NAC-AEP Programme Details


Programme ID: AEP0318029

The Exotic Sounds & Rhythms Of The Middle East


The program will feature 3 distinct styles of music common in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Palestine and Jordan: rural, urban and bedouin (nomadic tribe). It will also feature three popular dance forms like the dabke (line dance inspired by work relating to building homes from mud and tree branches), cane dance (saidi inspired by martial art forms) and the ubiquitous belly-dance. 

The ensemble will play a couple of classical compositions like the semai (a composition in the rhythmic pattern of ten), and give demonstration of the unique tonality of this music through taqsim (an instrumental improvisation based on maqams that often includes micro-tonality). The programme will also feature music from iconic and celebrated figures like Egyptian singer, Oum Kalthoum and singer/composer Mohammed Abdel Wahab in our renditions of Alf Leila Wa Leila and Bent El Balad. 

There will also be music especially composed to accompany dance like Tamrhenna and Aziza.


This programme offers a sampling of the exotic sounds of the Middle Eastern and Arab world performed by a traditional orchestra of Middle Eastern music known as Takht. The Takht ensemble includes instruments like the qanun (zither), oud (lute), ney (bamboo flute), violin, riqq (Arabic tambourine) and darbuka (Egyptian goblet drum). 

At the end of the program, students (should) 

- have a broader view on the diversity and the beauty of global cultures 
- have a deeper appreciation for music that uses microtones as well as odd time signatures 
- know a few middle eastern rhythms like Maqsum and Baladi 
- understand that music, language and culture are intrinsically linked


Pri - Lower / Pri - Upper / Sec - Lower / Sec - Upper / JC/CI / ITE


45 minutes


1 instructor + 4 to 6 other performers

- COST -

$2200 to $3000

Schools may use the Tote Board Arts Grant to subsidise the programme cost. There is a subsidy of up to 50% of the programme cost for mainstream schools, and up to 70% of the programme cost for Special Education Schools.
The Tote Board Arts Grant is not applicable to pre-schools. NAC partners selected pre-school centres to receive funding to purchase Pre-School AEP.

The following programme is approved under NAC-AEP 2019-2021 until 31 December 2021.


- Good People Music -

Dawn Wong