Discover the Beauty and Diversity of Arabic Music with MIDI Files and Plugins
What are Arabic midi file songs?
Arabic music is a rich and diverse musical tradition that spans across many countries and regions in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond. It has a long history that dates back to ancient times, and it has been influenced by various cultures and religions over the centuries. Arabic music is known for its distinctive features, such as microtonal scales, complex rhythms, expressive melodies, and exotic instruments.
Arabic midi file songs
But how can you enjoy this beautiful music in the digital age? One way is to listen to Arabic midi file songs. These are files that contain musical data that can be played by any device or software that supports the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) format. MIDI is a standard that allows different musical devices to communicate with each other. It does not store actual sounds, but rather instructions on how to play them. This means that MIDI files are very small and easy to share online.
In this article, we will explore what are Arabic midi file songs, how they are created, where you can find them, and how you can use them for various purposes. Whether you are a fan of Arabic music, a curious learner, or a creative producer, you will find something interesting and useful in this article. So let's get started!
What is MIDI and how does it work?
MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It is a technical standard that was developed in the early 1980s to allow different electronic musical instruments, such as keyboards, synthesizers, drum machines, etc., to communicate with each other. MIDI allows these devices to send and receive messages that contain information such as pitch, velocity, duration, volume, modulation, etc., of each note or sound.
MIDI also allows these devices to store and transmit musical data in the form of files. These files are called MIDI files. A MIDI file contains a sequence of MIDI messages that can be played back by any device or software that supports MIDI. A MIDI file does not contain any actual sounds or samples; it only contains instructions on how to play them. This means that the same MIDI file can sound different depending on what device or software is used to play it.
The advantage of MIDI files is that they are very small in size compared to audio files. For example, a typical MP3 file that contains a 3-minute song can be around 5 MB in size; whereas a MIDI file that contains the same song can be less than 100 KB in size. This makes MIDI files ideal for online distribution and storage.
The disadvantage of MIDI files is that they depend on the quality and compatibility of the device or software that plays them. For example, if you play a MIDI file on a cheap keyboard with poor sounds, it will sound very different from playing it on a high-end synthesizer with realistic sounds. Also, some devices or software may not support certain features or messages in a MIDI file, such as pitch bend, modulation, etc., which can affect the playback.
What are the characteristics of Arabic music?
Arabic scales and modes
One of the most distinctive features of Arabic music is its use of microtonal scales. These are scales that contain intervals smaller than a semitone (half-step), which is the smallest interval in Western music. For example, an octave (the distance between two notes with the same name) can be divided into 12 equal semitones in Western music; whereas it can be divided into 24 equal quarter-tones in Arabic music.
Microtonal scales allow for more subtle and expressive variations in pitch than semitonal scales. They also create different moods and emotions depending on their intervals and patterns. Some microtonal scales sound exotic and mysterious; others sound sad and melancholic; others sound joyful and festive.
Arabic music uses different types of microtonal scales depending on the genre, style, region, etc. However, one common way to classify them is by using modes. Modes are sets of rules that define how a scale is used in a piece of music. They specify things such as which notes are emphasized (tonic), which notes are avoided (rest), which notes are altered (accidentals), etc.
The most common modes used in Arabic music are called maqamat (singular: maqam). There are hundreds of maqamat in Arabic music; each one has its own name, scale pattern, melodic contour, emotional character, etc. Some examples of maqamat are Bayati (sad), Hijaz (mysterious), Rast (majestic), Nahawand (romantic), Kurd (happy), etc.
Arabic instruments and rhythms
Another distinctive feature of Arabic music is its use of instruments. These are devices that produce sounds by various methods such as plucking strings, blowing air into tubes, striking membranes, etc. Some instruments are common across different regions and genres of Arabic music; others are specific to certain areas or styles.
