The Riqq Instrument (الرق - الدف)

RIQQ - (الرق), Daf (Persian: دف‎), (English: The Tambourine) is also known as Dayereh-Zangi or Daf-e-Arabi in Farsi. The timbrel or tabret (also known as the tof of the ancient Hebrews, the Dap of the Persians, the Daf or Deff of Islam, the adufe of the Moors of Spain) is a very ancient musical instrument and was the principal percussion instrument of the ancient Israelites. It resembled either a frame drum or a modern tambourine.

The word timbrel is used in the Hebrew Bible in both singular and plural form, so as to suggest the former referred to a hoop of wood or metal over which was stretched a parchment head; while the latter was perhaps used to designate the tambourine with bells or jangles fixed at intervals in hoops;this is essentially a tambourine: a wooden frame drum with jangles or bells round the edges.

In the Old Testament; Nahum 2:7, where the word "tabering" occurs in the King James Version, it means beating on the breast, as drummers beat on the tabret. The Israelites learned to use the timbrel during their sojourn in Egypt, and it is stated that "it has been suggested that as the Egyptians used it to scare away their evil spirit Typhon", the word tof is derived from the latter.

The tabret or timbrel was a favorite instrument of the women, and was used with dances, as by Miriam, to accompany songs of victory, or with the harp at banquets and processions; it was one of the instruments used by King David and his musicians when he danced before the Ark of the Covenant. It was also used in the valley of Hinnom at the sacrificial rites.

The tambourine in the Bible is referred to by several different names: tambourine, timbrel, tabret, tof, to name a few.

The tambourine was used for a variety of different reasons including: praise, joy, gladness, rejoicing, triumph, singing, warfare, victory, celebration, processionals, welcoming etc. It was definitely an instrument of praise and warfare, often leading armies into battle.

The tambourine was played in a multitude of different places: in the home, on the battlefield, at feasts and celebrations etc. There is evidence that the priests in the temple took the tambourine at one time and even used it in the temple. However, when this happened it was taken away from the common people.

Although there were times in the Bible when men played the tambourine, especially the priests in the temple, it was usually associated with women and at times children. It is especially associated with maidens and young girls. It was often accompanied by dance, especially when women played it.

As the Jewish religion allowed for no images to be recorded, we do not know for sure how the tambourine was played, however, from studying neighbouring nations surrounding Israel it is thought that the tambourine was held in one hand while it was hit on the membrane with the other hand in a rhythmic manner.

It is a Middle Eastern frame drum musical instrument. The Riq is a tambourine. The tambourine is a musical instrument in the percussion family consisting of a frame, often of wood or plastic, with pairs of small metal jingles, called "zills".

Through many centuries, the Riq (or Riqq) has been the most important percussion instrument in countries such as Egypt, Persia, Lebanon, and Syria. Traditonally, it is made out of a wooden frame with fish skin. The wooden frame has 5 bells, which come in pairs of twos. Those elaborately finished instruments have ornaments of little mosaics made of pearls, bone and horn or coloured wood.

The meaning of the Arabic word Riq translates as skin or parchment. It alludes to the thin drum skin which is partly responsible for the varied sounds. Precise, explosive beats are just as possible as subtle, tender and fragile sounds. The bells are a vivid element of the frame drum and contribute to an agile and powerful sound. The riqq can be used to play very complex rhythmic cycles and ornamentations using intricate fingering technique, and can produce a wide variety of sounds by utilizing the skin, the wood frame and the cymbals.

The riqq is usually the only percussion instrument in a takht (lit; Court, traditional Arabic chamber group) and its player is called dabet al-iqa‘ (controller/manager of rhythm).

The Riq is often held vertically with both hands on the lower side. The drum skin points away from the player's body. The thumbs hold the frame and the fingers are used to play. One bell is right in the middle of both hands. When the skin is being hit and the instrument is rhythmically moved or shaken the bells begin to make a sound. If the bells are intended to make only a few sounds the Riq is tilted a bit. If the player has trouble to hold the Riq it can also be placed in the lap, so the arms relieved.

Those playing this instrument can tap the jingles, shake it backward and forward, shake it in a twisting way, slap it, and use their fingers. There are many ways to make this instrument produce its characteristic sounds.

The Riqq (الرق) instrument was used in Persian Royal Court Music throughout history as depicted in miniature paintings and was a fundamental part of The Royal Court Musical System of Persia also known as Khosravani (خسروانی) musical system.

Until 70 years ago, without the Riq Arabic arts music was simply unthinkable. Although the frame drum is not bigger than a plate, it is a highly esteemed instrument in classic Arabic music, due to its rich sounds and diverse sound colours, but also due to its demanding playing techniques that challenge the player.

Today, in most ensembles the Riq has been replaced by the Darbuka, and, as a consequence, has eventually lost its significance. Nowadays, there are only a few musicians around that have mastered playing the Riqq.

رِق (عربی: رق‎) (همچنین riqq یا RIK نوشته می‌شود) نوع از دایره زنگی است که به عنوان یک آلت موسیقی سنتی در موسیقی عربی استفاده می‌شود. این ساز یک ابزار مهم در موسیقی محلی و کلاسیک در سراسر جهان عرب زبان است. رق به‌طور سنتی دارای یک قاب چوبی است گرچه امروه ممکن است از فلز نیز ساخته شود. در اطراف دیواره‌ی ساز تعدادی سنج قرار دارد. پوسته‌ی نازک و نیمه شفافی نیز از جنس پوست ماهی، بُز یا اخیراً یک ماده مصنوعی بر روی لبه ساز کشیده می‌شود. قطر رق بین ۲۰ تا ۲۵ سانتی‌متر است. رق نام خود را در قرن نوزدهم به دست آورد تا از دُف و سایر سازهای کوبه ای متمایز باشد

قاب ریک را می‌توان در دو طرف داخلی و خارجی با خاتم کاری مانند مروارید، عاج یا چوب تزئینی مانند زردآلو یا لیمو پوشاند. ده جفت سنج کوچک دارد (حدود شش سانتی‌متر قطر)، در پنج جفت شکاف نصب شده‌است. پوست ماهی یا بز جوان روی قاب چسبانده و محکم می‌شود. در مصر رق معمولاً ۲۰ سانتی‌متر عرض و حدود ۶ سانتی‌متر ضخامت دارد. در عراق کمی بزرگتر است

رق تغییرات زیادی را در طول دو دهه گذشته تجربه کرده‌است. این ساز به طور سنتی دارای یک قاب چوبی است که پوست حیوان به آن چسبیده است. گاهی رطوبت و دما، پوست طبیعی را تا حدی شُل می‌کند که صدای ساز نامطلوب می‌شود. سازندگان اخیراً با استفاده از پوست نایلونی، محافظ فلزی و پیچ و مهره، مشکل تغییر کوک پوست را حل کرده اند. اما سنگین شدن رق، نواختنش را کمی دشوار کرده است