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A Review of

Maqam Arabic Music and Songbook

by Joseph Fakhouri




This 62-page book contains sheet music for more than 80 songs which have been popular over the years in the Levant region (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and Jordan). Arabic Music and Songbook Cover



Fact Sheet


Maqam Arabic Music and Songbook


Joseph Fakhouri






Music education


StarStar for dancers
StarStarStar for musicians




This 62-page book contains sheet music for more than 80 songs which have been popular over the years in the Levant region (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and Jordan). For each song, it gives only the melody line. This may look skimpy to someone who is accustomed to U.S. sheet music with guitar chords and full arrangements for both hands, but it is appropriate for Middle Eastern music which does not use the same kind of harmonizing as European and American music. For the most part, the songs included in this collection were popular before 1980, including some traditional songs and songs made popular by Fairuz, Sabah, and Mohammed Abdel Wahab.

The number of songs from Egypt included in this book is small. There are a few, but the emphasis is on songs from other sources.



Songs Included


Arabic & Middle Eastern: Popular Traditional & Folk Songs

Artist: Composer/Origin

Abdo Habib Ghandoura -----: Folk
Ah Ya Asmar el-Lown -----: Folk
Ah Ya Zeyn -----: Folk
Ah Ya Om Hamada -----: Folk
Ala Dal'ona -----: Folk
Karun Karun Karune (also called Garoon Garoon) -----: Armenian Song
Hawwil Ya Ghannam -----: Eliyya al-Matni
Tali'aa Min Beyt Abouha (also called Talaa or Talamin Bet Abouha) Nazem el-Ghazali: Sayyid Darwish
Bourdana -----: Folk
Ya Banat Iskindiriyya (also called Uskudara Giderken) -----: Turkish Song
Ya Eyn Moulayyeteyn -----: Folk
Yamm el-Abaya -----: Abdelghani el-Sheikh
Ya Sitti Ya Khityara (also called Perom Pom Pom) -----: Folk
Ya Mustafa -----: Folk

Muwashah & Qodoud from Aleppo

Artist: Composer/Origin

Aal Heyla Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional
Dizzani Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional
el-Qarasiyyah Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional
Lulu Bi Lulu Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional
Ma Ihtyali Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional
Malik Ya Hilwa Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional
Mani Ya Hbayyib Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional
Qadduka el-Mayyas Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional
Sihtu Wajdan Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional
Seebouni Ya Nas Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional
Ya Mal el-Sham Sabah Fakhri & Others: Abou Khalil al-Qabbani
Ya Man Lai'bat Bihi Shamoulu Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional
Yilbaqlik Shakk el-Almas Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional
Zarani el-Mahboub Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional
Ya Ghazali Sabah Fakhri & Others: Traditional


Artist: Composer/Origin

el-Rabee' N/A: Mohammad al-Sabsabi
Fantasia Part 1 N/A: Mohammad Abdulwahab
Fantasia Part 2 / el-Qamh N/A: Mohammad Abdulwahab
Inta el-Hub Om Kolthoum: Mohammad Abdulwahab
Inta Omri Om Kolthoum: Mohammad Abdulwahab
Leylit Hub Part 1 Om Kolthoum: Mohammad Abdulwahab
Leylit Hub Part 2 Om Kolthoum: Mohammad Abdulwahab
Raqsit el-Hawanim N/A: -----
Rast Instrumental N/A: Ziad Rahbani
Samba Abdulwahab N/A: Mohammad Abdulwahab

Fairuz: Original Songs

Artist: Composer/Origin

Aatini el-Nay Fairuz: Gibran / Najeeb Hankash
Addeysh Kan Fi Nas Fairuz: Ziad Rahbani / Ziad Rahbani
Akher Eyyam el-Sayfiyyeh Fairuz: Rahbani Brothers / Rahbani Brothers
Shatti Ya Dinya Fairuz: Rahbani Brothers / Rahbani Brothers
Allamouni Fairuz: Rahbani Brothers / Rahbani Brothers
Fayeq Ya Hawa Fairuz: Rahbani Brothers / Rahbani Brothers
Habbaytak Bissayf Fairuz: Rahbani Brothers / Rahbani Brothers
Hanna el-Sakran Fairuz: Rahbani Brothers / Elias Rahbani
Hayla Ya Wassi' Fairuz: Rahbani Brothers / Rahbani Brothers
Katabna Wu Ma Katabna Fairuz: Rahbani Brothers / Rahbani Brothers
Nassam Alayna el-Hawa Fairuz: Rahbani Brothers / Rahbani Brothers
Ya Ana Ya Ana Fairuz: Rahbani Brothers / Mozart

