitively as the buttons were easy to use. I liked how you are able to mute the other tracks to focus on diction—as a non-Arabic speaker this was very helpful to me. Much like in class, I tried to read about the song and practice the diction first before adding the melody and the instruments. It was also very useful to have the lyrics download with the English translation—that way non-Arab speakers are able to know what each verse is about. I also enjoyed the “About” section where one could learn about the composer and song. After knowing the context of the song and the nostalgia and longing for one’s homeland it attempts to convey, it was much easier for me to connect with it emotionally.

    I did have some technical issues with the program. First, you are unable to skip to different parts of the song while the song is paused—you can only do it when it is playing. This made it somewhat more difficult to practice sections repeatedly. It may be helpful to add a “forward” and “backward” button. Furthermore, the recording function did not work—there was nothing on the page to indicate recording, and I had to record the assignment using my phone. However, these were the only two issues I had—if these were fixed, the experience would be perfect. Maybe some additional things that could be added would be clicking certain words on the page to hear the pronunciation as well as links to video performances.

    Overall, I very much enjoyed the experience and would recommend the program to anyone trying to learn Arabic or discover the culture.

  58. The way the tutorial is designed is delightful. As a non-Arabic speaker, I was able to focus my direction on varying aspects of the song, build upon them, and ultimately combine everything I was learning together. I opened my mind to critically analyzing the rhythm, melody, and diction that made the song what it is. This application made that analysis incredibly enjoyable and accessible, since all the tools needed were right at my disposal. Moreover, this class was my first interaction with music since my elementary school days, and although it is no longer an in-person lecture, I still felt the interaction with the music. I was equally as engaged as I would have been in class by the use of this application. Being able to visibly view the music notes and listen to varying tracks separately, was a feature that helped me excel the most when learning this song. Observing the notes right in front of me, I was able to differentiate the tones and where the emphasis was on the lyrics. Also, the ability to pause the music gave me the possibility to take the song in and reflect upon it, while processing the diction and melody.

    I will definitely let my fellow music lovers know about this application. I have discussed Arabic choir with a lot of my colleagues and the majority of them were really intrigued by the class. They especially felt an attraction to the Arabic language and have a desire to learn some and engage with the musical aspect of it. I think introducing them to this platform could definitely jumpstart that inclination to educate themselves within the realm of Arabic music.

    One suggestion I would give, however, is to create a system that enables a better grasp of the singing cues. I had trouble understanding when to sing, when to pause, and the pace that came along with the lyrics. Overall, this was not the worst thing and only a minor problem in comparison to how helpful the application was!

  59. My experience with Al-Bustan’s Digital Education tool was excellent. For my Arabic choir class at the University of Pennsylvania, I chose to learn the song “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa.” I thought it was really nice that there was an ‘About the Song’ section of the website. In my class, we had always discussed the background of a song and any cultural elements before we began singing it, so I thought this was a great feature. I found it especially fascinating that the lyrics of this song play on the double meaning in the Arabic language of “hawa,” which translates to both love and breeze of the air. I also liked being able to read through the translations of the lyrics so I could understand the themes of the song on a deeper level.

    When I began learning the song, I found the diction tool especially helpful. In the early stages I listened to the song with just the diction to get a better sense of how to pronounce certain words. After doing this I began adding the vocals so that I could learn the melody of the song. Learning the song step by step was very much possible with the excellent features of this site. I also found the red line that moved with the music extremely helpful so that I would not get lost in the lyrics.

    One feature of the website that I had some issues with was the recording. This was slightly frustrating since this tool was essential for my assignment, but I was able to work around it with another recording feature on my website. I also found it quite difficult to start/stop the song once it started playing and fast forwarding it to a specific section, but this may also have been an error on my end. Overall though, a great experience!

  60. Using this educational tool was extremely helpful and insightful in learning the song for My Arabic choir songs. What I liked most about the site are the different options/ control it allows one to have when learning the song. Having a vocal versus diction option really makes a difference. Because of the diction tool, I was able to learn the song two times faster. The only improvement I wish the site had was in regard to the recording feature. When singing the song, I was not able to record what so ever. That feature simply didn’t work. So, I had to use my laptop or phone to do that part. Other than this small complication, it was definitely a helpful tool!

  61. I was quite intrigued by the idea of using an online educational tool to learn music, a practice I thought can only be taught through face-to-face interactions. I initially struggled with accessing Yalli zara’tu lburtuan. The website kept telling me that I needed to upgrade my flash even though I already have the most updated version. After a frustrating half an hour of trying to make it work, I gave up and moved on to Nassam. Surprisingly, I had no trouble accessing the materials for this composition. I printed the sheet music and easily followed along the to the music score on the screen whilst toggling between the diction and voice options. After a couple of hours of practicing, I felt confident enough with my performance and did several recordings for the assignment.

    Overall, once I managed to access the material, it was pretty easy to learn the music using the online tool. The website has features such as the controls for diction, and vocals, and the sing along to the music sheet interface that makes learning the composition pretty intuitive. However, there are particular hardships that come along with online education in general and this online music tool was no different. For instance, had I not been able to access either one of the resources, I would not have been able to participate at all. Given the remote nature of our class, technical difficulties can be very frustrating – you do not know what is wrong with your device and it can be hard for people not actually seeing what is on your screen to troubleshoot what is going on. Additionally, I also recognize how the successful use of these online resources is contingent upon one’s access to a stable internet connection – a luxury that not everyone has. Another luxury that significantly helps in this learning process is access to a printer. Actually having a printed copy of the lyrics allowed me to make notes and better follow along. Hence, reflecting on my experience using the online tools, it is definitely something useful to supplement one’s education experience if you have the proper resources. Having said that, nothing can really replace the experience of being in class, learning a composition together, hearing the music being played live, and performing for an audience.

  62. I used Al-Bustan’s Digital Education tool to learn the song “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa” for my Arabic Choir class at the University of Pennsylvania. I thought it was really helpful that on the “Learn” tab you could select “Vocals” so that you could first learn the proper pronunciation of the words before learning the melody. I appreciated that there was a line that followed the sheet music through the piece because it made it easy for me to know where I was in the song. the “Diction” selection was also nice because it helped me learn the melody better.

    The lyric download was very informative too, especially since it had the translation next to the Arabic lyrics. Because I knew what I was singing about, it made it easier to know how to perform the song. The only downside of the lyric PDF is that it doesn’t say how many times to repeat certain sections of the song, so I had to listen to the music a few times to write that in.

    I had difficulties pausing the song in the middle because my computer would not let me scroll up to the top to hit the pause button while the song was still playing. It would’ve been convenient to pause the song in the middle when I was first starting to learn the diction. Overall, this tool was extremely useful for learning the song, and I would recommend it to others in the future.

