It is not easy to define the Arabic music, since the principles on which it’s based have been taken from peoples non-Arab: moors, Byzantines, Iranians, etc. However, we can make a distinction between the pure Arabic music, which was practiced, and practiced even today, in it primitive form well before the advent of Islam, and the other, more recent, formed under the Arab domination, in the course of the Muslim expansion.
In the conquered countries the Arab elements have been adapted to the regional music in a balance different each time; to put it more clearly, we should say “Andalusian Arabic music”, “Egyptian Arabic music”, etc; by the above, the regional differences are more prominent than those that might be found in the European music between, French and Italian art and it with the German art and obliges us not to forget this variable nature.
The two small kingdoms of Gassan and Hyra located in the border of Byzantium and Persia, served as containment barriers to the Arab thrusts from the desert. Gassan, satellite of the Byzantine Empire of East and Hyra of the Empire Sassanid Persian, were influenced by these two powerful empires and by them went ,toward the interior of the Arabian Peninsula, a stream of cultural influence of that not escaped the music. Influence, which, coming from India, had penetrated in Asia minor and Greece. The Mecca pilgrims to visit the temple of the Kaaba and then the forced visit to the nearby county fairs of Ukaz, were held with music and songs that were an essential part of the social and religious life. In Ukaz held true festivals of poetry and the chosen formed in a splint with golden letters and hung around the Kaaba, to be read by everybody and also everybody known its author.
Before the revelation, Muhammad had to necessarily have been present at such ceremonies. If the Prophet approved or disapproved the music was raised after, but the truth is that in the Quran there is not one word against it. Toward the year 661, which corresponds to the death of Ali, the fourth orthodox caliph, the Arabs executed only a melody based on the rhythmic values of the spoken language; this litany, knew two forms of pace: the due to the passage of camels and trotting of horses. In addition to the songs of caravan, the Arab pre-Islamic music possessed also funeral elegies, warriors songs, travel songs and love songs. For the Arabic people, the music accompanying him from cradle to grave; for every moment of his life was a special music: in the pleasure, in the pain, at work, in the game in the heat of the battle and in the religious devotion.