Some examples of instruments used in Arabic music are:
Oud: A pear-shaped lute with a short neck and no frets. It has six pairs of strings that are plucked with a plectrum. It is considered the king of instruments in Arabic music and is used for both solo and ensemble playing.
Nay: A long bamboo flute with seven holes. It has a warm and breathy tone that can produce microtonal pitches. It is used for both melodic and rhythmic playing.
Qanun: A large zither-like instrument with 72 strings that are plucked with two plectra. It has levers that allow for tuning changes and microtonal adjustments. It is used for both solo and ensemble playing.
Violin: A bowed string instrument with four strings. It was introduced to Arabic music in the 19th century by European influence. It can produce microtonal pitches by sliding fingers along strings. It is used for both solo and ensemble playing.
Darbuka: A goblet-shaped drum with a single membrane. It is played with fingers, palms, and wrists. It produces different sounds depending on where it is struck. It is used for rhythmic accompaniment.
Riq: A small tambourine-like instrument with five pairs of metal jingles. It has a membrane that can be tightened or loosened by applying pressure with fingers. ```html shaken or struck. It is used for rhythmic accompaniment.
Arabic music also uses various types of rhythms. These are patterns of beats and silences that create a sense of movement and structure in music. Rhythms can be simple or complex, regular or irregular, fast or slow, etc. They can also vary depending on the genre, style, region, etc. of Arabic music.
One common way to classify rhythms in Arabic music is by using cycles. Cycles are sequences of beats that repeat over and over. Each beat in a cycle can be either strong (accented) or weak (unaccented). The number and arrangement of strong and weak beats in a cycle determine its character and name.
The most common cycles used in Arabic music are called iqa'at (singular: iqa'). There are dozens of iqa'at in Arabic music; each one has its own name, number of beats, accent pattern, notation symbol, etc. Some examples of iqa'at are Masmoudi (8 beats), Samai (10 beats), Rumba (4 beats), Wahda (4 beats), etc.
Arabic genres and styles
Arabic music is not a monolithic entity; it is composed of various genres and styles. Genres are broad categories that classify music based on common characteristics such as form, function, origin, etc. Styles are subcategories that distinguish music based on specific features such as instrumentation, performance, expression, etc.
There are many genres and styles of Arabic music; some are ancient and traditional; others are modern and contemporary. Some are popular and widespread; others are rare and regional. Some are influenced by other cultures and religions; others are purely Arabic and Islamic. Some examples of genres and styles of Arabic music are:
Tarab: A genre of classical Arabic music that aims to evoke emotional responses in the listeners. It is characterized by long and complex compositions that use maqamat, iqa'at, poetic lyrics, improvisation, etc. It is performed by solo singers or small ensembles that include instruments such as oud, qanun, nay, violin, etc. Some famous tarab singers are Umm Kulthum, Abdel Halim Hafez, Fairuz, etc.
Ghazal: A genre of Arabic poetry that expresses love, longing, and passion. It is usually sung by solo singers accompanied by instruments such as oud, qanun, nay, etc. It uses a specific form that consists of couplets that rhyme and share a common meter. Some famous ghazal singers are Nizar Qabbani, Majida El Roumi, Kazem Al Saher, etc.
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Dabke: A genre of folk dance music that is popular in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, etc. It is characterized by fast and energetic rhythms that use iqa'at such as Malfuf, Saidi, etc. It is performed by groups of dancers who form a line or a circle and stamp their feet and clap their hands. It is accompanied by instruments such as tabla, mizmar, zurna, etc.
Mawal: A style of vocal improvisation that is common in various genres of Arabic music. It is characterized by free and expressive melodies that use maqamat and microtonal pitches. It is performed by solo singers who showcase their vocal skills and emotions. It is usually followed by a fixed melody or a chorus.
Taqsim: A style of instrumental improvisation that is common in various genres of Arabic music. It is characterized by free and exploratory melodies that use maqamat and microtonal pitches. It is performed by solo instrumentalists who showcase their technical skills and creativity. It is usually followed by a fixed melody or a rhythm.
