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date: 15 September 2019

Riqq [rikk]locked

  • Christian Poché



Small, circular frame drum with jingles, of the Arab countries (see Drum). It is used in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Sudan and Syria; in Libya, where it is rare, it is called mriqq. It is between 20 and 25 cm in diameter and is now effectively a man’s instrument. Descended from the duff (see Daff), like the Ṭār, the riqq acquired its name in the 19th century so that it could be differentiated.

Essentially an instrument of music for the connoisseur, the riqq, which is also called daff al-zinjāri in Iraq, is played in takht ensembles (Egypt, Syria) or shālghī ensembles (Iraq) where it has a particularly clearcut role, going beyond the simple rhythmic requirements of the duff, ṭār or mazhar, and exploding in a burst of imaginative freedom to colour the orchestra with gleaming sounds: this is quite unlike the role of the duff. In Sudan, where it seems to have been introduced recently, the ...

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