There are basic differences between western and oriental music. Oriental music is richer for oriental dance and allows for more variation of movements.
Western music is composed of phrases with the exact amount of space or time between each beat. Arabic music is different. In addition, the timing or spaces between the beats varies - they are NOT always the same. This provides complex music that, although melodic and rhythmic, has a haunting and always changing quality. This makes it more entertaining for the dancer and those who watch her.
And then it stands to reason, why the 'black belt' of oriental dance would be switching movements from one instrument to the other.
... It's another layer of interest!
For these reasons, I use mainly oriental music in my classes. Music will range from the classical ballads of Egypt's famed Oum Kalsoum to the more modern pop music. I may occasionally introduce fusions into my classes but it is always with an arabic base.
I believe that it's very important that students learn to master the Arabic music with all of its complexities. I teach my students to match the music regardless of the pace.< more ...>