Arabian music

(redirected from Arabic music)
Also found in: Wikipedia.

Arabian music,

classical musical tradition of the Islamic peoples of Arabia, the Fertile Crescent, and North Africa.

Characteristics, Forms, and Instruments

The chief characteristics of Arabian music are modal homophony, florid ornamentation, and modal rhythm. The melodic modal system of Ibn Misjah (d. c.715) contained, in its final form, eight modes. This system lasted until the 11th cent., when the modes were increased to 12; by the 13th cent. these had come to be called maqamat. Until this time the Arabian gamut had consisted of 12 tones roughly equal to the chromatic scale of Western music.

In the 13th cent. five more tones were added, each a quarter tone below the diatonic whole tone, i.e., below d, e, g, a, b. A new tuning of the gamut was adopted in the 16th cent., and not only the tones but also the nature of the maqamat were changed. Instead of scales within which melodies were composed, they became melodic formulas to be used in composition, a system much like the ragas of Hindu musicHindu music.
The music of India is entirely monodic. To Westerners it is the most accessible of all Asian musical cultures. Its tonal system divides the octave into 22 segments called srutis, not all equal but each roughly equal to one quarter of a whole tone of Western music.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Ornamentation in Arabian music consisted of shakes and trills, grace notes, appoggiaturas, and the tarkib, which was the simultaneous striking of certain notes with their fourth, fifth, or octave. Until the development of instrumental music in the 10th cent., the rhythmic modes were primarily the vocal meters of poetry. In vocal music often a short melody is repeated for each stanza or verse, each repetition being elaborately ornamented.

The principal form of Arabian music is the nauba, a "suite" of vocal pieces with instrumental preludes, that probably originated at the AbbasidAbbasid
or Abbaside
, Arab family descended from Abbas, the uncle of Muhammad. The Abbasids held the caliphate from 749 to 1258, but they were recognized neither in Spain nor (after 787) W of Egypt.
..... Click the link for more information.
 court. The principal Arabian instruments, other than those borrowed from older Semitic cultures, were the short-necked lute called the ud, from which the European lute derived its form and name, and the long-necked lute called tanbur. The introduction of the lute into Europe by the MoorsMoors,
nomadic people of the northern shores of Africa, originally the inhabitants of Mauretania. They were chiefly of Berber and Arab stock. In the 8th cent. the Moors were converted to Islam and became fanatic Muslims.
..... Click the link for more information.
 in Spain is a certainty; the extent to which Arabian music has exerted greater influence on the West is still a matter of controversy.

History

Little is known of Arabian music before the HegiraHegira
or Hejira
[Ar.,=Hijra=breaking off of relations], the departure of the prophet Muhammad from Mecca in Sept., 622. Muhammad was a monotheist and preached against the polytheism of the Meccan religion.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (A.D. 622), but afterward under the UmayyadUmayyad
, the first Islamic dynasty (661–750). Their reign witnessed the return to leadership roles of the pre-Islamic Arab elite, and the rejuvenation of tribal loyalties. The Banu Ummaya constituted the higher stratum of the pre-Islamic Meccan elite.
..... Click the link for more information.
 caliphs (661–750) a consolidation of Persian and Syrian elements with the native musical style took place in Arabia. Ibn Misjah devised a system of modal theory that lasted throughout the golden age under the first Abbasid caliphs (750–847). In the 9th cent. at Baghdad many treatises on music theory and history were written by such men as the philosopher Al-Kindi (9th cent.) and the illustrious Al-Farabi (c.870–c.950), who wrote the most important treatise on music up to his time.

In the 11th cent. under the last Abbasid caliphs a strong Turkistan influence was brought into Arabian music by the Seljuk Turks, and a gradual decay began in the traditional art. With the destruction of Baghdad in 1258 came the end of specifically Arabian musical culture, and only a few late examples of this music are extant. The style was preserved in Egypt and Syria because the Arabic language was spoken there, but it had lost its vitality; even this vestige died when the Ottoman Turks overran Egypt in 1517.

Bibliography

See H. G. Farmer, A History of Arabian Music to the 13th Century (1929) and Historical Facts for the Arabian Musical Influence (1930).

References in periodicals archive ?
My first experience with Arabic music -- perhaps music in general -- was gifted to me by you.
These festivals featured exclusive mall shows, live stage shows, Arabic music concerts, live ticketed shows and a comedy day, among others.
Popular Arabic music star Cheb Khalid, who will perform on Friday November 26, is among the acts already announced earlier this year.
For those not familiar with Arabic music, this is the perfect occasion to experience the beauty of the genre first-hand through the gifted voice one of the most promising talents on the horizon.
Dubbed "Ramadaniyat," the program features six performances, mainly focused on traditional Arabic music and songs.
The deal will give Vuclip subscribers access to the largest catalogue of Arabic music videos in the Middle East offering a selection of classic and latest hits from famed artists such as Abdel Halim Hafez, Farid Al Attrach, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Amr Diab, Hesham Abbas, Tamer Hosni, Khaled Sleem, Amal Maher, Samo Zain, Loai and Tamer Ashour.
Arabic music star Cheb Khaled, best known for the international hit aACAyAicha', will be among the singers performing on Arabic night on November 26 as part of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after-race concert series.
There is a big difference between the two traditions, yet it didn't prevent us from finding common ground between Scottish and Arabic music.
Alongside chart-topping international rap sensation Pitbull, there will also be a mix of Arabic music legends -- ensuring racegoers do not want for entertainment.
Damascus, SANA -- The National Orchestra for Arabic Music performed a breathtaking concert on Tuesday with the participation of Oud soloist Joan Qaracholi at the Damascus-based Opera House.
Exciting "It was so exciting how a year ago I was contacted to do the Arabic jazz night because before I used to play a lot of classical music but since then I've been doing a lot of jazz and Arabic music fusion.
Dubai Shopping Festival's mesmerizing "Journey Into Music" attracted a huge number of Arabic music fans to the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre on Thursday and Friday, as some of the most popular artists from the Arabic music industry took audiences by storm with their mesmerizing performances.