Sample Report paper on Idiophones in Northern Africa Egypt

North Africa, particularly Egypt has contributed greatly towards the development of the African music. In North Africa, Egypt is popular with their classical and el Gil music, Algeria is associated with their music that is called rai, while Morocco has their chaabi music. One striking fact about the North African music is their close association with the Folk Music. One of the common music that is popular among the North African countries is the Maghrebian Music, though it is less popular among the Egyptians. Egypt just like the rest of the North African society had a culture that was deeply rooted to music and dance. As a result, the North African societies could not celebrate or even conduct a festival activity without incorporating music and dance(Anderson & Plumley, 2006).

As any other society, music could not be music without musical instruments. Therefore, the musical instruments that were used in Egypt as well as across the North African countries include harps, flutes, drums, tambourines, clappers, lutes, and even the cymbals.  The wind instrument popular in North Africa is the Moroccan oboe, which is referred to as the Rhaita. Just like the Armenian Duduk, it is also mouthpiece that has a double reed. These wind instruments are used especially during celebrations and even festivals where loud sounds are required. In Egypt, most of the wind instruments are reserved for belly dancing. The flutes such as the kaval and ney are made from bamboo(Anderson & Plumley, 2006).

Briefly, in the Middle East, nearly all forms of musical instruments are used. Examples of those forms include the wind, the string, and the percussion, among the rest. The most common stringed music used in the Middle East is the oud. It contains four strings and it has a pear shape. The percussion is one of the musical instruments that is believed to have played a major role as far as the Middle East music is concerned. An example of the percussion is the riq. The riq is associated with rhythm that is linked to the clappers, sticks, and even drums. Another instrument of the Middle East is the Doumbek. Doumbek is an instrument that is made of ceramic clay and has also a goatskin head that is attached to its body (Anderson & Plumley, 2006).

The commonly used idiophones in the North African countries originated from the Middle East. Most of them have big and hollow clappers that resemble the dumbbell. On the other hand, some look like an inverted bowl that is floating in a larger bowl that is filled with water. Most of them are played using a single stick to beat them. As for the finger cymbals, they are worn on the fingers or thumb as pairs of each of the dancers’ hands where they are shaken rhythmically to produce sound. Examples of the idiophones that were used in Egypt include sistra, bells, clappers, and even the cymbals. Most of these instruments can be played by shaking, blowing, beating, and even plucking(Anderson & Plumley, 2006).

In a conclusion, although most of the instruments originated from Middle East, Egypt is popular with their classical and el Gil music, some countries such as Algeria is associated with their music that is called rai, while Morocco has their chaabi music.



Anderson, R., & Plumley, G. A. (2006). North African Musical Instruments. The Musical Times,

117(1602), 657.