Arabic music includes several genres and styles of music ranging from Arabic classical to Arabic pop music and from secular to sacred music.
Arabic music whilst independent and very alive, has a long history of interaction with many other regional musical styles and genres.
The development of Arabic music has deep roots in Arabic poetry dating back to the Pre-Islamic period known as Jahiliyyah.(period of ignorance) Though there is a lack of scientific study to definitively confirm the existence of Arabic music at those times, most historians agree that there existed distinct forms of music in the Arabian peninsula in the pre-Islamic period between the 5th and the 7th century AD. Arab poets of that time – called شعراء الجاهلية or “Jahili poets” which translates to “The poets of the period of ignorance” – used to recite poems with a high musical rhythm and tone.
A number of musical instruments used in Western music are believed to have been derived from Arabic musical instruments:
Two of the most important things all Arabic music has in common are a delight in improvisation, and the predominance of melodic forms. A melody is usually sung by a solo voice, which may also be accompanied by a choir. Polyphony, such as we are accustomed to in Western orchestral music, does not exist in classical Arabic music.