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May. 15th, 2007 @ 10:55 am How do you zaghreet?

Hello dancin' peoples! I just have a quick question for you all.... how do you zaghreet, and have you ever tried to teach someone else how to do it?

Last Friday at the end of our class, one of my fellow dancers mentioned to me that she has admired my ability to produce the 'zaghreet' sound for ages now, and how disappointed she was in herself that she couldn't manage it. I fumbled out some explanation of what I did, but it wasn't very coherent, and I couldn't really explain how to do something I can do naturally without thinking about it. 

Since then, I've thought about it more, and I'm still having trouble putting together a teaching vocabulary. The closest I can come to explaining the way I zaghreet is to make a high-pitched tone in the back of my throat (almost like singing a high 'A') while simultaneously vibrating the tip/front quarter of my tongue, like rolling an 'rrrrr' when speaking Spanish. (I usually end my zaghreet with a higher-pitched yip! noise, so I don't peter out like a falsetto Porky Pig!)

Does that description make sense to you? Is there a better way to put it? Is there an element I'm missing? Since I never really learned how to zaghreet, just kind of did it and it worked, I'm worried there's something I missed. Please help, I'm the only dancer in our troupe that can zaghreet, and I'd like to help those that want to learn. 

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Henna
bec76:
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From:tisana
Date:May 15th, 2007 03:09 pm (UTC)
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I can't do it properly, myself--I do a really fast purr/yip thing, which sounds more normal than the description. ;)
Most seem to be doing a "la la la" thing with their tongue, which is slower than the sound I make, but faster than when I try to do it they way they are. I believe it has been described as one's tongue doing a shimmy against their palate.
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From:bec76
Date:May 15th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC)
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I'm sure everyone zaghreets a bit differently; I just want to give my fellow dancer a jumping-off point to start from. I've heard of the la-la-la-la tongue thing, but since I don't do it that way either, I don't know if I could use it. I like your "tongue shimmy" image, though, and that might help her a lot. Thank you!
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From:d_c_m
Date:May 15th, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
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Ooooo, nice description. Here is what I tell my students and audience members. It took me a very long time to zaghreet and this is how I figured it out.

1. Make a high pitched sound in your mouth. (Have student/audience do that)
2. Now move your tongue up and down or back and forth, depending on what is easier for you, really fast. (Have student/audience do that.)
3. Now put the two together. (Have student/audience do that.)

Well at least that is how I do it and teach it and it seems to work. :)

Hope that helps.
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From:bec76
Date:May 15th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, and OOOOoooo yourself! Nice layer breakdown! I hadn't thought of introducing the two elements seperately, then combining. Thanks for your advice! I'll try your technique at our next class.
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From:d_c_m
Date:May 15th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
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Oh gosh... Well I hope it works!
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From:bec76
Date:May 15th, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
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I'll let you know!
From:eliria
Date:May 15th, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
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That's pretty much how I've explained it to people and heard it described. Maybe another way to describe what your tongue does, is I've heard people say to make an "l" or "la" sound which might help people understand what you mean there. I'm sure there's some video out there somewhere where an instructor lays out the instructions- just a matter of finding it!
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From:bec76
Date:May 15th, 2007 03:33 pm (UTC)
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Well, I haven't put a ton of research into this, yet, but I'm sure with a few minutes on YouTube, I might find a vid for it. Still, I think that some things are better learned in person rather than through video, and this might be one of them. The la-la-la or l-l-l-l action will probably help my friends in learning proper tongue placement/movement, though. Thanks!
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From:fajera_danse
Date:May 15th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC)
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The nice part about a Zaghareet, is that there really is no wrong way to do it.
Zaghareets are regional.. They change in tone, pitch and base sound from area to area.. Even though they are all the same in meaning.
When I began learning mine, (and great scot it's LOUD). I started by wagging my tongue in my mouth.
You can wag up and down or side to side. Which ever is more comfortable for you (tongue tricks are also genetic btw)

So, once you get the wagging motion going and yes, it's a lalala kind of sound, begin to exhale without sound over your tongue.
In the beginning, don't be surprised if your tongue stops... Keep trying.
Begin to add sound behind it, starting from a normal vocal tone, and work your way to the shriek that goes with it.

It's easier to end a zaghareet in a yip or a howl because it allows you to taper off the sound, so it isn't an abrupt ending.

