Arab Music Studies Minor in One Semester

The minor in Arab music studies offers students an opportunity to explore Arab history, society, and culture from a musical direction. It is geared toward students interested in pursuing careers in the arts or graduate work in anthropology, ethnomusicology, or Middle Eastern studies. The minor emphasizes hands-on training in Arab music performance.

Beginning in Spring 2025, students across NYU's global network will be able to complete the minor in Arab music studies in one semester (spring only). Students interested in this opportunity should have general musicianship skills at least at the level of a student entering an introductory course in music theory and analysis.


Requirements Course Details
Required course Arab Music Cultures
1 foundational course Arab Crossroads Course, selected from: Anthropology and the Arab World, Introduction to Modern Arabic Literature, Emergence of the Modern Middle East, Gulf Urban Societies
Courses that may be taken in NY to satisfy this requirement: The Emergence of the Modern Middle East, Literature and Society in the Middle East, Making of the Muslim Middle East, Arab Theatre and Film
8 credits  Music theory and/or performance courses: Arab Music Theory and Ear Training (4-credit course to be launched in spring 2025); individual or group instruction in an Arab musical instrument: Oud, Arab violin, Arab voice; music ensembles: Modern Khaleeji Ensemble, Eastern Arab Ensemble
Ghazi Mulaifi and Layth Sidiq with NYUAD Arab Music students.
Sherine Tohamy lecturing on Arab music theory at NYU Abu dhabi.
Sherine Tohamy and her oud students.

Highlighted Faculty

Ghazi Faisal Al-Mulaifi, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music, NYUAD

Ghazi Faisal Al-Mulaifi, PhD is an applied-ethnomusicologist who received his PhD in ethnomusicology from New York University in 2016. In addition to working as an assistant professor of music, Al-Mulaifi is also a Venice Biennale artist, composer, Khaleeji-jazz musician, and ensemble leader. Visit his personal website.

His research interests include Kuwaiti pearl diving music, the music of the Indian Ocean civilizations trade routes, global-jazz, and heritage production. His current musical efforts include performing with his ensemble Boom.Diwan where he and traditional Kuwaiti pearl diving musicians merge Kuwaiti bahri (sea) rhythms with global jazz traditions for the purpose of creating a new Kuwaiti music and engaging in a global musical dialog.

Layth Sidiq, Artist in Residence, NYUAD

Layth Sidiq is a Grammy-nominated violinist, composer, and educator and the current artistic director of the New York Arabic Orchestra. He has toured the world and shared the stage with major artists such as Simon Shaheen, Danilo Perez, and Jack DeJohnette, as well as performing in prestigious venues like the London Jazz Festival, Boston Symphony Hall, WOMEX Expo, Panama Jazz Festival, and more. He is featured on multiple award-winning albums and his first record Son of Tigris premiered at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2016. 

In 2018, Layth won 2nd place at the Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition as the first Arab to ever participate, and he was also recently awarded 'Best International Artist' at the 2020 Boston Music Awards. He also directs the Center for Arabic Culture's Youth Orchestra Program in Boston and was a faculty member at Carnegie Hall’s ‘Music Educators Workshop’. Layth is the lead vocalist and violinist for Assassin’s Creed game "Mirage," released in 2023.

Sherine Tohamy, Oud Soloist and NYUAD Arabic Music Studies instructor.

Sherine Tohamy, Adjunct Instructor of Oud, NYUAD

Sherine Tohamy is the first female to graduate as a soloist from the Oud House (Egypt) in a degree of excellence with honors and the third graduate in general to go on to teach the instrument at the institute. Teaching at the Oud House in Abu Dhabi since 2009 and taught for three years at New York University Abu Dhabi.

Tohamy has released three albums ranging from Egyptian heritage to pieces she composed. She has performed solo or with international groups around the world, and since 2011 she has been leading her female band “Najmat.” Tohamy has participated in many international festivals including with Bait Al Oud and different musical workshops. She holds a BA in French Media from Cairo University.


Andrew J. Eisenberg, Program Head and Associate Professor of Music