  63. I used Al-Bustan’s Digital Education resources to learn the song “Nassam Alayna Al-Hawa” for my Arabic Choir class at the University of Pennsylvania and had a very positive experience. Before diving into the song itself, I took some time to read over the materials provided about the song. I think the details regarding tone and rhythmic patterns (ex. the maqsum beat, upbeat happy mood of the place depicted in the song, and nostalgic longing in certain parts provided by the quarter tone) helped me to better understand the meaning of the song. As an international student myself, and as someone with parents who were immigrants, I could draw similarities between the issues of many Lebanese people that were brought up in the song, such as the feelings of homesickness and displacement. I had previously known of Fairuz as she is an icon in the Arab world, but it was also interesting to read about the composers (The Rahbani Brothers) and how their past experiences lead them to share musical compositions and work with Fairuz.

    In terms of using the tools to learn the song, I started off with listening to the song a few times to familiarize myself with it. Then, I isolated just the lyrics/diction and practiced that. Then, I applied the lyrics to the rhythm. The red bar that moved through the music was especially helpful at the start, as it helped me keep track of where I was in the song. Lastly, I incorporated the melody once I was familiar with the lyrics and had all the correct pronunciations. Putting the song together at the end was easy because of all the practice with each individual aspect that I was able to do with the tools beforehand. What I enjoyed the most about the tool was the fact that the audio and music was so clean. It was extremely professional and easy to follow.

    Personally I had a few challenges throughout the process of learning the song. First, I felt that it was difficult scrolling through the lyrics while the song was being played, especially when trying to get to the top to pause it. It was also frustrating not being able to rewind and fast forward through the song, because certain parts I would want to practice more, while some parts I was already confident in (ex. the chorus) and would want to skip ahead. Lastly, the recording function was not working, which I had to use for our class assignment. With these improvements, my process would have been made seamless, and perhaps other students would find these changes beneficial as well. But even with these minor issues, I think that overall the tool was extremely beneficial, and allowed me to learn the song both thoroughly and efficiently. I would definitely use it again in the future to learn more songs and to further my understanding of Arab music and culture.

  64. I have little experience using online learning tools for singing, but I went into Al-Bustan Digital Education with an open mind. After deciding to learn Nassam Alayna Al-Hawa, I started to explore the website and its functions. Initially I found the website to be somewhat buggy. One of the main reasons I didn’t choose the other song was that the audio player that had the lyrics and the instrumental parts did not work for the other song, though I could access the lyrics and the sheet music. The audio player for Nassam Alayna Al-Hawa was working, and I liked the song better, so I chose it. The audio player itself is very good in terms of its features. It not only has the lyrics, but also the notes for those on percussion and strings. The diction was by default not activated, but it was great to have that feature along with the vocals. Listening to only the diction allowed me to hone my pronunciation, while the vocals helped me sing along with the tune, though listening to the vocals and diction at the same time was not helpful. I did not bother to deactivate the percussion or strings, but I feel that isolating them would be helpful for someone on the drums or a violin respectively. I played violin in the past, so I was able to read the string notes and along with the vocals, it helped me understand how the lyrics were supposed to be sung. The red bar that moves through the music was very good at keeping me on pace, and I like the detail of the blue string notes denoting parts where there are no vocals. I like that the website not only helps you learn the song, but has a very in depth history and analysis of the music. The information is very thorough and is nice to read when you are practicing.
    My issues with the website are with the design and bugginess. I would listen to the song on my phone in a browser tab, but after about 5-10 plays through, the lyrics would go out of sync with the music for no apparent reason, and I would always have to exit the tab and reopen an entirely new page on my phone. The website itself could be organized slightly better. Along with making the other song’s audio player functional, the web pages for both songs were different, which doesn’t make sense since they should be organized in the same manner. On the Nassam Alayna Al-Hawa home page, there are two main options, “Learn the Song” and “Play, Sing, Record”, but they don’t seem to be any different. Both led to the same audio player to help me learn, and the menu buttons above them just lead to each other’s identical pages. I never found any recording option on any of the pages, which was confusing but not really a problem since I just recorded using my laptops webcam. I also wish that the audio player that helps you learn was more user friendly. This would include a rewind and fast forward option, and being able to drag the red line around to different parts of the song. It is inconvenient that you can only listen to the song from start to finish with pauses in between as opposed to working on a specific section of the song over and over again. This meant I could never skip the 20 second intro of the song when I could’ve used that time to practice parts with the lyrics like we do in class. You also can’t scroll through the lyrics while the song is playing, only when it’s paused or stopped.
    Overall, I think the learning tool is good for learning the music and the history of the music, and I had no issue recording once I had spent considerable time learning the song. The small issues with the website were not a big deal at all, and they were very easy to work around. I simply turned the vocals off and sang while recording on my laptop using QuickTime Player. The red line helped keep me on pace, and audio quality was crisp and consistent.

  65. I was initially skeptical of using this program to help me learn a song in Arabic because I have never studied anything in Arabic before. However, this program proved very helpful and efficient in helping me learn the song Nassam ‘Alaynā Al-Hawā. In class, we initially learned our songs by hearing the diction first, and adding in the melody later. I liked this program because it allowed me to take out the melody and all the background percussion so I could focus on mastering the diction of the words. The percussion was interesting to listen to by itself, and one can tell that the beat of the drums helps influence the mood of the song. There are faster beats for more happy parts of the song, but the rhythm slows down when there are more melancholy sections. When I was ready, the program allowed me to add in the percussion and melody so I was able to easily learn the tune of the song. The program also had a bar that allowed me to follow along on the sheet music quite easily, and helped with my timing when I decided to record the song on my own.
    I enjoyed clicking on the about section of the song on the website, which explains the context of the words. The about section explains how Nassam ‘Alaynā Al-Hawā is a song about Arab communities longing to return to their homeland. The website describes how there are two different themes in the song. In the beginning of the song when a beautiful and desirable land with blowing breezes and valleys are described, there is an upbeat melody. However, later in the song there is a shift in the melody to introduce a feeling of fear. This is done with slower beats, lower tones, and the hallmark quarter tone. These tones help to convey a feeling of longing for the home country the singer is dreaming about. When more closely examined, many of the themes of this song link to the civil war in Lebanon, and Fairuz, the singer of the song, was even given the nickname of the Soul of Lebanon.
    One limitation to the program is that it does not allow you to pause the song and listen to the pronunciation of one word over and over, so one must listen to the whole song if ones wants to hear how to pronounce a word. In addition, I would have loved for the website to include further context about Lebanon and it’s civil war, or videos that related to the song or culture such as the videos that were introduced in our class. Overall, this website was very helpful in learning the diction of the song, providing context, and an accurate translation. I would highly recommend this program to anyone trying to learn a song in Arabic on their own!

  66. Upon first use, my perception of this platform was slightly negative due to it requiring me to install an external flash player. However, within the first 5 minutes of using the platform, I realized that my initial perception was extremely flawed. Over time, this platform provided a significant boost in my ability to not only understand the musical technicalities in performing a song in a vastly different language, but also to my understanding of the cultural context and meaning behind Arabic music.

