The Riqq الرق

Site dedicated to the the traditional tambourine of Egypt & the Levant (daf)


A Basic Discography for Riqq Players

Posted on November 19, 2011 at 5:15 AM

 Ulm Kalthoum -  Al-Atlal, Alf Leila we Leila , Ana F'entezarak , El-Hobb Kolloh, Enta Omri, Fakkarooni, Helm, Howwa Sahih, Leilet Hobb, Lessa Faker, Rubaiyat Al-Khayyam, Zekrayat and so much more. Ulm Kalthoum is widely regarded as the greatest female singer in Arab music history.  Every song is a treasure trove for any riqq player. Seek out the rarer discs between 1930-1955 such as Helm, which are very highly recommended being that the Greatest Riqq player ever recorded, Ibrahim Afifi, who sadly died in the late fifties before television could capture him on video, plays on those discs.  After Ibrahim's death, several other riqq players stepped in to substitute, but it was Hussein Mouawed, one of the lesser of therenown riqq players of that time, who continued in this position, but his playing sadly lacks much of the virtuosity of Ibrahim Afifi.


Abdel Halim Hafez - Ahwak, Nebtedi Minen el Hekaya, Fatet Ganbina, Zay el Hawa, Sawah, Hawel Teftekerni, Aye Damiet Hozn, Mawood, Kiriat Al Fingan, and many others.  Abdel Halim's orchestra was the incomperable El Masseya, whose percussionists were led by the fantastic riqq soloist Hassan Anwar, one of the 3  most renown riqq players of that time in Egypt from1950 - to1980 ( Hassan Anwar, Samir Ben Yamine (Samir Khalil), and Muhammed Al Araby).  El Masseya was also often the orchestra for Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Wardah, Farid Al Atrash and many of the most famous singers of Egypt during this period.,


Mohammed Abdel Wahab - Fantasy Nahawand, Fikra, Shaghal, Farha, Alwan, Alf Layla,3aziza, Zeina, Mawlid El Nour, Khatwit Habibi, Ana Wou Habibi, Layali Loubnan, Bint EL Balad, Ibn EL Balad, Balad El Mahboub,Waylahou Ma Hilalti, Ataïtou fa Alfaïtoua sahira, Minka Ya Hajirou daï, Manich bahebbek, Mala El Kassat, Dar Elbachayer, Mal elfouad dha, Taali noufni nafsaïna, Batet tounaji, Sayed elqamar, Al jandoul, Al-nahr Alkhalid and much much more. Mohammed Abdel Wahab was the most prolific Arabic composer, singer, and oudist of his time, responsible for more than a thousand songs and he was often accompanied by the best orchestras and riqq players of his day, such as El Masseya with Hassan Anwar.


Simon Shaheen - Turath. The riqq player here is the legendary Samir Khalil, also known in Egypt as Samir Ben Yamine one of the three most renown riqq soloists in Egypt along with Hassan Anwar and Mohammed El Araby from the 1950's to the 1980's.  Samir was the riqq player who in the early 70's inspired Adel Shams El Din to become a riqq player. Samir later left Egypt to continue his career in London and the U.S. until his death in the late 90's.


Anything by Ensemble Al Kindi with the great Adel Shams El Din. Some of the best recordings of Arabic and Ottoman classical and traditional music played by a wonderful ensemble and the greatest riqq player alive today. (unfortunately much of their disks are now out of print, but some can still be ordered from Amazon)


Ziad Rahbani - Bil Afrah.  A wonderful instrumental album of traditional, and popular music using only acoustic instruments with the legendary Michel Merhej Baklouk on riqq. An absolute gem of Arabic music!


Adel Shams El Din - 40 Rhythms from the Middle East. Essential! Besides what's contained on the disc, even the CD book is a valuable resource on Arabic Rhythms in itself!  An absolute treasure!


Still hungry for more?  Here's a great listing of classical and classically inspired Arabic and Ottoman Music:


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