I always loved world music and for the last twenty years, I began to discover the various and colorful heritage of Arabic music. Being an oriental dancer and oriental dance teacher I like different genres of music. Lately, I have been digging deeper into the understanding of upper Egyptian folk music. In my field research between 2015 and 2019, I visited upper Egypt at different times of the year, mostly Luxor and Aswan. Whenever I visited Luxor, we were working with a band that played traditional upper Egyptian music. The musicians were playing typical musical instruments of upper Egypt like rababa and mizmar, but also flute (ney and kawala), drums (framed drum and tabla or dohola), and almost always an oud.
I recorded this clip two years ago in Nile House Villa on the West bank. How ever, these are professional musicians and they are usually with us on our Field research trips in Upper Egypt.
Another traditional upper Egyptian band consists only of a big drum called tabl beledi. Drummers usually play table beledi with a stick and a couple of Mizmars. This music is traditionally made for accompanying Tahtib players. In addition, you can read more about tahtib here.
Throughout history, we can read about the famous dancers of upper Egypt called ghawazees. They were always described as playing »a sort of brass castanets« when dancing. These »brass castanets « were actually finger cymbals or sagat as they call them in Egypt nowadays. Here I enclose a short recording of Khairiya Mazin playing finger cymbals. In this short clip, you can see how skillful she is with her finger cymbals. She is playing them since her childhood. As a matter of fact, dancing and playing finger cymbals was an essential part of Banat Mazin´s performance.