Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Maqām (musical genre)
(871 words)

A maqām is a mode or scale in Arabic music. Sephardi/Mizraḥi communities from the Mediterranean, particularly the Levant, make systematic creative use of various forms of the maqām in their liturgical and paraliturgical music.

The term maqām (pl. maqāmāt) can refer to either a simple or a very complex set of phenomena. In its simplest form, it may refer to a specific scale. Defined in greater depth, maqām may refer to a specific scale with a tonic (keynote), alternative directional notes, accidentals, a specific ambitus (range of notes), a specific tetrachordal…

Cite this page
Mark Kligman, “Maqām (musical genre)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0014650>
First published online: 2010

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