Arabic English Glossaryaʿāda

Only the standard names of the rhythmic and melodic modes appear here. For the shorter, incomplete, and older names, please refer to chapter 1, on theory.

to repeat (as part of the process of composition, performance, transmission)

aʿaff

more virtuous

aʿazz

dearest (type of compositions)

ʿāba

to reproach, reprove, denounce

abarra

to achieve supremacy (in composition)

ʿabath

play and pastime

ʿabd

male slave

ābida

‘ever’; a composition to be remembered forever for its unusual and extraordinary nature

abījād

bad performance

abkā

to make cry (as a result of ṭarab)

abraʾa

to cure (as a result of ṭarab)

adāʾ

performance

adab

belles-lettres and cultural refinement, literature, good behavior, poetry

aḍāfa

to append or add lines of poems to other lines

ʿadala

to turn to and change (old repertoire)

aḍann

most stingy (to transmit a song)

addā

to perform

ʿadda

to prepare (the highest note of a composition)

addaba

to educate, refine

ʿaddala al-awzān

to scan the poetic measure

adfaʾ

warmer (in relation to a voice, caused by ṭarab)

ʿadhala

to rebuke, censure, reproach, blame

adhān

call to prayer

adhdhana

to chant the call to prayer

adhhala

to startle, amaze; adhhala al-ʿaql: amaze and startle the mind (as a result of ṭarab)

adkhala

to incorporate the songs of a composer into the work of another composer

adrā

more intellectually aware (musically)

aḍrab

excelling, the best instrumentalist, best lute player, or skilled lutenist

āfa

shortcoming (in performance)

aʿfā

to relieve, exempt (from performing the lute)

afāda

to be beneficial (in debates)

ʿafāf

decency

afḍal

better (teacher, theorist)

ʿaffā ʿalā

to efface (in performance)

afraḥa al-qalb

to bring joy to the heart (as a result of ṭarab)

afsada

to distort, spoil, ruin a melody; to corrupt and pervert people’s character

afṣaḥ

purer and more eloquent (string playing)

aghraba

to exceed the proper bounds of excellence (in performance)

aḥajj

greatest at argumentation

aḥāla

to alter and beautify (a performance)

aḥdhaq

most skillful (as a teacher, performer, composer)

aḥkam

more masterful and artful (composition); aḥkama: to master (a song)

ahl

ahl al-adab: literati; ahl al-ʿaql: people of intellect; ahl al-hayʾa: people of good social class; ahl al-ḥulūm: gentle people; ahl al-ʿilm: learned people; ahl al-ʿilm bi-l-mūsīqī: music scholars; ahl al-khayr: good people

aḥmaq

fool

aḥraja

to embarrass (socially)

aḥsan

better, best (melody, performer, dancer, art of singing); aḥsana: to do well, excel (performance, composition)

aḥyā

to enliven (as a result of ṭarab)

ahzaj al-nās

best at composing in the hazaj rhythmic mode

ajāba

[walls] answering [a singer] as a result of ṭarab; to remedy (vocal shortcomings)

ajāda

to distinguish oneself, to do well (in a performance); mā ajāda: did not do well

ʿajāʾib

wonders (in a performance)

ajashsh

hoarse, husky, and raucous (voice)

ʿajaza

to be unable (to excel in composing); ʿajz: inability (to perform difficult songs)

ajdaba

to become sterile (musically)

aʿjab

more amazing (composition, performance)

ʿajīb

amazing, unheard of, marvelous, unusual, strange (performance, composition, effect)

ʿajja

to raise the voice and sing loudly

ajmala

to summarize and speak generally (about a singer’s skills)

ajnās murattaba

the organized rhythmic and melodic modes according to Isḥāq’s system; see also jins

ajwad

better (performance)

ajzala

to perform with sound natural disposition and intelligence

akala

to eat up (competing performers)

akhadha

to take from, learn from, set a melody to a new text; steal; hold (the neck of a lute); akhadha al-ghināʾ bi-qalbī: singing affected and captivated my heart

akhalla

to make a mistake (in a performance)

akhbaʾa

to hide (the lute)

ākhir

the end (of a performance, of concert); the top (composer); last (performance)

akhkhara

to set back (a composer)

akhraja

to produce (a song based on another one); to leave city (because of low social status); akhraja al-hamm: to remove worries (in order to compose)

akhṣaba

to become fertile (musically)

akhṣaṣa

to appropriate exclusively (the right to sing the repertoire of one composer)

akhṭaʾa

to make a mistake (in performance); to miss the mark in composition

aʿlā

the powerful and loudest (voice)

aʿlam

more cognizant (performer); more or most knowledgeable (in theory, practice, history)

(mā) ʿalama bimā faʿala

not knowing what he was doing (as a result of ṭarab)

alatiyya

a contemporary and negative term for instrumentalists

albāb

intellect

alhā

to entertain and delight

alḥada

to become an apostate

alḥaqa

to append lines of poems to other lines

ʿālim

knowledgeable person; ʿalima: to know

ʿaliqa

to understand and learn a song

allafa

to compose

ʿallama

to teach

ʿallaqa ʿalā udhunihi

to hang (his sandals) on his ears (as a result of ṭarab)

alqā

to sing; to discard; alqā ʿalā: to transmit

alqā l-ṭaylasān

to throw down the shawl he was wearing (as a result of ṭarab)

ama

singing slave girl; slave; servant

ʿamal

compositional craft, craftsmanship; action (performance)

amarra ʿalā

to teach, pass on

ʿamila

to compose a poem; to compose a song; ʿamila ʿalā: to take or steal a melody and set it to a new poem with or without change; ʿamila al-fikr: to concentrate; ʿamila ʿamalan: to affect greatly (as a result of ṭarab)

amlaḥ

most beautiful (composition, company)

ʿamūd ṭarīqa

scale; rhythmic mode in its basic form; basic melody; see ṭarīqa

ānasa

to feel good in the company of people

andara

to perform rare and uncommon feats (in vocal performance)

anf

nose; bridge at the intersection of the neck of the lute and its peg holder

anfas

most precious (composition)

anīn

moaning (as a result of ṭarab)

ankara

to disagree, disapprove

anna

to moan (as a result of ṭarab)

anqaṣa min

to remove notes from the melody

anshada

to recite; sing

anshaṭa

to enliven (as a result of ṭarab)

(lā) ʿaqala

to be unaware, lose consciousness (as a result of ṭarab)

aqall nafʿan

least useful (transmitter)

aqarra al-ʿuyūn

to bring contentment and happiness (as a result of ṭarab)

ʿaql

brain, rationality, intellect, mind; ʿāqil: wise

aqṭaʿa

to grant exclusive rights (of a poet’s poetry to one composer)

aqwā

stronger (composition)

aqwam

most valuable (teacher)

ʿār

shame

ʿaraḍa

to show (a colleague a newly composed song); ask for an opinion

ʿāraḍa

to fight back, oppose, contest (a composer’s work)

arʿada

to tremble (when singing in old age)

aʿraf fahman

more knowledgeable in understanding (own performance)

ʿarbada

quarrelsomeness, noisiness, boisterousness, and riotousness

arḍ

earth (metaphor for less excellent)

ardhala

to compose low quality songs

ʿārin

to be naked (as a result of ṭarab)

arkhā

to loosen (the string)

arqaṣ al-nās

the best dancer

arqaṣa

to cause to dance

ʿarṭaba

a mysterious instrument defined in the dictionaries as a lute, ṭunbūr, ṭabl or Ethiopian ṭabl

ʿarūḍ

prosody, poetic measure

arwā

to quench one’s thirst (as a result of ṭarab)

aryaḥiyya

to be generous, relaxed, and happy (as a result of ṭarab)

asāʾa

to make a mistake, sing badly (in performance)

aṣāba

to hit the mark, succeed (in singing); succeed by making other people’s songs more pleasant by adding and removing notes; to sing properly so that the meaning of the poem is clear

aṣaḥḥ

most perfect, correct (composition); aṣaḥḥ ṣawtan: sounder voice

ʿasal

honey (a metaphor for a good composer)

asarra

to sing softly and secretly, murmur, sotto voce

ʿaṣāt

a rod, stick, wand or cane to beat or tap the īqāʿ

aṣbā l-sufahāʾ

to cause the shameless to feel and aspire to genuine love

aṣdaq

more truthful

ʿasf

recklessness

aṣfar

yellow or black complexion

aṣghā

to pay attention and lend one’s ear, listen carefully (to learn); listen attentively (to analyze)

ashadd

most difficult (to perform); higher pitch; strongest feat (in composition); ashadd ṭabaqa: highest tonal level the lute can reach

ashbaʿa

to fully ornament

ashhar

more famous (song); ashhara: to spread (a song)

ashjā

a sad and emotive (composition)

ʿasīr

(something) difficult (made easy by music)

aṣl

origin, foundation, root (of singing); source (of song book)

aṣlaḥa

to fix, repair, and improve (a composition); to reform (society); to tune a lute

asqaṭa

to leave out notes foreign to Arabic ears; to drop a difficult craft; to bring down and defeat a competitor

ʿaṣr

generation

asrā

more noble

asraʿ

fastest, fast learning

aswad

black complexion

atā ʿalā l-ḥaqīqa

to reach the true version (of a song)

ʿātaba

to scold, blame

aṭāla

to elongate or prolong (a song)

aʿtaqa

to free a slave

ʿaṭʿaṭa

to sing or chant syllabically

aṭbaʿ

to be more naturally gifted musically

ʿaṭfa

a technical term referring to a melodic segment that ends on the note it began: e.g., C D C E C, or C D E D C, or C F E D C

āthara

to be fond of (a composer); āthara (al-ṭarab): to prefer ṭarab (to anything else)

athima

to sin or commit a crime

aṭrab

a person most affected by ṭarab; aṭraba: to cause ṭarab

ʿaṭshān

thirsty (quenched by music)

aṭyab ṣawt

a most beautiful song; most beautiful voice

āwā

to protect, shelter

ʿawār

shortcomings (in composition)

awdaʿa

to transmit

awlawiyya

precedence (as composer)

awmaʾa

to motion, point, make gestures (as a way to teach)

awqaʿa

to tap the rhythmic mode; to sing; awqaʿa ʿalā l-ṭabl: to play the drum; awqaʿa bi-l-qaḍīb: to tap the rhythmic mode with the wand; awqaʿa bi-l-ṭabl: to play the drum

awwal

beginning (of a performance, of a concert); the top (composer); previous, earlier, older, prominent and foremost (composers)

awzān tāmma wa aʿārīḍ ṭiwāl

complete and long poetic measures

ʿayb

defect (in voice)

ʿayn

choice (composition); exact replica, spitting image (when copying a song)

