The world of Arabic music

Arabic music which is known as al-musiqa al-Arabiyah includes diverse music styles and genres from the Arab world that spans twenty two states in total. The diversity comes from the interaction with many regional styles of music and genres where the music styles are rich in culture and vary as they contain many linguistic dialects from each country and region that have their own traditional music. Musical trends from Cairo have been dominating the Arabic musical world. Similarly, countries like Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Beirut have influenced the region’s music as well where not only the influence is on the sound but can also be heard in the dialect too.

If one talks about the musical instruments involved in European medieval and classical music, they can observe that majority of these instruments have Arabic roots adopted from the medieval Islamic world. Instruments such as lute has ties with oud, the rebec (an ancestor of the violin) from rebab, naker from naqareh, castanet from kasatan and many more. The spiked fiddle that is called the Arabic Rabab is said to be the earliest known bowed string instrument which just proves how much musical instruments have been inspired from the Arab world.

If we take a look at the Arabic genres they include: Arabic R&B, reggae and hip hop, Arabic electronica, jazz and rock. There has been a steady rise in the hip hop and reggae genre in Arabic music where usually a song features the rapper in a traditional Arab pop song. There have been fusions with music styles as well, where artists have taken their songs and given them a hip hop flair to captivate the audience. This genre usually centres around pop songs with a few verses of rap to add more oomph to the catchy tune. When it comes to Arabic electronica, it has also gained popularity with the Arabic masses in recent times. As electronic dance music became mainstream, Arabic music has also delved into the genre where electronic musical instruments are used along with traditional Middle Eastern instruments to create songs. Arabic jazz is a classic example of west meets east where many songs have jazz instruments. The earliest use of such instruments was of the saxophone. Many artists have included such instruments in their music pieces that have gained the audiences’ approval and achieved success over all. Arabic rock however, has always been popular globally as well in the Arabic region. Many bands and musicians have brought a flair of rock to the Arabic music world making the people enjoy music even more. The emergence of underground bands has caused the genre to gain more recognition than before as the younger generation has gravitated towards this genre more in Arabic music scene.

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