About the Palestinian Dabkeh

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Dabkeh

Dabkeh is a treditional dance in the palestinian folklore. The dabkeh is usually performed in the time of happiness; such as weddings, important events, and parties. The line forms from right to left, and the leader of the dabke heads the line, alternating between facing the audience and the other dancers.

History
According to one folk tradition, the dance originated in the Levant where houses were built from stone with a roof made of wood, straw and dirt. The dirt roof had to be compacted which required stomping the dirt hard in a uniform way to compact it evenly. This event of cooperation is called ta’awon and from here comes the word awneh, meaning “help.” This developed into the song Ala Dalouna (على دلعونا), or roughly translated “Let’s go and help”. The dabke and the rhythmic songs go together in an attempt to keep the work fun and useful.

Instruments

The Oud, from which the English word “lute” comes, is shaped like a half pear with a short fretted neck. It has six courses of two strings and played with a plectrum, usually a trimmed eagle’s feather. This instrument creates a deep and mellow sound.

The mijwiz (مجوز) which means “double” in Arabic is very popular in Lebanese music. It is a type of reed clarinet. It is played by breathing smoothly through a circular aperture at the end and by moving the fingers over the holes down the front of the tube in order to create the different notes. The minjjayrah is similar to the mijwiz, an open ended reed flute played in the same style..

The tablah is a small hand-drum also known as the durbakke. Most tablahs are beautifully decorated, some with wood, tile or bone inlay, etched metal, or paintings in designs typical of the Near East. One of the most commonly played of the percussion instruments; the tablah is a membranophone of goat or fish skin stretched over a vase-shaped drum with a wide neck. Usually made of earthenware or metal, it is placed either under the left arm or between the legs and struck in the middle for the strong beats and on the edge for the sharp in-between beats. Though today fishskin heads are rarely used due to the climate. When used it becomes loose, you would have to heat the head to get the correct sound back. The membrane or head of the drum is now made out of plastic. The most common head is from Alexandria, Egypt.

The daff, also known as the Riq, is similar to the tambourine. It consists of a round frame, covered on one side with goat or fish skin. Pairs of metal discs are set into the frame to produce the jingle when struck by the hand. The sounds of this percussion instrument set the rhythm of much Arab music, particularly in the performances of classical pieces.[8]

The arghul, (يرغول) also known as the yarghoul, is commonly used in solos, often accompanied by singers, that begin dabke performances. Unlike the mijwiz, it only has finger holes in one of its pipes/reeds. (see Al-Shamaliyya, under Types).

300px-Mijwiz

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