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Taqsim (Arabic: تَقْسِيم / ALA-LC: taqsīm; Greek: ταξίμι taksimi, Turkish: taksim) is a melodic musical improvisation that usually precedes the performance of a traditional Arabic, Greek, Middle Eastern, or Turkish musical composition.
Taqsim traditionally follows a certain melodic progression. Starting from the tonic of a particular Arabic maqam, the first few measures of the improvisation remain in the lower ajnas of the maqam, thereby introducing the maqam to the listener. After this introduction, the performer is free to move anywhere in the maqam, and even to modulate to other maqams, as long as he returns to the original one.
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