Mike's Oud Forums

Inside Arabic Music

Brian Prunka - 8-9-2019 at 12:33 PM

I just wanted to post a review of the new book "Inside Arabic Music" by Johnny Farraj (of maqamworld.com) and Sami Abu Shumays (of the group Zikrayat and maqamlessons.com).

Full disclosure: Johnny and Sami have been my friends and colleagues for many years, though I have no involvement in the book other than making a few minor suggestions in the section on the oud.

This book is an absolute treasure for anyone looking to learn more about Arabic music and maqam, specifically as it relates to the "Golden Age" of Arabic music from the 1930s-1970s where Arabic music moved away from the Ottoman influence and developed its own highly distinct tradition.

While the book doesn't specifically address the oud in great detail, the extensive analysis and listening guides, and the detailed exploration of maqam (much more comprehensive and coherent than any other Arabic music theory resource available) is an extremely valuable resource for understanding all genres of Arabic music, including taqasim. Their sections of analysis of ajnas and maqam, modulation and sayr are far more useful and thorough than any other resource in English.

The book walks a fine line between academic research and general readership; the authors don't sacrifice precise and detailed information but manage to present it in a very readable style. Part of their philosophy is to emphasize listening, so convoluted explanations are considered secondary to directed listening examples (some include transcriptions for analysis, but there are too many examples provided to have full transcriptions of everything).

I highly recommend it without reservation to anyone interested in maqam and Arabic music.
Inside Arabic Music

alim - 8-9-2019 at 06:01 PM

Fyi, the amazon link, I just ordered my copy.




Jack_Campin - 8-10-2019 at 11:12 PM

Publisher's page, if like me you would rather not patronize the world's biggest slavemaster:


(I have never bought anything from Amazon).

Khalil_Oud - 8-11-2019 at 09:33 AM

I agree to buy from the publisher... but the price is 125 $ (CA $) in stad of 40 $ (Amazon)...

Now, many authors choose a place to sell their books (if I remember, Charbel Rohana sent his book to a place (church ?) in USA... that's good !



alim - 8-11-2019 at 10:17 AM

The $125, is for the hardback copy. You can get the $39 paperback version (same as Amazon) from them at this link if you prefer not to buy form Amazon:



Jack_Campin - 8-11-2019 at 10:24 PM

Thanks! I didn't spot that at first.

Jack_Campin - 9-27-2019 at 02:07 PM

Just got my copy, it's out in the UK now - looks fantastic.