Arab music by country

lgeria | Bahrain | Egypt | Iraq | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon | Morocco | Oman | Palestine | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria |Tunisia | Yemen    


Chaabi Dialna 
Guide to popular Algerian music (in French)

Music of Algeria: selected recordings
by Prof. Dwight Reynolds of the University of California, Santa Barbara (Middle East Studies Association Bulletin)

Musics of Algeria: selected recordings  
by Dwight Reynolds

Music of Algeria  

Berber music 


Bahrain music types 
Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities

Bahrain Music Institute 
Classes and other activities

Music of Bahrain 


Music has been an integral part of Egyptian culture since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians credited the god Thoth with the invention of music, which Osiris in turn used as part of his effort to civilise the world. 

The earliest material and representational evidence of Egyptian musical instruments dates to the pre-dyanstic period, but the evidence is more securely attested in the Old Kingdom when harps, flutes and double clarinets were played. Percussion instruments, lyres and lutes were added to orchestras by the Middle Kingdom. Cymbals frequently accompanied music and dance, much as they still do in Egypt today. Read more at

Music of Egypt 

Egyptian music over seven millennia 
A historical portrait, from ancient times to the present day (

Ancient Egyptian music 

Umm Kulthoum 
The most famous Egyptian singer

Farid el-Atrache
Site devoted to the famous Egyptian musician

A battle for existence: How the combined forces of censorship and security shaped Egypt’s music scene in 2017
by Hessen Hossam. Mada Masr, 2 January 2018

Cairo practice
The early days of Arab music recording in Egypt, by Paul Vernon

The music of Mohamad el-QuSabji 
by Saleh Baset


Iraqi music has its historic roots in ancient traditions but has continued to evolve through various eras. From creation of the oldest guitar in the world and the invention of the lute, to adding a fifth string to the rhythms and the various Iraqi maqams, Iraqi music proves to be an important part of the country's culture.

Renowned Iraqi composers include Abbas Jamil, NazimNaeem, 
Mohammed Noshi, Reza Ali, Kamal Al Sayid, Kawkab Hamza, Talib Ghali, Hameed Al Basri, Tariq Al Shibli, Mufeed Al Nasih, Jaffer Al Khafaf, Talib Al Qaraghouli and many others.

Popular Iraqi singers in the twentieth century include Nazem Al-Ghazali, Dakhil Hassan, Zohoor Hussein, Fuad Salem, Hussein Nema, Riaz Ahmed, Qahtan Al Attar, Maida Nuzhat, Anwar Abdul Wahab, SattarJabbar, Kazem Al Saher amongst others. Source:Iraqi Embassy, Washington.

Classical music of Iraq 
By Bernard Moussali

Iraq's classical and gypsy music traditions 
BBC documentary: Andy Kershaw in Iraq

Tuning Baghdad 
A series of radio programmes featuring Iraqi-Jewish musicians

Music of Iraq  


The folk music of Jordan can be distinguished from that of its neighbouring countries like Syria and Saudi Arabia by its strong Bedouin influence. Rural Zajal songs, with improvised poetry played with a Rabab and reed pipe ensemble accompanying is popular. Read more at

Traditional Bedouin Music at Wadi Rum, Jordan 
YouTube video

Music of Jordan 


Hidden treasures: reflections on traditional music in Kuwait
Kuwait has maintained a thriving traditional music culture; in particular bahri, or sea music, and sawthave remained at the heart of the music scene. By Rolf Killius, Curator of Oral and Musical Cultures, British Library

Music and dance in Kuwait 
Kuwait shares with the wider Gulf region the musical traditions of Bedouins, from the land, and fishermen, from the sea, including the famed pearl-fishers’ chants. 

Sawt: the art song of Kuwait 
Text of a lecture by Lisa Urkevich

Musical Journeys to Oman, Qatar and Kuwait 
British Library blog

Kuwait Music Academy 

Music of Kuwait  


Music of Lebanon

Her official website

Fairouz Online 
A biographical website

Marcel Khalife 
Website of the Lebanese composer, singer and oudplayer

Khalife's "Magic Carpet", a revolution in Arabic music
by Abdel'ilah Balqaziz (Aljadid magazine)

Lebanese Bands 
A guide to the latest sounds in Lebanon

Lebanese Music Links 

Music of Lebanon 


There are many genres of Moroccan music. It includes Arab, Berber, classical, and popular elements. Musicians perform in concerts, in cafes, at private homes, ceremonies, marriages, funerals, and religious processions. Music is also used to accompany dancing and storytelling. Read more on al-bab's Moroccan music page


Omani music does not fall within the realm of classic Arabian music due to its many strong influences from African and Indian cultures. Omani music has the most diverse roots, some going back to pre-Islamic times. Additionally, music and movement in Oman are inextricably linked, much more so than in other Arabic lands. Read more at

Sea meets desert
Reflections on traditional music in Oman. By Rolf Killius, Curator of Oral and Musical Cultures, British Library

Traditional music and dance in Oman
Fanack Chronicle

Musical Journeys to Oman, Qatar and Kuwait 
British Library blog

Muscat Royal Opera House and Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra 
Their history and development (

Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra
Facebook page of the orchestra established by Sultan Qaboos in 1987

Royal Opera House Muscat
Offical website

The Omani Dance of Death 
Lament and the expression of sorrow. By Nasser Al-Taee

Music of Oman 


Music of Palestine 

Traditional Palestinian music

Issa Boulos 
Website of the Palestinian composer and oudplayer


Modernity meets tradition 
Reflections of traditional music in Qatar. By Rolf Killius, Curator of Oral and Musical Cultures, British Library

The modern face of traditional music 
Fanack Chronicle

Musical Journeys to Oman, Qatar and Kuwait 
British Library blog

Music of Qatar 

Qatar Music Academy

Doha Jazz

International Centre for Music

Saudi Arabia

Saudi folk music has been shaped by the nomadic Bedouins and the pilgrims who brought musical influences from around the world. The music varies from region to region – for example, in the Hijaz, the music of al-sihba combines poetry and songs of Arab Andalusia, while the folk music of Makkah and Madinah reflects these two cities’ influences from throughout the Islamic world. Source: Saudi Embassy, Washington

Saudi folk music: alive and well
By Kay Hardy Campbell, Saudi Aramco World

Music of Saudi Arabia 


Damascus has long been one of the Arab world's centres for cultural and artistic innovation, especially in the field of classical Arab music. Syria has also produced several pan-Arab stars, often in exile, including George Wassoof and Nour Mahanna. The city of Aleppo is known for its muwashshah, a form of Andalousian sung poetry popularized by Sabri Moudallal, as well as popular stars like Sabah Fakhri. Dabke and other forms of dance music are also popular. Read more

Music of Syria 

Ughniyah li al-Atfal 
Syrian lullaby from the Library of Congress' Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections; performed by Nicholas Debs on March 10, 1940


Seven classic Tunisian songs
By Asma Smadhi, Tunisia Live, 18 October 2013

Tunisia: Literature and Music 

The musical pulse of Tunisia 
Article about the maluf genre, by Thorne Anderson(Saudi Aramco World)

Music of Tunisia 


Traditional music in the Yemen  
by A. D. Bakewell (British-Yemeni Society journal)

Music of Yemen