Al-Tadwin al-Musiqi al-Muʿarab التدوين الموسيقي المُعَّرب
This book is an account of the efforts of Dr. Edwin Lewis, a professor at the Syrian Protestant College (now the American University of Beirut) in the late nineteenth century to modify the system of Western musical notation to fit Arabic music (and more specifically, church music). In this work, Shafik Jeha addresses how musical notation was adapted to correspond with the right-to-left direction of Arabic musical texts, and includes the reactions of some Arab composers to the revised method of notation. How did this new method of music notation appear on the musical scene? How important was it to musicians in the Arab world? How did it spread? What problems did it face? What were the consequences of the new musical notation method? What were its advantages and its disadvantages? Shafik Jeha answers all these questions and many more in this book, which is divided into three parts: the first deals with the emergence of Arabized musical notation, the second addresses the development of this new type of notation, and the last elaborates on its dissemination.