Interested in studying Middle Eastern music? Northern Illinois University have a Middle Eastern Music Ensemble where theoretical, practical and historical aspects are studied. There are a few YouTube clips too- This is an Armenian song called the Candle Dance, a traditional folk song.
This clip is a traditional Turkish folk song called Longa Sultani Yakah.
Mohammed Abdel Wahab.
This clip is of a modern song called Azizah composed by
Omar Al Musfi.
This clip is of a group percussion solo, arranged by
Kaşık Oyunları is a wooden spoon dance from Turkish Anatolia. The history is unclear, as there is much oral history but little evidence in pictures and documents. Depending on the region, it was done in groups in a circle. However, women were not always allowed.Fredrik Hasselquist in the 18th century-
The earliest reference to dancing with wooden spoons I have found is in the works of
He was dressed in a short jacket was bare footed and looked like a Turkish soldier. He held in each hand two wooden spoons. Thus accoutred he skipped about the middle of the room and moved his head and arms as much as his feet at the fame often bending his body backwards forwards and sideways. He held the spoons two in each in such a manner between his fingers that he could frequently strike them together which with the rough music made a noise no ways agreeable to ears.
The full entry can be seen at Voyages and Travels in the Levant in the Years 1749, 50, 51, 52 by Fredrik Hasselquist. If anyone has any other references, please let me know!
Spoon Dance In The Hippocampus
Turkish Dance & Styles on Les Arts Turcs Tours.
Dances of the “Roma” Gypsy Trail From Rajastan to Spain: Balkan “”Cocek”" by Miriam Peretz. From the Dom Research Centre.
A Pictorial History of Turkish Dancing:
From Folk Dancing to Whirling Dervishes, Belly Dancing to Ballet by Metin And.
Altramar are an American musical ensemble that specialise in music from Medieval times. Specifically Celtic, Italian and Iberian music.
This is an Iberian song, from the album Iberian Garden Vol II.
This a 12th century Hispanic-Arabic muwashshahah.
The music can be bought from Altramar or Amazon.
Constantinople. This style of music is known as Muwashah, which originates from the Andalus. Constantinople also does Persian music- and Greek- The music can be seen on Constantinople’s Myspace page as well as on Amazon.
This is called “Lamma bada” and performed by the group
Raqs Al-Juzur is also known as the Tunisian pot dance.Jawaahir Dance Company. This is another dance troupe called Arabia Adorned. This is known as a folkloric style of dance, performed by men and women at weddings. The music eventually builds to a crescendo, with large hip movements also building up. The dance was thought to have been created in the southern region of Tunisia, where ceramics was a main industry. Unfortunately there is very little information on the dance out there. If you have any, please comment!
The Habiba Studio- dance articles can be downloaded; they are in pdf format.
The Musical Pulse of Tunisia by Thorne Anderson. Via Saudi Aramco World Online Magazine.
This is a dance performed by the
Sephardi song, as done by artist Mor Karbasi called Shecharhoret. The title of this song is Judia. Her music is available through Amazon as well as her website.
This is a traditional
The University of Oxford and the Museum of the History of Science have an online exhibit called Al-Mizan. With many scientific instruments also being works of art themselves, they were usually made of brass. This Persian astrolabe has the Quran verse 2:255, known as the Throne verse-
Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.
Taken from Quran.com.
Unfortunately the exhibit has closed, but there is still information online. This includes a YouTube animation showing the workings of an astrolabe- There are some wonderful HD pictures that can be seen.
Katarina Burda. The clip is done in the style of Moroccan Shikhat, which is a version of Guedra but done by professional women. The name Shikhat is given to women who sing, dance, perform and also prostitute themselves. While they have a “bad reputation”, they are also sought out for large celebrations such as weddings and circumcisions. There is little to no historical record available. If anyone has anything on the history of these dancers that may go back into the medieval era, please let me know.
Poems of Honor, Voices of Shame: The ʻaiṭa and the Moroccan Shikhat by Alessandra Maria Ciucci. Via Google Books.
Les musiciennes professionnelles au Maroc by Alessandra Ciucci. In French. JStor article.
Dancing around Orientalism by Donnalee Dox. JStor article.
Gender on the Market: Moroccan Women and the Revoicing of Tradition by Deborah Anne Kapchan. Via Google Books.
Moroccan Female Performers Defining the Social Body by Deborah A. Kapchan. JStor article.
Music and Gender: Perspectives from the Mediterranean by Tullia Magrini. Via Google Books.
The Politics and Poetics of Dance by Susan A. Reed. JStor article.
This YouTube clip was at a concert called Aywah! by
Tuareg Berber tribe, it is not considered a dance but a ritual, to share peace and love between everyone. However, the history of the dance is hard to find. If anyone knows of anything I missed, please let me know.
Dancing around Orientalism by Donnalee Dox. JStor article.
Guedra: the faq by Karol Harding.
Dance As Community Identity in Selected Berber Nations of Morocco: from the Ethereal and Sublime to the Erotic and Sexual by Morocco (Carolina Varga Dinicu).
This is a YouTube clip of a traditional dance of Morocco called Guedra. Done by the