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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

A Review Of

Eye On The World

by the Brothers of the Baladi




Out of eleven tracks, nine are either traditional Middle Eastern songs or improvised solos in the Middle Eastern style. They represent songs from a number of nationalities: Persian, Arabic, and Turkish. These are very well suited for belly dancers who are looking for music for either home practice or performing. The remaining two are appealing to listen to, but unless you enjoy incorporating non-Middle Eastern music into your Oriental dance, you probably won't want to use them for shows.

The labeling makes it easy to learn song titles and which country each song is from, which will be very helpful to newcomers to Middle Eastern music.

Eye on the World Album Cover



Fact Sheet

Musical Style Traditional folk songs, mostly Middle Eastern
Instruments Blend of traditional & electronic instruments
Dance Style Best Suited To... American Classic
Recommended Dance Skill Level Beginner on up
Length of Music 35:08 Minutes
Number of Songs 11
Packaging Helpful notes about songs on label




Most of the songs on this collection represent traditional songs from throughout the Middle East played on a mixture of traditional and modern-day instruments. Several of the songs seem to have an appealing New Age sort of flavor which would make them conducive to fusion dance styles.

There are also a number of improvised instrumental solos played on oud, bouzouki, and drum.



Songs Included


Song Title



Music Clip?



Mastoom Mastoom 4:15 Persian Yes Yes Suitable for entrance or the fast part in between veil and floor work.
Ah Ya Zein 3:05 Arabic No No Suitable for entrance or the fast part in between veil and floor work.
Oud Taqsim* 1:00 Improvised No Not applicable Oud solo
Lamma Bada 3:50 Arabic Yes Yes 10/8 rhythm. Not suitable for beginners. Beautiful, haunting sound.
Voyage 4:20 Improvised No Not applicable  
Bouzouki Taqsim* 1:45 Improvised No Not applicable Bouzouki solo.
Paint It Black   Rock No In English The Rolling Stones song
Backbeat 2:25 Improvised No Not applicable Drum solo
Gole Sangiam 4:20 Persian Yes Yes Great for veil work.
Dere Dere 3:05 Turkish Yes Yes 9/8 rhythm. Not suitable for beginners, but those just learning 9/8 will find this excellent for practice because it is slower than most 9/8's.
Twa Corbies 3:30 Scottish No No  

* Taqsim is the Arabic word for "solo". On this label, it refers to an improvised instrumental solo using the Middle Eastern style of improvisation. Oud is a stringed instrument which musicologists believe was the forerunner of the European lute. Bouzouki is a stringed instrument commonly used for Greek music.



Is It Right for You?

You Will Probably Enjoy This Music If...

  • You enjoy using music from throughout the Middle East, not just one particular country.
  • You prefer to work with traditional, well-known songs instead of modern-day pop hits.
  • You like music that incorporates modern-day instruments such as saxophone, electric bass, and keyboard in addition to traditional instruments.
  • You usually dance for mostly Western (American, European, Australian, etc.) audiences and you want music that will appeal to the Western ear.
  • You want to become familiar with representative songs that live bands are likely to know and play for you.

This Music Probably Isn't Right for You If...

  • You like to use only music from a particular country. This is not the right music for dancers who proclaim that they do only Egyptian style.
  • The music you choose for your performances consists primarily of modern-day pop music.
  • You prefer music played on traditional instruments with a strong folkloric sound to them.
  • You prefer the urban Egyptian sound played by a 40-piece orchestra.



What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked:

There's a lot to like about Eye On The World, including:

  • It uses well-known traditional songs from throughout the Middle East, including several of my favorites.
  • For each song, the label identifies the song title, which country it is from, and how long the track is. It's a great introduction for beginners who would like to learn something about the music they are using.
  • The production quality is excellent.
  • The musicians are skilled, so the songs are played well.

What I Didn't Like:

  • Some of the cuts are longer than 4 minutes. Although long cuts are good for practice at home or social dancing, when preparing a performance or choreography for classroom use I prefer to use cuts that are 3 1/2 minutes or shorter.




This music best fits dancers who embrace the American Classic style of belly dance. It contains traditional songs that are well known to dancers who perform in this style, arranged with instrumentation that gives these songs a fresh sound.




I have enjoyed music by the Brothers Of The Baladi since 1985, long before I ever had a real conversation with any of the band members. I've liked the songs they have chosen to record, and when watching them play for other dancers in live shows, I've been impressed at how dancer-friendly they are. They genuinely try to play music that will please the dancer and make her look good.

I bought this album when it was released in 1994, and based my buying decision on two things: 1) I liked the music on earlier recordings released by the Brothers, and 2) I saw the titles of several songs I liked on the list of music included on this recording.
My first actual contact with the Brothers came in 1999, when we agreed to link to each other's web sites. Later, when they came to my city on tour, they invited me to perform with them. It was an enjoyable experience that reinforced my enthusiasm for their work.



To Buy It

Eye on the World Album Cover

Artist: Brothers of the Baladi
Album Title: Eye on the World

Brothers of the Baladi
P.O. Box 14083
Portland, OR 97293-0083

Telephone: (+1) (503) 288-4684

Web Site:

Amazon Store: U.S. Canada U.K.



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