Nefabit’s Music Shelf – Recommended Bellydance Music

Nefabit’s Music Shelf

Hand-Picked Musical Selections for Bellydance, Tribal Fusion, Folkloric Dance and More.

This post is a work in progress and will be updated regularly. I spend hours combing through music and making playlists and I’d like to share that effort with others! Here are my absolute favorite recommendations, organized by category. Leave a comment if you found something you like. Happy listening!

Turkish Orientale (Entrance, High Energy) 
Kim Ne? – Dansın Meleği Didem 2011 – Didem
Raks Mimi – Dansın Meleği Didem 2011 – Didem
Ciftitelli – Dansın Meleği Didem 2011 – Didem
Endülüste İlk Buse – Asena, Vol 1 – Asena
Chara –  Asena, Vol 1 – Asena
Ciftitelli –  Asena, Vol 1 – Asenamusic tile
Fidaya –  Asena, Vol 1 – Asena
Makedon – Asena, Vol 1 – Asena
Sedur – Asena – Asena
Asena – Asena – Asena
Warda – Asena – Asena
Silk Road – Harem 5 Classics – Yasar Akpence
Ruya – Elite Orchestral Percussion – Yasar Akpence
Nihavent Orientale – Harem 5 Classics – Yasar Akpence
To Miyae – Harem 5 Classics – Yasar Akpence
Hircin Roman (Husnu in the Harem) – Harem 5 Classics – Yasar Akpence
Benefese — Hyat I Hyat –  Hassan Issakut
Rakkas – İskender Paydaş Yeni Mezdeke (New Mezdeke) – Yeni Mezdeke
Hizzi – İskender Paydaş Yeni Mezdeke (New Mezdeke) – Yeni Mezdeke
Topkapi Geceleri – İskender Paydaş Yeni Mezdeke (New Mezdeke) – Yeni Mezdeke
Ates Dansi – Turkish Bellyance Desert Night Dance – Huseyin Turkmenler Ensemble
Bir Zamanlar Bir Yar Yardi – Turkish Bellyance Desert Night Dance – Huseyin Turkmenler Ensemble
Arabia – Turkish Bellydance Nasra – Huseyin Turkmenler Ensemble
Azizw – Turkish Bellydance Nasra – Huseyin Turkmenler Ensemble
Armut Agaci – Harem – Turkish Percussion Group
Sultana – Harem – Turkish Percussion Group
Balkan Dreams – Harem – Turkish Percussion Group

Egyptian Orchestral 
Nagham – Heshk Beshk – Mounir Abdel Aziz
Raksa – Raksa With Amir – Amir Sofi
Playing in the Oriental Garden – The Sword Dance – Nesma
Set Al Hosen – Lights! Camera! Bellydance! – Setrak Sarkissian
Nawaem – Ya Halawa – Gizira Band
Escape from Cairo – Master of Egyptian Dance – Mohammed Al Hassan Abo Abid
Ishk Al Jamal – Raks Ayoub – Bassam Ayoub
Longa – Raks Ayoub – Bassam Ayoub
Faddah – Faddah – Hossam Ramzy
Ruby – Classical Egyptian Bellydance – Hossam Ramzy
Visions of the Emerald Within – Classical Egyptian Bellydance – Hossam Ramzy
Mashaal – Jalillah’s Raks Sharki Vol 1 – Mokhtar Al Said
Laabet Al Ayem – The Soul of Cairo – Ahmad Gilaby

Baladi Nahuand – Mario Kirlis Presenta Gaston Chaade – Gaston Chaade
El Hob Halal – Secrets of the Eye – Hossam Ramzy
New Beladi – Mario Kirlis
Baladi Accordian – Bellydance Superstars Vol 6 – Issam Houshan
Cairo Beladi – Bellydance Superstars Vol 3 – Cairo Cairo

