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Rhythm Mojo

Ayuub: Ayuub is an Egyptian rhythm, very common faster pattern played in belly dance music when you want to get the room moving, Ayyub is a common 2/4 rhythm. It is played in areas of the Middle East from Turkey through Egypt. It is used in ritual and religious meditations. Also in Morocco, these same sorts of trance dances are done. Ayyub is also quite common at a faster pace in belly dance music and also in classic Egyptian folk songs.

Maqsuum: Egyptian ; Probably the most popular rhythm in belly dance music, also the distinct 4/4, pattern can be heard in a lot of Western music as well. The rhythm itself translates to ‘divided’ and is used in very popular classical songs, such as “Aziza” and “El Helwa De”, and also utilized in drum solos asthe core beat, very popular as 4/4 rhythms go.

Saiidi: Upper Egypt, This popular rhythm is played in 4/4 time is a “Tahtib” or a male martial arts stick dance with asayas (sticks). These sticks are crossed and smacked in the rhythm with another male dancer. Also this can be performed as a female dance, as if she were ‘playing with a man’ sometimes considered mocking the male dance.


Samaii: Egyptian /Andulsian. This rhythm is quasi-popular, or I should say it’s the most popular of the unpopular rhythms. The rhythm is in 10/8 and is used in the beautiful song “Lamma Badda” which translates to ‘She began to Sway’. This Andalusian song, in origin, tells a story of a girl who is entranced by her faith, as a man watches and is taken by her beauty.

The preceding four examples are found in modern belly dance music, expanding your knowledge of these basic rhythms. You are helping preserve these rhythmic expressions for generations to come. This gives belly dancers and teachers a little background preserving the rich traditions of these rhythms. Happy drumming.

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