Arabic 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.

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.

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 following is a listing of Muwashahat rhythms in alphabetical order:

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

The same Muwashahat rhythms are listed in the order of their time signature:

Ayyub 2/4
Malfuf 2/4
Samai Ta'er 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
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
Mukhammas 16/8
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
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
 
 
 
 

 

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2001-2003 Maqam World. All rights reserved. This page was last Updated on July 14, 2007