    The song I studied (Yalli Zara’tu lburtuan) incorporated a drumbeat that varied significantly throughout, initially making it difficult to keep up with. However, the ‘Diction’ tool allowed me to get around this barrier – by simply playing a monotonous recital of the lyrics that was in time with the beat, I was able to easily ignore the backing instrumentals. On top of this, I was able to isolate the drumbeat by simply playing the percussion in the song, which allowed me to better comprehend the rhythm and tempo of each verse.

    It was interesting to dive into the ‘About’ sections of the song too. Google searches for the meaning behind the song returned results either in a different language or too short to be useful. However, sections on the Song, the Composer and even the Rhythm provided me with insights that I could not procure from the internet. On top of this, the pdf version of the translated song gave me a line-by-line understanding of the lyrics. I not only found it intriguing to learn about the reliance on agricultural luck and fortune in the Arabic culture that was conveyed by Bayram Al-Tūnsi (the writer of the lyrics), but also discovered that an understanding of the lyrics made it easier to sing each line in the right tone, given that the emotions conveyed in the tone mirrored the meanings of each line.

    Overall, I would strongly recommend this platform to any individual who is interested in learning about both the history and technicalities of Arabic music, as my experience with it was nothing short of excellent.

  67. This website was phenomenal for understanding the lingual nuances that comprise the various selections of Arabic songs. As it pertains to the tools for learning the songs, they are more than sufficient for a non-native speaker of any language within the Arabsphere. For each song, the creators provide an extensive background, which consists of the project, the composer, the song, and finally the Arabic translation. In doing so, the vocalist learns to appreciate what he/she is going to sing, which facilitates a more intimate experience. For those students more familiar with musical notes, allowing them to see the music notes and to listen to the different tracks separately are the two website features that will aid them in their journey to master these songs the most. For a musically inept student like me, I really liked the option to view a .pdf file of the lyrics along with its translation. Additionally, I enjoyed being able to practice separately the diction, the beats via the percussion, and the vocals since this better enables me to piece together the song. It is also fun seeing how each of the separate settings (i.e. vocals, percussions, strings, diction) work together to create the final product, which is this Arabic masterpiece.

    The specific song Nassam ‘alayna al-hawa was magical because the feeling of being nostalgic of my home is ever constant in my life as an international student. The imagery is so wholesome; it truly makes the singer feel the intensity of trying to go home. The explicit nature of the song builds the seriousness of the lyrics: “And my home country’s breeze is blowing/Take me home/ Take me to my country.” What added to my grasping of this concept was the fact that the website provided links to the Fairuz (mother of Lebanon) version of this song and a concert performance. From these resources, I learned the rhythmic style of the song and felt closer than ever to the lyrics as I almost felt the emotions Lebanese people feel from listening to this song, and not only that, but I sympathized and felt patriotic with them. I am so grateful to have taken Arab Ensemble with Professor Hanna Khuri; his lessons on imagined communities, funny anecdotes on Arab Idol, and his overall energy made me appreciate the rich culture that underlies Arabism and the music that encompasses it.

    If I had any suggestions, I would say to create a system that enables students to grasp the singing cues with greater ease. For me, it took several tries to understand when to sing, at what pace to sing, when to stop, how long to hold a certain pitch, etc. This, however, is very minor and does not have to be followed, but it is preferable.

  68. This website is great for a non-Arabic speaker like me to learn the song as a whole, as well as to appreciate the rhythm, melody, diction, and percussion components that make up the song. Allowing students to see the music notes and to listen to the different tracks separately were the two website features that helped me the most. With the actual note in front of me, I was able to learn the minute changes in tone and execute it more accurately, especially since Arabic music is so rich in minor toner characters. Listening to different tracks, I was able to practice my melody, rhythm, and diction first separately like how we did in class, and then slowly join them together to perform the song. Moreover, allowing us to pause the playing makes the learning easier and more natural because I could listen, pause, and repeat after each phrase when I was first learning the song.

    The song, Nassam Alayna, is very beautiful, not only in melody but also in its lyrics. After googling the translation and its context (which the website should consider including to help students learn the emotion), I learned that it is a song about the Lebanon homeland and many refugees resonate with it. The metaphor of a crying sun and the imagery of breezing air enhanced my understanding of the emotion associated with the song. The website could perhaps include videos of singers performing the song to emphasize the context and emotion even more. In short, this song is a great reflection of how emotionally and historically-rich Arabic music is, which I learned in Arabic Ensemble at Penn.

  69. Thank you for sharing this with me, definitely I am using this tool to teach my high school Arabic class. based on the comments I read, I congratulate the team of Al Bustan and wish your all the success to help enhance the teaching of the Arabic language with such beautiful tool.
    Mrs. Halabi

  70. This is a very impressive interactive website to learn and practice Arabic music. The integration between Arabic music and technology is important to document it, and to spread it. While it is spreading everywhere in the Middle East, there are a lot of songs, especially classical, that are not accessible to everybody to learn them. In fact, this could turn into an independent project in itself, particularly focusing on folkloric music in each region. This website is positive step in the right direction. Hopefully, there will be more additions to the library of this website.

  71. I really love this tool! It is really helpful for all parts of the music to be able to subtract whatever part you want to be able to focus on just a specific aspect of the song. I actually had the chance to learn this song during one of my earlier semesters in the ensemble and I wish I had had this tool when I first joined. Since I don’t speak arabic, I could really see something like this being useful in helping me retain the lyrics and diction. In the future, I think it would be great to see all songs for a specific semester provided on this platform to improve the ensemble in general and especially increase preparedness for the performances.

  72. I really enjoyed listening to the song “nassam ‘alayna-l hawa” (which translates to Blowing Breeze) by the Rahbani Brothers. The song itself has a sweet and consistent drumming pattern that truly enthralls listeners right into the vibe of the song. The violins also immediately immerse you into the message of the song. It is as though the violins follow the breeze described in the song and provide an urgency to the lyricism outlined throughout the song. In regards to the lyrics of the song, I really appreciate how elements of nature are personified. Lyrics such as “take me to them, oh breeze” or “then the sun cried” bring the song to life and illustrate an extremely vivid narrative. Overall, I really appreciate how the lyrics, the drums, and the violin all come together to bring passion and power to the song’s performance. I wish that we had more time in the class to explore the pronunciation of the words and really practice and absorb the song as a whole. It would have been delightful to perform it during the concert.

    Overall, it is songs like these that made me truly appreciate taking “Arab Music Ensemble.” I really enjoyed working on my pronunciation and enunciation of different song lyrics. I also really appreciated hearing the different instruments, whether it be the violin, the drums, or our voices, coming together to tell a story through song. This song follows in that tradition. I am so grateful for a sight such as albustanseeds(dot)org for allowing students to immerse themselves in Arab music even outside of the context of class. I hope to continue to use the site to practice songs like “nassam ‘alayna-l hawa.”