Fairuz: Muwashah

Artist: Composer/Origin

Aal Owf Masha'al Fairuz: Traditional
Bint el-Shalabiyya Fairuz: Traditional
Aal Rozana Fairuz: Traditional
Marmar Zamani Fairuz: Traditional
Billadhi Askara Fairuz: Lissan al-Din al-Khatib & Nicolas Fayyad
Lamma Bada Yatathanna Fairuz: Traditional
Ya Ghosna Naqan Fairuz: Traditional
Ya Hnayyena Fairuz: Traditional
Ya Laure Hubbuki Fairuz: Traditional
Ya Man Yahinnu Fairuz: Traditional
Ya Layl ul-Sabbu Fairuz: Traditional
Ya Shadi el-Alhan Fairuz: Sayyid Darwish
Ya Mayila 'Aal Ghosoun Fairuz: Traditional

Fairuz: Sayyid Darwish Songs

Artist: Composer/Origin

Tila'at Ya Mahla Nourha Fairuz: Sayyid Darwish
Zourouni Fairuz: Sayyid Darwish

Fairuz: Popular Traditional & Folk Songs

Artist: Composer/Origin

Aal Lala Fairuz: Folk
Riddi Mandeelik Fairuz: Folk
Hala La La La Layya Fairuz: Folk
Ya Teyra Teeri Fairuz: Folk
Hayk Mashe' el-Zaaroura Fairuz: Folk
Ya Ghzayyil Fairuz: Folk

Lebanon: Popular Traditional & Folk Songs

Artist: Composer/Origin

Aal Nadda Sabah: Rahbani Brothers / Rahbani Brothers
Barhoum Ya Barhoum -----: Folk
el-Hali Ta'bani Ya Layla Joseph Saqr: Ziad Rahbani / Ziad Rahbani
Abou el-Zelof -----: Folk
Hal Bayt Elli Ishna Feeh -----: Joseph Fakhouri
Hday Hday Tony Hanna: ----- / Rafiq Hobayqa
Tallou Hbabna Wadi el-Safi: ----- / Zaki Nassif
Waqfi 'Aa Ras el-Tal'aa Sabah: Philemon Wehbe
Ya Balah Zaghlouli Sabah: Elie Shoueri



Is It Right for You?

You Will Probably Enjoy This Book If...

  • You're looking for music from the Levant.
  • You can read Arabic lyrics.
  • You're looking for sheet music for the muwashahat style of music.

This Book Probably Isn't Right for You If...

  • You need the lyrics to be transliterated into the Roman alphabet.
  • You're looking for sheet music to Egyptian classical or pop songs.
  • You're looking for a source for translations of song lyrics.


What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked:

  • For most of the songs in the book, the book includes the Arabic script for the lyrics. Unfortunately, if you haven't learned how to read Arabic script, this doesn't help much, but sometimes it's easier to find someone who can help you decipher the script than it is to find someone who can tell you the lyrics offhand.
  • The book includes more than 80 songs. This large collection is very helpful to musicians who are attempting to build an Arabic repertoire.
  • Many of the songs don't appear to use quarter tones and therefore can be played on Western instruments such as piano.
  • The spiral binding makes the book lie open easily, which is helpful when playing an instrument which requires both hands to be busy.
  • The book can be a useful educational tool to learn about certain sub-genres of Arabic music. For example, if someone wishes to become more educated about muwashahat, this book identifies artists who performed them and presents sheet music for a large number of them.

What I Didn't Like:

  • The lyrics are in the Arabic alphabet, which isn't very helpful to those of us who have not yet learned to read Arabic.
  • The spiral binding makes it difficult to identify the book when it is on the bookshelf next to all the other annoying spiral-bound books on the shelf.
  • Some of the spellings of the song titles seem odd. It's always challenging to transliterate Arabic words into the Roman alphabet because both Arabic and English have many dialects with different pronunciations of the vowels, and this book does as well as other transliterations I have seen. But of you're accustomed to seeing how Egyptian dialect is represented in the Roman alphabet, it takes some effort to adapt one's thinking to the style used for this book, and sometimes it requires a little imagination to determine whether a given song is in this book.




If you're looking for sheet music for a variety of different songs that have been popular in the Levant, particularly pre-1980 songs, this book is an excellent choice because it offers a large selection.




There is nothing to disclose. I have never had any contact with anyone involved in creating this book.



To Buy It

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