Middle Eastern Music

Most, if not all, music in the United States has a time signature with beats based off multiples of four. Rhythm always breaks down evenly and most of the time has specific patterns. In the Middle East, music is very different. Music does not break down evenly. Music is used for dance - belly dance. Tempos, rhythms, and the mood of the music is played in response to the dancer, and the dancer reacts in response to the music.

Middle Eastern Musical Instruments

Most instruments of the Middle East have lasted since ancient times. These instruments have been played from about 5,000 years ago to the present.

The Oud (Ud)

The Oud (coming from the Arabic word for 'wood') is an instrument similar to the modern guitar. It has up to thirteen strings that are currently made of plastic, though in the past, these strings were made of gut. The neck of the Oud is much shorter than the body in comparison to the modern guitar, but there are no frets, making the sound more interesting. The Oud is a very popular Middle Eastern Instrument.

The QanunDerived from the ancient Egyptian harp, the Qanun has been used in Arabic music since around 900 AD. To play the instrument, it is laid horizontally and its 81 strings are played with the fingers. Like the modern piano, the bass is played with the left hand and the treble is played with the right. Qanun in Arabic means 'rule' or 'law'.

external image qanun1a.jpg

The BandirFor percussion, the Bandir is one of the instruments that people of the Arab culture use. This drum is used often in religious ceremonies.
external image Bandir.png

Oud: http://www.mideastweb.org/culture/oud.htm/
Oud: http://www.oud.eclipse.co.uk/
Qanun: http://www.mideastweb.org/culture/qanun.htm/
Bandir: http://www.mideastweb.org/culture/bandir.htm/
Music: http://www.desertmoondance.com/Music.htm/