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Derbouka articles coming soon!

Thanks to the French clarinet player Colette Mortreux we will soon have many of our Fingers of Fury Derbouka articles available in French. So on behalf of all our derbouka playing friends in France, thankyou Colette! I have performed in the gypsy ensemble ‘Babaganoush’ with Colette for the past few years and have to say what an incredible musician she is.

Colette has been busy translating derbouka articles for the past few months and will have the first few ready before the years end including a translation of the forward from ‘Percussion of the Arabic World and Beyond.’

Next year (2010) I would like to see the entire book ‘Percussion of the Arabic World and Beyond’ translated into French. There are some wonderful derbouka players living in France and many keen to learn the art. I have found this book to be very helpful to many students and would love to be able to share with people outside of the English language.

For those just starting out- The Derbouka is a goblet shaped drum made of ceramic and skin. More modern drums will be made from aluminium and have a plastic skin fitted. This helps with changing weather conditions as the natural skin derbouka heads become quite slack in tension with humidity. Ceramic drums however, are still very popular throughout the Middle East and have recently had a surge in popularity in Turkey. You may have seen derbouka players using a ceramic drum with a light inside it? That is to keep it warm and the skin tight.

There are many different playing styles and techniques for the derbouka. This is what makes it such a popular drum with s much depth. It really is an infinite drum with as many sounds as the creative player can think of!

I highly recommend listening to music from all countries that play the derbouka. Music of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Greece and all of the cultures in-between will give you a good idea of the different derbouka styles. Some countries stay in rhythmic cycles of two and four whilst others prefer odd times such as five, seven and nine etc.

Having this difference in tones, techniques, rhythms and ornamentation makes each country unique. It is the beautiful thing about the language of music. Every culture on earth creates its own unique style of music and variation of it. It’s a wonderful thing about our race as musical beings!

So, stay tuned and I will slowly build up a list of derbouka articles in French.

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