Arabic note names

Traditional Arabic note names (like ‘rast’, ‘dukah’, ‘sikah’, etc.) can be quite long and so may not always be suitable for the purpose of music writing.

Include the file arabic.ly to write Arabic sheet music. The following example demonstrates how to write a ‘rast’ scale:

\include "arabic.ly"
\relative {
  \key do \rast
  do' re misb fa | sol la sisb do | sib la sol fa | misb re do
}

[image of music]

The file arabic.ly sets the note language to Italian (or Solfege), since that is the modern standard in Arabic music and is widely adopted among Arabic musicians. If you prefer to write sheet music in another language, simply change the language to your preferred language directly after including the file arabic.ly. This is a ‘rast’ scale with English note names:

\include "arabic.ly"
\language "english"
\relative {
  \key c \rast
  c' d eqf f | g a bqf c | bf a g f | eqf d c
}

[image of music]

“Rast” is a heptatonic scale that uses quarter tone intervals and is considered the most important and central scale of the “Arabic Maqamat”. For the full list of supported Arabic scales, see section Arabic key signatures.

The use of standard Western notation to notate non-Western music is discussed in Common notation for non-Western music. Also see Note names in other languages.

The symbol for semi-flat does not match the symbol which is used in Arabic notation. The \dwn symbol defined in arabic.ly may be used preceding a flat symbol as a work around if it is important to use the specific Arabic semi-flat symbol. The appearance of the semi-flat symbol in the key signature cannot be altered by using this method.

\include "arabic.ly"
\relative {
  \set Staff.extraNatural = ##f
  dod' dob dosd \dwn dob dobsb dodsd do do
}

[image of music]

See also

Notation Reference: Note names in other languages, Common notation for non-Western music, Including LilyPond files.

Installed Files: ly/arabic.ly

Snippets: World music.


LilyPond Notation Reference v2.25.13 (development-branch).