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 ...