Arabian/Persian/Islamic/Turkish Music

Recommended resources about Arabian music

Singer Umm Kulthum
Her Recordings:
What Love?
The Ruins
All the Love

Al-Farabi (Alpharabius) (ca.872 - ca.950 AD)
A scientist-philosopher of the Islamic Golden Age, who wrote kitāb al-mūsīqī al-kabīr ("The Great Book Of Music"); though this is taken to be a root source of Arabic music, it was actually a summary of Persian music--showing the mixture of styles.

Omar Khayyám (1048–1131AD)
Persian Mathematician and Poet-Musician, who wrote a treatises on a number of subjects, including music.
See also here.

Arabic Maqam ("Maqam" in Arabic means "place, location or rank"--it is a type of melody, determined by a certain array of notes, a certain scale.)
Algerian Scale
The "Nuetral Second"
Rhythm in Arabian Music

Pitch-Ratios for the different kind of seconds:
6:7 Augmented Second
8:9 or 9:10 Major Second
10:11 or 11:12 "Neutral" Second (sounds rather similar to a minor second)
15:16 Minor Second

Byzantine Music

The Hurrian Hymn to Nikkal

This hymn was found notated on cuneiform tablets in the ruins of an ancient Mesopotamian royal palace in the city of Ugarit (today Ras Shamra, Syria). The tablets are dated to about 1400 BC. Written in the Hurrian language, the poem priases the goddess Nikkal, wife of the moon god. Because the tablet is incomplete, and because our knowledge of how to interpret the signs is only partial, there are many possible interpretations of which notes the melody really should have. Here are resources on various versions of the Hymn.
Here is the cuneiform tablet on which the Hymn was inscribed:

The Desert Vista


Part of a 15th century ceramic panel from Samarkand with white calligraphy on a blue arabesque background.

Fine architectural detail at the Alhambra Palace in Southern Spain.

Detail from a palace in Fatehpur Sikri, India.

Jame Mosque of Qazvin. 9th century. Iran

Graphic arabesque tile ornament, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Uzbekistan

Iwan (a rectangular hall or space, usually vaulted, walled on three sides, with one end entirely open) in front of the main space of the imam khomeini mosque.

Arabesque of Medina Azahara in Cordoba, Spain.

Another arabesque of Medina Azahara in Cordoba, Spain.

Here is an excellent website about Islamic Art.