  73. This website is an extremely helpful resource for anyone trying to learn Arabic music. I actually learned Nassam a year ago, when I was in my first semester of the Arab Ensemble Class. We learned it by ear by following the melody of our instructor. It would have been very helpful to see the sheet music, the way it is laid out on the website, because it makes it easy to follow the intricacies of the melody. As for the song, Nassam has been one of my favorite songs through the two semesters that I have taken the class. I enjoy the upbeat melody and percussion. I also really identify with the theme of “homeland” because I was born and brought up in the Middle East and Arabic music, in general, makes me feel very nostalgic. Although I spent so much of my time around Arab culture, I really only knew the mainstream pop music that would always play on the radio, and I’m not as well versed in the songs by the legendary singers like Marcel Kalife and Fairouz. I really appreciate this class because it gave me the opportunity to understand traditional Arabic music and feel closer to the culture of my hometown.

  74. To be completely honest, I had no intentions of taking this class when the semester started. However, after performing a couple days ago, I have to admit I thoroughly love the sounds and beats of the dumbek. I’ve never had any experience with percussion instruments before in my life. I played the piano and violin for many years, which helped me out in the rhythm aspect of class, but after a semester with this magical instrument, I cannot deny that percussion instruments are very unique. The simplicity of the instrument and the monotonicity of the instrument can translate into some of the most wonderful sounds I have ever heard. Al-Bustan and Max have both been great mentors and instructors this semester and I look forward to taking the advanced class next year.

  75. I loved listening to the song! When I was little my mom used to play Fairooz in the car on long road trips. I recognize the melody of the song from my childhood. Arabic music and culture has always played a big role in my life. I love the different scale of the violin has. It sounds so different than Western music. I grew up speaking colloquial Arabic with my mom. She taught me to listen to Fairouz, Om Kalthoum, Marcel Kalife and other legendary singers. This website was great in that it let me research Fairouz’ song which makes me nostalgic. I think it is very cool that I am able to learn a song through this website without a formal teacher. I definitely hope to use this website more in the future. I like that the sheet music is present because I can learn how to play the song on the piano.

  76. Throughout the course of my life, Syrian and Arabic culture and language have heavily and uniquely influenced my upbringing. As a child of Syrian immigrants to the United States, Arabic maintained a fundamental role in the development of my interpersonal skills as well as my self-identity. Levantine colloquial Arabic was my first spoken language, and I grew up listening to legendary artists such as Fairouz, Om Kalthoum, and other great Arabic singers. This website was amazing in that it let me explore this part of my life with such a unique and comprehensive take on one of my all-time favorites as a kid: Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa. I thoroughly enjoyed learning this song through the website and I hope to use it more in the future!

  77. I am a Penn student currently enrolled in the Arabic Ensemble’s choir. I am also Lebanese-American, so I have especially loved getting to practice my arabic pronunciation while also singing along with my non-Arab friends. I took the Arabic percussion class a few semesters ago too which was a lot of fun.
    This is actually the first time, however, that I have ever been on this website. It has been alluded to several times in class, but I never knew what the link was. The site seems like a great resource. It may just be my computer, but a lot of the sites are loading very slowly, if at all, so I am not able to view everything as of right now, but I can tell the links seem like great tools. For example the link to certain songs to learn how to sing them with the lyrics are really nice. But then the links to “The Project” or “The Composer” lead to a page that just says “coming soon,” so the website could use some developing! I am sure though that once it gets there, it will serve as a great resource for students or anyone interested in the digital Arab culture.

  78. As a first time user of this website, I have found that this is a website that is very easy to manage. The layout of the website overall also looks very professional. It’s a fairly simple layout making it even easier to navigate. Although I am not very good at reading sheet music, I liked how this website offers the option to read along with the notes in the sheet music as the music plays. The buttons to control the music as it plays are useful because if you want to stop the music at any time, you can. This feature also allows you to go to the parts of the song that you might be having trouble with and therefore focus on those parts of the song more when practicing. This online tool is a great way to learn the pronunciation and to correctly follow the rhythm of the song. The diction tool also really helps those like myself who have never taken Arabic classes. Regarding the song, its fast tempo makes it catchy and fun to listen along.

  79. I think that the site is extremely user-friendly. I really like how there’s an option to “record” the song, so that I can just keep pieces of it in case I need to practice certain parts. Also, the fact that it has both an instrumental and non-instrumental version makes it very useful because I can learn the song using the non-instrumental and then practice it using the instrumental version once I know the tune. And it’s nice to have the sheet music on there so I can play the song on the piano if I want to. The sheet music also makes it easier to see the tune of the song because you know what note you’re singing. The song itself is not too fast so it doesn’t seem too hard to learn. And I like the tune of it- it’s extremely catchy which makes it easier to learn.

  80. This is not the first time that I use and browse through this page. Reading the discussion comments has been lots of fun, just as learning the songs through this digital learning resource has been. I have used this tool while I was in the choir, and still enjoy using it from time to time now. This tool is so much fun that I have used it when hanging out with friends. TI’s a great channel for me to introduce what I was doing in the choir and get my friends involved. I encourage more people to use it. It’s like Karaoke at home lol

  81. Since I don’t know arabic, I will comment on the musical rhythm of the song and how the song is very cleverly put together with upward and downward-facing scales. First of all, I will say that this website is very helpful for any people who wish to learn arabic music in their own free time. I even used it myself a couple of times and it was very easy to use. I also listened and was in the midst of learning “Nassam ‘alayna al-hawa” and really loved the melody and tone as the song progressed. What I found particularly important throughout the song was the consistent beat of the drum in the background, which kept other instruments and the singer’s lyrics aligned. Additionally, I really liked the scales that were present all throughout the song, as they brought an aura of smooth clarity and slow adaptation. Finally, the percussion set the beat well by beginning at a quick and fast pace, which guided the singing.

  82. This website is an amazing resource for Arabic and non-Arabic singers of any level. I especially enjoyed the individualized and interactive aspect of it. Having the option to choose which parts of the piece I wanted to focus on was really beneficial in helping me learn the music. In addition, I think that this website is really great with introducing Arabic music and culture to non-Arabic speakers, like myself. I would definitely recommend this tool to other people who are interested in learning Arabic music. Thanks for sharing, Al-Bustan!

  83. Despite the fact that we live in a world where technology has become evermore intricate and challenging to use/understand, the albustanseeds.org website is as simple, convenient, and easy way to convey great Arabic music to anyone who wishes to listen to or learn a variety of Arabic songs. The website allows both instrumentalists and vocalists to follow along and keep up with each note of every song. Moreover, if the song includes lyrics, they are conveniently attached on the page in both Arabic and English (accommodating for both advanced and beginner speakers), so that the vocalist has the ability to hone down on the lyrics and ensure the correct pronunciation of each word. I love the fact that the song can be played over and over again, as well as paused or stopped at any time – this is the best medium for anyone who wishes to learn a song.
    Thank you, Al-Bustan, for creating such an effective and easy way for people to follow great Arabic music. I know I will be regularly checking in to experience more lovely tunes!

  84. Nassam is a beautiful song. I really enjoy the tempo of this song. The violin sounds amazing. The instrumental It reminds me of the other music by the Rahbani Brothers that I sang in Arab choir in past semesters. It has a similar theme to some of the other folk and classical songs we have sung. The themes of “home” and “country” are common in the Arab music we have studied. This song incorporates the ides of going home, identity, and estrangement from home, all of which I am familiar with from the songs we have sung, including others from the Rahbani Brothers.

  85. I am extremely impressed by the quality of this website. This tool truly made learning Arabic song enjoyable on my own. I appreciated that I was able to learn at my own pace and could go back and re-listen to more challenging parts. Additionally, the link to the lyric translation of the song made my experience even more enjoyable as I am a beginner Arabic Student with limited knowledge of the language. Finally, I think its very cool how you can turn off and on the various instruments so you get a sense for each of them on their own as well as just being able to focus on the vocals if you like. Overall, I think this is a great tool that I would highly suggest to others!

  86. This is a fascinating platform that I think should be used for learning music in other languages as well. It is incredibly dynamic and I particularly appreciate the stratified nature of the learning (how I can layer different sounds). It is very useful for perfecting more challenging portions of songs practiced in class. I would strongly recommend this program for anyone attempting to learn music. It helps beginners learn tempo, pronunciation, and rhythm very well.

  87. I found this website to be incredibly helpful in learning the song Nassam Alayna Al-Hawa. As a beginner in Arabic singing, I have had difficulties learning to pronounce several words and phrases while maintaining the rhythm and tempo of the song so this provided a lot of guidance for me. I would certainly recommend this site to anyone even remotely interested in learning to sing in Arab.

  88. I am so impressed by this fantastic online resource. As a beginner in Arabic singing, I love the tools available to learn, practice, and refine several Arabic songs. I am able to replay songs and learn at my own pace. The website is interactive and very easy to navigate. I think this is a great resource for both native Arabic and non-Arabic learners to cultivate their interest in Arabic music, and it should definitely be shared with more people! It has the potential to reach many people around the world who might be interested in Arabic music. This is really an amazing resource. Thank you for creating this, Al-Bustan!

  89. I came upon this website as a student of the Arab Music Ensemble Course (MUSC 007) at the University of Pennsylvania. The American culture is already foreign to me as I come from Paraguay, in the heart of South America. One can only imagine the cultural clash that I had at my first Arab Music Ensemble class. However, I was delighted and could not be happier that I decided to take the class. Moreover, this website is extremely helpful for me as it provides an interactive and fruitful way to fully grasp the songs and learn them by heart. I was particularly fascinated by the “Play, Sing, and Record” feature that allows you to select with aspects of the song to mute such as the strings, vocals, percussion, and diction.

  90. I thought the pacing and rhythm of the song made it extremely special. For one, I really like how the rhythm of Yalli was constant and smooth. It feels very different from the songs that we have rehearsed in class (MUSC 007: Arab Music Ensemble). But I also really appreciate the message of the song: invest the seeds of the orange and watch them grow in plentifully. The song is almost like a metaphor for investing in life and being patient enough to see the fruitfulness of everyday. I also appreciate how the pacing of the song almost parallels the message in the song: slow, steady, but ever building. The pronunciation in the lyrics are very helpful for following along, so I really appreciated that as well. The chorus requires one to really enunciate each syllable fully for the best effect. Overall, I really enjoyed learning this song.

  91. This site and the program is an incredibly powerful way to enable non-Arabic speakers to enjoy and engage themselves in Arabic singing. It is very easy to use and prepares the user well with knowledge of everything from timing to pronunciation to musical cadence. The layering of the multiple characteristics of the song is very useful. This online tool is a fantastic supplement to what we learn in class. Thank you for this!

  92. I honestly found it fascinating how effective and perceptive this software is to learn, and how this ease of learning is translated to learning the specific song (in this case Nassam-Alayna). Not only is it easy to learn, but it’s also helpful for non-native arabic speakers like myself. For example, I was able to download the lyrics and music sheet in pdf form and study those separately before I incrementally moved up to playing the recording on the albustanseeds.org website. Additionally, I really liked how the software was able to keep me on the beat with the internal metronome that was synchronized with the lyrics below. I can’t wait to sing this song with the rest of the choir because the different parts seem to blend/mesh well and having everyone singing at the same time will really make the song come to life!

  93. I am actually impressed by how effective this is. I grew up listening to Fayruz songs and Nassam Alayna El Hawa was my mother’s favorite. However, I never actually learned the exact lyrics and the correct notes that I should be following. This resource offered by Al-Bustan was very helpful to me in learning this song, recording the video of me singing it and sending it to my mother. It’s a great way for anyone who is learning Arabic to get acquainted with the Lebanese accent through our legend’s – Fayruz – music.

    Thank you for putting this together 🙂

  94. As someone who isn’t familiar with Arab music as well as the language, I found this site extremely helpful in learning both. It’s easy to use, and I really enjoyed the ability to combine or separate different parts of a song, i.e. percussion and vocals. Furthermore, the diction feature ensured I wasn’t completely butchering the lyrics. To further educate others in Arab music, I think it would be a really cool idea if there were an analysis of the song, be it rhythmically or lyrically. This is awesome!

  95. I found this tool really useful! I was able to learn the song from the very beginning – start to finish. What I really appreciated was that I could pick and choose if I wanted to hear instruments, vocals, diction or everything! I think this made it particularly helpful when I was trying to learn the melody. I also really like the sheet music style because I used to play an instrument and I was able to follow along better. Once I learned the song after going through it with just vocals, I added in music and was able to sing along. I then recorded myself and heard myself sing it then too, which was interesting. Overall, I think it’s a very interactive tool that is a great way for people to get involved and learn about Arabic music and culture. Since I’m in the Arab Music Ensemble, I think it would be great if the tool could include some more songs that we currently work on through the year, so that we could practice on our own!

  96. I have learned this song through the arabic music program at Upenn last year, and this website is a great resource for me to review this songs and refresh my memories about what I’ve learnt about arabic music culture. The songs chosen are absolutely beautiful, and give a great sketch of what arabic music is like in the modern context. I will definitely be visiting again!

  97. Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa is a beautiful song that I know is especially meaningful to members of the Lebanese diaspora. It is very poetic and speaks about a desire to return home, or a longing for your homeland that seems to echo both sad and frustrated tones of all those who for various reasons have not been able to return to the place in which they grew up. The speaker is afraid they will not have the chance to return home, or if they do return that they will be forgotten in the years that have passed. I enjoyed using Al Bustan’s learning tools to teach myself this song. The dictation tool was especially useful as it said the words to the beat. I will definitely come back to this site just for fun in the future and show it to some of my music teachers who I know would find it interesting. Thanks again Al Bustan for help spreading Middle Eastern culture!

