In The Western Impact on World Music, Bruno Nettl states that in the Middle East, ‘the traditional musical system shows evidence of both modernization and Westernization. The social contexts of music, concepts and behaviour patterns, while bending, have not broken’ (1985: 20). Nettl deals then with the concept of centrality, which means ‘in a musical style, one or several features are more central than others and function as hallmarks’ (20). However, Nettl argues ‘the issue of Modernization versus Westernization is complicated by the need to determine the relative centrality of various components of the music system’ (156). I had the opportunity to tackle this issue in my elaboration of the Great Musical Tradition after the advent of Islam, which I dealt with in my book Music in the World of Islam (Shiloah 1995: 19-20). It constitutes the skilful fusion of selected elements from previous great traditions of the conquered peoples with elements from the Arab tradition, which resulted in successful ‘new arrangements’. These new arrangements were considered by both conquerors and conquered as outgrowths of the old as well as representative of orthogenesis. The latter notion is drawn from von Grunebaum’s dichotomy of orthogenesis versus heterogenesis in relation to the change of Muslim culture (von Grunebaum 1956: 95-6).2