Middle Eastern vs. Western Music
—Middle Eastern – The complexity of the rhythm and the purity of the melodic line are most important in this type of music. In contrast, Western music has a harmonic framework and a beginning, middle and end. Middle Eastern music has an ebb and flow, a continuous development and endless repetition with embellishments and variations.
—Middle Eastern music uses quartertones, a pitch that is half way between a white and black key on a piano
—Western music uses chords (harmony) while Middle Eastern music does not. There’s only one melodic line.
More reading about Middle Eastern music:
Arabic Maqam World – Great site! -
Zehara’s Site More in-depth description of structure
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