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Musical Exploration

Nizana El rassan
Contributor

When is the last time you broke out some classic Egyptian or Lebanese music?



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Egyptian music
Egyptian musical instrument specialist and piano tuner Khadr Dagher, 65, unseen, speaks about the musical instrument known as an oud at his shop, on Mohammed Ali street, a street modeled after Paris’ boulevards and home to musicians, belly-dancers and instrument makers, in downtown Cairo, Egypt. (Link) ©2016 Nasser Nasser

Make some new creative juices get flowing

Egyptian music

Music has been an integral part of Egyptian culture since antiquity. The Bible documents the instruments played by the ancient Hebrews, all of which are correlated in Egyptian archaeology. Egyptian music probably had a significant impact on the development of ancient Greek music, and via the Greeks was important to early European music well into the Middle Ages. The modern music of Egypt is considered Arabic music as it has been a source for or influence on other regional styles. The tonal structure of Arabic music is defined by the maqamat, loosely similar to Western modes, while the rhythm of Arabic music is governed by the iqa'at, standard rhythmic modes formed by combinations of accented and unaccented beats and rests. | Egyptian Music, Instruments, Music, Lute, Umm Kalthoum, Cairo, Drum, Ancient,

Make some new creative juices get flowing

Nizana El rassan
Contributor

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[Comments] Certain dances and rhythms evoke different responses from my brain and body. So oftentimes when I practice, I will pick songs I've never or rarely listened to and force myself to get creative and see what happens. When I practice, I typically do some drills, practice some choreographies, then spend time with improvisation, randomly selecting songs I'm unfamiliar with to push my boundaries.

Listening to something different than I would usually select prepares me for live music. You never know what can happen with live music. They can shorten or lengthen a song for instance, or play it at a different tempo. It trains you to be more flexible and intuitive with the rhythms and melodies, as well as the changes and transitions. It also assists if your music comes up missing or you're called upon for dance roulette and you have to dance to the unknown. Dance roulettes are becoming more popular these days.

Making yourself dance to different music heightens your senses as you have to listen more closely, explore the feeling and emotions of the song and visualize what the music is telling your body to do. Perhaps you tend to choose faster songs like I do, and slower songs make me slow down and make my brain get creative about how to respond to it.

It may also make some new creative juices get flowing, such as with the change in pace or style that enables you to think in some new directions or applications. Perhaps you'll get turned on to some new music that you come to really appreciate. Or maybe it will allow you to add some variety in your dance style(s).

Use available down-time (like on the subway, etc.) time to listen to different types of music. When's the last time you broke out some classic Egyptian or Lebanese music? Have you checked out what's hot lately on various Middle Eastern and Mediterranean online streaming sites? Consider supporting local bands that play and publish their own music. Dig out your old Eddie the Sheik albums and keep an ear out for world music with Middle Eastern instruments featured.

There are decades of great songs for Middle Eastern dance and other belly dance genres available and many medias of which to find them, such as online.. There is also music that is not Middle Eastern that can be apropos depending on the venue and event. Practicing and/or performing ME dance movements to any music can be productive, entertaining and enjoyable. Take the time to “mix it up” a little as you explore the connection between the music and dance!


Egyptian music

In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo, Egyptian musical instrument specialist and piano tuner Khadr Dagher, 65, unseen, speaks about the musical instrument known as an oud at his shop, on Mohammed Ali street, a street modeled after Paris’ boulevards and home to musicians, belly-dancers and instrument makers, in downtown Cairo, Egypt. The shops making, repairing and selling musical instruments that once packed the street are disappearing, along with their window displays of lute-like, stringed ouds, qanouns and tablas -- a drum made equally for the rapid-fire hand beats of belly-dance tunes or for the languid rhythms of a love ballad by Umm Kalthoum, the most famed singer of classical Arabic music. | Photo: Nasser Nasser | Link | Egyptian Music, Instruments, Music, Lute, Umm Kalthoum, Cairo, Drum,



Nizana El rassan

Nizana El rassan, Contributor: Nizana has been involved in Middle Eastern dance for many years as a performer, instructor, event producer, troupe director, emcee and published author. Nizana's main dance style is American Style Cabaret with Egyptian influences, but she also performs folkloric, tribal fusion and other fusion styles. She has studied with a variety of wonderful teachers over the years as ongoing instruction is important to her, and she takes workshops and/or classes as often as she can. Nizana has attended... (more...)