Beyond the Book: Background information when reading A Map of Home

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A Map of Home

By Randa Jarrar

A Map of Home
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  • Hardcover: Sep 2008,
    304 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2009,
    305 pages.

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Arabic music is influenced by a history of conquest and contact with numerous countries including but not limited to Greece, Medieval Europe and Turkey. Elements of Arabic music can also be found in non-Arabic countries. A few common characteristics are the connection between music and poetry, and the use of maqamat. In Arabic music, a maqam (plural maqamat) is a set of notes. The nearest equivalent in Western classical music would be a mode.

Traditional instruments include:

  • Oud: A round-bodied stringed instrument without frets (watch & listen)
  • Violin: The European violin (also called Kaman/Kamanjah) was adopted into Arab music during the 19th century, replacing an indigenous two-string fiddle that was prevalent in Egypt.
  • Qanun: A descendent of the old Egyptian harp (watch & listen). Qanun means 'law' in Arabic, from which comes the ...

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