Arabic music is basically divided into three groups: folklore, written pieces and improvisations.

The traditional instrumental formation, commonly called takhtcharqy, is composed of qanun, lute, violin and nay flute, accompanied by a percussion instrument, usually the daff. The first ones take charge of the melodic part and the latter gives rhythmic support. In the last decades, this formation has been supplemented by other traditional instruments, such as buzuk or cawala, and in some cases an accordion tempered with intervals of tone quarters, and other instruments such as the oboe or clarinet, in which Intervals can also be obtained. In addition, due to the need to fill the tessitura with more serious sounds, the viola, cello and double bass are often present, this being the formation of most classical orchestras.

Arabic music has more intermediate notes than Western music and recognizes three notes in whole tones called quarter-tone (¼-tone). Unlike Western erudite music, built on intervals composed of tones or semitones, this language also depends on three quarter-tone intervals. Simplifying, let us imagine that between the Mi flat and the natural Mi there is an intermediary degree whose convention is to call Mi mediumbemol.

Arab music is based on some major modes (called Maqamat), each with its proper scales and intervals. From these modes, others branch out.

Arabic musical instruments
Arabic singers