Musical Maqamaat



Arabic Music Maqamaat


Maqamat Varieties

We will talk about the musical Maqamat, and it is the plural of Maqam.  In the Arab North Africa it’s called Tabie (the plural is Tuboo) and the word also means the nature of man and his character.  It is possible that the usage of the name Tuboo indicates the close relationship between music and the human nature and behavior.  And this relationship was discussed by many of the old literature.

We will divide our discussion about Maqamat into four groups: 

*      Maqamat (Scales) that are common to western music and that can be played with western instruments, namely:
The Major Scale, the Minor Scale and
Maqamat that can be played on Western Instruments

*      Maqamat that have small sound divisions (quarter tones) which can not be played with conventional western instruments
(except none fretted and string instruments), namely:
Maqam Rast and its derivatives.  Maqam Bayati and its derivatives
Other Maqamat that are common to Rast and Bayati

*      Maqamat with an African character, mainly the Pentatonic Scale.

*      Maqamat that combine the pentatonic Scale with small sound divisions (quarter tones).  We find these Maqamat in the music of Andalus preserved in Arab North Africa, and sounds of the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf.


Please see Table of Contents for more details




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Music for the Ages