Belly dancing is a very popular kind of dance. It has become a famous kind of dance exercise all over the world. It is a type of Middle Eastern dance that became popular in the West and scattered universally. It was originally an improvised solo dance involving the torso formulation, and the dance had been improvised in different countries worldwide.
It’s a dance mainly focusing on the torso, and strictly following the beat of the music. The musical instruments used in the dance are an integral part of the whole thing. It gives meaning and color to the dance itself.
One of the instruments used in belly dancing is “darbuka / Doumbek” or ‘goblet drum’ in English. It has a single head, with a goblet shape, and is mostly used in the Middle East, South Asia, North Africa, and Eastern Europe. The North and Eastern-African goblet drums are played by placing them under the arm or putting on the player’s leg, with light touches and several different strokes.
It may be played by placing the drum sideways on the lap with the head of the drum towards the seated player’s knees. It can also be played by holding it under the non-dominant arm. However, some drums are made with strap, so they can be slung over the shoulder and can easily be played while standing or even dancing.
Darbuka produces three main sounds even if it’s just an instrument with a single head.
The first is made by hitting the head near the middle of the drum; it‘s called the “doum”. The second is a high-pitched sound that is made by striking near the edge of the head with your fingertip; it’s called the “tek”. The third is to rest the hand on the drum head to prevent it to make an open sound; it’s called the closed sound “pa”. There are many other sounds that darbuka makes, but those are the main ones.
This specific instrument is a huge part of belly dancing. Actually it’s more important than the dance itself. Firstly, it leads the dancer on when to start and how to start it. It gives the dancer clues on how to move and what kind of moves is suitable for a every part of the music.