THE SAMA’I AQSAQ DANCE (رقصة السماعي أقصاق)

For solo double bell microtonal trumpet in Bb – ca. 7’30

“The Sama’i Aqsaq Dance ” is a piece for solo double bell microtonal trumpet in Bb, based on the traditional ancient Arabic rhythm called “Sama’i Aqsaq”, that was used in old Arabic tribes
to make horses and camels dance by their Arab riders. The rhythm consists of a 9/8 meter that gives the music a moving forward feeling, combined with some of the most expressive Arabic modes (Maqamat), that has a bright and festive mood, though suitable sometimes for dance and fast movement. The piece used the trumpet as a melodic instrument to call the
ancient Arab world, using some microtonal elements that come from the nature of Arabic maqam music, and also used as a percussion instrument to introduce the Sama’i Aqsaq 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 trumpet player sing on the instrument while playing it. Then, moving along to introduce the rhythmic elements using some of the most percussive techniques on trumpet, and gradually adding the melodic elements, in addition to the clear rhythmic accent that keeps the “Aqsaq” pulse alive.