These recommendations are based on what Sherezzah has used in her classes.
Some of the selections in this list below include links to the selection on amazon.com; if you make a purchase using those links, you help support beledy.net. You can also try either Dahlal International or maqam.com, both of which have extensive selections of Middle Eastern music, including many of those listed below.
|Strictly Belly Dancing Vol. 5 by Eddie Kochak. The old-style album is an excellent intro to Middle Eastern music for those of us from the West. We've used "Dance Nazira" from this CD for basic-level choreography. "Dance Ramza" is another track we use occasionally.|
|Strictly Belly Dancing Vol. 6 by Eddie Kochak. We used "Dance Nila" from this CD for the intermediate/advanced (double veil) choreography in Winter '05. This is another good intro to Middle Eastern music by Eddie "The Sheik". Available from amazon.com (click on the image to go directly to it there).|
|The Art of Belly Dancing by George Abdo. This old-style album serves as another excellent intro to Middle Eastern music. We've done a veil dance to "Miserlou" from this CD for a class choreography. May be available from amazon.com (click on the image to go directly to it there).|
|We used a song called "Sweet Spring" by Artie Barsamian and his Orchestra for and intermediate-level veil choreography in Spring '09. I originally got this off an LP called Return to Baghdad, which appears to have been released on CD as Destination Baghdad, available from amazon.com (click on the image to go directly to it there).|
|Dancing Drums by Susu and the Cairo Cats. We've used the cut "Yallabina" for the basic-level choreography. The rest of this album is also great, with several drum solos and a complete full-length routine. Available from amazon.com (click on the image to go directly to it there).|
|We did a veil dance using the song "Moonrise" from Light Rain's last CD, Dark Fire in Spring '06. This CD has a sort of "new age" feel to it, while still maintaining a Middle Eastern flavor. All the tracks are very nice. Available from amazon.com (click on the image to go directly to it there).|
|Aisheen by Mustafa Amar (left). We used the number "Washwashih" from this CD for the advanced choreography in Spring '04. Mustafa (also spelled Moustafa or Mostafa) is a popular Arabic artist. Available from amazon.com (click on the image to go directly to it there). The song is also available on the Egypt 2001 compilation CD (right).|
|Nariman Abboud - Belly Dance. We used "Ya Samara" from this album for the advanced-level choreography in Winter '09.|
|Dónde están los ladrones? by Shakira. This Latina pop singer's music often has a Middle Eastern flavor suggestive of her Lebanese heritage. We used the the cut "Ojos Asi" in the Spring '03 class. Available from amazon.com (click on the image to go directly to it there).|
|We used Setrak Sarkissian's version of Touam Rohi in the Fall '03 class. The CD I found it on has all Arabic writing except for the name Shahraman. This was also rereleased as Oriental Belly Dance with Setrak and Shahraman, with a slightly different cover.|
|Best of the Sultans by Omar Faruk Tekbilek. We've used the number called "Mona" for the mixed-level class choreography. This is an overall fabulous album, with lots of music in different styles. Alas, it seems to be out of print :-( but it is available from iTunes. (Note: this album has "Mona" as the first part of a 3-part routine all on one track.)|
|Tarkan by Tarkan. We used "Simarik" from this CD in the intermediate/advanced class in Spring '05. Tarkan is a Turkish pop singer, and this CD has a lot of nice songs on it. Available from amazon.com (click on the image to go directly to it there).|
|We used "Basboussa" from "Oriental Belly Dance with Amani and Bassem" in the Winter '07 intermediate/advanced class.|
|Harramt Ahebak by Warda. We've used the "Ya Leyl" track from this CD for advanced choreography in the Winter '04 class. Warda is a popular Egyptian singer and the title track from this CD is also highly danceable. Available from amazon.com (click on the pic at left to go directly to it there).|
Dances of Port Said by
We used the number "Ish Allamak" for the intermediate/advanced
class in Fall '04.
This is a wonderful old-time album, recently released on CD
by popular demand.
amazon.com (click on the image at left to go directly
to it there).
This song is also available on All the Best of Belly Dancing, but the track title there is "Who". This CD includes all the tracks from the Dances... album, along with a bunch of others that are really not very bellydancy--they're more Serbian gypsy. Available from amazon.com (click on the picture at right to go directly to it there).
|Salute to Israel by the Feenjon group. We've done "Chiribim" from this CD a couple of times in class, and this album is full of other fun songs. The Feenjon Group started in the old ethnic dance clubs in the 60s and 70s, where they performed a variety of music from many different countries in the Mediterranean region. Available from amazon.com (click on the image to go directly to it there).|
|(no pic available)||Kollection for Karen. We learned a choreography to the cut "Rabab" for the intermediate/advanced class in Fall '05. This CD is available from Karavan Studios, and has several really good numbers on it.|
|Ziroq, self-titled album. This band blends pop-oriented flamenco with Arabic and other influences. We did a Spanish fusion number to "Que Pena" for the advanced choreography in the Autumn '08 term. Available from amazon.com (click on the image to go directly to it there).|
|Chassidisco Fever. This is the "Israeli disco" music that I like to use occasionally for warmups. Alas, it doesn't seem to available any more. I post it here mainly to share the funny cover with you. I originally bought this LP because of the amusing cover; turned out I really enjoyed the music too!|