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Music of Oman

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Title: Music of Oman  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Music of Asia, Middle Eastern music, Music of Qatar, Music of Syria, Music of Saudi Arabia
Collection: Omani Music
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Music of Oman

The music of Oman has been strongly affected by the country's coastal location, with Omani sailors interacting with, and bringing back music from, Egypt, Tanzania and elsewhere. More recently, a Portuguese occupation has left its own marks, while geographic neighbors like the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran have also had a profound influence. In contrast to other Arab countries, Omani traditional music has a strong emphasis on rhythm.

Traditional music marks all the stages in the life of an Omani, including birth, circumcision, marriage and death. In contrast to many Arab countries, all Omanis participate in music, including both men and women, and young and old.

Liwa and Fann at-Tanbura are types of music and dance performed mainly in communities of descendants of Bantu peoples from the African Great Lakes region.

The Omani Centre for Traditional Music claims that Arabic music in Oman can be characterized by "tetrachords with typical Arabic intervals, including three-quarter tones taken from the Arabic musical scales; the maqamat".[1]

Notable Omani musicians include Salim Rashid Suri, the "Singing Sailor", a 20th century singer and oud player from Sur who combined strains of the ṣawt of the northern Persian Gulf and other musical traditions of the Indian Ocean as a pioneer of the genre called Ṣawt al-Khaleej ("Voice of the Gulf").


  1. ^ OCTM - Melodic instruments


  • OCTM - Melodic instruments
  • Traditional Arts in Southern Arabia. Music and Society in Sohar, Sultanate of Oman / Dieter Christensen, Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco.- Intercultural Music Studies Vol. 14, 248 p., 118 photos, graphics and musical transcriptions, 2 CDs + 1 DVD.
  • Maho Sebiane, « Dieter Christensen et Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco : Traditional Arts in Southern Arabia. Music and Society in Sohar, Sultanate of Oman » Book review , Chroniques yéménites 17 | 2012]
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