The General Authority for Culture Palaces has issued a new series titled “Memories of the Nation,” to republish historically important yet out-of-print works. The first title in the series is Egyptian Song, by Mahmud Hamdi al-Bulaqi al-Alati, first published in 1903. The book is significant as a historical document, containing the lyrics to various types of songs, for example, the taqtuqa, composed by Egyptian musicians from the second half of the nineteenth century up to 1903.
The book is divided into four sections. The first deals with the tawashih and adwar forms prior to 1903; the second includes famous mawawils from the same period; the third contains the poems used by the artists; and the last section includes a collection by Sheikh Salama Higazi, the master singer of his era and an important milestone in the development of musical theater.
The first edition of the book included photographs of all the singers mentioned, with the exception of Mohammed Osman. In the text, the author urges anyone who has a photo of Osman to send it to him in exchange for five copies of the book, although judging by the reprint, his efforts came to naught.
Al-Maghna al-Misri, by Mahmud Hamdi al-Bulaqi al-Alati, General Authority for Culture Palaces, Memories of the Nation series, 160 pp.