Traditional Arabic Dance Music

Music embodies the culture of a certain nation. It tells a bit of information regarding their traditions and their preexisting history and Arabic Dance Music is no exemption. Although it is said that Arab started their music from translating Greek music and language into their own, it is believed that music has been part of their culture even before Islam, or what they call the pre-Islamic period. However, despite its history, the Arab community still manages to develop their own music and dances to go along with it.

Tribe Dance Music

Arab countries are scattered all over the world and so different cultures have greatly influenced their music and dances, thus the different dance routines and steps. Here are some examples of traditional Arabic dance.

Dabke is Arabic word which means “stamping of the feet”. This kind of dance is categorized as a line dance but most Arabic country performs it as a circle dance. A line dance is a kind of dance which is performed by both men and women, either simultaneously.

Dabke is popular in Palestine, Jordan and Syria and has become the national folk dance of Lebanon. It is usually danced during wedding, special occasions and parties. It is danced with a leader in front of the line alternating facing the audience and the other dancers. The dance itself needs a lot of energy for it involves a lot of progressive kicking and leaping. A lot of songs are sung during the dance, a popular example is the Dal Ouna.

Hagallah isanother kind of dance which is commonly performed at weddings. In this kind of traditional dance, there is only one woman dancing, heavily veiled, in front of line or circle of men called “Kaffafeen” who clap and chant in unison. The dance is originally from Libya and it usually meant that the lady has come to an age and ready for marriage. The music involved usually has three parts the Shettaywa (sung by the group), Ghennaywawhich (sung by the soloist) and Magruda (sung by group and soloist together).

Raqa Sharqi or popularly known as the belly dance, a traditional dance of the Middle Easterner. The music used in this dance is the rhythm expressed by its movements such as the strong movements of the hips, and the melodic line of the arms. The music changes in accordance with the movement of the dancer.

Whirling Dervish, also known as the Sufi Dance, is a ceremonial dance performed by a group of men whirling around to empty his conscious mind and somehow puts him in a trancelike state in which he’ll be able to acknowledge his relationship to God and the universe. The music involves ritual chanting and instrumental.

Dances of the Ghawazee resemble that of belly dancing. It is originally from the Gypsies of Egypt. The dance got its name from the word “Ghawazee” which is the name referred to the professional Egyptian dancers. The music of this dance uses instruments like the table, mizmar, rebab and finger cymbals for the percussion. The dance steps include huge hip swings, spins and foot stomps, head slides, back bends and additional floor work.