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(395 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
(pl. ṭaḳāṭīk ), a form of strophic song in Egyptian colloquial Arabic. The semantic background of the term is vague. In the 11th and 12th centuries A.D., a certain manner of singing to the accompaniment of a wand ( ḳaḍīb ) was called ṭaḳṭaḳa , as attested by Ibn al-Ḳaysarānī ( Kitāb al-Samāʿ , Cairo 1970, 63) and by Abu ’l-Ṣalt Umayya b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (see al-Mawsūʿa al-Taymūriyya , Cairo 1961, 168). Similarly, a traditional Egyptian Bedouin song called ṭagg is accompanied “by the beating of two sticks on some hard surface” (see J.R. Smart, in JSS, xii [1967], 248). There is, however, no r…

Ṣafī al-Dīn al-Urmawī

(2,377 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
, ʿAbd al-Muʾmin b. Yūsuf b. Fāk̲h̲ir al-Urmawī al-Bag̲h̲dādī (Ṣūfī al-Dīn in some Ottoman sources), renowned musician and writer on the theory of music, was born ca. 613/1216, probably in Urmiya. He died in Bag̲h̲dād on 28 Ṣafar 693/28 January 1294, at the age of ca. 80 (Ibn al-Fuwaṭī, al-Ḥawādit̲h̲ al-d̲j̲āmiʿa , 480). The sources are silent about the ethnic origin of his family. He may have been of Persian descent (Ḳuṭb al-Dīn S̲h̲īrāzī [ q.v.] calls him afḍal-i Īrān ). In his youth, Ṣafī al-Dīn went to Bag̲h̲dād. Well-educated in Arabic language, l…


(545 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
ʿ(form IV from w-ḳ-ʿ ), literally “to let fall” the wand ( ḳāḍīb ) in order to mark the rhythm in singing, a term denoting musical metrics or “rhythm” in the sense of measuring the quantity of notes. The early Islamic īḳaʿ can be considered as a forerunner of mediaeval European mensura. Based on oriental practices inherited by the Arabs, it shows elements of Greek rhythmos and similarities to Indian tāla . According to Ṣafī al-Dīn al-Urmawī, the roots of īḳāʿ go back to Sāsānid Iran, where Indian musical presence is attested. The internal structure of īḳāʿ is obviously of Arab origin, bein…


(200 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
, Abū Zayd Nāḳid , mawlā of the Fahm tribe, musician and ẓarīf in Medina, born about 70/690, died about 145/762. Like his teacher Ṭuways (d. 92/710) he was a muk̲h̲annat̲h̲ —hence the proverb “more effeminate than al-Dalāl”—and is said to have been castrated by order of one of the caliphs, either Sulaymān or His̲h̲ām [but see K̲h̲aṣī ]. His musical gifts and ready wits he used as an entertainer of Qurays̲h̲ women and a singer at weddings, accompanying himself on a tambourine ( duff ). He composed highly artistic ( kat̲h̲īr al-ʿamal ) melodies in a style called g̲h̲ināʾ muḍʿaf


(751 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
(a.) ( taksim in modern Turkish spelling), “division”, “segmentation”, also used in its plural form taḳāsīm , a term of urban art music in the eastern Arab countries and Turkey. It refers to the improvising ¶ presentation of a maḳām [ q.v.], played on a melody instrument. The corresponding North African genre is called istik̲h̲bār . The taḳsīm serves generally as an introduction into a measured vocal or instrumental piece, but it has also developed into an independent solo piece. Taḳsīm performance has a declamatory character. Melodic segments of diffe…


(339 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
, one of the renowned female singers at the ʿAbbāsid court, was born ca. 200/815 in Baṣra as a muwallada of an Arab father and a non-Arab mother. She died after 256/870, probably in Sāmarrā. While still a young girl, she was acquired by Ibrāhīm b. al-Mahdī [ q.v.], who refined her musical education and made her a competent transmitter of his own compositions. After the death of her master in 224/839, she first served al-Muʿtaṣim, and she reached the zenith of her career under the caliph and musician al-Wāt̲h̲iḳ. Under al-Mutawakkil, an open c…


(401 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
(“six modes”, the Tadzhik form of a compound of the standard Persian numeral s̲h̲as̲h̲ and the Arabic term maḳām [ q.v.]), a term designating the modal and formal concept of art music played in the urban centres of Uzbekistan. It developed in Buk̲h̲ārā from elements of the local maḳām tradition and the nawba [ q.v.] “suite” of Tīmūrid and S̲h̲aybānid court music. The earliest known song text collections are said to date back to the middle of the 18th century. Up to the beginning of the 20th century, the s̲h̲as̲h̲maḳom flourished in the Emirate of Buk̲h̲ārā and …


