NOTE: This webpage was orginally at "" in 2003, but Mary Mark has moved and I think the webpage has been deleted. Below is a snapshot of the content. Since it has not been updated since 2003 some of the information may not be up-to-date.


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:ARCHIVED CONTENT: Author: Mary Mark

Learning Middle Eastern Percussion

Practice a thousand times, and it becomes difficult; a thousand thousand, and it becomes easy; a thousand thousand times a thousand thousand, and it is no longer you that does it, but It that does itself through you. Not until then is that which is done well done.

Learning Resources

Whether you choose to strive for the kind of perfection described above, or just play and have fun, one of the best ways to learn to make music is to work with other people who also make music, and learn from them. However, you may not always have access to a teacher, or to other people who play the music you love. You may be learning on your own, from books, recordings, or videos. If you love middle eastern drums, and want to learn more about playing them, here are some instructional resources for you: schools, camps, and classes, on-line instructional resources, books, recordings, videos, belly-dance videos, and instruments. Supplier information follows the resources.

For other interesting links, I suggest checking out the Middle Eastern Dance Resource Guide which has a terrific overall resource list!

If you are a woman, interested in drumming, and would like to contact other interested women, try Drummer Girl!

Schools, Camps, & Classes

On-Line Instructional Resources


Cassettes and CDs


Belly-dancing Videotapes

I can still remember with great clarity the joy of realizing, as I watched a middle eastern dancer in a heavily fringed costume, that she was a walking percussion instrument! One of the best ways that I can think of, to get a sense of how middle eastern rhythms *feel* from the head to the toes is to try belly dancing. Great fun!


If you have any options in the matter, I recommend that you buy your instruments in person, so that you can try them out and get an idea of how they will sound. If this is your first drum, and you don't know *how* to play yet, try to take someone along who does know what the drum should sound and feel like when it's played, and get them to test it out. But if there aren't any stores in your area, you may have to rely on mail order. Here are some sources I've found:

I also obtained a list of addresses for obtaining drums of various kinds, not necessarily middle eastern, by writing to The Foundation for Shamanic Studies, Box 670, Belden Station, Norwolk, Conneticut. USA 06852, and asking them for their list of drum sources.

Mail-Order Addresses:

Further information, or corrections, are always appreciated. Descriptions of items in quotation marks are quoted from the advertising of the suppliers themselves; unquoted descriptions are my own summaries from available information. I am not personally familiar with all of the materials described.

I have no formal association with any of the companies or sources noted above, and therefore do not guarantee the absolute accuracy of the information on this page. (i.e. If someone moves, I won't necessarily hear about it.)