"Sa" and "Ke" what exactly are they?


Hi all...

Okay, noobie here. I have pretty well established what a doum and a tak (tek?) is but I have come across two new terms which are "Sa" and "Ke". Could someone please explain to me how these fit in relative to a doum or tak?

I have come across sites for Carnactic music where the guru would explain cycles by first explaining that here is a rhythm in Tintal then give the vocalize version thus: Dha Dhin Dhin Dha Dha Dhin Dhin Dha Dha Tin Tin Ta Ta Dhin Dhin Dha follow by about 30 seconds of that played on the tabla.

Surely, there must be a site that does such a thing for belly dance rhythms. Here is the <name> rhythm which is popular in <location> which is vocalized as: Sa Sa Doum Doum Tak Ke Doum Doum Tek Ke Doum then play it. (I just made up that rhythm but I'm curious enough to want to know if something close to it is actually used.)

Any help with this would be welcome. Thank you all in advance,



Super Moderator
It's just a way of speaking the rhythm so you know how the rhythm sounds and which kind of stroke you should be doing. Dum, or Doum is the big bass stroke in the middle of the drumskin. (If we are talking tabla/darbuka/dumbek). Tek is the sharp edge stroke, usually with the same hand that does the doum, right hand for right handed players. Ke is usually the sharp edge stroke done with the ringfinger on the left hand. Sa, I have never heard but it could be what I learnt as "es", which is a break/silence.

tek and ke can be switched up after the drummers preference, in my experience. Ke is often as Aniseteph says, said together with tek to make tekke or tekka, or together with Doum to make doum-ke or Doum-me (because it is easier to say). I have never heard it said ke-ke f ex. Ke is usually a filler stroke, where Doum and Tek is the main part of the rhythm.
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Thank you all for your help thus far. I think I understand a bit better now. I guess the rest comes down to "ear training." My friend, Laïla, was in Morocco lately and picked up for me some CDs there and is also sending me some CDs from Algeria. These should be interesting but I suspect that there will be big differences in the music between the two countries.