Lesson 1: West Asia and the Middle East–Instruments

The best West Asian and Middle Eastern musicians masterfully balance the presence of a lush backing band–fiery doumbek percussion, full arrangements with a cavalcade of violins and ouds played every single note on the scale, and some that don’t even exist in the the West– with and the dominant and essential vocalist who commands, and demands center stage. Still hand drumming is the engine that drives much Middle Eastern and West Asian music. There are many kinds of percussion instruments in the region, from goblet drums like the doumbek and frame drums like the daf and riq to cylindrical drums like the Turkish duval and even kettle drums such as the naqareh–wow!

Explore these instruments from West Asia and the Middle East:

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