MIDDLE EASTERN
PERCUSSION
INSTRUMENTS

GENERAL INSTRUMENTS FOR BELLYDANCING MUSIC

All over the Middle East and North Africa we can find the Darbuka, Darabuk, Doumbek or Tombak, depending on place of origin, they can vary in shape, name, material and size. They are normally played under the arm, with one hand doing mainly basic beats, while the other does mainly accenting. A lot of technique is required for all the subtile accenting in oriental rhythms. Notations for Doumbek rhythms are given as Doum (bass) and Tek (high). They are often used for Belly dance music. They come in all kinds of materials, from ceramic to aluminium, copper and silverplated. And skins vary as well; nowadays we see mainly plastic skins, but they are also made with goat skin (sounding quite like Djembe) and best quality is said to be fish skin, because it's very thin, it's got a very sharp sound.


Zildjes are little brass finger cymbals, used by dancers as well as the musicians. They are usually played in short counts of three, rather fast.


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