(417 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
, a woodwind musical instrument, the shawm, with a powerful sound, played in the open. Zurna ( zūrnā ) is the later Ottoman and modern Turkish spelling of the Persian and early Ottoman term surnā ( surnāy ), ṣūrnā or ṣurnā ( ṣurnāy ). The name spread throughout the countries of the former Ottoman empire, where it is still used in many places. In Egypt the instrument retained its traditional Arabic name mizmār [ q.v.]; in Libya and Morocco it is called g̲h̲ayṭa [ q.v.]. The zurna is played with a double reed. Since the reed vibrates freely in the mouth cavity…

ʿAllawayh al-Aʿsar

(244 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
, abu ’l-ḥasan ʿalī b. ʿabd allāh b. sayf , court musician in early ʿAbbāsid times, died in or shortly after 235/850. He was of Soghdian origin, mawlā ( al-ʿitḳ ) of the Umayyads and mawlā ( al-k̲h̲idma ) of the ʿAbbāsids. Ibrāhīm and Isḥāḳ al-Mawṣilī taught him the “classical” ḥid̲j̲āzī music, but he prefered the “romantic” style of Ibrāhīm b. al-Mahdī and introduced “Persian melodies” ( nag̲h̲am fārisiyya ) into Arab music. As a court musician, he started in the third class ( ṭabaḳa ) under Hārūn al-Ras̲h̲īd and continued to serve the caliphs up to al-Mut…


(498 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
(a.). In music. This is one of the basic terms of secular music in Islamic times, used in Arabic and Persian [see mūsīḳī ]. In its early terminological sense, laḥn (pl. luḥūn , rarely alḥān ) denoted a musical mode, comparable to the later terms nag̲h̲ma (pl. ang̲h̲ām ) and maḳām [ q.v.]. It was a loan from the Byzantine Greek concept of ēchos , adopted probably in Umayyad Syria. A Kitāb al-Luḥūn al-t̲h̲amāniya (“Book on the modal system called oktōēchos ”), wrongly attributed to Ptolemy, was known to Ibn al-Kalbī [ q.v.], according to a quotation in Ibn ʿAbd Rabbih’s al-ʿIḳd al-farīd

Bad̲h̲l al-Kubrā

(220 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
, songstress and rāwiya in early ʿAbbāsid times, died before 227/842, probably in 224/839. She was born as a mulatto ( muwallada ṣafrāʾ ) in Medina and brought up in Baṣra. D̲j̲aʿfar, a son of the caliph al-Hādī, acquired her and, after 193/809, she became a favoured d̲j̲āriya of al-Amīn and gave birth to a son of his. Being a pupil of Ibn D̲j̲āmiʿ, Fulayḥ and Ibrāhīm al-Mawṣilī she preserved the “classical” ḥid̲j̲āzī style of Arab music, preferring verses by ḥid̲j̲āzī poets also for her own compositions. She was a good songstress and lutenist ( ḍāriba ), a ẓarīfa , and …

Faḍl al-S̲h̲āʿira

(167 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
, al-Yamāmiyya al-ʿAbdiyya , Mawlāt al-Mutawakkil , Arab poetess, died in 257/871 (or 260/874). Born probably as a muwallada and brought up in Baṣra, she was presented to and later on freed by al-Mutawakkil. She was called the “most gifted poetess of her time” by Ibn al-Sāʿī and, being a good songstress and lute player too, held a famous literary circle in Bag̲h̲dād. Amongst her admirers were the poet Ṣaʿīd b. Ḥumayd and the musician Bunān b. ʿAmr al-Ḍārib. Ibn al-D̲j̲arrāḥ (quoted by Ibn al…

Sallāma al-Zarḳāʾ

(383 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
(the "blue" Sallāma) was the star among the slave singing-girls ( ḳayna [ q.v.]) of Kūfa in the last years of the Umayyads and in the caliphate of al-Saffāḥ. She belonged to the local "master of singing-girls" ( ṣāḥib ḳiyān ; muḳayyin ) Ibn Rāmīn, a mawlā of the Marwānids, who ran an establishment offering the pleasures of musical entertainment and wine-drinking. His house was frequented mainly by the ẓurafāʾ (sing, ẓarīf ) of Kūfa. Among them were the poets Ismāʿīl b. ʿAmmār and Muḥammad b. al-As̲h̲ʿat̲h̲ al-Zuhrī, who eulogised Sallāma in the…


(346 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
bt. al-Mahdī , a daughter of the caliph, gifted musician and a poet. She was born in 160/777 and died in 210/825. Her mother Maknūna had been a d̲j̲āriya and professional singer in the service of the Marwānids in Medina before she was sold to the ʿAbbāsid prince in Bag̲h̲dād. Ibrāhīm b. al-Mahdī [ q.v.] and the later caliph Hārūn al-Ras̲h̲īd were ʿUlayya’s half-brothers. In her youth, she was married to one of her ʿAbbāsid relatives, Mūsā b. ʿĪsā, who had served as a governor in different places before settling in Bag̲h̲dād, three years before he d…

