Arabic Musical Scales
Basic Maqam Teachings
with 2 Audio CDs — Downloadable
Author: Cameron Powers
Designed for both the beginner and the professional musician,
Arabic Musical Scales is the ultimate guide to 45 of the most popular Maqams
From Cairo to Tunisia; from Damascus to Baghdad; from Beirut to Aleppo; as far West as Istanbul and Greece, musicians live and breathe ancient musical scales, Maqams, that have survived intact for hundreds, even thousands of years. Knowledge of these scales unlocks an incredibly powerful tool for composing infinitely varied melodies and songs.
If you are in love with a Middle Eastern sounding music scale and want to learn Arabic music and related Indian music scales, you need genuine Middle Eastern music theory which is Arabic music theory.
How to write Middle Eastern music involves using Eastern modes, Middle East instruments, and genuine Arabic music scales.
Open the door to ROMANTIC & MYSTICAL emotions
engendered by playing these maqams!
Sample Track in Maqam Hijaz:
Book Contents and Tracks Listed Below:
CD Disk 1 of 2 — D & C & Bb & E half-flat — Based Maqamat
Track 1: Recorded Audio Introduction
Track 2: Hijaz
Track 3: Hijaz Gharib
Track 4: Hijaz Awji
Track 5: Shehnaz
Track 6: Kurd (Phrygian Mode)
Track 7: Shehnaz Kurdi
Track 8: Bayyati
Track 9: Husayni
Track 10: Shuri (Turkish Karjigar)
Track 11: Saba
Track 12: Saba Zamzamah
Track 13: Saba Busalik
Track 14: Quartertone Practice
Track 15: Nahawand (Natural & Harmonic Minor) (Aeolian Mode) (Turkish Nihavent)
Track 16: Nahawand Kabir (Melodic Minor)
Track 17: Rast
Track 18: Kirdan or Mahur (High Rast)
Track 19: Suznak
Track 20: Suzdilar
Track 21: Nerz Rast
Track 22: Rast Beshayer
Track 23: Dalanshin
Nawa Athar Family:
Track 24: Nawa Athar (Turkish Nevaser)
Track 25: Athar Kurd
Track 26: Nakriz (Zawil, Basandida)
Track 27: Ajam Ushayran (Bb Major)
Track 28: Shawq Afza
E half-flat–Based Maqamat
Track 29: Huzam
Track 30: Sikah
Track 31: Mustaar
Transpositions & Modulations
CD Disk 2 of 2 — Tracks Listed Below
Transposed D–Based Maqamat:
Track 1: Hijaz Kar (Shehnaz on C)
Track 2: Zanjaran (Shehnaz on C with Ajam)
Track 3: Shad Araban (Shehnaz on G)
Track 4: Suzdil (Shehnaz on A)
Track 5: Jaharkah Turki (Shehnaz on F)
Track 6: Hijaz Kar Kurd (Kurd on C)
Transposed C–Based Maqamat:
Track 7: Farahfaza (Nahawand on G)
Track 8: Busalik (Nahawand on E)
Track 9: Yakah (Rast on G) (Rast Nawa)
Track 10: Hisar (Nawa Athar on D)
Transposed Bb–Based Maqamat:
Track 11: Jaharkah (Ajam on F) (F major)
Transposed E half-flat–Based Maqamat:
Track 12: Rahat el Arwah (Huzam on B half-flat)
Track 13: Bastanikar (Huzam on B half-flat with Saba)
Track 14: Irak (Huzam on B half-flat with Bayati)
Track 15: Farahnak (Sikah on B half-flat)
Track 16: D — Based Maqam Modulations
Track 17: C — Based Maqam Modulations
Track 18: Transposing and Modulating between D and C — Based Maqamat
Track 19: D Maqams plus Rahat el Arwah
Track 20: Sample Modulations
Table A: Note names of basic Arabic scale
Table B: Note names of expanded basic Arabic scale
Pitch Control in Traditional Arab-world Instruments
Pitch Control on Other Instruments
“Arabic Musical Scales: Basic Maqam Teachings with 2 CD’s”
“All I have to say is ‘WOW’!
You just put together what I was looking for, a concise yet comprehensive material for someone like me to study and get on with my ultimate passion, Arabic music!”
“I bought your CDs and book of basic maqam techniques. It was a wonderful surprise… it put everything I was looking for in my hands with no effort!”
“Excellent book. I would highly recommend the CDs that are sold separately as well. They are very well done. Very informational and also have improvised demonstrations of the scales so you can hear each scale in a musical setting.”
“Your book on Middle Eastern scales has been invaluable to me. I lead a Middle Eastern musical ensemble but I’m the only Arab in the group, so your book has been the standard by which I teach my musicians. It really is a great book.”
“Your book put a real smile on my face! It’s a really wonderful book! Really well put together and distilled so that folks can really get into it!” – Joe Zeytoonian
“I have been continuing to study and enjoy Arabic Musical Scales: Basic Maqam Teachings, which I highly recommend to all.” — Alexandra du Bois, Composer for Kronos Quartet
Two long years of studying Arabic language while unable to play instruments, and I’m recovered at last; reunited with my instruments and delving into your books and CDs with great joy!!! And I’m sure I cannot adequately express my gratitude for all your careful work that I rely on every single day…
My oud teacher is based in Ottoman/Turkish/Greek styles, and it is your materials that have helped me the most with the intonations of the Arabic styles. I’ve developed a taste for: Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian.
Thanks again for your huge contributions to teaching this subject. I am always ready to mention your books to others who may be interested.”
