THE KHOSH RANK DANCE – رقصة الخوش رنك

Composed by Wajdi Abou Diab
Performed by Jana Semaan
Recorded at Redbooth Studio

“The Khosh Rank Dance” – Opus 13B, is a piece for solo Cello based on the traditional ancient Arabic rhythm called “Khosh Rank”, which was used in old Arabic tribes to make horses and camels dance by their Arab riders.
The rhythm consists of a 17/8 meter that gives the music a moving forward feeling, combined with one of the most expressive Arabic scales (Maqamat) called “Rast”, which has a serious and steady mood, though suitable sometimes for dance and fast movement.
The piece used the Cello as a melodic instrument to call the ancient Arab old, using some microtonal elements that come from the nature of Arabic maqam music and also used as a percussion instrument to introduce the rhythm and the camel dance spirit.
Starting with a “Mawwal”- a group of small improvised melodic phrases that Arabic singers used to start with it their performances – in which we can hear the Cello play freely in ad libitum tempo.
Then, moving along to introduce the rhythmic elements using some of the most percussive techniques on Cello, and gradually adding the melodic elements, alternating between normal and harmonics (resembling the Arabic old instrument “Rababa” that is well known for its very breathy nasal sound), in addition to the clear rhythmic accent that keeps the “Khosh Rank” pulse alive.

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