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Maqam al-iraqi

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Title: Maqam al-iraqi  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Arabic music, Aqyn, Middle Eastern music, Arab culture, Ashiqs of Azerbaijan
Collection: Arabic Music, Iraqi Music, Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Maqam al-iraqi

Iraqi Maqam (Arabic: المقام العراقي‎) is a type of Arabic maqam and at least four-hundred-year-old genre found in Iraq. The instrumentation of the ensemble used in the Iraqi Maqam, Al-Chalghi al-Baghdadi, includes a qari' (singer), santur (hammered dulcimer), jawza (spike fiddle), tabla or dunbug/dumbeg, and sometimes riqq (tambourine) and naqqarat (kettle drums). The focus is on the poem sung in classical Arabic or Iraqi dialect (then called zuhayri). A complete maqam concert is known as fasl (plural fusul) and is named after the first maqam: bayat, hijaz, rast, nawa, or husayni. (Touma 1996, p.55, 57)

A typical performance includes the following sections (Touma 1996, p.56):

  • tahrir, sometimes badwah
  • taslum
  • finalis

Some well known Iraqi maqam performers include: Mulla Hasan al-Babujachi, Rahmat Allah Shiltagh, Khalil Rabbaz, Rahmain Niftar, Rubin Rajwan, Ahmed Zaydan, Mulla Uthman al-Mawsili, Jamil al-Baghdadi, Salman Moshe, Rashid al-Qundarchi, Yusuf Huresh, Najm al-Shaykhli, Abbas Kambir, Mohammed al-Qubbanchi, Yusuf Omar, Hamed al-Sa‘di, Farida, and Husayn al-A‘dhami.

Famous maqam singers

  • Ahmed Zaydan
  • Rashid al-Qundarchi
  • Mohammad al-Qubbanchi
  • Hussein al-A'dhami
  • Najm al-Shaykhli
  • Hassan Khaiwka
  • Hashim al-Rejab
  • Yusuf Omar
  • Farida Ali
  • Abdulrahman Khidhr
  • Hamed al-Sa‘di
  • Nazem Al-Ghazali
  • Felfel Gourgy
  • Affifa Iskandar


  • Touma, Habib Hassan (1996). The Music of the Arabs, trans. Laurie Schwartz. Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0-931340-88-8.

External links

  • Famous Iraqi Maqam Singers
  • Iraqi Maqam
  • Genres of Secular Art Music Al-maqam al-'iraqi
  • General information about Iraqi Maqam
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