ʿayyara

to look down with shame and reproach

ayyil

see īlāʾ

aẓraf

more elegant (ẓarīf); aẓraf lisānan: most elegant in speech; see also ẓarīf

ʿaẓẓama

to extol (someone’s performance, composition)

badhādha

untidiness, shabbiness

badīʿ

marvelous (composition)

baghghaḍa

to make (someone) hate (one’s composition)

baḥr

ocean, sea (metaphor for most excellent musicianship)

bakā

to cry (as a result of ṭarab)

bakhila

to be stingy (to transmit a song)

balāda

slowness (in learning); stupidity (in composition)

balagha

to reach (a particular pitch)

balla al-thawb

to wet the clothes (as a result of ṭarab)

bamm

first and lowest string of the lute

banā ʿalā

to build on (a pre-composed melody and compose a new one with or without changes); see also ibtanā

banjak

the peg holder of the lute

(mā) baqā

to change (the melody)

barāʿa

excellence (in composition)

barada

to become cold and no longer liked by the audience; bard: coldness (of composition); bārid: cold (composition); cold, weak (poem)

barbaṭ

a type of lute that is long and thin and looks like the shabbūṭ fish (with a long thin tail, small head, and wider middle), or akin to the Greek balance known as qarasṭūn (that has a long arm and weight at its end); barbaṭ rūmī: the barbiton of the Greeks, which is akin to the lyre; barbaṭiyya: barbiton players

barbiton

A Greek instrument akin to the lyre

barraqa

to adorn (oneself)

barraza

to excel (in performance, composition); barraza ʿalā: to surpass (in performance)

baṣar

eyesight (of a blind person, recovered after hearing music)

baṣīr

knowledgeable (in music)

basīṭ

measured music

bāṭil

a deficient and worthless (composition)

baṭṭa

a duck (a metaphor for a good performer)

baʿuda

to go away (when the singing stops)

bāyaʿa

to submit (oneself to a songstress)

bayān

meaning; ḥasan al-bayān: eloquent

bayṭār

veterinarian (a metaphor for an accompanist helping a singer)

binṣir

ring finger; binṣir fī majrāhā: ring finger fret of mathnā string as tonic in the course of the ring finger fret: A Bb C D

biʾr

well (throwing oneself in as a result of ṭarab)

birka

pond, pool (throwing oneself in as a result of ṭarab)

buhita

to be speechless (as a result of ṭarab)

bulbul

a nightingale (metaphor for a nice voice)

dāʾ

vice, defect, fault, disease, disorder, distemper, sickness that is physical as well as moral

dabba al-naml

a sense of ants crawling (in the body as a result of ṭarab)

daffāf

a tambourine player; daffafa: to beat a type of tambourine; daffāfa: a type of tambourine; see also duff and murabbaʿ

daftar

a notebook (with lyrics, modal information, and authorship)

ḍaghaṭa

to put pressure (on the heart as a result of ṭarab)

ḍāhā

to imitate (a compositional style)

ḍaʿīf

weak (composition)

dakhala maʿ

to use (middle and ring finger frets together)

dalāl

see dall

dalīl

(using the rhythmic mode as) guidance (when composing)

dall

coquetry

dalw

pail (used with rope as an improvised instrument)

damara ʿalā

to intrude on a singer’s composition

ḍaʾn

sheep

danā

(animals) approaching (as a result of ṭarab)

danāʾa

baseness, meanness, and vileness

dāra

to spin (a melody until it is composed); the occurrence of a melody (inspired by a poem); to comprehend a song and learn it correctly; to turn successfully, revolve and spread in the brain during learning or composing; to repeat; to turn around; to twirl or spin around

ḍāraba

(teacher) to strive (to teach students to play and for the student) to reciprocate

ḍaraba

to pluck, strike; ḍaraba ʿalayhi: a lutenist accompanying a singer; ḍaraba ʿalayhi bi-l-kankala: an instrumentalist playing the kankala to accompany the singer; ḍaraba al-ṭabl: to beat a drum; ḍaraba bi-rijlih: to kick; ḍaraba bi-yadayh wa-rijlayh: to clap with hands and feet [sic]; ḍaraba bi-l-duff: to beat the tambourine; ḍaraba bi-l-ʿūd: to play the lute; ḍaraba maʿa: to accompany

daraj

see idrāj

darasa

to practice

ḍarb

prelude; instrumental piece; instrumental exercise; playing technique or style or ornament; instrumental performance; instrumental rendition of a song; instrumental accompaniment; a type of composition; ḍarb al-ṭabl: beating the drum; ḍarb al-ʿūd: playing the lute; ḍarb bi-l-mizhar: playing the lute; ḍarb wāḥid: a number of lutes being played together in unison

dardār

elm wood

ḍārib

instrumentalist

darj

in the course of, in the middle of (a performance)

dars

practice

dassa

to shove (a song into a student)

dastān

fret

dastband

a dance of the Magians, in which they turn around holding hands as they dance

dawāʾ al-majānīn

medicine for insane people (as a result of ṭarab)

dawāt

a pen case containing ink, pen, pen-wiper, and knife, upon which one taps the īqāʿ

dawī

a powerful ring, reverberation, and thunder-like quality of a voice

dawr

rhythmic cycle; musical bars; a singer’s turn to perform; craft

ḍayq al-wazn

a narrow poetic measure

ḍayyaʿa

to lose (oneself in the music profession)

dhāba

to melt away (said of a performer meeting a stronger one)

(al-) dhahab al-muṣaffā

purified gold (metaphor for a great composition)

dhahaba

to forget (the songs); dhahaba bi-kull madhhab: affected tremendously; dhahaba bi-l-ʿaql: take away the mind; dhahaba wa-jāʾa: to sway back and forth (as a result of ṭarab); (mā) dhahaba: did not miss

dhāhib

a (voice) that is gone

dhakī

intelligent

dhallala

to subdue (as a result of ṭarab)

ḍiʿf

higher octave

dīn

religion

dīnār

golden coin (metaphor for a great composition)

diqqa

high pitch

ḍirābī

light and feeble cloth (metaphor for a poor performance)

dirāya

awareness (of musical knowledge)

dirham

silver coin (metaphor for a medium composition)

dīwān

song collection (with song texts, modal information, and authorship)

ḍuʿf

weakness (of composition)

duff

tambourine; see also daffāfa and murabbaʿ

(bi-) dūn

not inferior (to another composition)

dunyā

world; worldly affairs

durba

experience, long practice

duwwina

notated lyrics; mention of melodic and rhythmic modes

fāḍa

(wine) to overflow (as a result of ṭarab)

faḍaḥa

to disgrace; faḍīḥa: shame, disgrace

faḍala

to surpass (in performance, composition)

faḍḍala

to prefer (a composition)

fāḍil

excellent man, man of culture and refinement; faḍīla: excellence (in composition, performance); faḍl: excellence, superiority, improvement, favor, cultural refinement

faḥaṣa

to dig the ground with one’s feet (as a result of ṭarab)

fahima

to understand, comprehend (a song)

faḥl

outstanding, great master

fākhir

splendid, outstanding (composition, performance)

fakhkhama al-alfāẓ

to clearly articulate the words; see also tafkhīm

fakiha

to be cheerful

fakkara

to think (to compose a song)

fals

copper coin (metaphor for a weak composition)

faqīh

jurisprudent and theologian

faqr

poverty (alleviated by singing)

farʿ

branch (metaphor for an offshoot of a great master)

faraḥ

joy; fariḥa: to gladden; farraḥa: to bring joy (as a result of ṭarab)

fāraqa

to abandon (music is ignorance)

fard

single line of poetry

farraqa

to differentiate (between composers)

fasād

intonation problem; corruption and perversion (of morals); fasada: to become corrupted and perverted; fāsid: imperfect (composition); mixing genera

fasīla

palm shoot (metaphor for an offshoot of a great master)

fāṣila

separator between two cycles

fassara

to explain in detail (a singer’s skills)

fataka

to become a hedonist; fatk: foolhardiness

fatana

to enrapture, seduce (as a result of ṭarab)

fataqa al-samʿ

to rip open the ears (a metaphor for a powerful voice)

faṭin

bright

fāẓa

to die (as a result of ṭarab)

fazaʿa

to seek aid (to learn repertoire)

fikar

negative thoughts

fiqh

Islamic jurisprudence

first heavy

see thaqīl awwal

fitna

captivation and civil strife (as a result of ṭarab)

fiṭna

cleverness, brightness

futuwwa

nobleness and generosity

ghaḍab

anger (appeased by singing)

ghalaba

to beat (others’ compositions); ghalaba ʿalā l-ʿaql: to overpower the brain, take control of it (as a result of ṭarab)

ghalaẓa

to have a wide throat to sing lower pitches

ghalla

farm revenues

ghamr

emotional flooding on the heart and drowning it (as a result of ṭarab)

ghannā

to sing; ghannā ʿalā: to set a pre-composed melody to a new text with or without change; to imitate a style; to sing to others’ accompaniment; ghannā ʿalā ghināʾ: to sing with others’ singing; ghannā ʿalā l-surnāy: to sing to oboe accompaniment; ghannā ʿalā l-ṭabl: to sing and accompany oneself on the drum; ghannā ʿalā l-ʿūd: to sing and accompany oneself on the lute; ghannā bi-ḍarb al-ʿūd: to accompany oneself on the lute while singing; ghannā bi-l-ṭunbūr: to accompany oneself on the ṭunbūr while singing; ghannā fī: set a melody to a new text

gharīb

unusual (composition)

gharthān

hungry (sated by music)

ghāṣa

to dive, examine minutely (a composition)

ghashy

unconsciousness (as a result of ṭarab)

(wā-) ghawthāh

call for help (as a result of ṭarab)

ghayy

bad behavior and transgression

ghayyara

to change (a song)

ghazāra wa-kathra

prolific compositions; see also kathrat

ghilẓa

crudeness (of voice)

ghināʾ

singing; song; vocal composition; melody; al-ghināʾ al-mutqan: artistic and refined singing, it is more refined than the rukbān; al-ghināʾ al-qadīm: older song repertoire; al-ghināʾ ʿalā l-ṭunbūr: singing while accompanying oneself on the ṭunbūr; ghināʾ muwaqqaʿ: measured songs

ghinan

wealth (increased by singing)

ghulām

slave boy or mature slave who served as cupbearer, waiter, messenger, male lover

ghulla

burning thirst

ghunna

half nasality, singing an unvoweled n

ghurra

finest (composition)

ghushiya ʿalayhi

fainted (as a result of ṭarab)

hāba

to be afraid, fear, respect (more established musician)

ḥabasa

to imprison; to set (fingers on the frets)

ḥabl

rope (used with a pail as an improvised instrument)

ḥādd

fifth string of the lute; ḥādd al-fiṭna wa-l-fahm: extremely bright and intelligent

ḥaddatha

to talk; to sing

ḥadhafa

to remove, reduce notes in a song

ḥādhiq

skilled (in composition and performance)

ḥadīd

sharp in anger

ḥadīth

the sayings of the Prophet Muḥammad; modern (repertoire); conversation

ḥafiẓa

to take care of (sections and cadences)

ḥāʾik

weaver

ḥāʾil

a feeble voice, languid, gone, decayed, poor and lacking fullness and far from producing ṭarab

ḥajaba

to hide behind a curtain; to veil

ḥajala

to hop (metaphor for a composer being unable to reach the master, or because of ṭarab)

ḥajj

pilgrimage

ḥakā

to relate, transmit a song; to sing; to enact; to compose

ḥakkama

to appoint as an arbitrator (between two composers)

ḥāla

to fade away; element of compositional craft; ḥāla ʿalayhi al-ḥawl: a year after (a song) was composed

ḥalāwa

beauty (of voice, of singing)

