Music and Dance

Omani music does not fall within the realm of classic Arabian music due to its many strong influences from African and Indian cultures. Omani music has the most diverse roots, some going back to pre-Islamic times. Additionally, music and movement in Oman are inextricably linked, much more so than in other Arabic lands.

Omani men singing traditional songs on National Day
For every occasion, be it marriage, birth or religious holiday, there are different songs and dances in Omani folk music. The farmers in the field have their own songs, just as sailors do. At camel or horse races the men of a village often form a semicircle, in the middle of which a drummer sets the rhythm for an old war dance, the razha. All the men sing along, waving their ancient rifles or swords.

At the instigation of HM the Sultan, the "Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra" was founded. From the beginning it has consisted solely of Omani musicians. The ensemble had its first great success with European audiences in Berlin at the Young Euro Classic Festival, in 2007. With the opening of the "Royal Opera House - Muscat" in the autumn of 2011, this orchestra, unique in the Arab world, now has its own concert hall.

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