While modern, popular music is widespread, traditional folk tunes-like ala dal’ona
and zareef at toul – are still an important part of life in Palestine.
Folk tunes are often performed at big festivals, folk dances, and weddings (both
during the zaffeh, when the bride is brought to the groom’s house, and the
sahra, the evening festivities that occur the night before the actual wedding).
Local musical scholars and performers, who work to preserve these traditional
melodies, can also be heard playing songs of the past. Some of the traditional
Palestinian musical instruments are the oud, shebbabeh, rababeh,
mijwez,yarhgoul, nay,buzuk, and the qanoun.
Some of the folk-dancing groups and music bands in the recent history of Palestine are: Sharaf at Teeby, Stars of the Night, Reem, Funun Shabeyieh, and the National Folklore
Band (Zahrat el-Madaen).
The Dabke is the traditional folk dance of Palestine, going back generations. It can be danced by men, women, or both, with different steps and different rhythms. Dabke is a dance of community, often performed at weddings and other joyous occasions. Like other folk dances of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Greece, Armenia, and Eastern Europe, dabke is a line dance.
However, it is also a dance of solidarity and a way of expressing nationalism and the
age-old presence of art and culture in a positive way.