Quiz Questions

Chapter Twelve

1. The modal system of Arab music is called

a. maqsoum
b. maqam
c. raqs baladi
d. raqs sharqi

2. A specific maqam

a. may serve as the basis for an improvised performance that includes modulations to several other maqamat as well
b. may have extramusical associations with particular emotions, geographical locations, or even healing properties
c. is defined by a specific sequence of ascending and descending pitches (i.e., a scale)
d. all of the above

3. Because of the use of quarter tones, Arab musicians may potentially draw from a palette of __ pitches per octave in their music.

a. 7
b. 8
c. 12
d. 24

4. The unaccompanied solo improvisation on the’ud heard during the opening portion of Ahmed Mukhtar’s “Iraqi Café” is called a

a. takht
b. taqsim
c. tabla
d. tahtib

5. Egyptian nationalism in the 19th century placed a high value on

a. secularism
b. pan-Arabism
c. the adoption of Ottoman culture
d. all of the above

6. The principal domain of women’s dance in the Arab world is

a. the concert stage
b. the nightclub
c. the cinema
d. domestic gatherings

7. The term ghawazi refers to

a. a hereditary class of professional female dancers in Egypt
b. an aerophone that is used in much Egyptian folk music
c. an ancient healing ritual
d. an instrument of the Iraqi takht ensemble

8. The zaar spirit possession ritual

a. is now banned in Egypt and is never performed anymore
b. involves rhythms that are believed to have healing powers
c. involves movements that have been adopted into raqs sharqi and belly dance
d. B and C, but not A

9. The large frame drum played by the woman who leads the ceremony during a zaar ritual is called the

a. mazhar
b. duff
c. tabla
d. sagat

10. Belly dance and raqs sharqi resemble zaar rituals because of similar

a. dance movements
b. rhythms played on percussion instruments
c. healing functions
d. A and B, but not C

11. Composer Sayyid Darwish was known for developing a musical style that

a. incorporated Ottoman elements
b. incorporated Gypsy elements
c. became closely identified with Egyptian nationalism
d. all of the above

12. During the 1920s,

a. the arts in Egypt became increasingly conservative and Western influences were virtually non existent
b. Egyptian film was strongly influenced by Hollywood cinema
c. Hossam Ramzy became an established recording artist in Cairo
d. Samia Gamal appeared in both Egyptian films like Zannouba and international films like Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

13. The first Egyptian dancer to dance with a veil was reportedly

a. Umm Kulthum
b. Badiaa Masabni
c. Samia Gamal
d. Farida Fahmy

14. The idea that the melodious use of the voice in contexts of Islamic religious worship can be identified as musical is

a. embraced by conservative Muslims
b. rejected by Sufi Muslims
c. offensive to many Muslims
d. all of the above

15. A firqa ensemble typically features

a. instruments of the takht ensemble
b. Western orchestral string instruments
c. Arab percussion instruments
d. all of the above

16. The most popular instrument in Egyptian traditional music, the _______, is a plucked chordophone that is also the lead instrument of the takht ensemble.

a. nay
b. qanun
c. ‘ud
d. violin

17. The famous Egyptian composer Muhammad ‘Abd al-Wahhab was known for

a. drawing on Egyptian folk music in his compositions
b. drawing from American popular music
c. combining Western instruments and traditional Arab-Egyptian instruments
d. all of the above

18. Following the “bloodless revolution” of 1952,

a. dancers such as Badiaa Masabni were canonized for their traditional virtues
b. musicians such as Muhammad ‘Abd al-Wahhab and Umm Kulthum were censored
c. nightclubs and places of Western entertainment were shut down
d. Anwar Sadat became the first president of the Arab Republic of Egypt

19. Farida Fahmy was a dancer

a. from a peasant background who embodied authentic Egyptian asil values
b. from an elite background who appeared as a peasant on stage
c. censored by the government for setting a bad example for Arab women
d. known for her erotic style and licentious roles in Egyptian films

20. Derived from the term “peasant,” _________ is a staple rhythm of raqs sharqi and belly dance.

a. fallahi
b. saaidi
c. tahtib
d. mizmar

21. The popular folk dance rhythm Saaidi

a. is traditionally associated with the martial art form called tahtib
b. is used mainly in the zaar ritual
c. includes high-pitched “tek” drum strokes but no low-pitched “Dum” strokes in its basic rhythmic pattern
d. was originally imported from Central Asia and was brought to Egypt by the ghawazi

22. Which of the following is NOT a rhythm used in dance?

a. maqsoum
b. masmoudi
c. maqam
d. malfuf

23. In a Tabla Solo dance,

a. the standard accompanying ensemble is a takht
b. the standard accompanying ensemble is a firqa
c. the music features only percussion instruments and sometimes only a solo tabla player
d. a large group of dancers performs to the accompaniment of a solo played on a single tabla drum

24. The rhythmic basis of the arrangement of “La Cucaracha” included on your CD set is the Egyptian rhythm called

a. fallahi
b. maqsoum
c. masmoudi
d. malfuf

25. In Emad Sayyah’s “Hou Hou Hou,” traditional Middle Eastern dance rhythms

a. are combined with rock, jazz, funk, and Latin-tinged rhythmic grooves
b. are incorporated into a composition featuring only takht instruments
c. form the rhythmic foundation for a humorous arrangement of the “Ode to Joy” section of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
d. are combined with a traditional Mexican folk song


1. The takht ensemble in “Iraqi Café” (disk 1, track 15) features

a. improvisations played on the ‘ud
b. modulations to different maqam
c. heterophonic melodic texture
d. all of the above

Answer: d

2. Listen to “Zeina” (disk 4, track 16), then indicate the best answer for each of the following questions.

The introductory call-and-response part is played by

a. qanun call Answered by violins and cellos
b. violin call Answered by riqq
c. guitar call Answered by tambourine
d. idiophones exclusively

Answer: a

3. After the introductory call-and-response section

a. the riqq improvises a free rhythm section
b. the nay plays an ornamented melody over a masmoudi rhythm
c. a guitar plays in call-and-response with the flute
d. percussion alternates with strings

Answer: b

4. The tempo in this piece

a. stays the same throughout
b. speeds up gradually from start to finish
c. slows down gradually from start to finish
d. begins medium-slow, then has a contrasting fast section in the middle, and finally concludes with a return to the original medium-slow tempo.

Answer: d

5. Listen to “Belhadawa Walla Belshaawa?” (disk 4, track 20), then indicate the best Answer for each of the following questions.

The introductory section uses

a. triple meter
b. heterophony
c. call-and-response
d. free rhythm

Answer: c

6. The piece features a number of popular Egyptian dance rhythms, including

a. rumba, zaar, and fallahi
b. Saaidi, zaar, and fallahi
c. rumba, Saaidi, and fallahi
d. rumba, zaar, and Saaidi

Answer: b


1. What is the setting and context for informal Egyptian women’s dance? What function did ancient forms of Middle Eastern women’s dance serve? What are the dance movements believed to symbolize?

2. Discuss the purpose of the Egyptian zaar ritual. How is music a critical component of this ritual?

3. Explain how music and dance played a role in Egyptian nationalism in the early part of the 20th century. Describe how some important musicians and dancers helped to create “new” traditions through the mass media.

4. What is the Tabla Solo dance and where is it typically featured within the structure of a dance routine? Discuss the interaction between the dancer, musicians and audience. Is there a designated leader?