AL-URMAWI TREATISE ON MUSIC

MS 5279
MS Short Title AL-URMAWI TREATISE ON MUSIC
Text AL-URMAWI: AL-RISALAH AL SHARAFIYYAH FI NISAB AL-TA 'LIFIYYAH; TREATISE ON MUSIC
Description MS in Arabic, Turkish, French and Greek on paper, Turkey, ca. 1900, 64 ff. (complete), 35x23 cm, single column (23x15 cm), 27 lines in Naskh script, headings in red, extensive commentaries and corrections, 72 tables and diagrams in red, 10 pp. with blank tables, Osmanic letter music notation, or abced-notasi (ABECEDARY notation).
Binding Turkey, ca. 1900, brown morocco gilt with flap, sewn on 4 cords.
Provenance 1. Sam Fogg, London.
Commentary This is an expanded working copy of al-Urmawi's celebrated theoretical treatise on music. The treatise expands on al-Urmawi's first work, the Kitab al-Adwar, written ca. 1242-1258. It represented one of the most successful attempts to systematise Arabic music, influenced by Greek musical theory. Both of al-Urmawi' works quickly became classics, particularly in the Islamic East, being the major sources for the maqams or modes which govern the Arabic music. One of his achievements was a commatic theory and system of notation standardising the intervals between the notes in the various maqams. While in the Arabic world from 18th c. onwards, a scale dividing the octave into 24 quarter-tones was increasingly in use, in the Ottoman Empire and the East, the commatic system was largely retained as in the present MS.
Place of origin Turkey
Dates c 1900 AD

Location