Music in the Middle East

There are many varieties of music in the Middle East. The form of music that is practiced depends on the region and the culture. The different forms of music are similar and different in many ways. Some different types of music played in the Middle East are Arabic, Egyptian, and Indian.

Middle Eastern Instruments

There are many different types of instruments used. The kind of instrument is used is based on the mood and the rhythm or beat the performer wants to accomplish. The Oud, Darbuka, Ney, Qanun, Bandir, and the Daf are commonly used instruments in the Middle East.

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Arabic music is one of the most traditional and most common form of music practiced in the Middle East. Arabic music is vastly different then that of Western music. Arabic music and its scale can be played with 17-24 notes in an octave and they are called quarter tones, where as Western music has only 13 notes in an octave. With the quarter tones, it makes it easier for the performer to hit the notes. Classical Arabic music does not have any harmony because it is to be played by a single musician.The soloist often changes the music so it is different each time they play it. The rhythm is often difficult to play and can take lots of practice to perform it right. Persian, Indian and Byzantine music helped influence early Arabic music.

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Egyptian music has been a big part of the culture since ancient times. The Egyptians believe the God Thoth invented music in order to help Osiris create civilization in the world. The music is a combination of Turkish, Arabic and some Western elements. Egyptian folk music is still performed during weddings and other traditional occasions. Percussion instruments such as drums, rattles and bells were used in the religious worship in ancient Egypt. The instruments were usually marked with the name of the owner and decorated with symbols that represent the goddess and god Hathor and Bes.

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The music of India is said to be one of the oldest unbroken musical traditions in the world. Indian music has many varieties and styles and remains an influence today on religious and cultural expression. The many different ethnic groups and languages used helps add a variety in the music that's played. Folk and pop music are popular in this region. Today, Indian pop has changed songs from past Indian songs and have remade them by adding new beats and played with different instruments. Sangeet is the basis for Indian music and is a combinations of the three artforms vocal music, instrumental music and dance.

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