Tef or Riq?

The Riq is another of the exciting instruments you can play in our Joko’s Tambourine app. The Riq is an instrument similar to the tambourine which can also be spelled Riqq or Rik, or written in Arabic as رق‎. It is also known as a Tef in Turkish music and as a Daf in Pakistan. The Riq is an important instrument throughout the Arab speaking world as well as countries such as Greece. It is played in Turkish, Iraqi, Egyptian, Moroccan and Sudanese music among others. It commonly accompanies the popular middle eastern hand drum the Darbukah. In muwashahat, the classical music of the middle east, the riq was said to be always played by the leader of the ensemble in day past.

Frame Drum Construction
The riq in ancient times was made out of wood but recently people have been using more modern materials such as aluminium, it can also be decorated with beautiful mosaics or mother of pearl. The skin of the instrument was traditionally made from goat or fish skin and the jingles from a range of metals. The skin of the instrument is now also made from synthetic materials.

Arabic Instruments: Playing Techniques
While Riq resembles a Tambourine the playing techniques on the instrument is very different. Players can use their fingers, hand slaps, tapping on the jingles, shaking the Riq in a back and forward or twisting motion and hitting the rim of the drum with the palm of the hand. In the video below you will see the performer, David Kuckhermann using all of these technique and demonstrating all the different types of Riqs available.

Can you hear any difference between the different types of Riqs? How do the metal Riqs sound compared to the wood ones? Can you tell which of the Riqs use fish, goat or synthetic skins? Can you describe the difference?

Want to learn more?
Learn more about the Riq and similar instruments with Joko’s Tambourine. Learn rhythms from this culture like Malfuf and many more through video gaming fun.

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