Maqam al-iraqi

Maqam al-iraqi

Al-Maqam Al-Iraqi (Arabic: الـمـقـام الـعـراقـي‎) is a four hundred year old genre of Arab music found in Iraq and often considered the most perfect form of maqam. The instrumentation of the ensemble used in maqam al-iraqi, Jalghi baghdadi, includes a qari' (singer), Iraqi Santur (hammered dulcimer), jawza (spike fiddle), tabla or dunbak (goblet drum), and sometimes riqq (tambourine). The focus is on the poem sung in classical Arabic or Iraqi dialect (then called zuhayri). A complete maqam concert is known as fasl (plural fusul) and is named after the first maqam: bayat, hijaz, rast, nawa, or husayni. (Touma 1996, p.55, 57)

A typical performance includes the following sections (ibid, p.56):

  • tahrir, sometimes badwah
  • taslum
  • finalis

Some well known Iraqi maqam performers include: Mulla Hasan al-Babujachi, Rahmat Allah Shiltagh, Khalil Rabbaz, Rahmain Niftar, Rubin Rajwan, Ahmed Zaydan, Mulla Uthman al-Mawsili, Jamil al-Baghdadi, Salman Moshe, Rashid al-Qundarchi, Yusuf Huresh, Najm al-Shaykhli, Abbas Kambir, Mohammed al-Qubbanchi, Yusuf Omar, Hamed al-Sa‘di, Farida, and Husayn al-A‘dhami.

Famous Maqam Singers

  • Ahmed Zaydan
  • Rashid al-Qundarchi
  • Mohammad al-Qubbanchi
  • Najm al-Shaykhli
  • Hassan Khaiwka
  • Hashim al-Rejab
  • Yusuf Omar
  • Abdulrahman Khidhr
  • Hamed al-Sa‘di
  • Nazem Al-Ghazali


  • Touma, Habib Hassan (1996). The Music of the Arabs, trans. Laurie Schwartz. Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0931340888.

External links

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