  98. WOW! This website is incredible! I am so glad that I’ve finally had the opportunity to use it to learn the song, Yalli zara‘tū-l burtu’ān. It was great being able to see the cursor roll over the music as I listened to the song the first couple of times. As a both an instrumentalist and member of the Arab Ensemble choir, I find it helpful to see the musical notation along with the words. I was impressed by the diction tool and definitely see myself using this feature more often since I have not taken an Arabic language class yet. That being said, I also appreciate the English and phonetic translations. I am always in awe by the poetic nature of these songs. I found the homogenous melody of the chorus and versus as well as the steady rhythm to be very hearty and appropriate for the setting of the song which is probably out in the orange gardens. The little bits of solo string melody between verses and chorus provided space between the repeating choruses.

  99. The presentation and options for learning the songs are wonderful! I listened to “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa” and found it easy to follow along, even as someone who is not experienced in music or Arabic. The multiple layers was a really neat way to hear music, since I could keep track of the drumming or the singing depending on how I wanted to listen at that moment. Thank you for making this resource available! Great job!

  100. I really enjoyed learning this song. The red cursor that moved along the sheet helped me a lot with keeping in time. The rhythm itself was pretty novel to me, which is why I enjoy learning this music. It has introduced me to a multitude of new rhythms.

  101. I really enjoyed using this website to learn the song Yalli Zara’tu lBurtuan. Being able to read sheet music definitely helped me, but the system is very easy to follow and allows one to catch onto the rhythm and melody very quickly. I also really enjoyed this song in particular–the instrumentation was upbeat and chirpy, but in a subtle manner. To contrast the beat and instrumentation, the voice and singing was more mellow and lower in key, and I thought the two blended very nicely together. I found that the title of this song translated to “Those who planted the oranges” and I immediately drew the connection that this song is very much like what workers would sing and chant when they were working in the fields. Overall, I enjoyed both the song and this experience.

  102. I see you share interesting stuff here, you can earn some extra money,
    your website has huge potential, for the monetizing method, just search in google –
    K2 advices how to monetize a website

  103. The students at Safford Middle School should be very proud. They sounded fantastic. Congratulations to the students and their teacher, Ustadha Fatima.

  104. This tool is incredibly useful! As an individual with an Arabic background but limited understanding of the language, I especially appreciate the feature through which I could hear the diction of a given song. For example, after learning “Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa” in class I was more easily able to recall the diction we’d practiced by using this tool. I also appreciate the ability to break down the song into additional components such as vocals and percussion. Learning diction is separate from learning how to vocalize the song, and I appreciate have tools to both work on diction and actual singing. I think this tool will certainly help others taking this class and wishing to learn more about Arabic singing in general.

  105. This is an absolutely incredible way to learn music! The website and platform allowed for me to learn different parts of the song with ease. For example, as a percussion player, being able to isolate just the percussion section was great for learning the part. Then, muting the percussion section, I was able to play along with the rest of the ensemble to see how I was doing. As somewhat of a beginner in music, seeing the sheet music and having the line guide was very helpful. In addition, we are able to download of the sheet music so that we can also practice offline. Another interesting part of the website was the “Dictation” tool. It’s hard for a person who has never spoken Arabic to pick up on the correction pronunciation through music vocals. However, the Dictation tool really helps users understand how to correctly pronounce each word with ease. Without this website, I definitely would not have been able to learn a piece of music this fast before. Thank you again for a great semester!

  106. I listened to and learned the song “Jadaka-I Ghaythu.” After having taken Arab Percussion for two semesters with Hafez Kotain, I felt adequately prepared to play the song on my dumbek. I enjoyed and appreciated the song that much more since I was able to play along while it played on my computer. I read about the song and found out that it had links to Andalucia. I visited Andalucia in Spain a few years back and the song did remind me of the sites I saw like the Grand Mosque of Cordoba and the Alhambra Palace in Granada and Toledo and Sevilla. I have really appreciated being able to have taken this class for one full year and have gained a deeper appreciation and understanding for Arabic and Middle Eastern Culture. I hope to continue learning and appreciating Arabic music after leaving from Penn. Thank you Al-Bustan and Penn for making me aware of the beautiful music of the world!

    Thanks once again,

  107. I really enjoyed using this to learn songs! It allowed me to learn the material at my own pace and volition, with ample time to review and perfect the material. The ability to go over the same portion multiple times allowed me to quickly remedy lacking areas. While i normally struggle with transliterated words, I found these to be very accurate and manageable.the ability to hear just the vocalist was also incredibly helpful in understanding pronunciation, while the ability to play the instrumental alone allowed me to test my mastery of the material .The only addition i would make is the ability to see lyrics in arabic as well!

  108. I found this tool to be very useful for learning the song Nassam Alayna Al-Hawa. It helped most with my pronunciation of the lyrics, since I could listen repeatedly to the correct pronunciation. The transliteration and diction functions helped with this understanding as well, and allowed for sufficient practice time. I also liked to be able to listen to just the vocalist without the other instruments in order to avoid any confusion in the tone and pitch of the song. The tool also caters to students who cannot read musical notation, which makes it more accessible to anyone and everyone who wants to learn Arabic music! The music scrolls and indicates where you are in the song, so you don’t lose track. Many features of this tool are very useful and easy to use. It is a great way to practice outside of class time and I was able to memorize Nassam by using this tool, which I probably wouldn’t have done just in class.

  109. This online tool has been truly helpful to me in learning the tune and lyrics to Nassam ‘Alayna Al-Hawa. I appreciate that the lyrics are provided in Arabic but also transliterated to provide an understanding of how the words are actually pronounced when sung. It is also very useful to be able to isolate the various instruments, thus catering to percussionists and vocalists alike.
    From a vocalist’s perspective, it is very useful to be able to hear the diction rather than only the vocals. In Arabic Choir rehearsal, Music Director Hanna Khoury spends a lot of time practicing dictation with the class. This is particularly useful for students like me who are taking the class as a way to improve their Arabic. The diction function allows individuals not in the course to receive this same type of focus on pronunciation.

    Another very useful feature of the tool is the automated scrolling. Rather than having to constantly scroll to find your place in the song, a helpful red line moves along to keep the viewer on track. It is also very simple to skip to any point in the song using the bar at the top of the page. Overall, the tool is very comprehensive and intuitive, and a great source for anyone interested in Arab music.

  110. Hello again, Al Bustan! This is my second semester in the Arabic choir here at Penn, and I’m truly grateful for the cultural immersion and music education experience Hanna has offered in class. As I don’t know Arabic, the diction tool here on the site is especially helpful for me to work on the different syllables outside of class and prepare for singing. However, I also appreciate how the Al Bustan website has assisted me with my own musical education — by separating the different parts of the song (lyrics, rhythm, etc.) I am able to more fully conceptualize the piece and grow as a student AND musician. While I did not opt to play my violin with Hanna in class, I have enjoyed perusing the melodic lines with my instrument as well as my voice. I believe this site has greatly strengthened my understanding of the music and allowed me to become a fuller participant in class. Thank you, Al Bustan!