Where can you find Arabic midi file songs?
One of the easiest ways to find Arabic midi file songs is to search for them online. There are many websites that offer free or paid downloads of Arabic midi file songs. Some of these websites are specialized in Arabic music; others are general midi file repositories that include Arabic music among other genres.
Here are some examples of websites that offer Arabic midi file songs:
The Microtonal Arabic MIDI Palace: This website contains remixes of charming Arabic popular music created by Stefan Hetzel using a Roland SC-88Pro PCM desktop sound module. All songs are using native Arabic microtonal scales.
Midis101.com: This website contains a large collection of midi files from various genres and categories, including Arabic music. You can search for Arabic midi files by name or browse them by page.
Midiworld.com: This website contains a large collection of midi files from various genres and categories, including Arabic music. You can search for Arabic midi files by keyword or browse them by genre.
Midkar.com: This website contains a large collection of midi files from various genres and categories, including Arabic music. You can browse for Arabic midi files by page or download them as zip files.
Midiart.net: This website contains a large collection of midi files from various genres and categories, including Arabic music. You can browse for Arabic midi files by page or download them individually.
Another way to find Arabic midi file songs is to use offline sources. These are software or hardware devices that can play or create Arabic midi file songs. Some of these devices are specialized in Arabic music; others are general musical devices that include Arabic music among other features.
Here are some examples of offline sources that offer Arabic midi file songs:
Roland SC-88Pro PCM desktop sound module: This is a device that produces high-quality sounds using PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) technology. It has 1113 sounds and 42 drum sets, including Arabic sounds and rhythms. It also has microtuning functions that allow for microtonal adjustments. It can play MIDI files from external sources such as computers or keyboards.
Korg Pa4X Oriental professional arranger keyboard: This is a device that combines a keyboard with a sound module and a sequencer. It has over 1900 sounds and over 600 styles, including Arabic sounds and styles. It also has microtuning functions that allow for microtonal adjustments. It can play and create MIDI files using its internal memory or external sources such as USB drives or computers.
GarageBand software application: This is a software application that allows you to create music using your computer or mobile device. It has over 1000 sounds and over 200 styles, including Arabic sounds and styles. It also has microtuning functions that allow for microtonal adjustments. It can play and create MIDI files using its internal library or external sources such as iTunes or iCloud.
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How can you use Arabic midi file songs?
For listening and enjoyment
One of the simplest ways to use Arabic midi file songs is to listen to them and enjoy them. You can play them on any device or software that supports MIDI, such as computers, mobile phones, tablets, keyboards, synthesizers, etc. You can also adjust the sound quality and compatibility by changing the settings or using different sound modules or plugins.
Here are some tips on how to listen to and enjoy Arabic midi file songs:
Choose a good sound source: The sound quality of a MIDI file depends largely on the sound source that plays it. A good sound source should have realistic and expressive sounds that match the style and mood of the music. It should also support microtonal scales and modes that are essential for Arabic music. Some examples of good sound sources are Roland SC-88Pro, Korg Pa4X Oriental, SwarPlug, etc.
Adjust the volume and balance: The volume and balance of a MIDI file depend largely on the device or software that plays it. A good device or software should have a volume control and a balance control that allow you to adjust the loudness and the stereo effect of the music. You should also use headphones or speakers that have good sound quality and clarity.
Explore different genres and styles: Arabic music is very diverse and varied; it has many genres and styles that cater to different tastes and preferences. You should explore different genres and styles of Arabic music by listening to different MIDI files. You can also learn about the history and culture of Arabic music by reading online articles or books.
For learning and education
Another way to use Arabic midi file songs is to learn from them and educate yourself. You can use them as a tool for learning about Arabic music theory and culture. You can also use them as a source for practicing your musical skills and knowledge.
Here are some tips on how to learn from and educate yourself with Arabic midi file songs: