Abu l-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn Nafi‘;
or Ziryab (789–857; Arabic: أبو الحسن علي ابن نافع, زریاب) was a singer, oud player, composer, poet, and teacher who lived and worked in Iraq, Northern Africa, and Andalusia of the medieval Islamic period. He was also known as a polymath, with knowledge in astronomy, geography, meteorology, botanics, cosmetics, culinary art and fashion. His nickname Ziryab comes from the Persian word for jay-bird زرياب, pronounced “Ziryab”; he is also known as Mirlo (blackbird) in Spanish. He was active at the Umayyad court of Córdoba in Islamic Iberia. He first achieved notoriety at the Abbasid court in Baghdad, Iraq, his birthplace, as a performer and student of the great Persian musician and composer, Ishaq al-Mawsili. The Mawsili family was originally from the city of Kufa, Iraq.
Ziryab was a gifted pupil of Ishaq al-Mawsili, where Ziryab got his first lessons. He left Baghdad during the reign of the Abbasid caliph al-Ma’mun and moved to Córdoba in southern Iberian Peninsula, where he was accepted as court musician in the court of Abd ar-Rahman II of the Umayyad Dynasty.