Tabla Solo/Drum Solo/Darbuka Solo
Tabla Solo 3 – Kytheria – Drumspyder
Tablah Solo – Beladi – House of Tarab
Saida Solo – Mario Kirlis
Dueling Darbukas – Jordan – Raquy and the Cavemen
Lahza Gamilla – Oriental Dance From Lebanon – Emad Sayyeh
Tablah Solo – Jallilah’s Raks Sharki Vol I – Mokhtar al Said
Souheir’s Tabla – Jallilah’s Raks Sharki Vol II – Mokhtar al Said
Shimmabulous – The Dancing Drum Vol II – Issam Houshan
Karshiligala The Dancing Drum Vol II – Issam Houshan
The Cat’s Meow – Dancing Drums – Susu Pampanin
Drum Solo – The Best of Ya Salaam
Zahrafat Al Said (Rejoycing in Upper Egypt) – Luxor to Isna – Musicians of the Nile
Yasar  Kemal Solo Ritm Kompozisyion – Harem – Turkish Percussion Group

Ya Saria – Myriam Fares
Mashkelni – Musicana 8 – Hussein Aljassmi
El Shaki – Rashed Al Majid – Mashkelni

Beyond iTunes – Where to Find Belly Dance Music

Students often ask me where to find bellydance music.  Of course, there is a plethora of music available on Amazon and iTunes, but there are some other wonderful resources out there.

Before we dive in, I’ll talk about finding music you like. It can be difficult to make a selection without hearing the music, or even hearing a 30 second clip. Pandora is a popular choice, but has limited selections of actual Middle Eastern music. Spotify has a much better selection, and you can listen to things without skipping around. I make playlists, “star” what I really love and purchase music I like the most. I watch DVDs and videos on YouTube constantly, and you can use Shazam to identify music you fall in love with.  Of course, this will only lead you to modern music integrated into these systems. You really have to dig to find the vintage and truly foreign stuff. No matter what, you will buy tons of music you don’t ever perform. But you can use some for listening, practicing, and just learning.

Belly Dance CDs

Maqam and Maqam mp3
On Maqam and Maqam mp3 you can find a wealth of authentic music. Everything from tribal fusion to khaleeji, and even some very rare and vintage recordings. Maqam has very handy categories including birthday, Eid and wedding, so you can find appropriate music for many situations. You can even buy instruments, instructional tools, and collections of music. A real treasure trove! has a wide section of CDs, including many for under 5.00. This is a wonderful opportunity to develop your taste and find what you like. They have an even wider selection in the 10-20 dollar range as well. Their customer service is excellent and I always get my order in about two days.
Bhuz is a great resource all around, with forums on every topic imaginable and a word wide swap meet. I scan bhuz almost daily for used music and costuming. You can also discuss music choices and get recommendations from people all over the world.
A lot of really great artists have music available on, such as House of Tarab and Beats Antique. Possibly the best thing about Bandcamp is that a much larger chunk of proceeds from each sale actually goes to the artist, and you can even round your purchase up and make a donation. I appreciate the ability to choose the download format, including lossless formats such as WAV, FLAC and OGG.

CD Baby
CD Baby also gives a greater percentage of sale price to the artists than Amazon or iTunes. Most albums are available digitally or in hard copy. They have a lot of albums that I have not seen elsewhere. And once you have heard  Desert Rose or Sahra Saiidi a million times, originality becomes a quest! (I do love those tracks)

Haflas, Events and Fellow Dancers
Always go to haflas! You never know who is selling their music or costumes, and of course it is worth it to support your community and get inspiration. Large events such as Med Fest have lots of vendors, and many of them sell music!

Radio Bastet and Antique Stores
If you can play records or convert LPs to mp3s, I recommend always checking out the records at your thrift stores and antique stores. You never know what you will find! Music from LP isn’t always high enough quality to perform in a professional setting but there are some real gems. If you know someone with proper equipment, you can also have old tracks cleaned up and remastered digitally.
Radio Bastet is a podcast of amazing vintage music. Listen and learn!

I hope you found some useful resources. Good luck on your musical odyssey!