Oud, Darbuka & Music Literacy

19 August '19 - 8 December '19

Taqasim Music School, founded by Iraqi Oud Master Ahmed Mukhtar, was established in 2011 to teach one of the most significant Oriental instruments called Oud, among other instruments and disciplines that represent Middle Eastern Music.

Bookings are now open for the September-December term. Each term, Taqasim run an Open Day where you can meet the tutors and ask any questions you may have about the courses or your instrument. This is free to attend, and will take place from 12-4pm on Saturday 7 September at the Arab British Centre (no registration required).

Check the individual courses below for more details and to book.

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You can now also purchase Taqasim’s curriculum in printed form online. The Mukhtar Method is an eight book series:

Arabic Music Theory I and II

Oud Beginners 

Oud Upper Beginners

Oud Intermediate

Oud Upper Intermediate 

Oud Ensemble I and II

Oud Advanced

Darbuka Beginner and Intermediate 

 

Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Dates: 19 August '19 | 20 August '19 | 21 August '19 | 22 August '19 | 23 August '19 | 24 August '19

19 August – 24 August | 6 days | 14 hours
Monday 19 August – Friday 23 August, 18:00 – 20:00
Saturday 24 August 12:00 – 16:00

Introduction to Arabic Music is an intensive course that will introduce the basics of Arabic music. The objective of this course is to give students a good basic theoretical and practical understanding of Arabic music. Material covered will include a brief history of Arabic music, maqamaat, rhythms and musical forms presented along with a select repertoire of traditional and popular music. These will be analysed and presented in a cultural and historical context.

Students are encouraged to bring along a stringed instrument to play during the course. An Oud is preferable, as it is one of the main Arabic musical instruments used today. To make the best of this course, students are advised to practice regularly. The course will run for 6 consecutive days.

The last day of the course will be dedicated to playing a select number of pieces that have been covered during the course. Student are welcome to bring along their instrument of choice if the wish.

Note: The playing of an instrument is not a requirement to enroll in this course.

Registration: £140 (paid online) Course Book: £5 (paid on the first day of class)

Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Dates: 27 September '19 | 4 October '19 | 11 October '19 | 18 October '19 | 25 October '19 | 8 November '19 | 15 November '19 | 22 November '19 | 29 November '19 | 6 December '19

The darbuka (also darbuka, doumbec, tabla and goblet drum) is a drum with an ancient history and is widely used in the music of the Middle East and neighbouring areas. It is played with the hands and has a single “head”. Originally, it was made of baked clay and an animal-skin head. Modern versions are usually made of a light metal such as aluminum and have a plastic “head”.

This course will cover basic techniques such as the correct way to hold the darbuka, how to produce the correct tones (such as “dum” and “tak”) and the correct right and left-hand strokes. Students will learn a variety of popular rhythms such as Wahda, Maqsum, Ayyub, Malfouf and Thurayya. At the end of the course, students will have the option of progressing to the Darbuka Intermediate course.

Note: Students must have their own darbuka to practice between lessons.

Registration: £215 (paid online)
Course book: Buy online via link in general course info above (Please allow 1 – 2 weeks for book shipment)

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Dates: 27 September '19 | 4 October '19 | 11 October '19 | 18 October '19 | 25 October '19 | 8 November '19 | 8 November '19 | 22 November '19 | 29 November '19 | 6 December '19

New maqamaat that will be covered in this course include: Nahawand, Kurd, Lami, Bayat and Maqam Bayat Shor. You will also learn new techniques using the second octave and some ornamentation.

This course is designed for students who are interested in improving their Oud ornamentation techniques and to extend their knowledge of the maqam system.
In order to enrol for the Upper Intermediate course, it is required to have attended an Oud Intermediate course or to be comfortable with previously covered material and have your own instrument.

Students with existing knowledge may apply but must be assessed by a teacher.
Please contact: school@taqasim.net for an assessment.

Students need to allocate time for daily practice and study. This course consists of 10 lessons of 2 hours each.
The maximum number of students is 7. Lessons are taught on a weekly basis.

Registration: £215 (paid online)
Course Book: Buy online via link in general course info above (Please allow 1 – 2 weeks for book shipment)

Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Dates: 28 September '19 | 5 October '19 | 12 October '19 | 19 October '19 | 26 October '19

This course is highly recommended for students who want to take oud lessons for the first time but haven’t seriously studied music before. Learning a new instrument is challenging enough as it is: new ideas, new techniques, new pieces of music and lots and lots of practice! So, let’s make things a little easier. In this short series of classes, consisting of 5 lessons, you will learn all the basic skills you need to read, write and “talk” music. Taking a practical approach to music theory, we will be adapting the best bits from Western classical music theory and Arab classical music theory to give you all the tools you need to start your new life as a musician.

