Farewell Ahmed Ebrin, human violin

Mahmoud El Dossoki, Thursday 2 Jul 2015

Egypt bid farewell to its Munshid (Sufi Chanter) Icon, Ahmed Ebrin (1938-2015), in a grand funeral that escorted him to his final destination, Al-Deir village, Esna governorate


Egypt bid farewell on Tuesday to its Munshid  (Sufi Chanter) icon, Ahmed Ebrin (1938-2015), in a grand funeral that escorted him to his final destination where he was buried, in Al-Deir village, Esna governorate.

The visually challenged munshid excelled in Inshad due to his rich religious culture. He was among the very few Munshid who delved into the heart of Arabic poetry in parallel to his studies of the Holy Quran as well as Prophet Muhammed's Hadith.

"His skills promoted him to travel the world which in return, celebrated his enchanting voice," explained his friend Mohamed El-Shahat.


What made him genuine is the fact that he believed every word he said. Never relying on the beauty of his voice, Ebrin took inshad to a whole new level, where he would transform himself into a human musical instrument. His voice could imitate the sound of the violin, and his fingers the cello.  This musical being would even imitate the sounds of pigeons, on chanting in praise of pigeons. This ability to play all sounds made his chants quite appealing to the audience who would slowly be transcended by the Sufi chants realm. 

Ebrin had many students and followers, such as Al-Ranan and Mohamed Al-Agouz, who chanted with him once the famous Safina folk poem (boat), explained Artist Taha El-Esnawi. The Ebrin family is known for its knowledge and Ebrin had a sharp memory that allowed him to memorise and recite the poetry of Sufi pillars such as Sahra Wardi and Ibn Al-Qared.

"Adopting the Sufi chanting rituals, with a twist, he would tap gently on the microphone's stand with his rosary to create his own manual rhythm," added El-Shahat who said that unlike other Sufi chanters, Ebrin also chanted poetry from the Jaheli period (Pre-Islamic Era) as well as songs in vernacular poetry.

Ebrin studied classic Arabic music maqams, (music scales) like Rasd and Nahawand, and he would often use al duf (tambourine) as well as the unique ghab al hadidy (folk iron musical instrument).

His fame roamed the world and put him second to the Sultan of Chanters, Ahmed Al-Touni.

People as such live eternally in the hearts and memories of their nation. Rest in peace.

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