Arab music is distinctly different from modern European music, that is European music from the 18th century onwards.

But this difference does not stem from basic disparity between the Arab and European natures, as has occurred to some scholars in writing on racial and ethnological relationship.

There is the same disparity between the ancient European music, and the modern European music in its last evolutionary stage. Greek and Roman music was based on sentimental songs or on the tunes that accompanied the dances and songs. It was composed rather for delight than self-expression. European melodies before the 18th century were lyrical; they were not tunes coordinated in the system known by the modern term harmony.

The modern European is not naturally delighted by harmonic music without being beforehand learned in its arts. If the tunes multiply, the tones vary and the distance between the repetitive rhythms grows longer, the European listener will find himself lost, and wearied in trying to combine it and its divisions. He must be conversant with the harmony of sound and the scale of tones so that he may relish that complex music and be delighted at listening to it, in the same way as an individual get delighted by aesthetics. He may be well learned in the art of refined music, yet he will be repelled when he hears a new musical scale of sounds. He needs to study it for a while until he likes it. In this connection, Professor Douglas Moore, professor of music at Columbia University, says in his book (From hymn to contemporary music)

The listener, accustomed to listening to simple styles of music, will be justly disappointed if he feels he is soon lost when listening to a sympathy. He should not be disappointed and remain reassured, because what agrees with him, agrees with others, however much versed and experienced he may be. Our capacity for concentrated listening is too much limited to allow for any type of listening based on perfect pitch. Even professional musicians prefer to listen to familiar music, rather than to listen to new tunes, because they spend less effort in grasping it. However, persistent practice and patient understanding of new tunes will speedily render the listener familiar with them, and consequently he can grasp quite easily their lofty significance, and refined melody.

The innovations in the modern European music of variation and composition, have estranged it from the Greek and Roman music in general. These innovations were not a new thing to European or human nature. They were a new acquisition of knowledge and devices after having made vast researches in thee science of sound, the arrangement of musical instruments, and the influence of liturgical music, then tunes of spiritual hymns and of philosophical contemplations into sensory music.

The difference between ancient music and modern music became greater when it expanded to include religious emotions and divine services. The listener used to listen to it in the niches of temples, when he was submitting himself to the Almighty, and pondering on the mystery of the universe. If music has expanded to include such loftier expressions, also must have scope for the insertion of deeply wise sayings, ascetic corollaries, and intuitional airs which have pervaded Europe after the evanescence of the religious impact, in consequence of reformation revolts. It is therefore not strange that home-countries of church music are the sponsors of harmonics in music, or the home-countries of the famous musicians who rose to the peak of excellence in the composition of operas, symphonies and other compositional arts. These countries are most probably Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany and Russia which was renowned for its choirs. In this connection it is noticeable that the regions in which the impact of the church disappeared all at once, namely Lutheran Germany, outnumbered in great musicians all other regions in which the ancient and modern have combined.

However, relationship between the Arabs and the evolution of European music on that line has not been severed.

This is due to the fact that Andalusia had been receiving tunes composed by the Arabs. These tunes embraced sensuous tunes admixed with liturgical music. They lasted for several generations after the decline of the Arab State. The Spanish had a specific divine dance sponsored by the Church; that dance combined features of archaic and modern music

It is an established fact that Europeans had learnt the art of music from Arab professors in Andalusia, and that they had taken down the names of some musical instruments from the Arabs and introduced them into their European languages subsequent to alight inflections. Such words are the Lute from the Arabic world «Al-Cud»; «Naker» from the Arabic word (Nakara»; «Cle) (the musical key) from «Ekled», and «Rebec» from the Arabic word «Rebeba» Europe artists continued to put on dresses similar to the Arab singers, although circumstances had changed. Arab singers in Morocco used to perform in their best. Cantatrices used to release their hair, color their cheeks and apply to their eyelids.

However, some European experts in Arab music, such as Professor Farmer, believe that the Arabs had anticipated the Europeans in evolving a kind of «harmonics» which they call «Composer». By it they mean various intonations of one single tune at one time, which is different from today's harmonics. However it was a step towards it.

Historians are unanimously agreed that European scholars studied and handed Arab treatises on theoretical music. Although they had translated a modicum of those treaties, hundreds of them joined the schools of Carthage and other cities in quest of science, which included theoretical music. Good knowledge of the Arabic language was a pre-condition for any Christian Spaniard. The students at Oxford University of England used to jeer at «Roger Bacon», the famous scholar, whenever he made a mistake in the Latin translation of Arabic, because they could look up the correct texts.

Some modern European critics imagine that the Arabs' voice was not up to the standard of grandeur and loftiness. They draw this conclusion from what they hear about Bedouin outcries at fairs and market places which sounded shrill and frail. These European critics could have discovered their mistake, had they born in mind the songs of camel-driver in the desert, which is in fact the ancient type of Arab singing. Such singing provided a wide scope for all kinds of voices which resounded all over the desert and rose to the highest pitches.

At any rate, there is no basic difference of scales between Arab and European music. Yet the Arab musician who holds stubbornly fast to the `familiars' highly esteems what is called «quarter-tones», and considers it a basically distinguishing mark between Oriental and European tunes. However, the observance of this «quarter tones» is not a condition for listening by an Arab, war does its denial set a condition for listening by an European.

The modern musician Hans Barth manufactured a piano which has the quarter-tone; Ivan Wischnegradsky wrote a book on the quarter-tone and harmonics. Alois Haba composed an opera and tunes on the basis of the quarter-tone observed in Arabic songs Julian Carello made a guitar on that basis. John Appleby played on that guitar the tune of a theme that revolved around a talk by Socrates. Nicolas Ramsky Korsakof formed, some twenty years ago, in Leningrad a group for the study of the «quarter-tone»

Apart from these, there are the musicians who introduced Arabic tunes in their theatrical and non-theatrical melodies such as Rubenstein, Philican David and Saint Saens, and drew intonation closer to harmony.

It this basis has prevailed in Europe and been observed in the construction of the musical instruments and the composition of the tunes, then it is a new trace of the Arabs' art adding to their old heritage.