Topics for the course will include:
• Reading and writing rhythms
• Reading and writing melodies
• Understanding music theory basics
• Recognizing maqamaat in notation
• Understanding the signs and symbols in a musical score

NOTE: We highly encourage students interested in this course to also sign up for the Oud
Beginners course running straight after it on Saturdays from 12:00 – 14:00

Registration: £120 (paid online)
Course Book: Buy online via link in general course info above (Please allow 1 – 2 weeks for book shipment)

Time: 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Dates: 28 September '19 | 5 October '19 | 12 October '19 | 19 October '19 | 26 October '19 | 9 November '19 | 16 November '19 | 23 November '19 | 30 November '19 | 7 December '19

The objective of the beginner course is to acquire the fundamental techniques needed to play the oud and understand the characteristics of the Maqam Music System while studying the eight fundamental maqamaat together with traditional and popular repertoire. No previous music knowledge is required to attend this course, as most music is notated as tablature – a visual representation which does not require an understanding of music notation. However, we highly encourage beginners to sign up for our Arabic Music Theory I.

This course is 10 lessons long. Each lesson runs for 2 hours. The for a maximum capacity is 7 students. Lessons are taught on a weekly basis. It is recommended that students spend time practicing material learned in between lessons.

Students must have their own instrument. Teachers are available to assist in finding an Oud and to assess instruments.

Registration: £215 (paid online)
Course Book: Buy online via link in general course info above (Please allow 1 – 2 weeks for book shipment)

Time: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Dates: 28 September '19 | 5 October '19 | 12 October '19 | 19 October '19 | 26 October '19 | 9 November '19 | 16 November '19 | 23 November '19 | 30 November '19 | 7 December '19

The Taqasim Music School offers a more advanced set of courses for groups of students who are interested in further improving their Oud playing skills.

To enroll for this course students need:
• To have completed the Oud Beginner Course
Or
• Be assessed by a teacher. To arrange for an assessment please email: school@taqasim.net
• To have their own instrument. Teachers are available to assist in finding an Oud and to assess.

This course is 10 lessons long. Each lesson runs for 2 hours. The for a maximum capacity is 7 students. Lessons are taught on a weekly basis. It is recommended that students spend time practicing material learned in between lessons.

The maqamaat that will be further analyzed and transposed from different keys during this course through the study of traditional songs and piece are: Nahawand, Ajam, Kurd, Hijaz, Bayat, Rast, Saba and Segah.

Registration: £215 (paid online)
Course Book: Buy online via link in general course info above (Please allow 1 – 2 weeks for book shipment)

Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Dates: 28 September '19 | 5 October '19 | 12 October '19 | 19 October '19 | 26 October '19 | 9 November '19 | 16 November '19 | 23 November '19 | 30 November '19 | 7 December '19

This course will focus on new complex rhythms which will be learned and executed by combining the rhythms covered in the beginner course. Such rhythms will include 5/4, 7/4 and 9/4 timing. Various ornamentations will be added to known rhythms by filling in the silent beats and controlling the speeds at which rhythms are played.

Also, new techniques will be taught such as the mahbous using both the right and left hand. An alternate combination of techniques will be applied to rhythms in order to develop students’ ornamentation skills.

The course will also focus on improving the quality of sound students produce from their Darbuka. An emphasis will be placed on developing sound the quality of the techniques learned such as the dum, tek and shek.

Registration: £215 (paid online)
Course Book: Buy online via link in general course info above (Please allow 1 – 2 weeks for book shipment)

Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Dates: 29 September '19 | 6 October '19 | 13 October '19 | 20 October '19 | 27 October '19 | 10 November '19 | 17 November '19 | 24 November '19 | 1 December '19 | 8 December '19

We offer a more advanced set of courses for groups of students who are interested in improving their Oud playing skills further.

In order to enroll for the Intermediate course, it is required to have attended an Oud Upper Beginner course, and have your own instrument. The teachers are available to assist in finding an Oud and in assessing instruments.

Students with existing knowledge may apply but will need to be assessed by a teacher: please contact: school@taqasim.net.

The level is more advanced than Lower Intermediate, so students need to allocate time for daily practice and study in order to see an improvement in their playing technique. The Oud Intermediate Level 1 course is made up of 10 lessons of 2 hours each, for a maximum group of 7 students. Lessons are taught on a weekly basis. It is recommended that students spend time practicing material learned in between lessons.

