Dastgah Homayoun & Esfahan – Persian Music Continued

by Majnuun Music & Dance on December 10, 2013, 2 comments


In continuing our discussion about Persian Dastgah system and Radif, I will now discuss the next “scale” that is most familiar to Western ears. This is our equivalent to any harmonic minor scale, except with the ABSENCE of equal temperament and the ADDITION of a few quartertones.


In the last article, I discussed the Dastgah Mahur starting from C. This is as close as we get to a Major scale in Persian music. Now I will show you Homayoun in G and Esfahan in C. Homayoun and Esfahan are Dastgah that can use the same intervals but the tonic is different. In some ways, you can view Esfahan as a mode of Homayoun, or you can view them as totally separate.

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20 Holiday Gift Ideas for Belly Dancers

by Majnuun Music & Dance on December 6, 2013, no comments

Don’t know what to get for your wife, girlfriend, friend, mother, sister, cousin, or neighbour who is a belly dancer this Christmas? Here are some holiday gift ideas that your dancing friends would really appreciate. These gifts for dancers come in different price ranges, and these would be perfect not only for Christmas but for any special occasions like birthdays, Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day! more →

Dastgah Mahur – Persian Music Continued

by Majnuun Music & Dance on December 2, 2013, no comments

Back to Persian music and the Persian musical tradition called the “Radif”. I want to begin by introducing you to a Persian Dastgah called Mahur. Mahur sounds very familiar to Western ears because it includes a theme that is almost exactly the Western major scale BUT with the ABSENCE of equal temperament. more →

What Makes You Want to Dance?

by Majnuun Music & Dance on November 30, 2013, no comments

Every artist has inspirations, ones that makes them excited and want to start creating their own art work. Being a duckling of a professional dancer – a Japanese expression for a person aspiring to become something – I always find it interesting to learn what inspires dancers, musicians, painters, writers, and anyone who does creative work. So today I want to share artists that inspire me to dance and create new pieces. Some are belly dancers, and others are not related to belly dancing at all. I hope you may find ones here interesting and even get inspired by these artists as well! more →

“A happy marriage of Middle Eastern music and dance” by The National

by Majnuun Music & Dance on November 17, 2013, no comments

Majnuun was featured in an online article on The National, a news publisher in the United Arab Emirates. We are really excited to share the article which came out just yesterday. It talks about our story behind creation of Majnuun Music & Dance and Oud for Guitarists.

Read the article here more →

How to Make Belly Dance Costume out of a Dress – Easy!

by Majnuun Music & Dance on November 17, 2013, no comments

I really enjoy making my own belly dance costumes and reading about how to make belly dance costume as well. It has become my hobby over the years. Designing and selecting fabric, sequins and beads are so fun. Sewing is not so exciting sometimes, especially when you keep poking your fingers with needles, but when you complete a piece, it’s such a great feeling. Making my own costumes is usually cheaper than purchasing one, and I can keep trying on the costume to make it fit me well.

I recently made this yellow 2 piece-costume, and would like to share with you how I made it. more →

Majnuun’s First TATO Experience

by Majnuun Music & Dance on November 2, 2013, no comments

On October 19, 2013, Majnuun had their first appearance at the Twilight at the Oasis (TATO) show, an annual show put on by the Middle Eastern Dance Association (MEDA) in Vancouver. For me, and probably for many student belly dancers in the Lower Mainland, this is THE show where you want to perform. Performers are selected by audition, and if you make the cut, you’ll get a good amount of exposure, and the belly dance community will check you out.


So just imagine how happy and excited Navid and I were, when we received an email from MEDA saying that they would like to have us at the show. Not in the audience like last year and the year before. ON STAGE. more →

Maqam Daad o Bidaad – Understanding Persian Music

by Majnuun Music & Dance on October 25, 2013, no comments

To introduce the topic of the Radif of Persian music and the Dastgah system we will look at a scale that was introduced into Persian music quite recently by one of the most renowned Iranian Tar players Hossein Alizadeh. His scale is his own creation. It is the combination of two preexisting melodic niches of Persian music: Daad from Mahur, and Bidaad from Homayoun. It is called Daad o Bidaad. The ‘o’ here means ‘and’.

                                                                                                                                                                          Daad                                                  Homayoun                                    Bidaad
daad o bidaad

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30 Reasons Why You Should Start Belly Dancing Today

by Majnuun Music & Dance on October 18, 2013, no comments

Interested in starting a new hobby but don’t know what? Or you’ve been thinking about taking a belly dancing class for a few weeks now, but still can’t decide?

I want to share with you my experience of learning to belly dance. I joined my first belly dancing class, mostly because I was bored with whatever dance style I was learning at that time (hip hop?), and I wanted to learn something new. As I was walking around my school campus, I found an ad for a belly dance class. To be honest, I didn’t even know what belly dance was, but I am so glad I didn’t think much of it back then and just signed up for the class. Here are 30 reasons why….are you ready? more →

Persian Oud – Barbat

by Majnuun Music & Dance on August 16, 2013, no comments

I’m not sure if you were aware of this but the Oud was used in Iran many years before it was used in Arab countries. It was called the Barbat in pre-Islamic times.

The Oud was originated somewhere in greater Iran, the lands that encompass the ancestral lands occupied at one time by Iranian tribes. Most definitely an Oud-like instrument has been seen in art work in Mesopotamia, and as far west as Egypt in ancient times. The Oud is said to have about 5000 years of history. It is difficult to ascertain what the Oud was really like in those days but according to some luthiers it is likely that the old Ouds were carved by hollowing out one or two pieces of wood for the bowl back shape. more →