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Andrew Lamb


A dance that came into vogue in the music halls of Paris in the 1830s, apparently originating in Algeria. It is usually performed by a line of girls in frilly dresses and involves a good deal of high kicking and the splits. Because of the considerable display of female leg it was often considered disreputable. The music is in a lively 2/4 time, being derived from the quadrille or galop. The best-known example is in Offenbach’s ...





Janet Topp Fargion

A musical genre, the term ṭāarab comes from the Arabic ṭārab (from the root ṭrb), meaning pleasure, rapture, entertainment, or these emotions as evoked by music. In East Africa it denotes a style of popular entertainment music played at weddings and other celebrations along the Swahili coast. The style contains the features of a typical Indian Ocean music, combining influences from Egypt, the Arabian peninsula, India and the West with local musical practices. Musicians generally agree that taarab was introduced to the island of Zanzibar from Egypt during the reign of the third Omani sultan, Sultan Barghash bin Said (1870–88). Since its introduction, the style has spread throughout the East African coastal region and has become stylistically and ideologically entwined with Swahili identity.

The original instrumentation and repertory is based on the Egyptian takht tradition featuring ‘ūd, qānūn (plucked zither), nāy (end-blown flute), riqq (small frame drum), violin and ...