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.
Listen to the Personal
Performances series of Arabic music podcasts.
Episode of 22
March 2006 discusses Arabic rhythms, the riq and
its role in Arabic Music.
Episode of 14
July 2006 discusses the riqq and demonstrates similar
rhythms in 4/4, 2/4 and 8/4.
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 following is a listing of Muwashahat rhythms in
The same Muwashahat rhythms are listed
in the order of their time signature: