WE LOVE FINGER CYMBALS!!! Like serious obsession folks. So much so that we wrote a book about it!
Baksana directors Danielle Elizabeth and Paul Evans have been developing a language of written notation that can be used to accurately record finger cymbal patterns and compositions within the context of classic western music notation. Inspired by general percussion notation, we have assigned specific symbols to denote the various tones we use while playing, and on which hand we play them, while incorporating other preexisting formal notation vocabulary such as time signatures, tempo, volume etc. We hope you’ll enjoy learning and incorporating this new system into your dance/music creativity.
Like castanets in Flamenco, zils or sagat, aka finger cymbals, add a wonderful percussive element and help dancers be more musical in their movement expression. We treat finger cymbals as a fully integrated feature of Arabic dance they are. Way beyond just a prop, they are musical instruments played in classic Arabic music ensembles.
FINGER CYMBAL AWARENESS MONTH
What is it?
A few years back Danielle felt compelled to blog about the importance of playing cymbals mindfully and intentionally, especially when working with live musicians. This sparked the catch phrase of February being “Finger Cymbal Awareness Month.” A time for dancers to dedicate themselves to strengthening their technique and learning more about the contexts and applications of cymbal playing. Baksana as a whole has decided to take up the banner, and wave it proudly, as cymbal playing has become an essential and bonding element of the group. Each February we launch an interactive social media campaign to host challenges, post videos of some of our inspirations, offer some broader historical context, and share our practice tips. To join in the fun, follow our Instagram and/or Facebook page! Be sure to tag @baksanabellydance and #fingercymbalawarenessmonth in all your cymbal related posts so we, and the community at large, can find you and shower you with excitement and support! We’ll be archiving some of our key posts HERE for easy reference.
Below is an example video from an exercise on page 26 of the notation book. Feel free to write to us anytime with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org