Near Eastern Music Glossary

This glossary is under reconstruction, please check back for updates.

  • ahaat (Arabic: آهات‎‎) is a technique used in Arabic vocal music, involving the use of extended melodic variations on the syllable “a”
  • al-malḥūn (Arabic الملحون ) –  is a form of music originated in Morocco that borrows its modes from the Andalusian music
  • Andalusī nūbah (Arabic: نوبة أندلسيّة) – musical genre found in the North African Maghrib states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya
  • ataaba (Arabic: عتابا‎‎) is a traditional Arabic musical form sung at weddings or festivals
  • baladī (Arabic: بلدي‎‎) an Egyptian musical style, the folk style of Egyptian bellydance (Raqs Baladi), or the Masmoudi Saghir rhythm, which is frequently used in baladi music
  • çeng – a Turkish harp popular until the last quarter of the 17th century in the Ottoman Empire
  • firqa – Middle Eastern music ensemble of 8 or more players
  • fasıl – a suite in Ottoman classical music
  • jins (Arabic: جنس‎‎; pl. ajnās Arabic: أجناس‎‎) – set of three, four, or five stepwise pitches used to build an Arabic maqam
  • layālī (Arabic: ليالي) is a style of unmetered modal improvisation, based on a maqam, performed by a singing voice in Arabic music
  • maqām (Arabic: مقام‎‎; pl. maqāmāt) – system of melodic modes used in traditional Arabic music
  • mawwāl (Arabic: موال; plural: mawāwīl, مواويـل) – traditional genre of vocal music that is usually presented before the actual song begins
  • mudawwin (Arabic: مدوّن) – music transcriber
  • muwashshah (Arabic: موشح‎‎ muwaššaḥ; plural muwāshshaḥāt موشحات or tawāshīḥ تواشيح) – name for both an Arabic poetic form and a secular musical genre
  • nashīd (Arabic: singular نشيد, plural أناشيد anāshīd) vocal music that is either sung a cappella or accompanied by percussion instruments such as the daf
  • oktōēchos (Greek: ὁ Ὀκτώηχος) eight mode system used for the composition of religious chant in Byzantine, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Latin and Slavic churches since the Middle Ages
  • oud – Middle Eastern lute with 11 or 13 strings grouped in 5 or 6 courses
  • qānūn (Arabic: قانون‎‎) – a type of large plucked zither with a thin trapezoidal soundboard
  • takht (Persian: تخت‎‎) – Middle Eastern musical ensemble between 2 and 5 musicians
  • taqsim (Arabic: تَقْسِيم) – melodic musical improvisation that usually precedes the performance of a traditional Arabic, Greek, Middle Eastern, or Turkish musical composition
  • teslīm (Arabic: تسليم‎‎) refrain in classical Arabic music and Ottoman classical music
  • waṣla (Arabic وَصْلَة‎) – a set of pieces in Arabic music. It comprises eight or more movements such as muwashshah, taqsim, layali, mawwal, qasida, dawr, sama’i, bashraf, dulab, and popular songs/li>