NIU’s Middle Eastern Music Ensemble

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.


This clip is of a modern song called Azizah composed by Mohammed Abdel Wahab.


This clip is of a group percussion solo, arranged by Omar Al Musfi.

A music blog

A new blog has been created in the Kingdom of Meridies, by Aylwin Watkyns and Majda Anwar. This blog covers music of the Middle East, sheet music, information for dancers and much more!

Madrasah al-Musiqa

Have fun exploring!

Recommended reading
Percussion Instruments and Their History by James Blades. Via Google Books.
Days of Song and Dance by Kay Hardy Campbell.
The World of Islam: Its Music by John Sabini.
Arabian Memories in Portugal by Habeeb Salloum.
Arab Musical Life Throughout History by Habib Hassan Touma. Via NITLE Arab World Project.

The ensemble Oni Wytars

This song is done by the musical group Oni Wytars. It is a traditional arabic-andalusian song. The ensemble do medieval songs as well as traditional Arab and Turkish music. Their entire work is sampled on their website & can be bought there. Now I believe that all dancing should be celebrated and enjoyed. Please enjoy Oni Wytars’ version of Saltarello, the Italian renaissance dance music-

The Lost Mode

This band is The Lost Mode, who play music influenced by medieval music and living modal music traditions. This includes Sephardic melodies, North African and Ottoman maqam, to modal traditions from Eastern and Southern Europe. The songs above are Turkish.

These are traditional songs from North Africa.

A Sephardi song.

The first song is a 10th century Armenian song and the second song is an Armenian dance.

The music is available for purchase on or Amazon (mp3 purchase from Amazon here).

Ottoman music

This song was composed by Şehzade Korkut, son of Sultân Bayezid-î Velî in the 16th century. This is a 17th century song called “Makam Uzzal Sakil Turna” by Dimitri Candemir. An album of his musical works was done by Jordi Savall and is available through Alia Vox. This song is called Nikriz Peşrev and was written in the 17th century. The band that did the song is called Saraband, and their work is available to see on Saraband’s website. Finally, some Janissary marching music, done by the band alias Mehter. Some Janissary music can be sampled here and here.


Istanpitta are an Early Music group that have played at many medieval fairs and festivals. This is a European Saltarello- They also do Middle Eastern and Andalusian music. They have also had tribal belly dancers perform with them- Their website can be seen here, as well as their FaceBook page, and MySpace page.
If you are interested, here is an article on the History of Music and Musical Instruments by Wafaa’ Salman, Theory of Arab Music by A. J. Racy, Ph.D., and an article on the Oud by David Parfitt.