By Tamjid Alkohali
On April 7th, Yemen music house, in cooperation with the Creative Foundation for Culture and Arts, in Sana’a, organized an event about Yemeni song and intellectual property rights.
The manager of the Yemen music house. Fouad Ali al-Shargabi, announced that the music house has documented 45, 000 heritage songs since its establishment, emphasizing the need to preserve Yemeni heritage music and to ensure the rights of poets through passing new legislation that gives them adequate protection for them.
“There are procedures that must seriously be taken into account, such as signing international agreements in the field of intellectual property to stop the piracy of Yemeni songs and the deterioration of technical production companies as well.”
Executive Director Indira Atshan spoke about the problem of the Yemeni song saying that there are completed songs, dating back three hundred thousand years, that have now seeped into Gulf states and are copyrighted by non-Yemenis. Yemen Music House works to prove their Yemeni origin.
“First, we look for songs traveling through Yemeni governorates and villages. Then, we meet the descendants of old Yemeni singers not mentioned by the media, and then, we gather all information about the song. This includes the poet, composer, singer, genre, and origin itself. After that, we document all the information and store it in cylinders.
Atshan added that the organization also documents old Yemeni instruments like the Tarabe, which looks like the Oud, and presents a children’s musical curriculum. The music courses provide its only revenue, since it does not get any public or private funding.
Yemen Music House is the first center in Yemen dedicating to documenting Yemeni music, especially popular work songs. It has issued a number of books and also offers various instrumental courses, from the Oud, to the Alawrj, and also piano and guitar. It became well known when singer Fouad Abdel Wahed won Gulf Star with its support.