Belly Dance Music

The Simsimiyya Music of Port Said

I want to start directly with a YouTube video, because it (and the JWAAD music course) are the inspiration behind this post: https://youtu.be/yJPRMRzyZMs A group of folk musicians from Port Said sing and dance in the video. When we think of Egypt, we often think of its culture as stemming from Pharaonic times. But there… Continue reading The Simsimiyya Music of Port Said

Belly Dance Music

Rhythms in Belly Dance Music

Introduction Let’s go down the rhythm rabbit hole! The rhythmic mode or iqa/iqaat (plural) is a foundational feature of Middle Eastern music. Songs in the Middle East have underlying repeated sequences of strong and weak drum beats. These are the iqaat, and there are reputedly up to 100 of them (Wikipedia). Why is it important… Continue reading Rhythms in Belly Dance Music

Belly Dance Music

Introduction to Belly Dance Music

Let’s talk about belly dance music. The first step to interpreting music through dance is listening to it, really listening to it. Music has a rich texture: “how the tempo, melodic, and harmonic materials are combined in a composition, thus determining the overall quality of the sound in a piece” (Wikipedia). Like a layer cake,… Continue reading Introduction to Belly Dance Music