How To Listen
The objective of World Belly Dance Day is to celebrate and educate oriental music and dance. The following is a very basic information to begin your belly dance journey. Enjoy!
Like a common orchestra, these instruments play in layers and is heavily percussive.
An orchestration usually begins with a prelude which the dancer is introduced. It is often called 'entrance phrasing' and is usually not danced on. It is the audible cue to the audience that the dancer is about to come on stage. At times, they are pretty lengthy ranging up to nearly a whole minute of music.
Next are the drumming sounds. There are 2 easy distinct sounds: the 'doum' and the 'tek'. You will notice it is the rhythms that can be tricky but they repeat. After a listen, it will be easy to anticipate when the cycle repeats or changes. There are several popular rhythms found even in modern Egyptian pop music.
There will be flourishes from other instruments that sometimes makes the music sound faster that it really is. Other times when there is no drum accompaniment, it is usually referred to as a 'taqsim' -- it is marked by a very slow and emotional output from that particular instrument.
A wonderful resource for this music and it's history is The Foundation for Arab Music And Research