Music and Traditions of the Arabian Peninsula provides a pioneering overview of folk and traditional urban music, along with dance and rituals, of Saudi Arabia and the Upper Gulf States of Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar. The nineteen chapters introduce variegated regions and subcultures and their rich and dynamic musical arts, many of which heretofore have been unknown beyond local communities. The book contains insightful descriptions of genres, instruments, poetry, and performance practices of the desert heartland (Najd), the Arabian/Persian Gulf shores, the great western cities including Makkah and Medinah, the southwestern mountains, and the hot Red Sea coast. Musical customs of distinctive groups such as Bedouin, seafarers, and regional women are explored. The book is packaged with downloadable resources and almost 200 images including a full color photo essay, numerous music transcriptions, a glossary with over 400 specialized terms, and original Arabic script alongside key words to assist with further research. This book provides a much-needed introduction and organizational structure for the diverse and complex musical arts of the region.

chapter 1|10 pages


part I|167 pages

The Najd and Upper Gulf Region

chapter 2|20 pages

Bedouin Arts

chapter 3|17 pages

Bedouin Women's Music and Dance

chapter 4|12 pages

Ṭaggāgāt: Female Drumming Bands

chapter 5|33 pages

Ḥaḓar Arts from the Najd

Songs with Drums

chapter 7|17 pages

Gulf Wedding Practices and Songs

chapter 8|14 pages

Incoming Arts

African and Persian

chapter 9|26 pages

Sea Music Traditions, and Ṣaūt

part II|151 pages

The Hijaz and Southwest Region

chapter 10|24 pages

Hijazi Folk Traditions

chapter 11|14 pages

Ṭā'if and Music

chapter 12|23 pages

Art Music of the Hijazi Cities

chapter 13|5 pages

Hijazi Women and Music Making

chapter 14|14 pages

Distinguished Hijazi Artists

chapter 15|12 pages


Southwestern Arabia

chapter 16|27 pages

Asīr Genres and Traditions

chapter 17|11 pages

Bīsha and Bāḥa Arts

chapter 18|15 pages

Jīzān Music and Dance

chapter 19|4 pages

Musical Aspect of Najrān