In this chapter, the author discusses the Baghdadi secular cycles that are based on the dominant urban genre al-maqam al-iraqi, or the Iraqi Maqam. She describes their structure, content and functions, addressing the issue of the relation between their theoretical framework and the way in which they are presented and performed. The performance of any secular sub-cycle is always preceded by an instrumental introductory section, pishru or al-muqqadima. Traditionally, the introductory part was played by the instrumental ensemble al-chalghi al-Baghadi, which consists of four instruments: two melodic ones, the santur and the joze, made of a coconut shell and two percussion instruments: the tabla and the daff. Performers who were told by their predecessors that the secular cycles they know were regularly performed in the mid-nineteenth century in Baghdad where the secular school was located.