Yelha Wurar, an arrangement of the traditional Algerian song for chamber orchestra and traditional Algerian percussion

2009, 10 minutes

Requested by the Pôle Ressources Pratiques Amateurs Musique et Danse of the Seine-St-Denis Department (France)

Yelha Wurar is a traditional Kabylie (Northeasten Algeria) song recorded by the artist Idir. With his permission for pedagogical purposes, I was asked to write an arrangement of the song for the Numidia Mosaic project, which joined a classical orchestra made up of high school students with a group learning traditional Algerian percussion instruments under the leadership of Nasredine Dalil. I decided to mix the Algerian percussion style with a more "American" pop/rock sound, requiring a drum kit and a significant backbeat -- and combining it all with "new music". The outer sections are orchestrated in the normal manner but an interior section takes the work into a more unstable, developmental place.


If you are interested in a score and parts for Yelha Wurar, and you happen to have both a chamber orchestra and Algerian percussionists on hand, please contact Nissim.


  • Premiere: November 7, 2009 by students at the conservatories of Aulnay-sous-Bois, Le Blanc-Mesnil, and La Courneuve-Aunervilliers (classical), and Le CAP (Algerian) under the direction of Bertrand Guilgaud (classical) and Nasredine Dalil (Algerian) at the Conservatory of Aulnay-sous-Bois, near Paris, France.
  • June 4, 2010: Same ensemble at the Maison de la Radio in Paris. Recording/Concert in preparation for the work's June 16th broadcast on France Musique. Sponsored by Villes des Musiques du Monde's Andalousian Spring 2010.


  • 10:30pm Central European Daylight Time on June 16, 2010 on the France Musique program, Couleurs du Monde with Francoise Degeorges.
Contact Nissim Schaul