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Thread: Help me put these drum rhythms in "order," plus choose a fifth rhythm




  1. #1
    EzmaSiddiqah
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    Help me put these drum rhythms in "order," plus choose a fifth rhythm

    Hi ladies -

    In about a month, four ladies from our troupe will be dancing with Moorhead State University percussion college students on the theatre stage at MSU, and again the next night at the Ulen, MN school stage. None of us have danced improv to drummers for the public.

    25 students will be playing five different drum rhythms one at a time, each rhythm will be played for 3 minutes, with the rhythms separated by four dums or some other obvious transition.So they will start playing and stop 15 minutes later - just the basic rhythm, no lead drum or embellishments. We will be dancing to these rhythms, using our zills (where appropriate) as lead "drum." (cane will be used during saidi, veil? for entrance malfuf?

    We are part of a larger presentation funded by a grant which brings Shane Shanahan to the stage playing with the students and solo. I won't know until a few days before if Mr. Shanahan will be willing to be lead drum on all/any of the basic, unmodified rhythms played by the students. So we have to have a plan if he doesn't lead drum for us.

    Dr. Williams is teaching the students the following four rhythms, and needs one more rhythm.

    Help me put these in a logical order, and pick a fifth rhythm (He mentioned Ayoub as a possible fifth???) you ladies might know more:

    Malfuf
    Beledi
    Chifti Telli
    Saidi


    Here are the rest of the choices (I don't think he wants to teach the students something too hard, but something easy to play).

    Maksoum
    Masmoudi (regular)
    Masmoudi (slow)
    Ayoub
    Wahdeh
    Saudi
    Fallahi
    Samai

    Any advice would be appreciated, we are looking forward to this great opportunity to grow and have fun at the same time!
    Last edited by EzmaSiddiqah; 10-05-2011 at 12:44 PM.


  2. #2
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Help me put these drum rhythms in "order," plus choose a fifth rhythm

    What an interesting project! Congratulations, it should be a lot of fun for all involved. I hope all the drum students fall in love with these rhythms the way that I have, I just love the rhythms of our dance.

    Are all the drummers going to be drumming in unison, or will they be taking "parts, " i.e. variations on the rhythm, to give it more interest? Do all the drummers have the same kind of drum, or is this a percussion ensemble? Are they using Western instruments? Are they listening to good Middle Eastern percussion to develop an understanding of how the parts work together? There's the bass line, the high-pitched embellishment by the riqq or zills, the lead drummer who does improvsations, the resonant sound of the frame drum, etc. A steady bass line is great, but you need all the extras to make the rhythm really come to life.

    25 people doing the same exact thing would be kind of heavy and dull. And I don't understand your question about the zills being the lead drum, zills usually accompany, not lead, although they can start the rhtythm and set the tempo for the ensemble.

    I think maksoum might sound better than beledi, it's a little more spacious and has more room for embellishments. Maksoum is also known as "beledi back-beat," so you can have people playing maksoum at the same time that others are playing beledi and it will sound great.

    I think ayyoub would be a good finale.

    I would put chifti telli in between baladi (or maksoum) and saidi, to break it up a little.
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  3. #3
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Help me put these drum rhythms in "order," plus choose a fifth rhythm

    I just checked out Shane Shanahan's website, because I hadn't heard of him. I'll bet that he will do lead drum for you, which might add a melodic component, based on some of the tracks on his site. Very talented musician!

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  4. #4
    EzmaSiddiqah
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    Re: Help me put these drum rhythms in "order," plus choose a fifth rhythm

    "Are all the drummers going to be drumming in unison, or will they be taking "parts, " i.e. variations on the rhythm, to give it more interest?"

    My understanding is all in unison, no variations.

    "Do all the drummers have the same kind of drum, or is this a percussion ensemble?"

    I am auditing the class so I see them playing mostly frame drums, with some dombeks and riqqs as well.

    "Are they listening to good Middle Eastern percussion to develop an understanding of how the parts work together?"

    No, they are learning their "songs" given to them by Dr. Williams to play as small ensembles on stage - the arabic rhythms with us are the easy part for them.

    "25 people doing the same exact thing would be kind of heavy and dull. And I don't understand your question about the zills being the lead drum, zills usually accompany, not lead, although they can start the rhtythm and set the tempo for the ensemble."

    I agree heavy and dull, if Shane doesn't play lead, we have to somehow make it more interesting, hence the zill suggestion.

    "I think maksoum might sound better than beledi, it's a little more spacious and has more room for embellishments. Maksoum is also known as "beledi back-beat," so you can have people playing maksoum at the same time that others are playing beledi and it will sound great."

    Will print out this email, bring to class and meet with Dr. Williams about it. thanks so much.

    I hope Shane will lead drum, I'll ask Dr. Williams to ask him.


  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Help me put these drum rhythms in "order," plus choose a fifth rhythm

    Maybe you can choreograph your zills in an interesting way, knowing that there will be a steady beat behind you. Then if Shane Shanahan adds a lead drum, it will just be even better.
    Last edited by dunyah; 10-05-2011 at 04:29 PM.
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  6. #6
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Help me put these drum rhythms in "order," plus choose a fifth rhythm

    I'd probably leave the malfuf at the beginning, since it's often used for entrances, and I agree to add ayoub as the fifth rhythm. I think whatever you decide, you want to go out with something brisk. I've been told it was sometimes common in the old days to do the chifti right before whatever was your big finish, so you could leave it in fourth...or move it somewhere else. It's hard to say without knowing what you're actually dealing with. Have they given you an idea of the tempos? Theoretically, any of these rhythms can be played blazingly fast or ponderously slow or anything in between.


  7. #7
    EzmaSiddiqah
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    Re: Help me put these drum rhythms in "order," plus choose a fifth rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Tourbeau View Post
    I'd probably leave the malfuf at the beginning, since it's often used for entrances, and I agree to add ayoub as the fifth rhythm. I think whatever you decide, you want to go out with something brisk. I've been told it was sometimes common in the old days to do the chifti right before whatever was your big finish, so you could leave it in fourth...or move it somewhere else. It's hard to say without knowing what you're actually dealing with. Have they given you an idea of the tempos? Theoretically, any of these rhythms can be played blazingly fast or ponderously slow or anything in between.
    I am leaving for drum class now, and will pay particular attention to the tempos (they sounded middle of the road in prior classes, noticed neither uber fast nor super slow). They only play all of them for about five minutes at the end of class as they are focused on their ensemble songs for now.

    good advice, thank you ladies!


  8. #8
    Master BHUZzer sabrinabellydancer's Avatar
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    Re: Help me put these drum rhythms in "order," plus choose a fifth rhythm

    What a cool opportunity!
    ita open with Malfuf.
    I would:
    Chifti for veil. Saidi for cane. Zill for Fellahi.
    Careful of a Saudi/ Khaleeji transition if there are no rehearsals. That could be a stick transition in and out for large groups.
    Perhaps stick Ayoub as a slow to fast build into a rollicking Fellahi close?
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  9. #9
    EzmaSiddiqah
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    Re: Help me put these drum rhythms in "order," plus choose a fifth rhythm

    I just got done with class and talking with Dr. Williams. Mr. Shanahan will be lead drummer for our five sections, yay! I will bring these suggestions to the other dancers and we will figure out what to do for each rhythm and finalize the rhythm choices.

    The students will play fast or slow for each rhythm, we just have to tell them what we want.
    Last edited by EzmaSiddiqah; 10-05-2011 at 05:12 PM.
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