Category Archives: featured

Eastern Positions for the Double Bass

3-4 position

The “eastern positions” for the double bass are a way to execute the micro tonality, or ‘quarter tones’*, that are in use in Middle Eastern music’s modal frameworks, making it possible to play the double bass in an ensemble and … Continue reading

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Arabic Music and the Audience

Traditional Arabic music includes a unique and inseparable connection between the performer and the audience. Due to the improvisational nature of the performance, the audience plays a major role in performing and the performer is often dependant on the reactions … Continue reading

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Ornamentation in Arabic Music

One of the challenges we face when playing the double-bass as a solo instrument in Arabic music, even before the interaction with quarter-tones, is ornamentation. Ornamentation is an inseparable part of this music and we must try and express it … Continue reading

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A Brief History of Arabic Music up to the 20th Century

The history of Arabic music can be divided into several main periods. The first is the pre-Islamic period – the period of Jahiliyyah – ignorance, as it is called.This term, of course, was coined by the Muslim thinkers of later … Continue reading

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Classical Arabic Music Primary Terms

Here are a few Important Primary terms of classical Arabic music. This list is taken from my yet unpublished paper “Introduction to Playing the Double Bass as a Solo Instrument in Arabic Music” by Hagai Bilitzky: Arabic note names Note names … Continue reading

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Fuad Abbas

Umm Kulthum, “the star of the east”, had enormous influence on
the entire Arab world, and is considered the greatest traditional
Arab singer. She is known to have described the double bass as the
heart of the music. Continue reading

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