During the course, a selection of Maqams (Ajam, Hijaz, Hijaz Kar, Rast, Suzak) will be analysed in detail while studying traditional repertoire to highlight the characteristics of each Maqam, accompanied by technical studies on right-hand techniques, left-hand positions, and 2 octave scales.

Time: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Dates: 22 September '19 | 6 October '19 | 20 October '19 | 3 November '19 | 17 November '19 | 1 December '19

[Ensemble: A group of musicians who perform together.]

The objective of the Oud Ensemble Course is to provide students with the opportunity to further progress their performance skills in a group setting. Each class will focus on a single Maqam and its corresponding repertoire with the goal of further developing students’ ornamentation skills such as tremolos, trills and the use of qarar and jawab within each song or piece. Through this course, students will have the chance to progress their skills collaboratively while performing as a collective ensemble as well as playing solo. A selection of traditional songs and pieces will be analysed in detail, adding various ornamentations and dynamics. Maqamaat that will be explored in detail include: Maqam Ajam, Nahawand, Rast and Bayat.

The course consists of 6 lessons lasting 3 hours each. The maximum capacity for this course is 10 students. Lessons are taught on a bi-monthly basis. Course material is available to purchase online. Please see details below.

This Course is open to Taqasim students who have successfully completed the Intermediate and Upper Intermediate courses.

Registration: £270 (paid online)
Course Book: Buy online via link in general course info above (Please allow 1 – 2 weeks for book shipment)

 

Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Dates: 29 September '19 | 13 October '19 | 27 October '19 | 10 November '19 | 24 November '19 | 8 December '19

This new course will be lead by Ahmed Mukhtar. The course is designed for students who are at the Oud Intermediate – Oud Advanced levels. The course aims to further students’ understanding of Arabic Music Theory by building upon their music reading and writing skills focusing on reading the rhythms and time valuation. Course Fee: £120

Time: 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Dates: 29 September '19 | 13 October '19 | 27 October '19 | 10 November '19 | 24 November '19 | 8 December '19

The Oud Advanced course has been designed for students who are comfortable playing the Oud using a high level of technique and wish to further advance their playing skills. Students are required to have completed the Upper Intermediate book with a high lev el of achievement and be able comfortably read music notation without the use of tablatures.

This course will cover multiple techniques of oud playing including a high level of applying ornamentation patterns such as: qarar and jawab, the use of trills. Modulations, secondary maqamaat, and the use of all three playing positions will also be practiced. These techniques will be practiced and applied while playing a variety of complicated repertoires providing students with a challenging set of skills to improve their playing.

Registration: £300 (paid online)
Course Book: Buy online via link in general course info above (Please allow 1 – 2 weeks for book shipment)

Please also note that we have a list of FAQs which can be found below, including Terms and Condition and Refund Policy.

How many students will be in each class? There will be a maximum of 7 students in each oud class, in Music Literacy and Darbuka courses there will be a maximum of 15.

Do I need to be able to read music? No, being unable to read music will not pose a problem. The teachers use an alternative notation system (tablatures) which can be picked up very quickly. The course is for absolute beginners, and music theory is not a requisite.

Do I need an oud or a darbuka or are they provided? All students enrolling in the course do need their own instrument. If you need to source an oud or a darbuka please do get in touch, info@arabbritishcentre.org.uk as we can put you in touch with the course teachers who know the best places to buy ouds and darbukas in London.

When do the courses run? We run courses three times a year, January – March, May – July and September – November.

Can I book a place and pay later? No, your place on the course will only be confirmed on receipt of the course fee in full.

How can I sign up to a course? What methods of payment do you accept? To sign up to a course, you need to book online on the website section ‘Book a Course’. You can find information about our current music courses and book online above.

What is your refund policy? Our courses are often over-subscribed so the sooner you let us know you’ve changed your mind the better. We can then open your place up to someone else. Our rules on refunds are:

  • 75%  of the course fee will be refunded if you let us know more than 30 days before the course start date.
  • 50% of the course fee will be refunded if you let us know within 10 – 30 days before the course start date.
  • No refund will be given if you let us know fewer than 10 days before the course start date.

What happens if you cancel the course? We will endeavour to ensure courses are not cancelled but if this does happen we will contact you as quickly as we can to let you know and to arrange a full refund.

Please contact us if you have any further questions on 020 78321310 or info@arabbritishcentre.org.uk

Venue

The Arab British Centre

1 Gough Square, EC4A 3DE, London

Organiser

The Arab British Centre and Taqasim Music School

Click to find out more