By Robin Adnan Anders Originally published in DRUM! Magazine’s December 1999 Issue
The rhythm known as Masmoudi has its origins in seventh century Tunisia, and is named after the tribe that first made it popular. Like all other Arabic rhythms, it is based on a poetry form — in this case it is the Mowashah song style. This beat, the great-grandfather of the classic Masmoudi sagir rhythm, in 4/4, becomes Masmoudi kabir by doubling the length of the measure to 8/4. Masmoudi kabir can most easily be learned by thinking of it as two distinct groups of four beats. The first group begins with either two or three quarter-note doums, followed by the second group, which always has one.