ḥallā

to beautify (by setting poem to music)

ḥalq

throat, voice

hāma ladna

soft head

ḥamala

to carry (the older repertoire)

hamm

worries (removed, to be able to compose)

ḥammām muḥammā

heated bath (as a result of ṭarab)

hamza

glottal stop

ḥanīn

longing (as a result of ṭarab)

ḥarab

destruction and death (as a result of ṭarab)

ḥaraj

prohibition or sin

ḥaraka

movement

ḥaraqa

to burn (the heart as a result of ṭarab)

ḥarāra

heat (as a result of ṭarab)

ḥarf

letter of alphabet; musical note; harf al-jabal: edge of the mountain (metaphor for a difficult song to perform)

ḥarīq

burning fire (as a result of ṭarab)

ḥarrā

liver dried up from intense grief

ḥarraḍa

to incite, encourage (to like singing)

ḥarraka

to move; to pluck strings; ḥarraka al-raʾs: to move the head (as a result of ṭarab); ḥarraka shawqan kāna kāminan: to stir hidden desire; see also muḥarrak, muḥarrik, taḥrīk

ḥarrama

to forbid

ḥasā

to sip (a singer because of his nice voice)

ḥasan

beautiful (voice); beautiful (sections and cadences); ḥasan al-bayān: eloquent; ḥasan al-dīn: religious; ḥasan al-ghināʾ: to sing well; ḥasan al-ʿilm: knowledgeable; ḥasan al-lahja: good diction; ḥasan al-talaṭṭuf: to be graceful and sophisticated (in composing); ḥasan al-wajh wa-l-ziyy: beautiful face and clothes

ḥashara

to crowd (as a result of ṭarab)

ḥaṣira

to hold back (in performance because of fear)

ḥassana

to improve, beautify, embellish a vocal composition; to “improve” a song by lightening and reducing its notes; to beautify a poem by setting it to music

ḥaṭṭ

lowering (of the string); ḥaṭṭa: pull down (a fret)

hawā

to fall down (metaphor for a difficult song to perform); passion and inclination

Ḥāwī l-funūn

Encompasser of the arts, a fifth-/eleventh-century Egyptian music treatise and dictionary written by Ibn al-Ṭaḥḥān

hayʾa

appearance

ḥayāʾ

shame, bashfulness, and shyness

hayba

fear (in performance)

ḥayr al-waḥsh

zoological garden in the palace

hayyaʾa

to fix up a song of others by adding and removing notes

ḥayyara

to bewilder; perplex

ḥaẓā

to gain favors

hazaj also known as hazaj thaqīl or thaqīl al-hazaj

heavy hazaj: 6/8 | 𝅘𝅥𝅮 𝅘𝅥𝅮 𝅘𝅥𝅮 𝅘𝅥𝅮 𝅘𝅥𝅮 𝅘𝅥𝅮 |; hazaj khafīf: see khafīf; hazaja: to compose in the hazaj rhythmic mode

ḥazaqa

to tighten (the string)

ḥazīn

sad (voice, throat)

ḥaẓẓ al-ʿajab

share of wonder (in a composition)

hazza al-ḥalq

to vibrate the throat

ḥidhq

skill (in composition, performance)

hijti lī dāʾan qadīman

to excite an old vice (as a result of ṭarab)

ḥikāya

performance, transmission

ḥikma

mastery (of composition)

ḥiṣn

fort (metaphor for a great composition)

ḥiss

sense

hizabr

a lion (a metaphor for a giant of a composer)

ḥudāʾ

a caravan song that consists of a type of singing in the style of recitation (inshād) but with a bit of taṭrīb and repetitions (tarjīʿ) and a raised (rafʿ) voice

ḥulw

sweet, pleasant, and beautiful (voice); beautiful (notes and melodies); ḥulw al-shamāʾil: good nature and character

hunayya

wild, foolish, and immoral entertainment

ḥurma

wife

ḥurqa

burning pain

ḥusn al-ṣawt

beautiful voice

huwaynā

leisurely

ḥuzn

sadness

ʿibāda

adoration

iblīs

devil (transmitter, teacher, composer); see also shayṭān

ibn shahr

(a song that is) one month old

ibtanā ʿalā

to build (a melody based on another one with or without change); see also banā

ibtidāʾ

beginning (of a performance, of a song)

ibtidāʿ

marvel (of a composition)

ibtidhāl

disrespect

iddaʿa

to claim (others composition)

iḍmaḥalla

to fade away (said of Ibrāhīm b. al-Mahdī’s modal system)

idrāj

rhythmic gradation

iḍṭaraba

to move or stir intensely and in a lively way; shaky (bridges); to make a mistake in performance; iḍṭarabat (or) inkasarat al-maḥāmil: the camel-borne litter was disturbed or broke (as a result of ṭarab)

iftaḍaḥa

to bring shame and disgrace oneself

ightarafa

to scoop (musical knowledge from the master’s ocean)

iḥkām

controlled and precise, masterful beginning and end (in performance); masterful (composition)

iḥtadhā

to follow, imitate (a compositional style)

iḥtāla

employ artful means (as a remedy for a poor voice)

iḥtaraqa

to be burned (in competition)

iḥtashama

to be shy; iḥtishām: reticence, shyness, and modesty

ihtazza katifāh

his shoulders shook; ihtazza mankibāh: his shoulders and sides shook; ihtazza ṭaraban: he was moved because of ṭarab

ijāza

a license to relate a story

ijrāʾ

unfolding or succession of notes, melodic movement; performance, execution

ijtahada

to strive (to learn a melody orally, to perform well)

ijtamaʿa

to agree (about composition excellence)

ikhtalaja al-iṣbaʿ

finger shook

ikhtāra

to choose (between two compositions)

ikhtilāf

difference (between two versions of a song)

ikhtilās

a technique used in the light heavy rhythmic modes, it consists of adding attacks between the attacks of the original rhythm. The added attacks give the impression that the light heavy category has been altered to the light one, to remedy this, al-Fārābī says that the added attacks must be performed as weak or soft attacks by stealth (ikhtilāsan) so as to keep the light heavy character

ikrām

respect, honor

īlāʾ

a dance imitating the mountain goat, stag, deer, bull; or camel dance (if īlāʾ is a copyist mistake for ibil)

ilhām

inspiration (in composition)

ilḥāq

combining (of middle and ring fingers frets)

ʿilla

reason; deficiency, weakness (in performance)

ʿilm

knowledge; ʿilm al-tajwīd: the art of reciting and chanting the holy Qurʾān

iltawa al-ʿunq

neck got twisted (as a result of ṭarab)

ʿimād

open mathnā string used as the pillar or support to tune the lute to the sound level of the singer

imāla

phonetic alteration

imām

leader

imlālan

to sing with no change, as if someone was dictating a song

imsāk

slow tempo

imtahana

to humble (the powerful after listening to music)

imtaḥana

to examine

imtalaʾa surūran

to be filled with happiness (as a result of ṭarab); imtalaʾat al-jusūr wa-iḍṭarabat: bridges were packed and become shaky (as a result of ṭarab)

imtazaja

to fuse (a melody into a new poem)

imtuqiʿa

to turn pale (when losing in a competition)

index finger fret ofmathnāstring as tonic in the course of the middle finger fret

see sabbāba fī majrā l-wusṭā

index finger fret ofmathnāstring as tonic in the course of the ring finger fret

see sabbāba fī majrā l-binṣir

infarada

to be unique (in composing in a particular rhythmic mode)

inḥadara

(fingers) go down (the frets)

inhamaka

to abandon oneself wholeheartedly

inkasara

to be broken and defeated

inkhināth

effeminacy (in composition); see also khunth, mukhannath, takhnīth

inqaḍā

to disappear (said of older repertoire)

inqāda inqiyādan ʿajīban

camels driven in amazing ways (and though thirsty, they do not approach the water as a result of ṭarab)

inqaṣafa al-ʿunq

almost breaking neck from violently moving it (as a result of ṭarab)

inqaṭaʿa

(poetry and melody) falling short; inqaṭaʿa al-ṣawt: the singer’s voice was gone; inqaṭaʿat al-ṭuruq: roads became impassable (as a result of ṭarab)

ins

humans

inshād

recitation

inshaqqa ghayẓan

to burst with rage

intaḥaba

to wail loudly (as a result of ṭarab)

intaḥala

see naḥala

intamā

to be affiliated

intaṣafa min

to be equal (to another composer)

intuqiʿa al-lawn

the color changed (when losing in a competition)

īqāʿ

musical bar; meter; rhythmic mode; rhythm; tempo; dynamics; timbre

iqtaḥama

to dive (into the path of older prominent composers)

iqtarana

to be connected

iʿrāb

grammatical inflections

irbadda

to become ashen (when losing in a competition)

irtajja

(the majlis) shook (as a result of ṭarab)

irtakaḍa

to urge (the hobbyhorse) in the race

irtasama

(melody) to take shape

irtijālan

a cappella singing; singing without accompanying oneself, but to the accompaniment of another instrumentalist; singing and accompanying oneself on a percussion instrument

irtiyāḥ

calm, peace, satisfaction, and delight (from a singer’s voice)

iṣbaʿ

tonic; course; finger

ishāra

facial expression and gestures (of palms, hands, fingers, eyes, eyebrows, edge or side of face, head, shoulders, sides of body); ishāra bi-yadih: hand motion

ʿishra

intimate association

ishtadda

to treat harshly

ishtahā

to desire (listening ot singing)

ishtahara

to become well known

ishtaqqa

to derive (compositions from other compositions)

ishtaraka

to collaborate (in a composition); share middle together with ring fingers frets

isjāḥ

low note, lower octave

isjāḥ al-isjāḥ

lower double octave

iṣlāḥ

tuning (the lute)

istaʿāda

to repeat (as part of the learning process)

istaʿāna

to seek help (of singing to adore God)

istadāra

to turn around (as a result of ṭarab)

istafazza

to stir people up (as a result of ṭarab)

istaḥsana

to like, approve (a singer’s performance)

istaʿjama

to become speechless out of fear (of being caught listening to music)

istakhaffahu al-samāʿ

transported with joy from listening to singing; istakhaffahu al-surūr: transported with happiness; istakhaffahu al-ṭarab: transported with joy because of ṭarab

istakhraja

to deduce (theory); istikhrāj: extracting (a melody)

istalhā

to be distracted (as a result of ṭarab)

istamaʿa

to listen closely and intently (to learn a song)

istanada

to hold onto (a seat as a result of ṭarab)

istanbaṭa

to experiment and discover (lute techniques)

istankara

to disapprove (of singing)

istaqā

to drink (musical knowledge from the master’s ocean)

istaqāma

to straighten out (a composed song); to tune (strings) properly

istaqbaḥa

to find dislikable or unappealing (in foreign music)

istarsala

the composer does not alter the song because he is at ease, acts naturally, and is free from restraint or affectation

istaṣwaba

to approve

istawā

to tune (the string); to straighten out (a composed song); istawā jālisan: to sit up; istawat al-ajzāʾ: the poetic divisions fitted properly with the musical ones (as part of the process of composition)

istawfā

to end (the performance of a song)

istawqafa

to stop (people as a result of ṭarab)

istihlāl

an unmeasured speechlike vocal prelude that consists of a word, or less than a hemistich

istirāḥa

repose (said of a note ending on an unvoweled h)

istuṭīra

to cause to fly (as a result of ṭarab)

iʿtadda

to esteem (a composition)

iʿtamada

to rely (on good transmitters)

iʿtanaqa

to hug (as a result of ṭarab)

