All About The Mazhar Instrument. What .Is The Difference With The Riq? – Sala Muzik

All About The Mazhar Instrument. What .Is The Difference With The Riq?


What is the Mazhar?



Mazhar is an Arabic word that means "the place or person where something appears". In Religious Music, the word "Mazhar" means a large, heavy tambourine, which is larger than the Def and Bendir. The Mazhar's frame is usually made of wood. The instrument's brass jingles are quite large (4-5 inches / 10–13 cm in diameter). It is designed for heavy pounding and shaking to sound loud. It has no bells on its sides and has approximately 70 steel rings on the inner edge of its rim. As these rings sway during the performance, they strike the leather from the inside and produce harmonious sounds. The Mazhar, which is used in some sects, is still used in all countries of the Middle East mainly in Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon.


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History of the Mazhar



The Mazhar is an ancient musical instrument. In ancient times, it was only used in religious processions or wedding ceremonies, during the Zaffa. This musical procession also included belly dancers, horns, men carrying flaming swords, bendir drums, and bagpipes.


Although this instrument can be used in polyphonic works for special purposes, it is generally said to disrupt the ensemble in monophonic classical or modern choirs. For this reason, since it is not a widely used instrument, the person who has found fame in its performance has not been trained. However, recently, some young people have turned to this field, and with their performance, the interest of others in these instruments is increasing day by day. 


Today, it is used mainly in Egyptian popular music or in belly dancing. Because its voice is quite strong, the Mazhar is generally used by Egyptian percussionists in big events like Hafla. Hossam Ramzy, an Egyptian percussionist, is one of the most well-known players of the Mazhar.


What is the difference between the Riq and the Mazhar?



The Riq is an instrument similar to the Mazhar which can also be spelled as Riqq or Rik. Like the Mazhar, it is also a kind of tambourine used as a traditional instrument in Arabic music. The Riq is a significant instrument throughout the Arab-speaking world and also other countries like Greece. It is played in Turkish, Iraqi, Egyptian, Moroccan, and Sudanese music.


It can be said that Riq is the smaller cousin of the Mazhar. The Mazhar's single head is considerably thicker than that of the Riq.


The Riq is played in Takht ensembles or Shalghi ensembles where it has a particularly clear-cut role, going beyond the basic rhythmic requirements of the Mazhar. In Sudan, where it has been introduced newly, the Riq is also adored, as in upper Egypt. 


While the performer can keep the Mazhar at chest and face level throughout his performance, the Riq can be quickly swung overhead, then violently lowered to knee level. The reason for this is the use of different tone colors. The Riq can be played both vertically and horizontally.


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