25 Facts About Arab music


Arabic music or Arab music is the music of the Arab world with all its diverse music styles and genres.

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Arabic music has a long history of interaction with many other regional musical styles and genres.

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For many centuries, the Arabs of Hejaz recognized that the best real Arabian music came from Yemen, and Hadhrami minstrels were considered to be superior.

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Pre-Islamic Arabian Peninsula music was similar to that of Ancient Middle Eastern music.

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Arab music joined several others like al-Farabi in proposing the addition of a makeshift fifth string to the oud.

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Arab music published several tracts on musical theory, including the cosmological connotations of music.

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Arab music identified twelve tones on the Arabic musical scale, based on the location of fingers on and the strings of the oud.

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Al-Farabi wrote a notable book on Islamic music titled Kitab al-Musiqa al-Kabir (The Great Book of Music).

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Western pop music was being influenced by Arabic music in the early 1960s, leading to the development of surf music, a rock music genre that later gave rise to garage rock and punk rock.

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Arab music composed for the most famous singers of that era in Iraq and in the Arab world, such as Salima Murad, Afifa Iskandar, Nazem al-Ghazali, Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab.

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One of the main reasons for the predominance of Jewish instrumentalists in early 20th century Iraqi Arab music was a prominent school for blind Jewish children in Baghdad, which was founded in the late 1920s by the great qanunji Joseph Hawthorne (Yusef Za'arur) (Hebrew: ????? ???????-???? ??????).

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Music in Iraq began to take a more Western tone during the 1960s and 1970s, notably by Ilham Madfai, with his Western guitar stylings with traditional Iraqi Arab music which made him a popular performer in his native country and throughout the Middle East.

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Rather, the discussion is more focused on the idea that the Arabic music world is not monolithic in its view on improvisation in music.

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Taqasim Arab music uses a maqam and improvises the form or structure of the song, which creates a cathartic experience for the listener.

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Listeners have been known to laugh, cry, and shout, all from different parts of the same performance due to the improvisation Arab music aligning exactly to draw extreme emotion from someone.

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Franco-Arabic music is a popular form of West-meets-East style of music, similar in many respects to modern Arabic Pop.

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World of modern Arabic music has long been dominated by musical trends that have emerged from Cairo, Egypt.

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However, Islamic music, including the Tajwid or recitation of Qur'an readings, is structurally equivalent to Arabic secular music, while Christian Arab music has been influenced by Syriac Orthodox, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Anglican, Coptic, and Maronite church music.

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Much of Arabic music is characterized by an emphasis on melody and rhythm, as opposed to harmony.

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Unlike the tradition of Western music, Arabic music contains microtones, which are notes that lie between notes in the Western chromatic scale.

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Additionally, in 1932, at the Cairo Congress of Arab Music held in Cairo, Egypt—and attended by such Western luminaries as Bela Bartok and Henry George Farmer—experiments were done that determined conclusively that the notes in actual use differ substantially from an even-tempered 24-tone scale.

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Arab classical music is known for its famed virtuoso singers, who sing long, elaborately ornamented, melismatic tunes, coloraturas unheard in any other musical genres and are known for driving audiences into ecstasy.

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The Arab world has incorporated instruments from the West, including the electric guitar, cello, double bass and oboe, and incorporated influences from jazz and other foreign musical styles.

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In 1932, the first Congress of Arab Music was held in Cairo, where scholarship about the past, present and future of Arabic music was presented both from Western as well as Arab experts.

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Research on Arabic music is a focus of departments of ethnomusicology at universities worldwide, and the global interest in World music has led to a growing number of studies and re-issues of historic recordings by independent researchers or private companies.

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