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Arabian scales in music production

November 4, 2016


In an earlier post, we wrote about how we like to use Middle Eastern scales and modes. One of these scales is known as a maqam in Arabic, a makam in Turkish. Other parts of the Middle East and Central Asia have related musical systems.

As we said last time, this article isn’t the place to go into the traditional rules and applications of these scales – and, quite frankly, we don’t know enough to use them properly. We do, however, love the sound of them.

Last time we wrote about maqam Hijaz.  This time it is maqam Zanjaran, زنجرا,  a maqam that is a popular modulation from maqam Hijaz.

Zanjaran contains the note sequence C Db E F G A Bb C.

We have used this maqam in two tunes released by Broken Drum Records. We haven’t necessarily followed any of the structural rules of traditional Arabian music but we have used traditional Arabian rhythms.

The first one is by Secret Archives of the Vatican and is called Turquoise of Nishapur. It uses a rhythm called Masmoudi Saghir.

The second tune is by Tyrantbane and is called Precipice. It uses a rhythm called Masmoudi Kabir.


All of our music is available for free download, or you can choose to pay.






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