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When I think about music and what I enjoy about it I think about my home country and the music that I have known all my life Arabic music is my favorite musical styling Although I have come to enjoy classical and contemporary styling as well Arabic music has almost an innate quality of enjoyment for me I am from the Middle-East and I have known Arabic music for the majority of my life Its songs speak of the life and culture of Arabic countries and its melody is not commonly heard on American radio stations Its songs tell the story of my people people who are similar to Americans but also different in many ways The songs are a romantic and wonderful inspiration to me while living and studying in America The tradition of Arabic music has been cultivated throughout Arab regions for thousands of years Although it has undergone many changes over the centuries it has retained certain distinctive traits The Arabic music tradition developed in the courts of dynasties in the Islamic empire from the 7th century to the 13th century It flourished during the Umayyad dynasty in the 7th century and 8th century in Syria Great performers were drawn to Baghdad now the capital of Iraq under such rulers as Harun ar-Rashid who was a patron of the musical arts during the late 700s3 The cities of the Islamic empire from Spain across North Africa and throughout the Middle East boasted many fine musicians These early musicians were often composers and poets as well as performers Although the major writings on Arab music appeared after the spread of Islam in the beginning of the 7th century the music tradition had already begun Before the spread of Islam Arab music incorporated music traditions of the Sassanid dynasty 224-641 in Persia and the early Byzantine empire 4th century to 6th century and of sung poetry from the Arabian Peninsula3 Arabic-speaking
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