Music

The Arabic music is full of unfamiliar instruments and musical terms. Here is a fast overview of the most relevant expressions. Follow this section for more updates with every event.

 

riqThe Riq is a type of tambourine used in Arabic music. It is an important instrument in both folk and classical music throughout the Arab world. Traditionally, It has a wooden frame,  jingles, and a thin translucent head made of fish or goat skin. However, metal versions appeared  in modern times, with heads made out of  synthetic materials.

santurBWklThe Santur is a Persian hammered Dulcimer. It is a trapezoid-shaped box often made of walnut or different exotic woods. The Iranian classical santur has 72 strings, 18 sets of four.

oudThe Ud is a pear-shaped, stringed instrument similar to a lute. In fact the word lute is derived from the word Al-Ud. The function and status of this instrument is comparable to where the piano stands in western music. It is the central instrument that accompanies singers and is played by many musicians and singers. It usually has 11 strings, five double strings and one single bass string, but it comes in many variations and tunings. The most used tuning is :  F-A-D-G-C-F.

Among famous Ud players: Munir Bashir, Farid al-atrach, Mohamed el-Qasabgi.

Arabic maqamat is the system of melodic modes used in traditional Arabic music. The word maqam in Arabic means place, location or rank. The Arabic maqam is a melody type. It is slightly comparable to scales and church modes in the Western world. One main distictions between the Arabian and the Western modes is the use of quarter tones, the notes between the black and the white keys of the piano, that were lost in the western music after the middle ages due to standarisation of the western music and the development of the keyboard instruments like the piano and the organ.

neyBWThe Turkish ney reed flute, together with the Turkish tanbur lute and Turkish kemençe fiddle are considered the most typical instruments of Classical Ottoman music. The ney also plays a primary role in the music of the Mevlevi Sufi rites (semâ).

The Arabic rhythms are of a unique wealth and richness. Many different rhythms developed over centuries in all kinds of tempo and meter. From simple 4/4 to complex 48/4. The instruments used most are the riq (tambourin), the darabuka (vase shaped drum), framedrum in many local variations.
typical rhythms are:
Malfouf, Samai, Maqsuni, Beladi.