List of Arab maqamat

A list of the Arab maqamat most likely to be encountered in performance and on recordings is given below - just click on each maqam for more detailed information. The most common maqamat are highlighted in bold. The maqamat have been listed according to their 'base' note, and a reminder of the Arabic names of notes can be found here. For each maqam, the scale is presented in terms of the constituent ajnas, including any alternative structures that may appear within the maqam. The sayr of the maqam is then outlined, and this is followed by a fingering diagram showing the positions of the notes on the neck of the oud (see key below).

Maqamat based on G (yakah):

Maqamat based on A (ushayran):

Maqamat based on B flat (ajam ushayran):

Maqamat based on B half-flat (iraq):

Maqamat based on C (rast):

Maqamat based on D (dukah):

Maqamat based on E half-flat (sikah):

Maqamat based on E (busalik):

Maqamat based on F (jiharkah):


Key to fingering diagrams

Each of the above pages includes a fingering diagram, which shows where the notes of the maqam are played on the neck of the oud. The oud is viewed from above, so that the uppermost string corresponds to the highest string on the oud (the 6th string of the oud is not shown as the tuning of this string may vary depending on the maqam). The tuning I have used is the standard Arab tuning of G-A-D-G-C (low to high). On the diagram, black circles indicate the 'base' note of the maqam and white circles indicate the other notes. Circles to the left of the nut indicate that the note produced by the corresponding 'open' string is also part of the scale. An arrow inside a note indicates that it is modified in the descending part of the scale to the note shown by a red circle.

Example - Maqam Yakah:



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