Dear Cameron Powers,
With hope this message finds you well, here to Congratulate you for
your book Arabic Musical Scales which I am enjoying and learning from
it very much. It is friendly and comprehensible; very valuable as
there is little material on Arabic music in Western culture. I have
ordered your other book of Harmonic Secrets and I look forward to
enlighten my knowledge further in the Maqamat’ study. Thank You very
much. As a gentle and always positive suggestion, I would have
appreciated if the scales were written as well in FA’s clef, as I play
the material of the book in my violoncello.
I look forward to more studies from you.
All Best Wishes
I have your book and CD’S Arabic Musical Scales they are excellent and the CD’s are invaluable. I am new to the Oud (but not music) so having no frets and having to find quarter tones is exciting. You certainly have tremendous knowledge thanks for your help,
Best regards, John.
This is exactly what I have been looking for for the sound of my fretless mandolin…nothing else was really engaging the instrument if you know what I mean….
Much appreciation for your obvious knowledge and love for the music and culture.
A pleasure! You’re book has just arrived and it’s a godsend. Found it difficult to source a book on the nuts and bolts of Arabic music and yours fits the bill perfectly, particularly as there are supporting CDs. A really great resource – thanks!
Book received today with thanks. Compliments on the quality, an excellent book which is exactly what I’ve been looking for. All good.
Your book on middle eastern scales has been invaluable to me. I lead a Middle Eastern Musical Ensemble but I’m the only Arab in the group, so that book has been the standard by which I teach my musicians. It really is a great book. It’s good to see someone out there doing what you’re doing.
Thanks! I loved your Arabic musical scales book and I recommend it to my friends and students. Thanks for making great stuff!
I found your arabic scales book invaluable. What I would like to know more about is the various tunings of the oud and when those tunings need to change with any given makam. Looking forward to receiving your new book, Harmonic Secrets of Arabic Music.
Thank you for a great instructional. I have a beautiful Arabic oud, and it’s been hard to find study material in the DGADGC tuning.
I recently received your book and CD’s of the Arabic scales and maqam. Thank You so much for writing such a comprehensive work. I am a former bouzoukee player .I am currently studying the cello. I am a member of the Hellenic and Near Eastern Music Society Orchestra. I am of Asia Minor heritage. My parents were born in the Smyrna Area of Turkey. They gave to me the rich traditions of that area of the world. The music is in my soul. As much as I love playing the bouzoukee, I felt constrained at not being able to hit the quarter tones and I do hear them and feel them. The cello is the instrument I chose to allow me to express myself. Your book and CD’s are a perfect tool for learning even more than I know now. I play classical music as well , but my heart and soul are in my roots. Keep on doing what you and your beloved are doing. We need to spread Love and Peace on this Planet and Music and the arts are a fundamental way of doing this. I would love to sit and play my cello with you.
I have your Arabic Musical Scales and CDs…
they have been a huge help. I am now interested in getting both
Harmonic Secrets of Arabic Musical Scales
the Maqam Practice Tracks
Amazon Review: This is the best book I have found for American beginners. My musical education is heavily weighted in the western classical style, which makes it difficult for me to appreciate much of Arabic music. My ears tend not to hear what is being played. They hear what they think is the equivalent in western scale systems. I do not have the CD to this book, which is prabably a shame. Even so, Arabic musical vocabulary is so important that I benefit immensely from reading the text. The print is large, well formated, adequately cross-referenced, and I understand it. It is supplemental to lessons. The only quibble is possibly that the book does contain more material. But then it would not be a beginner’s book.
Amazon Review: Excellent book. I highly recommend the CD’s as well. They are very well done. Very informational and also have improvised demonstrations of the scales so you can hear each scale in a musical setting.
Amazon Review: C’est concis, assez complet (difficile d’être exhaustif avec les maqamat). Il ne faut pas s’attendre à un ouvrage développé, c’est plutôt un tableau des maqamat les plus populaires, nécessaires à un répertoire varié d’improvisation. Je conseille cependant de comparer avec d’autres ouvrages ou d’autres sites car les noms et les formes de ces modes varient d’une source à l’autre.
Translation: This book is concise and complete enough (although it’s hard to be exhaustive with maqamat). Do not look for a completely comprehensive and developed book, but rather an array of the most popular maqamat which are needed for a varied repertoire of improvisation. I recommend comparison with other books or other sites for names and shapes of these maqamat as these modes vary from one source to another.
Amazon Review: Having been playing percussion in Middle-eastern music for over 15 years, and also being a string player, I finally wanted to learn the way to play the music with melodic instruments. I bought a baglama saz and began messing around, but was not satisfied with my knowledge of the scales used in this music.
Cameron has been a friend of mine for roughly 6 years and I have always enjoyed his mastery of the oud, ney, and voice in Middle-eastern music.
I told him that I wanted to learn more and he suggested I study this book.
It is, by far, the best source of the kind of information I was looking for that I have yet encountered. Since studying this book my level of playing has grown exponentially!
I recently purchased your book entitled “Arabic Musal Scales: Basic Maqam Teachings” and I just wanted to express my appreciation for your work.I am a native of Bahrain (a small island nation in the Persian Gulf), and I have been playing the Oud for nearly 4 years now. I am currently a graduate student in one of the universities in Tokyo.
I find your book encouraging to me, as a player of the Oud. It is a good record for me to refresh and review my current knowledge of Maqam Theory, and to learn some new maqamat and modulation concepts. In my case, I have mostly taken the “oud” itself as a study subject, without focusing much on maqam theory. For this, I find your book a very useful and encouraging.
Also, as a Middle Easterner myself, I also feel very happy to see such a book in print, as it sheds light on a unique aspect of a region highly misunderstood and full of troubles in modern times.
Once again, thank you,
“Your book is really great, it is the only clearly readable introduction to the oriental sound system that is easily available… It’s kind of a milestone.
I could find the right tones much more easily with its help.” Joshua
I am a beginner… this book was recommended to me by almost everybody! Cheers, Sam