Ziryab was a gifted pupil of Ishaq al-Mawsili, where Ziryab got his first lessons. Ziryab was well known for his black color and versatile tongue, which inspired his nickname. As the Islamic armies conquered more and more territories, their musical culture spread with them, as ivan van sertima the golden age of the moor pdf as western China in the east and Iberia in the west.
Muslims were a small minority for quite some time, greatly outnumbered by the majority Christians and a smaller community of Jews, who had their own styles of music. With their arrival, the Muslims and Arabs introduced new styles of music, and the main cities of Iberia soon became well known centers for music within the Islamic world. During the 8th and 9th centuries, many musicians and artists from across the Islamic world flocked to Iberia. While many were talented, Ziryab surpassed them all. There are conflicting tales of the early years of Ziryab.
He was born around 789 CE. Mosul and was trained in the art of music from a young age. During that time, Baghdad was an important center of music in the Muslim world. The sources all agree that the accomplished and talented musician Ishaq al-Mawsili was Ziryab’s teacher. There is some debate about how he arrived in al-Andalus, but he may have offended his patron or some powerful figure with his musical talent. Mawsili told him to leave the city.