Music for bellydance

Photo of a Syrian oud - Musée de la Musique, Paris - from fr.wikipedia

Below is a list of music that I use in classes, or recommend to students, plus a link to Amazon UK* (click on 'CD' or 'MP3') if it's available there, or to another site. Please remember to shop around through to find music at a price that suits you - Aladdin's Cave specialises in bellydance music! Many of the recommendations are compilations - mainly because I feel that listening to a wide variety of music is important. They're not listed in any particular order. Also, please remember that is you're purchasing any item from outside the UK you may be liable for customs charges!

IMPORTANT:  If you are planning to perform bellydance to Middle Eastern music, please make sure you understand the lyrics to the songs - some of them may be inappropriate for various venues, occasions or audiences. There are various websites where you can find translations of the lyrics to Arabic and Turkish songs, which are listed on the right.

Title / Artist Comments / description
Now Dance Arabia 2011 / Various Artists
CD   MP3
Lots of danceable pop music from Arabic speaking countries
Now Dance Arabia 2010 / Various Artists
Lots of danceable pop music from Arabic speaking countries
Bellydance for Fortune & Fame / The Mogador Band
Only available as a CD online from Amazon US
A lovely collection of bellydance music, in a Vintage American style.
Beginner's Guide to Bellydance / Various Artists
3 CD set with a range of traditional, tribal and fusion tracks.
10 Songs Every Bellydancer Should Know / Various Artists
Exactly as the title suggests - a collection of recordings of classic bellydance music.
The Rough Guide to Bellydance (original) / Various Artists
Variety of tracks specifically written for bellydance
The Rough Guide to Bellydance (Second Edition) / Various Artists
CD   MP3
Updated version of the original Rough Guide to Bellydance - different tracks, and free instructional DVD with the CD version!
The Rough Guide to Bellydance Café / Various Artists
A collection of classic bellydance tracks from Greek, Turkish and Arabic artists
Shik Shak Shok / Hassan Abou El Seoud
Egyptian bellydance music from a master accordionist
Belly Dance Music of Mohamed Abdel Wahab / Mohamed Abdel Wahab
Try searching for it at Maqam
Short pieces of music by the classic Egyptian composer - many have become bellydance 'standards' - these are the original recordings.
The Dancing Drum / Issam Houshan
Try searching for it at Aladdin's Cave
This one is all percussion! Three tabla solos in increasing levels of difficulty, as well as basic Arabic drum rhythms
Gypsy Fire / Richard Hagopian & Omar Faruk Tekbilek
Mostly Turkish tracks from the Romany tradition

* Desna ~ Bellydance Artist is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Photo of a Syrian oud - Musée de la Musique, Paris - from fr.wikipedia

Song Translation websites:

Shira's Lyric Translations. This is just one part of Shira's encyclopaedic site, and has translations to many popular songs in Arabic and Turkish.

Lennie Clark's collection of translations of Arabic songs has now moved to a corner of Shira's site.

Salomé's collection of Arabic song translations.

The Aswan Dancers translations of Arabic songs.

Nourhan Sharif's collection of Arabic song translations.

Arabic Music Translation - Excellent blog with video clips & translations of a wide variety of Arabic songs


More resources:

Students: Students' FAQs - information about classes, what to wear, etc

Reading: A list of the books that Desna recommends for students

Articles: Articles that Desna has written either for students or for other publications

Links: Links to other websites that can give great in-depth information about bellydance