Arabic Music Workshop 25.2 and 27.2 (17:00-20:00)


We are proud to present the first World Music Workshop this Spring with Nemat Battah, organised by the International School of Music Finland in cooperation with the Global Music Centre.


In this workshop, Nemat Battah will introduce the beauty and richness of Arabic musical melodies, rhythms, lyrics and more.

Arabic music has been noticeably trending in Finland and neighboring countries due to the influx of Arabic musicians who have moved permanently or temporarily to Europe. Arabic music consists of many different styles and genres representing all the peoples of 22 Arab states. The history of this music extends from the Pre-Islamic period (Arabian Peninsula) to the Early Islamic period (Andalus) and all the way into the 21st century.

The workshop will present a brief overview on Arabic music theory, forms and practice covering the Levant and Egypt areas. We will discuss some form differences and stylistic performance aspects by listening to some original recordings and analysing them aurally. We will also learn to play a tune or two, time permitting.

The workshop is open to any vocalist and/or instrumentalist with a basic knowledge of music theory and an intermediate to advanced knowledge of their instrument. We will either learn the tunes by ear or use scores, based on participant skill levels and preferences.


A brief overview of Arabic music, history, and musical forms.

The main elements of Arabic music theory: Maqam, ornaments, rhythms, and performing stylistic differences.

Collective ensemble exercises. This includes:

Learning the Maqam definition and how to identify different fragments of Maqam by ear.

Learning how to Analyze a Maqam and learning a traditional Arabic piece based on that Maqam.

Applying what you have learned to create a collective modal improvisation implementing some stylistic aspects of Arabic music (such as ornaments, phrasing and rhythmic cycles).

Even if participants do not completely master the Arabic style through this workshop, they will have the tools to create their own version of the music that is consistent with Arabic style.


About the instructor:

Nemat Battah is a Palestinian-Jordanian singer, oud player and music teacher who has studied musicology, world music and Global Music in Jordan, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. She mainly performs and composes music that is inspired by traditional Arabic music from the Levant and Egypt areas, but she is also involved in several transcultural projects where she contributes her Arabic musical identity. Nemat is an experienced teacher as well and has led many different music ensembles, workshops and lessons on Arabic music theory and practice. Her main projects at the moment include Sterna Duo (Arabic-Nordic folk duo), and Shams ensemble (rearranged Traditional Arabic music).

Date and time: Tue 25.2.2020 & Thu 27.2.2020, 17:00 – 20:00

Location: Global Music Centre (Hämeentie 34 D, Helsinki)

Price: 50€ for two days; 30€ for one day

Watch the promotional video!

An attendance certificate can be provided upon request.

For all enquiries please contact Camilo Pajuelo ( ) and remember to sign up in advance!

For more information visit ISM on Facebook.