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Rhythms Reference Sheet

Rachel Allen

I hope you enjoy and find useful my own personal Rhythm Reference At A Glance

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Dr. Richard Ries is the President of the Middle Eastern Dance Artists of Hawai’i, as well as a doctor of psychology who specializes in helping people with trauma and PTSD. He lives in Honolulu. | Related: Drum, Sharp, Rhythms.

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Clay Doumbek
The goblet drum (also chalice drum, tarabuka, darbuka, debuka, doumbek, dumbec, dumbeg, dumbelek, toumperleki, or table, Arabic: دربوكة‎‎ / ALA-LC: darbūkah) is a single head membranophone with a goblet shaped body used mostly in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and Eastern Europe. The African djembe-wassolou is also a goblet membranophone.[3] This article focuses on the Eastern and North-African goblet drum.

20 Middle Eastern Dance Rhythms Simplified

Raquy Danziger

Raquy Danziger is a celebrated performer, teacher, and composer known worldwide for her expertise on the dumbek, or darbuka, the Middle-Eastern goblet drum. Hailing from unlikely Western roots, Raquy has distinguished herself as a unique phenomenon and earned a place of renown in the genre. She has collaborated and performed with some of the most famous Middle Eastern drummers in the world and has given concerts and workshops across the USA, Canada, The Middle East, Asia, Europe, Russia and South America. | Photo: @MariannaPix | Link | Raquy Danziger, Goblet Drum, Halice Drum, Tarabuka, Darbuka, Debuka, Doumbek, Dumbec, Dumbeg, Dumbelek, Toumperleki, Tabla, Music, Percussion,

20 Middle Eastern Dance Rhythms Simplified

Rachel Allen



[Comments] 20 Middle Eastern Dance Rhythms

Do you want to further your dance by learning all the various rhythms that go along with this artform?
Do you feel overwhelmed with all the rhythms out there?
Are you the type of person that likes a quick and handy reference sheet?

I answered Yes to all of the above a few years ago and created this list. I hope that you find my Rhythm Reference Sheet beneficial for your own personal Dance Practice Fun.

1. Maqsoum
4/4 Rhythm (1&2&3&4&)
The most common and versatile rhythm – pop, folkloric, and classical at various speeds.
D T _ T D _ T _ (Basic Form)
D T k T D k T t k
D K T k D k T k k (most common walking rhythm)
*When this Rhythm is played slower it forms a variation of the Masmoudi Rhythm.

2. Beledi/Baladi (or Masmoudi Sagheer/Little Masmoudi)
4/4 Rhythm
Folkloric, Earthy, Weighty. Also a common and versatile rhythm.
More Doums than the Maqsoum
D D _ T D _ T _ (Basic Form)
D _ D _ tkt _ D _ tkT _ tk

3. Masmoudi
8/4 Rhythm = 2 parts, 4 counts each
The most varied rhythm based on the speed.
DDD_ D_ _ _D T _ T D _ T _
D _ T k D _ T k D _ T _ _ _ T k D _ T k T k T _ T k T k T _ T k

4. Ayyub
2/4 Rhythm
2 Down (Doum) Beats
In this quick dance form, it is great for traveling. The slower version is referred to as Zaar.
D k D K
D kk D K
D _ _ k D _ T _

5. Saiidi
4/4 Rhythm from Upper Egypt. Strong Doums.
DT _ DD _ T _ (Basic Form)
D T _ D D _ T _
D tD T

6. Malfouf
2/4 Rhythm
A perfect entrance and exit rhythm.
D _ _ T _ _ T _
D _ k T _ k T _
D k k T k k T k
D k t K t k T k

7. Chiftetelli
8/4 Rhythm
Turkish rhythm. Softer movements.
D _ KT _ KT _ D _ D _ T _ _ _
D _ _ T_ _T _ D _ D _ T _ _
D _k t _ kT _ D _D _ T _ tk
D _ tk T _ T _ tkD_ T _ tk D _ _ _ D _ _ _ Tktk T _ _ _

8. Serto
4/4 Rhythm
Greek Rhythm. Alternates accents on every other measure.
D _ k D _ k t k D _ k T _ k t k
D d k T t k T k
D k Dktk D k Tktk

9. Wahda (which means One)
4/4 Rhythm
Played as the slower, melody part.
Very circular and undulating
One strong beat in the 4/4 Rhythm
D_ _ _ t _ t _

10. Felahin/Fallahi
2/4 Rhythm
From Egyptian Farmers and their Celebration Rituals
Energy and Bounce.
D k _ k D k T _
D k k _ D _ k _
D t t D t

11. Bolero
4/4 Rhythm (1 e and e, 2 e and e, 3 e and e, 4 e and e)
Slower rhythm brought over from Spain.
D _ T _ T _ D _
D k T k T k D _
D _ T k T _ T _ D _ T _ D _ T _
D k k T k k T k T k D T|

12. Taqsim/Taksim
8/4 Rhythm
Soft rhythm played by one instrument. And actually almost has no rhythm, but more a feeling/essence.
This is the area where the dancer can dance for herself and her inner feelings.
Often improvised or semi-improvised.
Emotional, heartfelt, reflective.

Sometimes heard as:
D _ t k D _ t k D _ t k T _ T _ D _ t k T K T _ D _ D _ T _ t k

13. Khaleegy
2/4 Rhythm
Persian and Arabian Gulf region. Each region puts their own style into the rhythm.
Dance of the Gulf.
Heavy rolling beats.

1& a 2 & a 1 & a 2

D _ t k T k D _

14. Turkish/Karsilama
9/8 Rhythm
Box steps, ¾ shimmies are good to this rhythm.
1, 2, 3, 4, 12345

D _ T _ D _ T T _
D tk TtkD tk TT tk

D _ _ _ t _ k _ T _ _ _ t _ k _ D ___ t _ k _ T _ _ _ T _ _ _ T _ _ _

15. Karatshi
2/4 Rhythm
Not a tradionally based Egyptian rhythm, but commonly used in Egypt and North Africa.
* It’s noticeable characteristic is that it starts with a Tek.
T _ Tk T _ D _
T kk T D

16. Debke
4/4 Rhythm
Lebanese Line Dance 
Feet stomps and moving side to side are two of the basic moves.

17. Shoush
5/8 Rhythm
1 2 3 1 2
D tk tk D T

D _ _ _ t _ k _ T _ _ _ D _ _ _ T _ _ _

18. Samai
10/8 Rhythm
Classical Egyptian consisting of 3 parts and one of the most complicated.
D _ _ T _ D D T _ _
D tk tk T tk D D T tk tk

19. Zaar
2/4 Rhythm
Trancelike, spiritual dance
Slow beat that speeds up towards the end
D D t
D k D t

20. Zeffa
4/4 Rhythm
The Wedding Celebration March
The Bridal Couple is escorted in to their reception by the dancers, led by the Ramadan.
D D tk tk D _ T T
D tt t t D t t _

Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen, Contributor: Rachel is proud to promote the true essence of Bellydance ~ the fun, the friendship, the spirit, the history, the culture, the expression of this beautiful artform. Rachel is a teacher in the SE Saskatchewan, Canada area and is founder and instructor for her Performance Troupe 'Lalita Maya Bellydance'. (more...)