  111. I think that this tool is incredibly useful for being able to learn the music at my own pace. Being able to pause it and rewind means that I can listen to and remember the parts of each piece that are difficult for me. Being able to remember these parts by ear also seems more authentic to the way that Arabs have been learning music for thousands of years. I also think that being able to go at my own pace means that I have more time to be able to add grace notes and play with the music to find places where I can add scales or change the octave that the music is played in. My only critique is that I wish the music were played on other instruments! I play a wind instrument (oboe) and I think it would be extremely useful to hear each piece on a wider array of instruments because we play on more instruments in ensemble practice. I would totally be willing in the future to work with this online tool and Hanna to put up a wind part!

  112. Though I am ethnically Pakistani, I find myself drawn to the Arabic culture. Whether this is because I grew up learning Arabic due to religious reasons or because I currently live in Doha, Qatar, the fact of the matter is that the Arab culture is close to my heart. I have taken two years of Arabic at the University of Pennsylvania and though I am not taking Arabic currently, I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the ensemble program headed by Hanna Khoury, sponsored by Al-Bustan. It was a truly memorable experience. Not only did I learn more about the Arabic language and its various nuances, I also discovered a passion for singing songs that are not in my native tongue! (english) I hope to return to the ensemble sometime before my Penn career ends to learn even more and enjoy myself with my peers, singing songs about love, country, and happiness.
    I feel the feature on this website that allows you to listen to all aspects of the song, whether that be percussion, vocals, strings, or all of them together, is incredible. Furthermore, I loved that I could record myself singing (as painful as it might have been to hear afterwards) and note where I could improve my pronunciation or pitch. Though the song I sang, Yalli zara’tu-l burtuan, was fairly slow in tempo, I think by placing an option to slow down the tempo and music would allow options for songs with faster tempos to be provided on this site.

  113. Though I was born in Beiruit, I was raised in the United States. Because of this I have always felt seperated from the bulture of my parents. Leanring these songs, many of which my parents sung in their own youth, not only allows me to practice my Arabic in an exciting way, but also helps me bridge the cultural divide. Now not only am I more conversant in Coloquial arabic, something greatly lacking in the university language system, but I am also to better relate to the culture of my homeland. Futhermorw, while I was never a fan of arabic music, I now have a palpable appriciation for it, and moreover, even enjoy listening to some of the songs with my parents, who eagerly sing along. While My pitch is far from perfect, being involved in an arab oriented group has helped solidify my identity as an arab american and encouraged me to further my participation, not only by continuing to be part of the endable but by branching out to other on capus cultural groups as well. Though i must admit that extra credit offered for attending this course is what got me to sign up, it is the lessons i have learned here thay will cause me to come back next semester.

  114. My initial thoughts when opening Al-Bustan’s digital education program for the song “Yalli Zar’atu-l Burtu’an” were in summary, impressed with the comprehensive nature of the program. Without even beginning the program, I could already see there was a PDF link for sheet music for those who could read music. There was also a PDF link for music lyrics that the user could print out and sing along from. The music lyrics were very accessible in that they were presented in Arabic and in English, transliterated. Something I really appreciate, in class and on this program, is that the meaning of the song is also presented next to the lyrics. I think that really brings the whole experience together and allows the users of the program to really emotionally connect to the songs they are learning. The main feature of the digital education program, of course, is the interactive sheet music with the options to hear diction, vocals, percussion, strings, or all. Once I actually began the program, I found it very easy to work with. I was pausing and replaying over and over again so that I could properly sing the words. After struggling for a little bit in the beginning, I found it was easier to get a grip on the song by turning off strings and percussion and just learning using the vocals. I really liked this feature because I could hear the words better and was able to fix my pronunciation. Once I was able to actually sing the song, I turned back the strings and percussion and recorded myself with the record feature.
    Overall, I think this program is a great, interactive way to learn Arabic music. I would describe this program as a flexible and accessible medium for native and non-native speakers alike. If I were to suggest an improvement however, I would suggest there be a way to slow down the tempo of the song while learning so that it is easier to initially grasp the pronunciation of certain words, mainly for non-native speakers. Regardless, this program was highly impressive and has many interactive and unique features (like the record option) that truly set it apart.

  115. Growing up, I was always in love with western choral music, although I never felt brave enough to venture to sing in public. Then, when I began Arabic, I discovered a huge depth of music that inspired me as I learned Arabic. While during Arabic homework, I would often listen to Marcel Khalife or Oum Kalthoum and hum along or say a few of the words I recognized, but I never understood the underlying structure or rhythm characteristic of Arabic music until exploring the alBustan seeds of culture program. This taught me the reason behind the repetition, the concept of hetrophony, and other things. Furthermore, the exacting pronunciation we practice has really helped me pay attention to my own pronunciation in Arabic class, and the necessary emphasis on singing makes it much easier to replicate in spoken word. In exploring the Yalli zara’tu burtu’an, these aspects of Arabic music are emphasized and broken down into easy to process sections of diction, percussion, etc. but the full accompaniment is there to listen to as a satisfying final reward to sing along with.

  116. The design of this tutorial is amazing! I love the way I can customize my focus towards different aspects of the song, or listen to them all together. It makes the song incredibly accessible, and gives all the tools necessary to learn the song from the privacy of my own computer.

    I will definitely be sharing this website with my brother, who is a music student and very interested in learning more about Arabic music. My mother is a music teacher, so I’ll also be directing her here; I’m sure she’ll be excited to see this online instructional model. She’s very interested in learning more about how to incorporate technology into music education, and this is an excellent example! It’s so exciting to think that this free resource is available to anyone who wants to learn more about Arabic music. Thank you for creating this space!



  117. I’ve been playing music since I was 10 years old, so learning the written rudiments for my drumming class have not been too difficult. However, in class, when I devote a larger portion of my concentration to making sure that I am playing the right notes, it is much more difficult to appreciate the various fills that Hanna plays that are not written out. Using this platform to listen and look at the music allowed me to appreciate how the fills fit in to the broader song and the written out patterns.

  118. I grew up as a child learning how to read and recite Arabic. I can’t speak or understand the language, but I can read and recite it with great fluency, due to religious reasons. I have also listened to popular Arabic music in recent years. I am a great fan of Amr Diab and his songs. I chose to enroll in percussion rather than vocals because of my pronunciation and ability to recite Arabic has definitely rusted with time. I really enjoyed listening to “Yalli zara’tu-l burtu’an.” The song was very melodious and reminded a lot of old Hindustani Classical music that my parents would also listen to on long car rides. I really liked how the website format allowed us to isolate vocals from drums, strings, and words. It was really enjoyable to be able to play each part separately and then see how everything comes together. In Hafez’s class, it’s amazing to think how we start off with very simple drum rhythms and how we make them more complex over time. I think that I would eventually even be able to play the percussion for this song. The percussion rhythm of this piece is quite addicting and even playing it sans strings and vocals is very enjoyable. I will definitely play around with the record feature and try to both record myself singing and playing the dumbak for this song! I also researched and saw that the title of this song means “Those who gather Oranges,” but I would like to find out a complete translation of the lyrics.