ʿiṭf

side

ithm

sin, wine consumption, gambling, or any bad behavior

iʿtimād

note of support; plain and stable note

(bi-) iṭlāq al-watar

see muṭlaq

itqān

perfection (of composition)

iṭrāb

causing ṭarab

iṭṭaraḍa

to continue (in the process of change)

iṭṭaraḥa

to throw and lose oneself (as a result of ṭarab)

ittasaʿa al-makhraj

to widen the throat to produce lower pitches

ittisāʿ

expansiveness (of first heavy)

īwān

a recess-like sitting room with a raised floor, usually opening onto the main room or courtyard through an arcade

iyyāk

beware

iyyal

see īlāʾ

izdaḥama

to crowd (as a result of ṭarab)

iẓhār

making known (a poem, by setting it to music)

jaʿala li

to set a melody to a new poem; jaʿala maʿa: to mix lines of various poets

jabal

mountain (metaphor for a great singer, difficult song)

jabbār

powerful one (subdued by music)

jabha

forehead

(dhū) jadan

endowed with a beautiful voice

jadwal

a creek (a metaphor for less excellent)

jafā

to shun someone

jafāʾ

roughness (of voice)

jāff

coarse cloth (metaphor for poor performance)

jāhil

ignorant

jahīr

a loud, thick, and clear voice that penetrates and remains in the ears

jāʾiʿ

hungry (sated by singing)

jālasa

to keep company

jalīl

lofty (composer, composition)

jālis

sitting; jalīs: see nadīm

jamʿ

a complete collection of one composer; jamaʿa: to gather (eight or ten notes in a song); to compile a song collection; jamīʿ and jāmiʿ: complete collection of one composer or more

jamīl

handsome; beautiful (composition)

jānasa

in unison; at lower or higher octave

jandara

to restore (a composition)

jank

see ṣanj

jarā

to follow (the master); jarā fī l-masāmiʿ: to ring in the ears

jaras

bell (a conical instrument with a stick inside it that produces a sound when struck)

jāriya

a slave girl, either a servant or a singing girl; a young or a free infant girl; jāriya min jawārī l-qiyān: singing slave girl; see also juwayriyya

jasad

body

jassa

to touch, pluck and test (the tuning of the lute, or to find the proper tonality)

jathā ʿalā rukbatayh

to fall on his knees (to compete in singing)

jawāb

answer; jāwaba: chorus answering singer; (walls, doors and house) answering (singer and singing with him as a result of ṭarab)

jawda

excellence; jawdat al-raʾyy: sound judgment; nihāya min al-jawda: most excellent (composition)

jawhar

essence (of the song)

jawwada

to improve (the performance of a song)

jawwaza

to approve (of change)

jayyid

good (composition)

jawz

walnut (metaphor for poor composition)

jidd

serious

jiha

way (of singing older repertoire)

jilf

boorish

jinn

genie (metaphor for a good voice, composer)

jins

rhythmic or melodic mode; genre of vocal composition; topic of singing; see also ajnās murattaba

jirm

body and throat; a powerful voice, a voice with a full and complete body and a full bass sound

jubba

long outer garment, open in front, with wide sleeves

juʿila ʿalā

(a melody taken) and set into (another poem)

juljul

a jingle bell (a small bell, consisting of a hollow ball of copper or brass or other metal, perforated, and containing a loose solid ball)

juwayriyya

a young slave girl; juwayriyya ḥurra: a free young girl; see also jāriya

juzʾ and ajzāʾ

see tajziʾa; al-juzʾ al-mudhannab: tailing portion (due to prolongation of musical measure)

kabar

a one membrane drum, see also ṭabl and kūba

kabīr

great (composition)

kāda

to play a trick, to deceive

kadda

to work hard (at teaching a song)

kafara

to become an infidel

kalām

talk; discourse

kalīl

weak and tired (voice)

kāmil

perfect (composition)

kankala

an Indian instrument made of one string stretched on a gourd-shaped box and plucked

Kanz al-tuḥaf

‘The treasure of rarities,’ an anonymous eighth-/fourteenth-century Persian treatise

karāha

hate, disgust; kariha al-samāʿ: to hate listening to music and singing

karrara

to repeat (as part of the process of composition)

kasā

to clothe (metaphor for setting a textless melody to a poem)

Kashf al-humūm

‘The unveiling of grief,’ an anonymous eighth-/fourteenth-century Egyptian treatise

kaslān

lazy (that is enlivened by singing)

kataba bi-ṣawt

to transcribe a song

kathīr al-ʿamal

composition with abundant craftsmanship

kathīr al-riwāya

a performer with a large repertoire

kathīr al-ṣināʿa

a composer with a large output

kathrat al-nagham

much ornamentation and creative change (in performance); profusion of notes (in composition); see also ghazāra

kātib

writer, secretary (a metaphor for a good performer)

kayyis

skillful

khabar

a related story

khafaḍa ṣawtahu

a lowered voice to sing low-pitched notes

khaffa ʿalā l-lisān

to sing effortlessly

khaffafa

to lighten and reduce notes in a song

khāfiḍ

low, soft, gentle, and calm (voice)

khafīf

light-hearted person, amiable, and charming; light meter, also known as khafīf al-hazaj or hazaj khafīf: light hazaj: a faster hazaj: 6/8 | 𝅘𝅥𝅮 𝅘𝅥𝅮 𝅘𝅥𝅮 𝅘𝅥𝅮 𝅘𝅥𝅮 𝅘𝅥𝅮 |; see also hazaj

khafīf al-hazaj

see khafīf

khafīf al-ramal

also known as ramal khafīf: light ramal: 3/4 | 𝅘𝅥 𝅗𝅥 |

khafīf al-thaqīl al-awwal

first light heavy: 4/4 | 𝅘𝅥 𝅘𝅥 𝅗𝅥 |

khafīf al-thaqīl al-thānī

second light heavy: 5/4 | 𝅘𝅥 𝅗𝅥 𝅗𝅥 |

khafq

beating (strings)

khajila

to feel embarrassed (because of music involvement)

khāla

to imagine (organs and clothes answering songs as a result of ṭarab); see also khuyyila

khalaʿa ʿalā

to extract a melody and set it into a new text; bestow a present upon a person

khalaṭa

to mix up and make mistakes (in performance); to mix lines of various poets

khālaṭa and khāmara al-qalb

to spread into the heart and mingle with it and affect it and take it over; khālaṭa al-rūḥ: to spread into the soul and mingle with it and affect it and take it over (as a result of ṭarab)

khallaṭa

to mix up the lute strings and put them out of tune

khalq

physical constitution

khāmil al-dhikr

unknown (composer)

kharaja

to excel (in performance); kharaja ʿan al-ṭabaqa: to be out of tune; kharaja ʿan ṣūratih: to leave (one’s) regular state (as a result of ṭarab); kharaja min al-īqāʿ: to get off rhythm; kharaja min jildihi: to come out of own skin (as a result of ṭarab); kharajat al-nafs: the soul ascended (as a result of ṭarab); (mā) kharaja ʿan laḥnihi: to not miss a note

kharama

to miss a note or notes

kharaqa

to pierce and tear (ceiling as a result of ṭarab)

khārij

foreign (notes)

kharīṭa

a receptacle of leather or cloth with edges to tie the cloth together

kharra al-damm min al-anf

to bleed from the nose; kharra maghshiyyan ʿalayh: to fall down and faint; kharra ṣarīʿan: to fall down affected with diabolic possession and madness (as a result of ṭarab)

kharraja

to educate, teach, graduate; produce, compose; produce a song based on another one; expound and elucidate and interpret and make known and embellish and improve

khashaba

a stick of wood to beat the rhythm during composition

khaṭaʾ

incorrectness (performance)

khaṭaba

to deliver an oration

khatala

to use guile (to circumvent difficult vocal passages)

khaṭara

to walk with a swinging gait

khāthir

languid (and become enlivened by singing)

khāyara

to compete, retaliate

khayr

good deed

khiffat al-ghināʾ

lightness of composed songs; composing in light meters only

khinṣir

little finger; khinṣir fī majrā l-binṣir: little finger fret of mathnā string as tonic in the course of the ring finger fret: Bb C D Eb; khinṣir fī majrā l-wusṭā: little finger fret of mathnā string as tonic in the course of the middle finger fret: Bb C Db (or half flat) Eb

khirrīj

student

khiṭām

halter (of a camel, a metaphor for one’s inability to reach a master)

khizāna

storage room (for musical instruments in the palace)

khulq, khuluq

character, natural disposition; sayyiʾ al-khuluq: ill-natured

khunth

softness (of composition); see also inkhināth, mukhannath and takhnīth

khushna

roughness, crudeness

khuyyila

to imagine (the earth moving as a result of ṭarab); see also khāla

kīda

to be deceived

kitāb

book (songs collection)

kūba

a double membrane laced drum, shaped like an hourglass; see also kabar and ṭabl

kulfa

trouble (in learning a new song orally)

kurraj

hobbyhorse (used in dancing)

laʿaba

to play (with the notes as part of the process of composition); to play with a song and alter it

labbayka

Here we are! At your service!

ladhdha

pleasure

lafẓ

speech; vocal notes and singing

lahā

to entertain oneself

lahaja

to abandon oneself wholeheartedly

laḥaqa

to reach, catch up, follow (composer, performer)

laḥḥana

to compose

lahja

diction

laḥn

melody; laḥn adhdhana bihi: a melody calling people to prayer

lahw

fun, entertainment

laʿib, liʿb

play

lāka

to chew (a melody)

lāma

to reproach, blame

laqina

to understand and grasp (a composition); absorb

laqis

to be unhappy (and enlivened by singing)

laṭama

to slap one’s face (as a result of ṭarab)

layya

to bend, fold, twist, be tortuous, sinuous, turn, and curve. It may be related to ʿaṭfa, but more likely it may mean a circular melodic movement: e.g., C D C B C; or a melodic segment that does not end where it began: e.g., C D E D

lazima

to persevere, cling (to learn), attend

lazzaza

to combine (the teaching of more than one teacher)

lighthazaj

see khafīf

lightramal

see khafīf al-ramal

līn

low frequency; soft (composition); suppleness (of dancer’s fingers)

little finger fret ofmathnāstring as tonic in the course of the middle finger fret

see khinṣir fī majrā l-wusṭā

little finger fret ofmathnāstring as tonic in the course of the ring finger fret

see khinṣir fī majrā l-binṣir

lukaʿ

a very derogatory attribute: mean, base, ignominious, disgraceful, wicked, depraved, silly, foolish, stingy, hypocritical, cunning, at the lowest social echelon, having little knowledge, being a petty person, filthy, and filthy foreskin and prepuce with stinky smegma

luṭf

grace (in performance)

māʾ al-ḥayāt

water of life (a metaphor for great singing)

maʿād

hereafter

maʿāsh

livelihood

mabdaʾ

vocal or instrumental prelude; beginning of a song

mabhūt

bewildered (as a result of ṭarab)

māda

(to imagine the earth) moving, shaking, and swinging (as a result of ṭarab)

madd

pulling (of the string); prolongation of voice; madda al-ṣawt wa-rajjaʿahu: singing with a chest full of air and a powerful voice, prolonged, with tarjīʿ. The latter includes repetitions and voice prolongation and embellishments. It also applies to Qurʾānic recitation. Al-Fārābī called it mamdūda and qārra, and it is the opposite of shaken (mahzūza); maddat al-ibilu aʿnāqahā: the camels stretched their necks (as a result of ṭarab)

madḥ

praise

madhhab

classification system of rhythmic and melodic modes; a modal system; a compositional style; a performance style; belief and practice; principle

madīna

city (a metaphor for a great composition)

maʿdūd fī l-durrāb

among the few outstanding lutenist

mafḍūḥ

to be shamed (when defeated in composition)

maflūl

to be broken (when defeated in composition)

maḥajja

the middle or main part of the road (metaphor for a difficult song to perform)

mahara

to be skilled (in composition)

maḥdhūf

dropped, removed (notes)

mahmūm

a distressed (person who cannot sing difficult songs)

maḥthūth

fast

maḥẓūẓ

lucky (poem that was set to music by many composers); see also marzūq

majlis

(plur. majālis) an assembly of people listening and discussing music

majmūʿ

a complete collection of one composer

majrā

a course (of middle or ring finger fret)

(fī l-) makān

(composing) at once

makhraj

exit (of a voice); range (of voice); composed from head or from heart; makhārij al-nagham: frets; see also ittasaʿa al-makhraj

mākhūrī

second light heavy

makrūh

loathsome

māla

to deviate and tilt (a metaphor for a difficult song to perfom); māla ilā: to like and favor

malaʾa

to fill (the notes with sufficient breath)

malāhī

instruments; entertainment; aṣhāb al-malāhī: singers and instrumentalists

(mā) malaka al-nafs

could not control oneself (as a result of ṭarab)

malīḥ

nice (voice, melody); jolly and pleasant person

malla

to become bored

malsūʿ

the burned and stung (voice of Isḥāq)

maluḥa

to show beauty (in composition)

mamlūk

slave

maʿnā

meaning

manḥūl ilā

attributed to

mankhar

nostril, nose

mankib

shoulder and side

manṣūrī

strong paper glued to the back ribs of a lute to hold them

manṭiq

speech, eloquence, and logic

manzila

position; arfaʿ manzila: a loftier and more subtle level

maqbūl

likeable; maqbūl al-shahāda: a person whose testimony was accepted

maqrūr

a chilled person (warmed by ṭarab)

maqṣūra

a stall in the mosque near the miḥrāb reserved for the ruler. The miḥrāb is a recess to indicate the direction of prayer

maqṭaʿ

cadence; end of section; end of melody

mārasa

to practice as a profession

(ghayr) marḍī

unacceptable (composition)

mardūd

returned

marīḍ

sick (cured by singing)

maʿrifa

knowledge

(al-) martaʿ al-wakhīm

a hotbed of vice and evil

martaba

rank

marthiya

lamentation

marzūq

lucky (a poem that was set to music by many composers; see also maḥẓūẓ)

masaka

to listen and check a person’s singing

maslak

path (of melodies during composition, performance)

(aḥlā l-nās) masmūʿan

most beautiful voice; laysa tayyib al-masmūʿ: not good to listen to

massa

to touch (and play the lute)

māta

to die; māta faraḥan wa-surūran: almost dying of joy and happiness (as a result of ṭarab)

matāna

firmness and strength (in composition)

maṭbūʿ

see ṭabʿ

mathlath

the second lowest string of the lute

mathnā

the third lowest string of the lute

maththala

to picture (ṭarab between one’s eyes)

maṭmaṭa

to sing or chant melismatically

matta

to connect, associate; matta ilā ahl al-khayr: to connect to good people (in negative, it means a dishonorable profession)

maṭṭaṭa

to stretch and expand (a song)

maʿtūh

insane

(ṣiḥḥat) mawadda

true friendship

mawḍiʿ

(proper) position (of frets); position (of tonality on a string); see also nagham

mawlā

master; freed slave; client (an Arab from a weak tribe seeking the protection of a stronger tribe; a non-Arab seeking the protection of a stronger person)

maydān

field (of knowledge and style)

mays

a large tree, its wood was used to make camel saddles as well as lutes

mayyit

dead (as a result of ṭarab)

mazaja

to blend and fuse (the music of various nationalities); māzaja al-laḥm wa-l-damm: to blend (harmoniously) the skin and the blood (as a result of ṭarab)

Mazāmīr Dāwūd

pipes of David, a metaphor for a beautiful voice; the Psalms of David

mazj

fusion (of music of different nationalities)

medium-sized first heavy

see qadr

midādī

coarse cloth (a metaphor for poor performance)

middle finger fret ofmathnāstring as tonic in the course of the middle finger fret

see wusṭā fī majrāhā

miḍrāb

pick

miḥakka

currycomb (as an improvised instrument for timekeeping)

mikhadda

pillow (as an improvised instrument for timekeeping)

mikyāl

standard of measurements for rhythms and durations

milwan

a peg

minhāj

a way, method (of a master)

minkhār aghann

sound from the nose with much ghunna

miqlā

frying pan (as a result of ṭarab, a person feels burned, as if thrown into the frying pan)

miqraʿa

a wooden stick (to tap the rhythm or use as a crop)

mithl

likeness (of composer, song)

miʿzā

goat

miʿzafa

lyre

mizhar

lute

mizmār

a soft or loud oboe

muʿaddal al-fuṣūl

harmonious and symmetrical poetic sections; muʿaddal al-shahāda and muʿaddal maqbūl al-shahāda: a righteous person whose testimony is accepted

muʾaddin

performer

muʿarbid

quarrelsome person

muʿāyin

spectator (who watches a performance)

mubarriz

superior (in performance)

mudabbara

a slave girl who is freed after the death of her master and cannot be given away or sold

muḍādda

mutual exclusivity of the notes of the middle and ring finger frets

muḍʿaf

rich (composition)

mudārāt

vocal tricks (to circumvent a poor voice)

mudbir

walking back (while singing)

mudhākara

learning, study

muḍḥik

making people laugh

mufakkir

thinking

mufawwah

eloquent

mughayyar

altered (song)

muḥādatha

conversation

muḥallin

one who embellishes the music of other people by adding and removing notes

muḥarrik and muḥarrak

moving (melody); see also naqarāt muḥarrika and ḥarraka

muḥdath

modern (repertoire)

muḥkam al-bināʾ

masterful construction (of a composition)

muḥsin

excellent (composer)

mujālasa

sitting and keeping company

mujarrad

abridged song collection

muʿjiza

miracle (of composition)

mujmalan

in a general way (opinion about a singer)

mujmil

an all-around person (as singer, instrumentalist, composer)

mujūn

hedonism

mukhaddash

scratched (throat)

mukhannath

effeminate man; see also inkhināth, khunth, takhnīth

mukhtalaṭ

mixed (rhythms)

mukhtalif

out of tune strings and frets

mukhtalis

see ikhtilās

mukhtār

chosen, choicest (song)

muktasib

professional

mulāzama

companionship

mulhin

entertaining and diverting (composition)

multawiyan

distorting (a version of a song to prevent it being learned)

muʿmal

in tune

mumsak

restrained (singing with no ornaments)

munāfara

discord (between the sound of the voice and that of the lute)

munqaṭiʿ

a ceased (voice), one that is gone

muqaddam

forefront (of a composer’s songs)

muqannaʿ

veiled

muqayyin

a slave owner

muqbil

coming forward (while singing)

murabbaʿ

a square tambourine; see also daffāfa and duff

murājaʿa

revision (a section of a song revised by being sung again and again, improving it. It is a kind of musical gloss, interpretation, and rhetoric)

mursal

plain, calm, without melodic jumps

murtaʿish

trembling (voice)

murtajilan

see irtijāl

murtaqā

ascent; ṣaʿb al-murtaqā: difficult to climb (a metaphor for a difficult song to perform)

murūʾa

the ideal of manhood, all knightly virtues, especially manliness, valor, chivalry, generosity, and honor

musaddid

the one who executes well the teaching of his master

musājala

competition

muṣallin

the one who follows, the one in second place (in composition, performance)

musalsal

unison tremolo plucking

muṣannaf

a song collection (often made for an individual)

musarraj

composing in the style of Ibn Surayj

mushāhada

watching (a performance)

mushākala

likeness (of composition to people’s souls)

mushākil

harmony (between the description of the process of composing and the composition itself)

mushawwah al-ḥalq

ugly and damaged throat

mushbaʿ al-mafāṣil

end of measures or melodic sections filled nicely with ornaments

mushtabih al-maqāṭiʿ

similar and harmonious musical sections and cadences

muṣība

misfortune

musjaḥ

a song containing low pitch notes; see also isjāḥ

mustahtir

reckless and uninhibited

mustaqīm

correct (performance); laysa bi-mustaqīm: incorrect

mustaṭāb

agreeable, liked (performance); laysa bi-mustaṭāb: not deemed agreeable, not liked

mustawfā

bringing to full value, a finish (to a composition)

mustawfizz

erect and alert (to be able to sing a difficult song)

mustawḥash

lonely (cured by singing)

mustawiyan

straight, perfectly (learning and performing); watar ghayr mustawin: a string out of tune

mutaʿadhdhir

impossible (vocal range)

mutaʾakhkhir

modern (repertoire); later and contemporary (composers)

mutadākhil

interlocked (rhythms)

mutafarriq

dispersed and not in succession (notes and musical qualities)

mutakallim

well-spoken

mutakhallif

immature (poetry)

mutaladhdhidh

amateur

mutalaththim

veiled

mutanāziʿ

of conflicting (authorship)

mutaqaddim

top of the line, leading, foremost, well-advanced (singer, composer); old (repertoire)

mutasattir

(listening in) secret

mutasāwī l-ajzāʾ

sound poetic divisions

mutawālin

succession (of notes in a kind of chromatic progression)

mutawāṣif

described (majlis)

mutawassiṭ

medium quality, average (composition)

muthamman

prized (slave girls)

muṭlaq (or bi-iṭlāq al-watar) fī majrā l-binṣir

open mathnā string as tonic in the course of the ring finger fret: F G A Bb

muṭlaq (or bi-iṭlāq al-watar) fī majrā l-wusṭā

open mathnā string as tonic in the course of the middle finger fret: F G Ab (or half flat) Bb

mutqan

artistic and refined, well-crafted, perfect (composition); al-mutqan al-ṣanʿa: perfected compositional craft; see also al-ghināʾ al-mutqan

muṭraq

speechless (after losing a competition)

muṭrib

an excellent singer who causes ṭarab; that which causes ṭarab

muttafiqūn fī l-aṣwāt wa-l-alḥān

singing in unison with the same voice type and singing style

muttakiʾ

leaning on one’s back or side

muṭṭaraḥ

discarded (song)

muttaṣil

the act of connecting the lines of a poem to lines from another poem

muwallad

half caste; jāriya muwallada: a half caste raised in an Arab family, or born in a country where a person has only his father and mother

muwāqafa

standing and conversing

muwaqqaʿ

measured music

muʿẓam al-ghināʾ

the main body of the song

naʿara

to shout, scream (as a result of ṭarab)

Nabateans

inhabitants of Iraq, neither shepherds nor soldiers; the term was applied contemptuously to Aramaic-speaking peasants

nabra

a short note sung with a soft hamza (glottal stop), its duration should not exceed a 3/8; raising of the voice

nādā fī

to yell at, expose, and shame

naḍaḥa

(eyes) watered (as a result of ṭarab)

nadī

moist and humid (voice)

nadīm

boon companion

nādir

priceless, rare (performer, composition); unique, excellent (composition); nādira: an amusing, funny story, joke; aṭyab nādiratan: most jolly, pleasant, and funny; malīḥ al-nādira: a person who tells amusing stories

nafakha

to blow into a wind instrument

nafara

to disperse (notes, output, musical qualities; animals dispersing after music stopped)

nafs

soul; askhā l-nafs: a most generous soul

nagham

notes; melodic modes; melodies; theory; singing; composition; sound; mawḍiʿ al-naghamāt: location of notes on the frets; see also mawḍiʿ; ṣiḥḥat al-nagham: perfect unison and proper intonation

nāḥa

to lament

naḥa naḥw

to imitate (a compositional style)

naḥala

to attribute a song to oneself, or set its melody to a different poem and attribute it to oneself

naḥata min ṣakhr

to carve out of a rock (a metaphor for a sound composition)

naḥīb

loud wailing (as a result of ṭarab)

nahila

to drink

nāʾiḥa

a female mourner

naʿima

to please

naʿīr

shouting (as a result of ṭarab)

nakata

to beat the ground (tapping the rhythm)

nakhara

to snort (as a result of ṭarab)

nakhkhās

a slave owner and seller

naʿl

a shoe (improvised instrument to tap the rhythm)

naml

ants (crawling in body as a result of ṭarab)

naqāʾ

purity (of voice)

naqala

to copy and transfer a composition to another poem with or without musical change; transmit repertoire; switch to another instrument

naqara

to tap or beat the rhythmic mode; naqara bi-l-duff: to beat the tambourine; naqara fī ṣakhra: engrave in a rock (metaphor for a sound composition); naqarāt al-iʿtimād: attacks of support—a technical term coined by al-Fārābī to refer to attacks added at the end of a section or a piece; naqarāt al-majāz: attacks of passage—a technical term coined by al-Fārābī to refer to attacks added between rhythmic cycles; naqarāt muḥarrika: moving and emotive attacks (on the lute)

naqaṣa min naghamih

to reduce some of its notes, subtract, remove; naqaṣa nuqṣānan bayyinan: to clearly fall short of perfection (in performance)

naqb

excavating, digging out, drawing out, stealing (a melody)

naqr

plucking a string instrument; playing a percussion instrument; naqr al-ṭast: a powerful ringing voice akin to the sound of a washbasin being struck

naqṣ

defect (in composition); shortage (in drum playing)

nāqūs

a long piece of wood struck with a shorter one called wabīl and used by Christians to announce the prayer times

nasā nafsah

to forget oneself (as a result of ṭarab)

nasaba

to attribute (a composition rightly or wrongly to a person)

naṣaḥa

to advise, assist, work hard at teaching

naṣb

a type of singing that follows the style of recitation (inshād), but with a bit of taṭrīb and a bit of repetitions (tarjīʿ) and the raising (rafʿ) of the voice; a more refined ḥudāʾ; singing of the riders (rukbān)

nashaja

to sob intensely (as a result of ṭarab)

nashīd

an unmeasured speechlike vocal prelude that consists of one or more hemistich, a verse, two verses or more

nashiṭa

to become enlivened (as a result of singing)

nasīj

(harmonious) texture (that includes good composition, poetry, and voice)

nāsik

pious man; nask: piety

naṭaḥa

to butt (the edge of mountain, a metaphor for a difficult song)

naṭaqa

(mountain, tree, and valley) singing (as a result of ṭarab)

nawḥ

lamentation

nāy

soft oboe; nāy zunāmī (or zulāmī): a nāy invented by Zunām, its nature is unknown

nāzaʿa

to challenge (someone’s composition)

nazala min al-sarīr

to descend from the throne (as a result of ṭarab)

naẓama

to compose measured music

nāẓara

to debate

naẓīf al-thiyāb

clean clothes

nazr

limited (compositional output)

nazzala tanzīlan

to descend (from high to low notes)

nihāya

best, utmost, supreme (in composition excellence)

niʿma

kindness

nisba

authorship

niṣf al-ṣawt

half a voice; see also qāma bi-niṣf

nubirat

sung with hāʾ

nubuww

disharmony (between the sound of the voice and that of the lute)

nunnation

post-positions un, an, and in

nuqṣān

loss (in the ability of the voice)

nushira

resurrected

nuʿūma

softness (of lute sound)

octoechos

see usṭūkhūsiyya

openmathnāstring as tonic in the course of the middle finger fret

see muṭlaq fī majrā l-wusṭā

openmathnāstring as tonic in the course of the ring finger fret

see muṭlaq fī majrā l-binṣir

qābala

to collate (song collections)

qabbaḥa

to disgrace

qabbala al-thawb

kissing garment (as a result of ṭarab)

qabīḥ

ugly and disgraceful; ugly (composition)

qadam

foot

qaddama

to prefer, put or set ahead (composition, performance)

qaḍīb

a wand to tap the rhythmic mode; qaḍīb al-diflā: oleander twig (sometimes used as a pick for the lute)

qadīm

old and previous (master, repertoire)

qādir

able (composer, performer)

qadr

worth (of the world); time measurement; al-qadr al-awsaṭ min al-thaqīl al-awwal: medium-sized first heavy: a rhythmic mode whose tempo is between the first heavy and the first light heavy

qafā l-athar

to follow a singer while accompanying him on a melody instrument

qāfiya

rhyme

qahara

to conquer (a difficult song)

qaḥba

(pl. qiḥāb) prostitute

qahqaha

to sing in a laughing manner

qāla

sing (lit., say)

qalaba

to turn over (pre-composed melodies into a new poem with possible musical change)

qalb

heart

qalīl al-ṣanʿa

(composer with) limited output

qalīlat al-ashbāh

unique in (compositional) style

qāma

to stand up to (others’ compositions); qāma ʿalā rijlayh: to stand up (from ṭarab); qāma bi-niṣf: to achieve half of what another composer achieved

qanāʿa

contentment (as a result of singing)

qaraʾa

to read; to recite or chant the holy Qurʾān; to sing

qaraʿa

to beat the rhythmic mode

qāraba

to come close (to another composer’s level)

qarasṭūn

a Greek balance with a long arm and weight at its end

qarbūs

a saddlebow occasionally used to tap the rhythm with a crop

qarraẓa

to praise (performance, composition)

qaruba

to approach (the singer as a result of ṭarab)

qāsa

to compare (amateur to professional)

qaṣaba

string

qaṣf

revelry

qassama

to divide a melody into sections

qaṣṣara

to fall short (in performing, composing)

qaṭʿ

end (of a performance)

qaṭaʿa

to cut off, stop (a performance); to stop (composing music); qaṭaʿa aṣḥāb al-nāyāt: to overwhelm the nāy players with his powerful voice

qaṭala ṭaraban

to kill because of its ṭarab (said of Byzantine organ)

qawī

strong (composition); loud (voice)

qawwama

(to ask a colleague) to evaluate (a newly composed song); qawwama al-awad: to correct mistakes (in performance)

qayna

singing slave girl

qiḥf

cranium

qilāda

exquisite (composition)

qillat thabāt

lack of stability (performance, transmission)

qīma

value (of compositions)

qisma

musical division, meaning a sub-section of a melody to be set against a poetic foot

quṭiʿa

to be cut off

quwwa

power (in the mind, from singing)

raʿada

to tremble (when losing in a competition)

radda

to repeat; the setting of the last portion of the melody to the first line of the poem, or part thereof; radda ʿalā: to answer in singing (chorus to solo)

raddada

to repeat (as part of process of composing, learning)

radīʾ

bad (composition)

rafaʿa

to raise; rafaʿa al-ṭabaqa: to raise the tonality; rafaʿa nafsah: to deem oneself above; rafaʿa ṣawtahu and rafʿ: to raise the volume of the voice (and cause ṭarab); to sing high-pitched notes; rafaʿa yadayh: to raise hands (because of ṭarab)

rafaḍa al-ākhira

to reject the hereafter

rahbānī

monastic

raḥl

saddle (occasionally a rhythmic mode is tapped on it)

rajaz

a meter in Arabic poetry with the following paradigm: mustafʿilun (6 times), it is used in the ḥudāʾ

rajjaʿa

to sing with tarjīʿ

rakaba baʿḍuhum baʿḍan

people pile up on each other (as a result of ṭarab)

ramā

to throw (the tambourine) up in the air; ramā bi-nafsih fī l-Furāt: threw himself in the Euphrates (as a result of ṭarab)

ramal

also known as al-ramal al-thaqīl or thaqīl al-ramal: 3/2 | 𝅗𝅥 𝅘𝅥 𝅗𝅥𝅭 |. In Umayyad times it was a light meter, in ʿAbbāsid times it was a heavy one; light ramal and ramal khafīf: see khafīf al-ramal

ranna

resounding note (voice); resounding sound (of lute)

raqaṣa

to dance; raqaṣa ṭaraban: to dance as a result of ṭarab

raqīq

tender (voice, composition); slave; raqqaqa: to make tender, refine (composition); riqqa: tenderness (of voice, composition)

raqqāṣ

dancer; raqqaṣa: to make dance; raqṣ: dance

raʾs

head; refers to intellectual or mental composition as opposed to one stemming from talent and heart; raʾs bi-raʾs: head to head (meaning no change to a song)

rasakha fī qalbih

(the composition) was clearly established in his mind; rāsikh fī l-ṣadr: anchored in the chest, that is, learning a song correctly

rasm

skeleton of a melody; compositional style; rasama: to delineate, compose, and perform; to put down in writing about theory

rattala

to sing; see also tartīl

rawā

to sing; teach; narrate; rāwī: narrator, singer; riwāya: performance, transmission, repertoire

rawī

rhyme

rawwaḥa

to revive (heart)

(jawdat or ḥasan al-) raʾy

sound judgment

riḍan

acceptance (of poor to their status as a result of singing)

rifq

gentleness

rijl

foot

ring finger fret ofmathnāstring as tonic in the course of the ring finger fret

see binṣir fī majrāhā

risāla

epistle (song collection)

riyāsa

leadership (composition, performance)

rūḥ

soul; khafīf al-rūḥ: amiable and charming; khālaṭa l-rūḥ: to spread into the soul and mingle with it (as a result of ṭarab)

rukbān

a more refined ḥudāʾ

ruqyat al-zinā

see zinā

ruṭūba

humidity (of voice)

saʿā

to fall (on one’s face as a result of ṭarab)

(al-) sāʿa

now; ibn sāʿa: an immediate composition; min sāʿatihi: improvisation

ṣaʿada

(fingers) go up (the frets)

ṣaʿb

difficult (performance)

ṣabā

easterly wind, often commended by poets as a gentle and pleasant gale, like the zephyr

sabab

the equivalent of 2/8 in language

sabaqa

to surpass, reach (level of composition)

ṣabba

to pour (sound into the ears)

sabbāba

index finger; sabbāba fī majrā l-binṣir: index finger fret of mathnā string as tonic in the course of the ring finger fret: G A Bb C; sabbāba fī majrā l-wusṭā: index finger fret of mathnā string as tonic in the course of the middle finger fret: G Ab (of half flat) Bb C

sabbaḥa

praise (the Lord)

sābiq

the one who precedes (in composition, performance)

sādhij

plain and artless (composition)

ṣadr

first hemistich; chest; heart (refers to composition inspired by talent and heart as opposed to intellectual or mental composition from the head); forefront, highest position (among songs); beginning (of a concert)

ṣafāʾ

clarity, serenity, purity (of voice)

saffaha al-ḥalīm

to cause gentle people to become shameless (because of singing); safīh: shameless person

ṣaffaqa

to clap; ṣaffāqatan: castanets or finger cymbals

sāgha

(path of composition) to become easy; to create a human being

ṣāgha al-ghināʾ

to compose a song

ṣāḥa

to shout, scream, sing loudly; sing high notes, notes in a high register

sahar

insomnia

ṣaḥḥa fīh

(a melody) was successful (in a poem); ṣaḥḥa lahu: learned and sang correctly; (a composed song) turned out perfectly; ṣaḥḥaḥa: to correct (mistakes in performance)

ṣaḥīfa

loose page (with song texts, modal information and authorship)

ṣaḥīḥ

sound, well-crafted, perfect craftsmanship (composition); good, correct (performance); ṣaḥīḥ al-ajzāʾ wa-l-qisma: a vocal composition in which the poetic divisions fit properly with the musical ones

ṣaḥila

a voice becoming hoarse

ṣaʿiqa

thunderstruck and losing consciousness (as a result of ṭarab)

sajḥa

see isjāḥ

sakaba zaytan ʿalā l-māʾ

pouring oil over water (metaphor for good singing)

sakana

to be appeased (as a result of ṭarab)

sakhīf

feeble and inferior (composition)

salab

losing one’s mind and wealth (as a result of ṭarab)

ṣalaf

arrogance

ṣalāḥ

piety

(mā) ṣalaḥa

not useful; ṣalaḥa li: to suit someone’s taste or performance ability

salaka

to go through (composing with the guidance of the rhythmic mode)

salakha

to strip off (a melody and set it on another poem)

ṣalāt

prayers

ṣāliḥ

good, virtuous; ṣālih al-adāʾ: good performer; ṣāliḥ al-ʿamal: good deeds

ṣallaḥa

to correct (a composition)

samāʾ

sky (metaphor for most excellent composer)

samāʿ

listening to music; singing; samiʿa: to listen, hear

samīr

a companion in nightly entertainment that included songs and amusing stories

sammaja

to make (a composition) look ugly

samt

good manners

ṣanʿa

compositional craft; ʿajīb al-ṣanʿa: unheard type of composition; ṣanʿa muḥkama and mutqan al-ṣanʿa: artful composition; ṣanaʿa: to compose; ṣanaʿa ʿalā: to take or steal a melody and set it to a new poem; ṣanaʿa fī naḥwih: to compose in a similar style

ṣanīʿ

a student (reared and trained by a teacher)

ṣāniʿ al-laḥn

composer

ṣanj

cymbals or harp

sanna

to prescribe (music, entertainment and instruments)

ṣannaʿa

to beautify self

ṣaqāla

smooth and brilliant (lute sound)

saqaṭa

to fall; fail (in composition); to be forgotten; to abolish, cancel (testimony); saqaṭa al-abada: to fall from social status; saqaṭa al-sawṭ: whip fell; saqaṭa ʿan al-rāḥila: to fall from a camel (as a result of ṭarab); saqaṭa min al-saṭḥ: ṭarab to cause (someone) to fall from a roof and die; saqaṭāt: mistakes (in theory, performance, composition)

saraqa

to steal (a melody)

ṣarkha

a high-pitched sustained shout

sarra

to be happy

saruʿa

(melodies) to come quickly (to the composer’s mind)

satara

to conceal (bad compositions)

sāwā

to reach (the level of other composers)

ṣawāb

correct (performance)

ṣawt

a sung poem, voice; (bi-) ṣawtih kullih: with his full voice; ṣawt wāḥid wa-laḥn wāḥid: singing in unison

sawwā

to tune the lute; to tune the ṭabl when using it as a lute

ṣayḥa

high note; higher octave; highest note of a song

sayr

back ribs of lute

sayyid

master

ṣayyit

a loud voice

sāj

teak or Indian oak

second heavy

see al-thaqīl al-thānī

second light heavy

see khafīf al-thaqīl al-thānī

shāʿa

to spread, be known

shabaha

to resemble (a style); to imitate (a melody)

shabʿān mumtaliʾ

sated with full stomach (unable to sing a difficult song); shabiʿa: to become sated (as a result of singing)

shadda

to tighten the string to raise the pitch; shadda al-ṭabaqa: to raise the tonality

shaddada

to be harsh

(mā) shadhdha

to not deviate (from original song)

shadhra

a short note that starts with a smooth voice and is sung to low long vowels that is, long ī, and phonetic alterations (a going towards i)

shaghala

to preoccupy, distract

shahara

to divulge; shahhara: to make known; defame (oneself)

shaḥdh

strength and sharpness (of the brain as a result of ṭarab)

shahwa

desire (of the soul); sexual desire (as a result of ṭarab)

shāʾin

disgraceful and scandalous

shajan

sorrow; shajī: sad (voice, composition)

shakala

to resemble; shākala: to imitate (a compositional style)

shakhaṣat ilayh aʿyunuhum

to look fixedly at him (as a result of ṭarab)

shakil

flirtatious and coquettish (character, voice, composition)

shamāʾil

nature and character

shaqq o tarjīʿ

lit., split and repetition, it consists of plucking a note on the lute twice, then its higher octave once

shaqqa

to tear (one’s throat by singing loud); shaqqa al-ghubār: to overtake (a person’s composition); shaqqa al-qamīṣ: to tear the shirt; shaqqa al-qirba: to tear the water skin (as a result of ṭarab)

shāraka

to share the same level (in quality of composition)

sharbīn

larch wood

sharqa

lit., choking, it is a shaken note

shatama

to insult

shāwara

to seek advice (about a performance)

shawwasha

to put the lute out of tune

shayṭān

Satan (metaphor for a great voice)

shayyada bi-dhikrih

to speak in glowing terms about someone

shidda

high frequency; high degree of compositional sophistication; difficult (to learn)

shidq

corner of the mouth

shirāk

sandal straps (a metaphor for less excellence in composition)

shurb

drinking

sijāḥ

see isjāḥ

ṣināʿa and ṣināʿat al-mūsīqī

the musical profession of singing and composing

sinād

singing that includes tarjīʿ and many notes

ṣirf

pure (unaccompanied singing)

sitāra

curtain, sometimes used to separate the audience from the singers to prevent the singers from knowing the identity of the patron, his behavior, or to conceal women. Curtains were not used for slave girls, but a freed slave girl would be concealed from the audience; sitr: hiding (music activity); ṣāḥib al-sitr: the man in charge of the curtain

ṣiyāḥ

see ṣayḥa

ṣiyām

fasting

sūʾa

a disgraceful act

subāt

a deep sleep, unaware of surrounding and motionless (as a result of ṭarab)

subḥa

rosary

suhūla

easiness (to people’s character and life); suhūlat al-maslak: ease of way (of composition)

ṣuʿiqa

to lose consciousness (as a result of ṭarab)

sukr

drunkenness

ṣūra

replica; face, outside appearance and figure; state; see also ṣūwarihā

ṣurākh

scream (as a result of ṭarab)

surayjī

singing and composing in the style of Ibn Surayj

surnāy

loud oboe

surūr

happiness

ṣuʿūba

difficulty

(bi-) ṣūwarihā

exact replica, spitting image (of a transmitted song)

taʾakhkhara

to move back; put after (verses)

taʿallama

to study, learn

taʿallaqa

to attain (excellence in performance, composition)

taʿammala

to spend great effort (performing)

ṭaʿana

to speak badly, discredit, attack

taʾannī

deliberateness (in performance), patience and carefulness

taʿārafa

to be acquainted with, to be known

taʿarraḍa

to expose oneself (to another composer’s composition)

taʿaṣṣub

fanatical enthusiasm

taʾawwaha

to sigh and scream Ah (as a result of ṭarab)

ṭabʿ

talent, natural disposition (performance, composition); character; state; ṭabīʿa: character and life, nature

tabaʿa

to sing along (an instrument)

tabadhdhala

to do something generously; tabadhdhul: vulgar way (of behavior)

ṭabaqa

generation; class of musicians; degree; register; pitch; tonality; sound level; tone level; tonal level

tabāyun

difference (in a composer’s style)

ṭabbāl

drummer

tabdīl

replacement of notes

tābiʿ

follower

ṭabl

a double membrane laced drum, shaped like an hourglass; see also kabar and kūba

tadāwala

to be used frequently

taḍʿīf

doubling of attacks

tadrīj

gradually (descending notes in a composition)

tafahhama

to comprehend, understand, grasp (a composition)

tafallata

(performing skills) to slip away

tafaqqada

to seek, examine, and analyze (a composition)

tafarraqa

to disperse (a singer’s output); a melody split into two because of its difficulty

tafaṣṣala

to be separated (with regard to the middle and ring finger frets)

tafḍīl

preference (of a composer)

tafkhīm

making music richer; see also fakhkhama

tafṣīl

elongating a rhythmic cycle; disjunction, disjoining (between cycles)

taghannā ʿalā

to sing to the accompaniment of an instrument

taḥaffaẓa

to be on guard, careful (while performing)

taḥarraka

to move; taharraka badanuh ajmaʿ: his whole body moved

taḥarraza

to be on guard (so as not to divulge one’s own song)

tahattaka

to be exposed and discredited; tahattuk: immorality

ṭahhara

to purify (city by expelling singers)

taḥrīk

moving, stirring, singing, and making (a song) alive; see also ḥarraka

taḥṭīb

modern Upper Egyptian singlestick fencing

ṭahura

to be pure and clean (by not singing and drinking)

tāʾih

proud and haughty

tajriba

life experience

tajwīd

slow and elaborate chanting of the holy Qurʾān

tajziʾa

poetic foot (see also qisma)

takallama

to sing

takassara

to break down to pieces (metaphor for a difficult song)

takassub

earning

takharraja

to teach, educate; takhrīj: teaching, education

takhashshaʿa

to display humility

takhlīṭ

mixing up (modes); altering and mixing up songs (to prevent transmission)

takhnīth

singing in countertenor style; singing with softness; head voice; see also inkhināth, khunth, mukhannath

takht

a nineteenth-century Arabic chamber ensemble consisting of a lute, qānūn, nāy, violin, and tambourine

takrīr al-ajzāʾ

repetition of rhythmic parts

takthīr

ornamenting by increasing and multiplying notes

ṭāla al-iṣghāʾ

to spend a lot of time listening in order to learn the song properly

talāḥā

to call each other names (about compositions)

talaqqā

to catch (the tambourine)

