Bid'a (856–915)

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Bid'a (856–915)

Arab composer who sang for Caliph al-Mutamid and became enormously wealthy. Born in 856 ce; died in 915; studied under Oraib.

Bid'a was the most famous pupil of Oraib , an Arabian singer born in Baghdad. When Oraib was offered 100,000 dinars for Bid'a, she asked Bid'a if she wished to be sold. Bid'a's answer that she wished to stay with Oraib prompted the mistress to grant the pupil's freedom. While accompanying Oraib, Bid'a sang with her and composed many of her own songs. Her fame reached its pinnacle after her performance at the circumcision festival of Prince al-Mutazz. Caliph al-Mutamid (r. 870–892) prized her singing and composition highly, and her stature was such that when she died Caliph al-Mutamid's son led the prayers at her funeral.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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