  119. Beginning percussion this past year was one of the most challenging subjects I had ever set out to learn. I remember my first few days in class. We were doing call and answer and I was mixing up my dums and taks. After a few lessons, though, I began to see a remarkable change within me. Everything started clicking and making sense. I began to learn how to watch and remember not only with my eyes, but also my ears. It was as if I was awakening an entire new sense of mine. I began using the Al-Bustan website recently as well. The website has helped me immensely with timing of quarter and eighth notes, which we are currently trying to master in class. The website has allowed me to practice at home with my family and friends as well. I even play call and answer now with my younger sister over videochat. I am also proud of how much I have improved over the course of my time with Al-Bustan. Every week I get better and better!

    Cheers and thank you very much Al-Bustan!

  120. Fantastic! the website is simply fantastic and we need this initiative to be mutiplied to showcase the Arab world’s talents and artisitic genuis. Om Kalthoum’s voice has mystical powers on the Arab ear and she still inspires all of us!
    She voice is mixed with the air and listening to her brings us the joy of our lives and Arab national unity we have all been dreaming of.

  121. As I have been listening to classical Arabic music since I was twelve, it should not come to you as a surprise that I have taken up your class on Arabic percussion. I love singing Arabic music even if I don’t have the voice for it. Yet, you may wonder what the reason for which I chose percussion over strings or singing perhaps was? My friends that play the darbakeh always played with the beat “dum-dum-tak-a-tak-dum-tak-a-tak”– yet I never really understood the difference between the two notes. In addition, just as in all genres of music, the percussion often dictates the entire mood of a piece. The rhythms, the Mesmoudi and Ayoub for example, are also very logical, rendering improvisation a lot easier to approach as we reach a higher level. To supplement my study of this new instrument, I will be using this site to put into use the raw rhythms that I have been practicing in class and from the study guide. Hopefully, I will be able to sing along as I play soon!

    Shukran kteer ya Al-Bustan!

    • Afwan, Oscar! Thanks for sharing your feedback. Glad that you can get the hands on training with Hafez Kotain in class and use this song tool to practice your singing. Check out the Record feature in the Sing Along page and let us know how you use it.

  122. I’ve just joined the Arab ensemble at Penn, and this is a great resource for learning pronunciation and rhythm step-by-step. Having never taken Arabic, I appreciate the easy-to-follow and user-friendly approach of the ‘diction’ tool on the site. Class is very interactive, friendly, and fun, and the online tool makes it easier for me to work a bit on the side and be an active contributor in class. Thank you for this great online tool!

    • Lauren, so glad that you’ve been able to use this tool effectively. We really appreciate your feedback! When you’re more comfortable with the song, please consider using the record feature.. we would love to see a video clip if you would like to share!

  123. I’m an advanced beginner soprano recorder learner and I love your digital instruction of Yalli Zara’tu. I’ve been practicing it for a while now and I’m at the point where I feel very good playing along with such great musical accompaniment!
    I also know some Arabic and so appreciate the lyrics and the translation that remind me of the words I have forgotten.
    I look forward to more of the same high quality instruction.
    Thank you,
    Elise Bromberg

    • Elise, a delayed reply… but thanks for your feedback! I hope this song tool continues to be useful to you. Have you tried the record feature? If so, let us know how it worked out… and if you’re willing to share with us the video clip, in private or public, we would love to see.

  124. My story with Al Bustan Seeds started a year ago when I was researching for Arabic resources to add to the Arabic Language and culture kit which would go out to educators throughout Tucson, AZ as an outreach program for teaching the less spoken language in the U.S. Most teachers were asking us for authentic Arabic Music in addition to the children’s literature and other artifacts we include. Your website was one of the things that I was proud to present to educators and to include under the most favorite online resources in the Arabic Kit.
    Now, I am a middle school Arabic teacher! The one thing I was always looking for choosing Arabic songs, finding the lyrics, the translation, and doing the transliteration and then integrating it into the curriculum. Do you know and can you imagine how exhausting that can be when you are a graduate student, starting your first-year teaching experience, and being a teacher of more than a hundred middle schoolers???!! I love music! I was able to inspire my students without enough resources! Al-Bustan Seeds inspired me when I saw the video of the children singing my favorite song “Asfoor” honoring dear Marcel Khalife!! Then, I thought ….I can do it and inspire my kids too because what comes the heart will surely go to the heart!!! Last weekend, it was like my dream coming true when I personally met Hanna, Hisham, Kinan, and Hafez, Hazami…Now, my students and I owe you guys big thanks for this beautiful and fantastic work you’ve done with “Yalli Zaratul Burtu’an”. Such a well designed, thoughtful and easy to use lesson plan…the different layers of all the parts involved were very helpful and easy to use by the students on their own…very engaging…Shukran, shukran, shukran….but we need more…yes! We would love to see more songs. We’ll be waiting for more! Keep it up 

  125. I had been searching for an Arabic song that I learned more than 20 years ago without success. Needing an Arabic song to use in an upcoming music production I solicited the help of a parent of one of my students and was referred to Al-Bustan seeds of culture. In addition to using the well organized online digitized presentation I invited presenters
    from Al-Bustan to perform and teach a lesson on the culture of classical Arabic music to my fifth grade students. It was a very informative, educational experience that provided them with a different perspective on rhythm and sound in comparing eastern and western music. Many thanks to Hazemi, Hanna and Al-Bustan for your efforts in promoting music as a universal language.

  126. I’ve been memorizing Arabic songs for a couple of years now. The usual scenario is that, after finding a song I love, I search online for documentation on the song. Occasionally, I might find something minimal. But usually I find nothing, so I ask one of my Arabic friends to transcribe and translate the song’s lyrics for me. This works, but it’s a very inefficient method. Therefore, I’m thrilled to have found this amazing song-learning software tool that the talented people at Al-Bustan have created! It’s incredibly well thought-out and professionally executed, making it really easy for everyone to use and enjoy. They seem to have thought of everything one could possibly need to learn and practice a song independently! I’ll be following closely as they add more and more songs to the data bank. Thanks, Al-Bustan, for this cultural gift to the world!

    • Chrissy, thanks for your interest and sharing your feedback. Excited to see you and the choir performing Yalli using this very tool at the upcoming Music Demo on 11/15.

  127. WOW. This platform has absolutely everything a western-trained musician needs to learn this song. The multi-tracking layers of percussion, vocals and diction are incredibly clear convenient and helpful. The downloadable sheet music and lyric sheet make excellent rehearsal tools. Very intuitive and simple design. Well done! I cannot wait for new additions!

  128. This is the first, truly comprehensive site that displays every aspect on how to learn to perform a piece in the classical Arabic style! I found it informative and useful and will be visiting the site again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *