In order to better understand the relationships and differences between Arab and Western music, an individual must have working knowledge of Arab music. In doing so, one will have the necessary knowledge needed to understand what happens in a performance of Arab music. Given the complex and diverse nature of Arab music, we will be taking somewhat of a “crash course” to provide enough information that will allow the listener to understand the concepts behind Arab music. Hasan Habib Touma, an ethnomusicologist and author of the book, The Music of the Arabs, has described Arab music in five separate components.
Hasan Habib Touma has described Arab music in five components: