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Arabic music live in Barcelona

Arabic music is the music heard in Arabic-speaking countries, that is to say, those countries that share the Arabic language, regardless of the individual culture or customs of each of them. Although Westerners tend to label everything that is sung in Arabic as “Arab music”, there are different musical styles within Arab music itself, influenced by areas or cultures geographically close to one of the 22 Arab nations. One example is the rhythms and melodies of areas that have been in contact with Persian, Turkish, Berber, Indian, Swahili, Andalusian and even European cultures. Arabic music can also have several facets and be included in different categories such as religious music, popular songs and classical Arabic music. In general each Arab country has its own culture and musical tradition, just like any other Western musical genre.

What makes Arab music special?

For the Western ear, Arabic music is difficult to assimilate acoustically, because more emphasis is placed on melody and rhythm rather than harmony. In fact, in general terms Arabic music is homophonic, except for some specific genres of Arabic music that are polyphonic. Even the way of composing Arabic music follows a different pattern than the melodic modes of Western music, using the Arabian maqam system: the Iraqi maqam used for musical composition in Iraq and Turkey is considered as intangible heritage of UNESCO.

Typical instruments of Arabic music

Although instruments offering similar sounds are often used, authentic Arabic music should be played with traditional instruments of this musical style. The most outstanding typical musical instruments of Arabic music are the following:

  • Arghul: woodwind instrument that comes from ancient Egypt, has more than 5,000 years of history and is still in use today.
  • Bendir: traditional drum typical of Morocco and North Africa
  • Crotalos: percussion instrument made of metal, very similar to castanets.
  • Lute: the most famous stringed instrument of Arabic music
  • Mizwad: wind instrument similar to the bagpipe used in Tunisia
  • Ney: very old flute, about 4.000 BC
  • Zurna: wind instrument similar to the oboe

Live Arabic music

In Café Arabia we perform live performances of Arabic music, hand in hand with the best Arab musicians present in Barcelona and accompanied by dancers specializing in belly dance and oriental dances. Every night at 20.00h come and enjoy the best Arabian rhythms at Café Arabia, in the centre of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. Traditional songs, folklore, classical Arabic music along with belly dancers, traditional Middle Eastern dances in a fully decorated venue that will make you look like you’re not in the West. At Café Arabia you can accompany your Arabic music evening with the best halal food menu. Visit us now!