Action plan for the safeguarding of the Song of Saana

  • Budget (US$): 96,513
  • Source: Japan
  • Dates: 11-2005/01-2009

Benefitting country(ies): Yemen


The Song of Sana’a is a group of songs accompanied by the fine sound of the Yemeni lute and a lightly struck copper tray. The poetic repertory, written in both Yemeni dialects and classical Arabic, abounds in wordplay and is renowned for its emotional content.

The project was designed to:

  • promote knowledge about the Song of Sana’a;
  • raise awareness about its functions and its importance for society; and
  • ensure its safeguarding through teaching, research and inventory making activities.

The project activities encompass the following:

  • preparation and development of an inventory of the Song of Sana’a;
  • establishment of archives within the institutional infrastructure of the Yemeni Centre for Musical Heritage and the training of researchers in field survey and inventorying;
  • encouragement of Transmission of the Song of Sana’a, especially the old masters’ skills to younger generations, through the opening of master classes and scholarships for students;
  • preservation of the musical instruments through lute-making workshop with scholarships for students;
  • awareness raising campaign and the dissemination of recordings, with the production of promotional documentation such as CDs, DVDs and books.

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