Barṣawmā al-Zāmir

(169 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
, Isḥāḳ , famous flute player in early ʿAbbāsid times, died after 188/804. He was a dark-coloured muwallad of humble origin, son of a “Nabataean” woman from Kūfa. Ibrāhīm al-Mawṣilī brought him to Bag̲h̲dād, gave him an education in “Arab music” ( al-g̲h̲ināʾ al-ʿarabī ) and introduced him to Hārūn al-Ras̲h̲īd. He accompanied ¶ the singers in the concerts at court, belonging first to the second class ( ṭabaḳa ) of court musicians, and later on was promoted by the caliph to the first class. Isḥāḳ al-Mawṣilī knew “nobody being more competent i…


(456 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
, S̲h̲ams al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Dimas̲h̲ḳī, outstanding musician and writer on music in Syria in the second half of the 9th/15th century. Born in Ṣaydā at an unknown date, he later lived in Damascus where he died on 16 D̲h̲u ’l-Ḳaʿda 911/10 April 1506. Al-Ṣaydāwī composed an extensive didactic urd̲j̲ūza of nearly 250 verses on the musical modes ( ang̲h̲ām ) of the Syrian tradition, entitled K. al-Inʿām (or Anʿām ) fī maʿrifat al-ang̲h̲ām . In addition to the twelve main modes (four labelled aṣl and eight farʿ ) and the six socalled āwāz modes he describes another seven secondary modes called buḥūr…

S̲h̲ewḳī Beg

(350 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
(Şevki Bey in present-day Turkish orthography), Turkish composer of great popularity, was born the son of a comb-maker in 1277/1860 in the Fātiḥ quarter of Istanbul. The exceptionally gifted young man was accepted at the Sultan’s music school ( Mūzīḳa-i hümāyūn mektebī ) under the aegis of Callisto Guatelli (1868-99), and studied there under ¶ the celebrated composer Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲i ʿÂrif Beg (Hacı Ârif Bey, d. 1302/1885). Strongly addicted to alcohol and unable to pursue a normal existence, he lived a dervish-like ( rindī ) variant of a Romantic artist’s lif…

Yaḥyā al-Makkī

(362 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
, Abū ʿUt̲h̲mān Yaḥyā b. Marzūḳ, an honoured court musician in early ʿAbbāsid times and head of a family of court singers. He was born in Mecca as a mawlā of the Banū Umayya, but went to Bag̲h̲dād at the beginning of the reign of al-Mahdī (158/775), and still performed under al-Maʾmūn (198-218/813-33). It is said that he died at the age of 120. He was considered an excellent composer and an expert in the Ḥid̲j̲āzī style of music. Ibn D̲j̲āmiʿ [ q.v.], and both Ibrāhīm and Isḥāḳ al-Mawṣilī [ q.v.] were among his disciples. He also composed a “book of songs” ( Kitāb al-Ag̲h̲ānī

ʿAllawayh/ʿallūya al-Aʿsar

(250 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
, Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Sayf, musicien et chanteur de la cour à l’époque des premiers ʿAbbāsides (m. en 235/850 ou peu après). D’origine sogdienne, il était mawlā (al-ʿitḳ) des Umayyades et mawlā (al-k̲h̲idma) des ʿAbbāsides. Ibrāhīm et Isḥāḳ al-Mawṣilī lui enseignèrent la musique ḥid̲j̲āzienne «classique», mais il préférait le style «romantique» d’Ibrāhīm ibn al-Mahdī et il introduisit des «mélodies persanes» ( nag̲h̲am fārisī) dans la musique arabe. En tant que musicien de cour, il débuta dans la 3e classe ( ṭabaḳa) sous Hārūn al-Ras̲h̲īd et continua à servir les …


(328 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
, une des chanteuses renommées à la cour ʿabbāside, naquit vers 200/815 à Baṣra comme muwallada, d’un père arabe et d’une mère nonarabe. Elle mourut après 256/870, probablement à Sāmarrā. Encore jeune fille, elle fut acquise par Ibrāhīm b. al-Mahdī [ q.v.], qui affina son éducation musicale et fit d’elle une transmetteuse compétente de ses propres compositions. Après la mort de son maître en 224/839, elle servit d’abord le calife al-Muʿtaṣim [ q.v.], et arriva à l’apogée de sa carrière sous le calife et musicien al-Wāt̲h̲iḳ. Sous al-Mutawakkil [ q.v.], une compétition ouverte éclata…
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