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Arabic Music Workshop with Simon Shaheen: A Study of Iqa, The Rhythmic Building Block of Arabic Music

Iqa, the counterpart of the maqam, is the rhythmic building block in Arabic composition. There are infinite potential time signatures and certain song styles are associated with certain rhythms. While there are rhythmic time signatures including traditional 4/4, 3/4, 6/8, etc., there are also very non-traditional meters like 7/8, 5/8, 8/4, 9/8, and so on. Another elemental detail to the iqa is where the accented beats should fall, allowing for many different time signatures within 4/4, but with accented beats in different places, resulting in a unique time signature. This will be a workshop about the theory and use of these rhythms and will feature examples of different time signatures from old songs, dances, sacred song, etc. Simon will demonstrate rhythms using the oud, violin, or riqq (hand drum).

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