Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Music in Islam

  • Sawa D. GeorgeEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_1447

Related Terms

 Medieval Arabic music;  Music literature

Little is known of medieval Arabic musical repertoire save for an exercise for the ˓ūd by al-Kindī (d. after 870) where the notation is expressed in terms of fingers and frets, and for transcriptions by Ṣafiyy al-Dīn al-Urmawī (d. 1294), of songs and pieces where durations and pitches are given. Musical notation in the early ˓Abbāsid era was apparently very precise yet rarely used. We know from Kitāb al-Aghānī (Book of Songs) that Prince Ibrāhīm ibn al-Mahdī (d. 839) asked Isḥāq al-Mawṣilī (d. 850) to send him a notation of a song the latter had just composed; Isḥāq did and the notation enabled Ibrāhīm to perform it (10: 105). We do not know the nature of the notation used, but that it was used in the rare circumstance when the performer was far away from the composer and thus unable to learn it orally. In addition to the type of notation mentioned above, al-Fārābī (d. 950) invented a very precise syllabic notation for rhythm...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent Musician and ScholarTorontoCanada