"Traditional Omani Musical Instruments", published by the Omani Centre for Traditional Music in 2004, is an illustrated elaboration of a survey carried out by the Ministry of Information to document the Sultanate's musical heritage in 1983/1984.
Drawn by the beautiful coloured illustrations of Omani men and women in traditional dress and their instruments at various cultural functions across the different regions of the country, I picked the book up, choosing its English translation (also available in Arabic) from the Ministry of Information.
As a reference work, the guide summarizes different types of instruments by their structure, how they are played, and the material and methods of their design and construction. It also gives information as to their origin, evolution, what occasions and types of music they are favoured for, and what regions of the Sultanate they are commonly found in.
Myself, virtually being a musical-ignorant, I found that while this is not a heavily detailed account of individual instruments, the book is a great introduction to them, and the pictures generally communicate anything that the compilers of the endeavour neglected.
For more information about how to attain the book visit http://www.octm-folk.gov.om/ or visit the Ministry of Information's "Oman Centre for Traditional Music".
And for more book and literature reviews please visit http://www.omanibookmania.blogspot.com/