“Feeling and Embodying the Music through Maqam” with Sami Abu Shumays

Feeling and Embodying the Music through Maqam

with Sami Abu Shumays

LIVE Sunday, October 24th  3:00 PM PDT / 6:00 PM EDT
+ 30 Days streaming access

Maqam is the melodic system used in Arabic Music, and one of the things that most excites traditional listeners to Arabic music is the changes in maqam. The subtlest change in one note can be as compelling to hear as the subtlest movement of a hand or a turn of a hip can be to watch. Dancers who are able to hear and respond to these changes in the melody have a powerful tool that lets them express themselves more deeply with Arabic music.

Although many people falsely believe that maqam is difficult to understand, this class will break down what is happening in the melody into the most basic elements: the changes in mood, and the drama that results from contrasting moods. We’ll illustrate the common changes that happen in Maqam Bayati, one of the most popular maqamat used in Arabic music, and explore both songs and improvisations in this maqam. Dancers will leave this class with a clearer understanding of how to continue to develop their sensibility for melody and maqam, and with the tools needed for more active listening, to help them incorporate this knowledge into their experience of Arabic music moving forward.

Dancers will learn:

  • some of the common songs in Maqam Bayati
  • the different parts of Maqam Bayati (known as “Ajnas” – the plural of “Jins”)
  • some of the basic terminology musicians use
  • how to feel changes in maqam
  • how to listen to music in order to develop their understanding of maqam
  • some ideas on how to incorporate this knowledge into their dancing

Your $25 Registration Includes:
Live Attendance with Q & A plus 30 days streaming access to the replay

Register by October 16th, and get access to an extra video class!


About Our Presenter….

Sami Abu Shumays is an Arabic Musician and teacher of Maqam. Sami performs on violin and voice and co-founded the ensemble Zikrayat (www.zikrayatmusic.com), which is dedicated to the music and dance of the Arab World, with a focus on repertory from the Golden Age of Egyptian musical cinema. He is co-author of the popular book Inside Arabic Music, a contributor to the website Maqam World (www.maqamworld.com) and developer of the website Maqam Lessons (www.maqamlessons.com) as well as the youtube series Maqam Lessons. He has taught Arabic music since 2005 at many venues, including Yale University, Wesleyan University, the college of William and Mary, Lark Camp, Alwan for the Arts, Folk Tours, Legacy International, the Aswat Ensemble, Labyrinth Online, and at workshops in public schools in New York City. Since 2021 he has been developing workshops to teach Arabic Music to Dancers, and has taught with April Rose (of Texas) and Johanna Vargas (of Colombia).