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Different music instruments / Tef or Riq?

October 6, 2016
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The Riq is one of the many exciting musical instruments you can discover on  Sound Infusion, our globally available, virtual platform. 

The Riq is an instrument similar to the tambourine which can also be spelled Riqq or Rik, or written in Arabic as ریق. It is also known as a Tef in Turkish music and as a Daf in Iran. 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. As part of the Memberanaphone family, the Riq commonly accompanies the popular middle eastern hand drum, the Darbukah. In muwashahat (the classical music of the middle east), the Riq was said to always be played by the leader of the ensemble in the past.

Frame Drum Construction

In ancient times, the Riq 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 but is now also made from synthetic materials.

Arabic Instruments: Playing Techniques

While the Riq resembles a Tambourine, the playing techniques on the instrument are 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 this video demonstrating the Riq, you will see the performer’s playing techniques and acquire an understanding of the Riq’s complex and unique rhythmic texture. 

Want to learn more?

As you learn about the Riq, you will discover its fascinating origins and the way that it has travelled through time and space, evolving into the modern tambourine we know today. From the Middle East to Greece to Italy to Brazil and more, this instrument is played all over the world. For example, in Brazil you will find the Pandeiro and in India, the Kanjira.

Learn more about the Riq and similar instruments with Joko’s Tambourine, part of Joko’s World. Through this interactive and fun video game, you can discover cultural rhythms such as the Malfuf. Download Joko’s Tambourine now: Apple Store Google Play

You can also experiment with digital samples of the Riq and its regional family members on Sound Infusion. As you inquire about the origins of each instrument, create your own composition which harmoniously synthesises these international rhythms and sounds. See how Sound Infusion works in this YouTube demonstration

Although travel is currently limited, you can still immerse yourself in the beauty of culture through world music. Virtually travel through the Middle East, Europe, India and Brazil and learn the history and story of the Riq. 


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