Middle East music - is an important part of world culture. Its roots are in the musical traditions of the ancient Arabs, Persians, Egyptians, Jews, Greeks and other peoples living in North Africa, on the Arabian Peninsula and in the Mediterranean. It differs from Western music in its special tonal structure, increased attention to love lyrics, philosophy and mysticism. Due to the hard musical canons, many features of the ancient musical culture of the Middle East have survived to the present day.
Arab music was formed as a result of the merger of Arab art itself with the art of conquered countries. The early, "Bedouin" period in its development is characterized by the unity of music and poetry. Information has been preserved about ancient Arab professional singers and poets (shairs), about hid song genres (caravan songs), a hub (songs of horsemen), about musical instruments - duff (a small square tambourine), mishar (a primitive lute with a leather deck), rebab (genus of single-stringed violin).
Classical Arabic music is mostly vocal. The most common genre is the vocal and instrumental ensemble, in which the leading role belongs to the singer. The largest singers of the Umayyad period - Ibn Musadzhih, Muslim ibn Mukhriz, were also famous singer Jamile and her students. During the Abbasid dynasty, musicians Ibrahim al-Mausili (742-804) and his son Ishaq al-Mausili (767-850) - the founder of the Baghdad school, as well as Mansur Zalsal stand out. Arab music science has reached a high level. Among the prominent musical theorists of the Middle Ages: al-Kindi, who developed and applied to Arabic music the metaphysical doctrine of “harmony of the Universe” of Neoplatonists; al-Isfahani (897–967), author of the Great Book of Songs; Safi-ad-din Urmavi (circa 1230-1294), who wrote a treatise on acoustics and harmonic connections, “Al-Sharafiyya” - an outstanding work of medieval Eastern music science. The most important information about the music of the East is contained in the writings of al-Farabi, the author of the Great Treatise on Music, Ibn Sina and others. In the Middle Ages, Arabic music influenced the musical art of Spain, Portugal, and the formation of some European musical instruments.