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  • Lisa Lumina

Level Two: 1.7 Accordion, Violin, and Lebanese Cane

Updated: Mar 20, 2022

Class Review

This week, we listened for some transitional phrases in music. When a song is going to slow down, there will usually be some sort of "wind down" transition. It can be a slow descent into a chiftitelli, or flurry of notes that goes from 60 to zero in a second. Listen for these sorts of transitions in your favorite songs this week.


Instrument of the Week

This week's instruments are the accordion and the violin.

Commonly found in beledi music, Accordion is also used in oriental and other music for bellydancers. It was adapted from Western accordions by Egyptians to play the quarter tones used in Arabic music. It is also used in Rom music. It is nice to use squishy torso moves to go with the squishing instrument, but as usual this is not a rule. I have also seem American dancers interpret it as a shimmy, but it never feels right to me, personally.

Violin is a soulful instrument, and the descendent of the rhebaba, which traveled the silk road, became the violin in Italy, then came back to Egypt. It is also called kaman, kemenja, kamanga, etc in Arabic. Sometimes Arabic musicians will play it upright, the way a rhebaba would be played.

You don't see much of the violinist in the 2nd clip, but at 2:55 the character Zou Zou (an Alma, singular of Awalim, there with her family troupe to entertain at the wedding, where it's expected they'll tease the bride and groom about the upcoming night) says "she's the kemenga (violin) and he's the oud, and together they'll make lovely music". Violin are also sometimes used in beledi progressions instead of the accordion.


Prop of the Week

Lots of beginners think cane is indicative of Saidi style. What if I told you that, no only does Saidi style not always use a cane, but not all cane dances are Saidi? Mind blown? This week the props slot is all about Lebanese style cane! Well, not ALL about it, just as much as I know.

Lebanese cane tends to be thinner than Egyptian counterparts, and is often used faster, and in reference to dabke. More about dabke during the folklore thread in another semester.

Notice the mijwiz playing in this clip?

I did say it's USUALLY a thinner cane

American dancer Ahava, doing Lebanese style cane.


Song of the Week

Ana Fi Intezarak is another Om Kalthoom classic, about a lover who left and she has gone crazy with wondering after him. Lyrics are here and the playlist versions of it and performances to it for it is here.

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