Kitab al-Musiqa al-Kabir

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Kitab al-Musiqa al-Kabir (Arabic: كتاب الموسيقى الكبير‎, English: Great Book of Music) is a treatise on music in Arabic by the Persian scientist al-Farabi (872-950/951). The work prescribes different aspects of music such as maqamat, and is believed to be influenced by the Pythagorean theory of harmonic ratios. According to Seyyed Hossein Nasir and Mehdi Aminrazavi:[1]

Morever, he was a master of music theory; his Kitab al-Musiqa al-Kabir (The book on great music), known in the West as a book on Arabic music, is in reality a study of the theory of Persian music of his day as well as presenting certain great philosophical principle about music, its cosmic qualities, and its influence on the soul.

The book was translated into Hebrew by Joseph ben Judah ibn Aknin.


  1. ^ Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Professor Mehdi Aminrazavi. “An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, Vol. 1: From Zoroaster to ‘Umar Khayyam”, I.B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2007. Pg 135.

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