Traditional / folk music of Iraq
Iraq is land of one of the oldest civilizations in the human history. It was the place which many different cultures and different tribes met and exchanged. It is believed that the purest classical Arabic music raised from Iraq. One of the most important Arabic musicians of all the time, Ziryab (850 CE) is from the region today called Iraq. Iraq had been under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein for many years, and then it suffered from the civil war and also attack of different jihadi groups. This caused that many ethnic group and also their culture and folk music suffered. Many of these jihadists or even Shia extremists, wants music silenced. But even under these circumstances, traditional music plays a big role in the life of Iraqi people. As an example Kurdish people who are one of the biggest ethnic groups in Iraq, today they are engaged in the war with Jihadi groups, but even in the war they play their folk music with their traditional music instruments to keep their morale in the battle field.
Other than Arabic music, Iraq folk music consist of different ethnic groups music genres and each one has different style of folk music. Biggest one, other than Arabs are Assyrian, Kurdish and Turkmen.
Maqam is one of the most important aspect of Iraqi traditional music. The same as many countries in middle east, it is different type of melodic modes. Many of these Maqams are shared between Middle Eastern country with their own differences and characters. In Iraq there are between fifty to seventy maqams with number of sub-genres. Each one has its own set of rules, modes, structures and melodies and singing. Most of the time, the lyrics are in Arabic classical poetry which has a deep root in Iraqi culture and history, but some performers use poetry of different languages in Iraq like Turkish, Turkmen, Kurdish or even Persian which is not talked in Iraq. This type of traditional music is very old in Iraq and comes back to hundreds of years. A complete maqam concert is known as fasl . The most important Iraqi folk instruments which are used in this traditional music are qanun (string instrument), santur(string instrument), ney(wind instrument), loza (or rabab which is a type of bowed string instrument) and darbuka (hand percussion). Some of these instruments or very similar type of them can be seen a lot in Iraq neighborhoods like Iran.
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Traditional / folk songs for Iraq
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