When you first start learning Egyptian Oriental dance and begin to piece together a belly dance music collection, you are bombarded (understandably) by sounds that you’ve never heard, by instruments you don’t know, with lyrics you can’t understand. Learning about Arabic music, in this case Egyptian, can feel like an uphill battle and if it weren’t for the “call of the drums” many of us would give up on getting familiar with it all together. However, with a little immersion, you can begin to better understand a music genre that is so exotic to us in the Western world.

One of the best places to start getting a handle on Egyptian music is to begin learning what some of the most common instruments are and what they sound like. Why do you want to do this? First, once you begin to “hear” these different instruments, you can begin to pick them out in your music and use it as creative inspiration in your dance compositions. Second, they may offer you important clues into what style of Egyptian music it is, so you can move in a more, shall we say, “educated manner” as you dance to these songs. No one is going to beat you down with a doumbek if you don’t know your instruments, but they may make a mental note, “Damn, she knows what she’s doing!”

So, I created a YouTube playlist just for you to see and hear the most common Egyptian instruments.

Click here and enjoy!