Apr 22 2012
Recently I began to incorporate 5-10 min. of practice on various dance things in my day. Ideally, I’d give myself an hour but well, time is a precious commodity. I figure the short practice can easily turn into a long practice and if it doesn’t, I don’t feel discouraged. So yesterday was veil, today is sagat and zills.
Sagat are different from zills. My now tired hands can tell you that. I learned zills, which are generally two-slotted and made in a very different process than sagat. They’re one-slotted and have round elastic vs. the flat elastic. They’re much heavier than my zills and require a different technique to play. It is almost like starting over with finger cymbals.
So why am I interested in them? They can produce a wide-range of sounds that zill cannot. Even though most Arabic style dancers do not perform while playing sagat, they’re part of the the history and do bring something extra to the performance. My particular interest is to better my understanding of the music and they’re fun to play.
The only place I know of that you can buy sagat is through Yasmin of the Washington, DC area. She and Artemis Mourat produced two CDs, one on zills and one on sagat. Great resources for those working on these skills. I wish they would release a DVD on playing both but particularly sagat. I suspect finding someone to teach sagat is much more difficult than someone who can teach zills. A DVD cannot replace a teacher but would be quite useful.
I hope over the summer to become more competent with playing sagat or at least not have such tired hands!