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Album Review

Dabke- Sounds of The Syrian Houran [coll] – [Sham Palace]

MSTiZA   6/13/2012   12-inch, International

Syria, a nation in Western Asia bordering Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq,
Jordan, Israell, and the Mediterranean Sea; gained it’s independence
in 1946. Syrian human rights are considered amongst the worst in the
world. Leniecy towards honor codes in relation to discrimitination against women of all ages is the cultural norm. Dabke, an Arab folk dance native to Syria(Levent), is a line dance performed at weddings and joyous occasions. The line dance has a raas or leader who alternates acing the audience and the other dancers. Dabke refers, litterally, to the stamping of the feet. The tradition originates in the Levant culture where stone houses had roofs of wood, straw, and dirt. In order for the roof to compact uniformly it required stomping in a line. This collection features music from the Souther Syria and Western Jordan. With song titles like Love Is Not A Joke, and Your Love Made My Head Hurt, reinforce the seriousness of unions in Surian culture. These tracks feature synthesizers, percussion, call and response, and the mejwiz– a double reed bamboo flute. The mejwiz delivers low bass tones and the piercing, distinct shrill, by use of circular breathing techniques. This recording is from live weddings and parties found on cassette and discs collected in the cities of Draa, Suweida, and Damascus, Syria between 1997-2010. Compiled and edited by Mark Gergis [Porest], he Celebrate. Raise the roof but not with out watching your step, you may fall off.

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