List of Egyptian composers

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The following is a list of Egyptian composers of classical music. According to the work of the Egyptian musicologist Samha El-Kholy, the first generation of Egyptians to begin writing in this style were born around the turn of the 20th century.[1]

The Major five[edit]

The most celebrated five composers in Egyptian history who lived in the 20th century are Sayed Darwish, Mohamed El Qasabgi, Zakariya Ahmad, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Riad Al Sunbati.[2]

First generation[edit]

Second generation[edit]

Third generation[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Malcolm Floyd Composing the music of Africa: composition, interpretation, and realisation – Al-Ahram review of this book: chapter by Adel Kamel chapter "Egyptian Composition in the Twentieth Century,"
  2. ^
  • Castelo-Branco, Salwa El-Shawan (2001). "Egypt: Western Music." In The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed.
  • El-Kholy, Samha (1992). Al-qawmiyya fī mūsīqā al-qarn al-‘ishrīn’ (Nationalism in 20th-century music). Kuwait: World of Knowledge.
  • El-Kholy, Samha, and John O. Robison, eds. (1993). Festschrift for Gamal Abdel-Rahim. The Occasional Paper Series, v. 2, no. 2. Cairo: The Binational Fulbright Commission in Egypt.
  • El-Kholy, Samha, ed. (1999). Al-ta'lif al-masri al mu'asir (Contemporary Egyptian Composition). Cairo.
  • El-Shawan, Salwa (1985). "Western Music and Its Practitioners in Egypt (ca. 1825–1985): The Integration of a New Musical Tradition in a Changing Environment." Asian Music, v. 17, no. 1 (1985), pp. 145–153.
  • Shehab, Yaz (1996). "Contemporary Egyptian Music." D.M.A. dissertation. Urbana: University of Illinois.