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Despite major cultural differences, middle eastern music is mostly made of the three languages, Arabic, Turkish and Persian, as a unifying tradition brought together through Islam.
A typical performance of middle eastern music usually consists of alternating sections of improvised and composed material. Composed sections are mostly accompanied by percussion instruments that replicate standard patterns which articulate the rhythmic mode.
Melodic instruments such as the zorna (double-reed instrument), nay (flute), ud (short-necked lute) and santur (trapezoidal zither) play in unison with improvised sections of music. In this time and age, middle eastern music has changed immensely over the years by western influences.This now employs less improvisation and stricter unison between parts, in shorter pieces.
Whilst this is not commonly known, the Middle East has been a crucial source of musical instruments to the rest of the world, such as, bagpipes, guitar, lute, oboe, tambourine, viols as well as most zithers. Often times, middle eastern music can last for up until one to three hours in length of time, building up to much applauded climaxes and tarab.