Arabic Music Rhythms *




This section lists all Arabic rhythms discussed in this website. This is by no means a comprehensive list since many North African, Iraqi and Khaliji (from the Arab Gulf region) rhythms are not included. Instead this website covers the most commonly used rhythms in the Middle East. In practice, it's difficult to find a definitive list of Arabic rhythms that all textbooks agree on, or a definitive reference on which rhythms are strictly Arabic since there's often an overlap with Turkish, Greek and Persian rhythms.


Muwashahat Rhythms

The Andalusian Muwashahat (plural of Muwashah) are a musical form that originated in Al-Andalus (medieval Spain and Portugal). The muwashah is often composed using a complex rhythm, ranging from 2/4 to 48/4 and greater. A muwashah may use more than one rhythm, although the norm is a single rhythm throughout. Lyrics in a muwashah are poetry in classical Arabic, and must neatly fit the rhythm (every syllable must fall on a beat).

Muwashahat Rhythms are shown in 5 different pages for convenience: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ]

The  Muwashahat rhythms are listed in the order of their time signature.  Please click on any linked rhythm in group 2 to view.

Group 1 Rhythms Group 2 Rhythms Group 3 Rhythms Group 4 Rhythms Group 5 Rhythms
Ayyub 2/4
Malfuf 2/4
Samai Darij 3/8
Maqsum 4/4
Masmudi Saghir 4/4
Wahda 4/4
Thurayya 5/8
Yuruk Samai 6/8
Dawr Hindi 7/8
Nawakht 7/4
Masmudi Kabir 8/4
Ciftetelli 8/4
Aqsaq 9/8
Samai Thaqil 10/8
Jurjina 10/8
Awis 11/8
Nim Oyun Havasi 11/8
Mudawwar 12/4
Dharafat 13/8
Murabbaa 13/4
Muhajjar 14/4
Nawakht Hindi 16/8
Sadah Duyek 16/8
Khush Rank 17/8
Awfar 19/4
Fakhit 20/4
Hazaj 22/4
Shanbar Halabi 24/4
Mukhammas 16/8
Dawr Al Kabir 28/4
Mukhammas Turki 32/4
Sittatu Ashar 32/4
Warshan Arabi 32/4
Shanbar Kabir 48/4
Shanbar Masri 48/4

*  Text and Audio Courtesy of Maqam World








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Music for the Ages