Mary Ellen Donald - Middle Eastern Musician and Teacher
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CD's Designed for Extended Practice:
Middle Eastern Rhythms and Practice Music for Drummer and Dancers
 

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A firm rhythmical foundation is essential for excellence in dancing, drumming, and playing of melody instruments.  Mary Ellen makes it easy to acquire such a foundation with the two series of CD's described below.

The Middle Eastern Rhythms Series in Four CD's, by Mary Ellen Donald
(Issued on cassettes 1998;mastered for CD's 2003)

These four CD's contain:

All of the rhythms in the Egyptian belly dance routine plus popular North African, Arabic, Turkish, and Greek rhythms played by Mary Ellen Donald on the doumbec and tambourine.  Each rhythm is played for 4 1/2 to 5 minutes.

In the beginner series, Mary Ellen plays 28 rhythms slowly with simple variations.  In the intermediate/advanced series, she plays the same 28 rhythms faster, with fancier variations.  Mary Ellen announces the names of each rhythm to ensure correct pronunciation and counts at the beginning of each rhythm to indicate the proper counting.

These CD's are great for practicing cymbals, doumbec, tambourine, tar, dancing, and melody instruments.  In fact, many are finding it helpful to immerse themselves in the rhythms by listening to the CD's in their cars as they venture forth onto the highways, hopefully, without instruments in hands.

Note:  Each Middle Eastern Rhythms CD is accompanied by a booklet with musical examples for each rhythm written out for doumbec, tambourine, and cymbals.


Middle Eastern Rhythms for Beginners,
Volumes I & II

Volume I includes:

To hear a song sample,
click on the
- Listen  

Ayyoub    
Baladi    
Malfouf    
Rhumba    
Saudi    
Chifte-telli    
Karachi    
Sa'idi    
Nawwari Listen  Listen 
"Walking" Maqsoum Listen   Listen  
Masmoudi    

Volume II includes:

To hear a song sample,
click on the
- Listen  

6/8 Rhythm    
Sha'bia "Heart"    
Sha'bia "Lung"    
"Tunisian" 12/8    
Syrtó    
Jurjuna ("Armenian" 10/8)    
Kalamatiano    
"Syncopated Spice"    
Wahidah Listen   Listen  
"Mellow" Masmoudi    
Sama'i Listen   Listen  
Fallahi    

Middle Eastern Rhythms for Beginners Two CD Set
US $35.00


Middle Eastern Rhythms for Intermediate/Advanced
Volumes I & II


Volume I includes the same rhythms as Volume I for Beginners, played faster and fancier.

To hear a song sample, click on the
- Listen  

Ayyoub

Karsilamas

Up tempo Ayyoub

Up tempo Karsilamas

Baladi

Karachi


Listen  

Listen  

Malfouf

Up tempo Karachi

Rhumba

Sa'idi, “3 Doum” Saidi

Saudi

Nawwari


Listen  

Listen   

Bolero

Chifte-telli

"Walking" Maqsoum

Karsilamas

Up tempo “Walking” Maqsoum

 

Masmoudi, “Syncopated” Masmoudi

Volume II includes the same rhythms as Volume II for Beginners, played faster and fancier.
To hear a song sample, click on the
- Listen  

6/8 Rhythm

"Syncopated Spice"

Sha'bia "Heart"

Wahidah


Listen  

Listen  

Sha'bia "Lung"

"Fast" Chifte-telli

"Tunisian" 12/8

"Mellow" Masmoudi

Syrtó

Sama'i

Jurjuna ("Armenian" 10/8)

Fallahi

Up tempo Fallahi

Kalamatiano


Listen  

Listen
 

Middle Eastern Rhythms for Intermediate/Advanced Two CD Set
US $35.00

For books and CD's in which Mary Ellen gives in-depth presentations on the playing of doumbec, tambourine, tar, and cymbals we invite you to visit the pages Instructional Materials for Doumbec, Tambourine, Tar, Cymbals & Belly Dance.

For CD's of popular belly dance music in which Mary Ellen incorporates most of the rhythms of the Middle Eastern Rhythms series, we recommend Gems of the Middle East: Belly Dance Favorites from Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece, a series of three CD's and three books, featuring Mimi Spencer on qanun (zither) and voice, and Mary Ellen Donald on doumbec and tambourine.  We invite you to visit Beautiful and Exciting Music for Belly Dance Performance & Just Good Listening, where you can hear selections and learn more details.

After you get the rhythms solid, the next step toward building rhythmical expertise is that of combining rhythm with melody, preferably with long stretches of the same rhythm accompanying different melodies.  That is exactly what you will find on Practice Music For Drummers and Dancers below.


Practice Music For Drummers and Dancers
(1979; remastered 1999; disc released 2005)

Mary Ellen Donald: percussion
George Mundy: oud (Middle Eastern lute) and nay (cane flute)

On these CD's each rhythm is played for approximately 18 minutes, 10 minutes with oud and doumbec, four with oud and tambourine, and four with just the oud.  The latter section challenges the percussionists with the task of fitting her or his rhythm into the melody without the support of Mary Ellen playing drums in the background.  This skill is certainly necessary when one is playing live with musicians.

These moderate tempo musical segments that are included on the CD's are excellent for practicing cymbals, doumbec, tambourine, tar, and dance.

Names of the melodies and rhythms are listed.

NOTE to belly dance instructors:
Because each rhythm is played for such a long stretch, these CD's are great for teaching.  No more running back and forth to the CD's player every three minutes when you want students to drill dance steps with the same paced accompaniment.

Volume I includes:
Disc 1
     
"Walking" Maqsoum Listen   Listen      
Bolero Listen   Listen  
Ayyoub    
Disc 2
Ayyoub (cont'd) Listen   Listen  
Karsilamas    
Chifte-telli    


Volume 1 (2 CD set US$18.00)

Volume II includes:
Disc 1
Masmoudi Listen   Listen  
"Fast" Chifte-telli Listen   Listen  
Syrtó
Saudi rhythms
Disc 2
Saudi (cont'd) Listen   Listen  
Arabic Routine    
Turkish Routine    

and two full length dance routines.

Volume 2 (2 CD set US$18.00)

The final stages in building rhythmical expertise involve gaining speed and the ability to shift from one rhythm to another with ease.  You will be able to work on both of these skills as you play along with the selections on Gems of the Middle East:  Belly Dance Favorites from Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece, a series of three CD's and three books, featuring Mimi Spencer on qanun (zither) and voice, and Mary Ellen Donald on doumbec and tambourine.  We invite you to visit Beautiful and Exciting Music for Belly Dance Performance & Just Good Listening, where you can hear selections and learn more details.


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