Lamma Bada Yatathana – Trad Syrian

Trad Syrian? Yep. No joke, no typo. To be prepared for a warm welcome of the many Syrian refugees that find shelter here, I wanted to learn a little more about Syria and there’s no better way than to dive into a country’s trad music. I haven’t played for the refugees yet, but I’d love to one day.

So Youtube gave me this beautiful song ‘Lamma Bada Yatathana’, which means “When She Begins To Sway” according to Lenny Clark. The challenge in this song is the rhythm. It’s 10/8th, which in this case means counting 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3. This is a real new level of playing to me.

Here’s a quick recording of my guitar:



For the fun of MuseScore and for whoever it might be handy, I wrote this version down in sheet music (the second part is what I play on guitar). It’s far from perfect, but it’s recognizable and not too hard to play.

Here’s is the MuseScore computer output:





Of course, best of all is this video featuring Lena Chamamyan, from Damascus.

Header Photo: Al-Hamidiyah Souq by Bernard Gagnon


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