The maqam usually covers only one octave (two jins), but sometimes it covers more than one octave.Like the melodic minor scale and Indian ragas, some maqamat have different ajnas, and thus notes, while descending or ascending.
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Each poem in the set has a different author, and is considered to be their best work.
Mu'allaqat means "The Suspended Odes" or "The Hanging Poems," and comes from the poems being hung on the wall in the Kaaba at Mecca.
The maqam has a "tonal" note on which the piece must end (unless modulation occurs).
The maqam consists of at least two jins, or scale segments.
Because of the continuous innovation of jins and because most music scholars don't agree on the existing number anyway, it's hard to give an accurate number of the jins.
Nonetheless, in practice most musicians would agree on the 8 most frequently used ajnas: Rast, Bayat, Sikah, Hijaz, Saba, Kurd, Nahawand, and Ajam — and a few of the most commonly used variants of those: Nakriz, Athar Kurd, Sikah Beladi, Saba Zamzama.
The seven authors, who span a period of around 100 years, are Imru' al-Qais, Tarafa, Zuhayr, Labīd, 'Antara Ibn Shaddad, 'Amr ibn Kulthum, and Harith ibn Hilliza.
All of the Mu’allaqats contain stories from the authors’ lives and tribe politics.
Mukhalif is a rare jins used exclusively in Iraq, and it does not occur in combination with other ajnas.