ṭālat aʿnāquhum

stretched their necks (toward the singer as a result of ṭarab)

talaṭṭafa

to succeed by subtle means (to compose songs with more than seven notes)

talḥīn

composition; al-talḥīn al-aṣghar: lit., smaller composition, in which a melody is taken intact and set into a new poem of a similar meter

taʾlīf

composition

taʿlīm

learning

taʿlīqa

a technical term that refers to singing an unvoweled l

tamaʿbada

this verb refers to Ibn Surayj, when he sang and composed in the style of Maʿbad in the heavy rhythms

tamakhkhaṭa

to blow one’s nose (as a result of ṭarab)

tamāsaka ṣawtan

two singers sang together in unison or in a duet format

tamashshā

to walk (while playing the tambourine)

tamassaka

to cling to and devote oneself (to the older repertoire)

tamaṭṭī

a note held for an extremely long time, sung to the limit of the singer’s breath

tamayyuz

setting apart (a brilliant composer from others)

tamma

to complete (a melody); tāmm: complete (melodies; first heavy; poetic measures)

ṭaʿn

attack, criticism

tanaffasa

to breathe (causes ṭarab); tanaffasa al-ṣuʿadāʾ: to heave a deep sigh (as a result of ṭarab)

tanaghghama

to sing softly, sotto voce, hesitantly, in a first attempt at learning a song; to sing

tanaḥnaḥa

to clear one’s throat (can cause ṭarab)

tanakkaba

to shun and avoid

tanawwaqa

to be meticulous (in composing)

tanāẓara

to argue

ṭanjara

a skillet

ṭann al-ghināʾ

singing that is dead, or has a metallic sound like a struck washbasin, or that has an annoying sound like a buzzing or a ringing in the ears, or an annoying sound like flies or ducks

taqaddama

to go forward, precede (in performance, verses); excel (performance); surpass (in composition); taqdīm: highest rank, best

taqrīʿ

rebuke (for bad composition)

taqṣīr

shortcoming (in singing)

taqṭīʿ

see maqṭaʿ

taqwīm

appraisal (of composition)

ṭāra dammuh

his blood disappeared; ṭāra surūran: to fly with happiness; ṭāra ṭaraban: to fly because of ṭarab

ṭarab

acute emotion of joy or grief; ṭarraba and taṭrīb: singing with ṭarab and including the use of tarjīʿ, embellishments, and prolongation of the voice; ṭarūb: a person affected intensely by ṭarab

taraffaʿa

to deem oneself above (making music)

ṭaraḥa

to transmit, teach; throw

ṭāraḥa

(teacher) to strive to teach (and student reciprocates)

taraka

to leave behind, to forget; taraka al-dars: to stop practicing; taraka al-ʿamal: to leave work; taraka al-ṣalāt: stop praying (as a result of ṭarab)

tarannama

to sing in a soft voice (when in the process of composing or learning a new song); to coo; tarannum: vocalizations or lyrics sung to long durations; melisma; singing; tarjīʿ; vibrato; making the voice having ṭarab

ṭarīf

rare (composition)

ṭarīq ḍayyiq waʿr

a narrow, rugged road (a metaphor for a difficult song to perform)

ṭarīqa

rhythmic or melodic mode, modal way; style (of composition); course; tonic; proportion of durations; musical style; ṭarīqa wāḥida: unison playing on the lutes; see also ʿamūd ṭarīqa

tarjama

translating the vocal line instrumentally (in modern Arabic music)

tarjīʿ

repeating a melodic portion many times, and in the process, ornamenting and elongating each repetition, thus bringing more beauty and ṭarab

tarjīḥ

singing notes in a weightier, more powerful way by widening the air passages

tark

relinquishing (the art of singing); leaving out (ornaments)

tarkīb al-ajzāʾ

compounding parts of a rhythmic cycle

ṭarq

prelude; instrumental piece; instrumental exercise; playing technique or style or ornament; instrumental rendition of a song

tartīb

arrangement (of notes)

tartīl

singing; slow tempo; slow and elaborate chanting of the holy Qurʾān

taṣaḥḥafa

to examine (song collections)

taṣannuʿ

affectation (of performance)

tasāwī

equality (of skills)

taṣdīr

upbeat, anacrusis

tashabbaha

to imitate (a compositional style); to imitate or resemble a singing style

tashawwara

to feel ashamed (being a singer)

taṭallaʿa

to look at opportunely (to learn a song), to look forward to, to be eager

tatazalzal

shaking (the earth, house as a result of ṭarab)

(alyan) tathanniyan

a softer sinuous melody

tawāfaqa

to concur (in a composition)

tawallā

to protect, become a protector

tawassuṭ

middle (of song performance)

ṭawīl

long winded, prolonged, elongated, sophisticated (song)

tawṣīl

shortening a rhythmic cycle

tayassara

(singing) facilitates (what is difficult)

ṭayr

bird (a metaphor for a good singer)

ṭayy

removing attacks

ṭayyaba

to make other people songs more pleasant by adding and removing notes

ṭayyib

good natured; ṭayyib al-ḥadīth: nice at conversation; ṭayyib al-masmūʿ and ṭayyib al-ṣawt: nice voice

taẓārafa

to show elegance (in composition)

tazāyada

to greatly ornament and change the melody, overdo; improve (as part of process of composition); tazayyada: to better one’s performance

tazyīn

embellishment

thaklā

a mother bereaved of a child

thaqifa

to master (a repertoire); thaqqafa: to educate; thiqāfa: knowledge

(al-) thaqīl al-awwal

first heavy: 4/2 | 𝅗𝅥 𝅗𝅥 𝅝 |

thaqīl al-hazaj

see hazaj

thaqīl al-ramal

see ramal

(al-) thaqīl al-thānī

second heavy: 5/2 | 𝅗𝅥 𝅝 𝅝 |

thaqula

difficult, hard; slow (song)

tharwa

richness, wealth (increased by means of singing)

ṭīb

goodness and pleasantness; nice (voice); ṭīb al-ṣawt: beautiful voice

ṭunbūr

a long-necked lute with two-strings

turika

forgotten (song)

ʿūd

lute; branch of a tree; ʿūd al-shabbūṭ: see barbaṭ; ʿūd hindī: Indian wood; ʿūd maḥfūr: a lute carved from a block of wood (not made of parts)

udkhila fī

to mix, insert lines of various poets

udm

bread enriched with tasty food and condiments that make the bread easy to swallow (a metaphor for good singing)

ʿuḍw

body part, limb, member, head, organ

ughmiya ʿalayh

he fainted (as a result of ṭarab)

ukhidha

(a melody) taken out of a song and set to another poem

ukhrija

to come out

umm walad

mother of a child, said of a slave girl that bears a child to her master, after his death she is a freewoman and inherits his fortune

ʿunq

neck; neck of lute

uns

good company

ʿuruḍ

not serious

uskudār

postman (a metaphor for a poor performer)

ustādh

teacher; ustādhiyya: mastership

usṭūkhūsiyya

according to al-Kindī, these are the eight Greek melodic modes (octoechos); according to al-Fārābī, they are musical principles in ancient Greek music: acoustics, causes of sound acuity and gravity, intervals, genus, groups or modes, melodic movements, and rhythms

uṭṭuriḥa

to be discarded (said of compositions, composers)

uyyal

see īlāʾ

wabīl

see nāqūs

waḍaʿa

to set (music to a poem); let down (socially); waḍaʿa nafsah: to abase self; waḍaʿa raʾsah: (animals) putting their heads (down on bench as a result of ṭarab); waḍaʿa yadahu ʿalā: to teach an instrument

waḍaḥ

brilliance

wādī

valley (as a metaphor for performing a difficult song)

waḍīʾ

clean

wafāʾ

loyalty

wafā bih

to learn or perform perfectly; fulfill

wāfaqa

a (vocal technique) to suit (a singer’s voice)

waḥḥasha

to throw upward

wāḥid

unique (performance, composition, theory, character)

waḥsh

wild animal (a metaphor for a good singer)

wajh

face; wujūh al-nagham: aspects and theories of notes, melodic modes, and melodies

walaʿ

passion

wālī

governor

wallada

to attribute a poem to the wrong poet

waqaʿa maghshiyyan ʿalayh

to fall to the ground and faint; waqaʿa ṣarīʿan: to be afflicted with diabolic possession and madness (as a result of ṭarab)

waqafa

to stop (as a result of ṭarab); waqafa ʿalā: to teach

waqār

dignity

(al-) waqt

now; min waqtih: improvisation

waratha

to inherit

waṣafa

to describe (composition, performance)

wasaṭ

medium (quality composition), average; the middle part of singing a song

washy

a garment with multi-colored ornamentation and embroidery (a metaphor for a good performance)

wāṣif

one who describes (a performance)

waṣīfa

a female servant

wāṣil

an achiever (in composition, performance)

watad

the equivalent of 3/8 in language

watar

string; lute fretting and tuning

wathaba

to jump (as a result of ṭarab)

wathīq

solid (composition)

wayl

(feeling) disaster (as a result of ṭarab)

wāẓaba ʿalayh

to devote oneself assiduously in teaching

wazana

to tap the rhythmic mode; wazn: poetic measure, length of syllables; wazn tāmm: complete poetic measure

wilāʾan

(singing songs) in succession

wusṭā

middle finger; wusṭā fī majrāhā: middle finger fret of mathnā string as tonic in the course of the middle finger fret: Ab (or half flat) Bb C Db (or half flat)

yakk o dō

lit., ‘one and two,’ that is, plucking a note once, then its higher octave twice

yakk o yakk

lit., ‘one and one,’ that is, plucking a note once, then its higher octave once, it is also known as partridge walk

yasīr

limited (compositional output)

yatasāʿā

racing each other in confusion

yatīm

orphan, al-Kindī’s name for the note from the open mathnā string, since it has no replica at the lower or higher octave

zāda

to add excellence (to a performance); embellish; surpass (in composition); add notes (to a melody)

zaffān

dancer; zāfina: a limping she-camel that appears to dance in her gait; zafn: a dance in which the dancer’s body does not produce a sound; a fast dance involving strong leg motions and the sound of the dancer’s body; a type of ramal used in ṭunbūr playing; zafūn: a she-camel pushing her milker with hind leg; zayzafūn: swift she-camel; sound of bow set in motion

zaḥafa

to crawl (as a result of ṭarab)

zāʾida

added ornaments and changes to a melody

zamara

to play a wind instrument; zamara ʿalā: to accompany a singer on a wind instrument; zāmir: wind player; zamr: playing a wind instrument

zān

beech wood

zāniya

prostitute

ẓanna

to think, imagine

ẓarīf

elegant, graceful, charming, witty, fine and full of spirit

zawj min al-shiʿr

two lines of poetry

zīna

ornament

zinā

adultery; ruqyat al-zinā: magic that causes adultery (said of singing)

zīr

fourth string of the lute

ziyāda

additions and ornaments

zuhd

asceticism

Footnotes

Only the standard names of the rhythmic and melodic modes appear here. For the shorter, incomplete, and older names, please refer to chapter 1, on theory.

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