Practice outside if you can, and before you know it, you'll be shocked at the loudness you have.
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From:bec76
Date:May 15th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC)
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Well, trust me, loudness won't be a factor once the girls get going! Practicing outside is an excellent idea, and since we already practice our routines outside (weather permitting, this is Cleveland OH) this can be one more thing to add to the list.

I knew that tongue tricks are a genetic trait, so I had a suspicion that certain types of tongue movements (up-and-down vs. side-to-side) would be easier for some of the dancers. Regionally, I hear a great difference in the types of sound produced by variations in tongue movement, mouth shape, tone, etc. To my ear, there's a vast difference between an African zaghreet and an Arabic one, for example. (Argh! Too many linguistics classes!)

In trying your technique versus my own, I think that I would differentiate the two sounds as an 'ululation' and a 'trill'. Your version does produce a lovely, nice sound, though, and with a bit of practice, I think I could manage it to make it as natural an expresion as my version is. Mine's kind of a cheat, now that I've experimented.
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From:fajera_danse
Date:May 15th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
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I have to tell you that I often hear more trills than I do a full ululation.
The biggest difference (and yes, this is a broad generalization of what I have witnessed) Is that more Tribal and ATS dancers have more of a non-trilled sound. The lovlies of Raqs, have more trill.

I can't say that I feel that either way is wrong/right. It is what it is, and I have come to chalk it up as a dance lingustics thing, since we are all speakin the same language, just a different dialect.
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From:bec76
Date:May 15th, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC)
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Right on! As long as it means the same things, I don't care how it's expressed. I'm finding the variations of sounds that this post is collecting to be absolutely fascinating, and thinking of how to add them into our dance troupe's vocabulary. Since our troupe represents a range of dance styles, different vocal expressions would also be appropriate. Thanks for your advice!
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From:tisana
Date:May 15th, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
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Trill. Yes. That's what I tend to do, just because it's easier and less clunky than trying to shimmy my tongue the way most people do it.

However, your point about tongue tricks being genetic is useful--I'd forgotten that--and I may try a side-to-side wagging to see if it's easier.
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From:tishalro
Date:May 15th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
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Wow, the way I was taught is way different than you all! LOL I love how we all have a different way of coming to roughly the same thing.

I've never been able to do the rolled R sound. As a result, I play off of the diction and enunciation drills I used to have to do in choir. The way I do it is to go LEE-LEE-LEE-LEE really high and fast, and I end it with an AIYEE! which doesn't sound as dumb as it sounds when I explain it :)

And hoo boy, yes it is loud. :)
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From:bec76
Date:May 15th, 2007 04:25 pm (UTC)
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*grins* Isn't it fascinating, how different we are?

Actually, I was experimenting with something similar just a few weeks ago, using a vocal exercise I learned in voice lessons (years ago) to help one of my classmates in my Mayan linguistics class learn how to do a glottal stop.

I like your LELELELELELEE! version! It's fun, and wow, it's driven my dogs out of the room in fear! Thanks.
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From:wondervixen
Date:May 15th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
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The simplest way I've come up with to describe it to my beginner girls is to do a very loud, high-pitched, and fast la-la-la-la-la. They seem to grasp it very quickly, and it certainly sounds great!
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From:moonjaguar
Date:May 15th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
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Good question! I'm for the fail at alveolar trills so I don't use them. I have a vibrato in my vocal cords that I have no control over, it's there or it isn't. If it kicks in, I can zaghareet. If not, I sound like Xena with emphysema. Some folks use a uvular trill but I end up sounding like one of my cats in a fight.
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From:androgenie
Date:May 15th, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
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lol....I love the "Xena with emphysema" rhyme. My zag used to sound like a cat dying...at least your "cat" is still fighting :-)
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From:caliginous
Date:May 15th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
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tribaldancer used three zaghareets in her class (sorry if I'm botchin this! She'll come correct me if I'm wrong). There's the two fairly standards, la la and li li (lr lee lee above), and one that comes from the throat, not the tounge, which is the one I'm most comfortable with. It's like a vocalized pant in a way, with a hee sound. That soft spot between your collar bones (someoe with anatomy training name that please?) flutters to produce the rythm. I like it because I've got two piercings in my toung so tounge stuff isn't that easy, nobody else does this way, and I don't have to worry about covering my mouth or looking obscene.

and everybody can zaghareet, the problem is practicing is embarrassing. I can't practice at home as I live in an apartment, I'm sure the neighbors are already not fond of zills (need thicker mufflers) and I don't need to annoy them with shrieking. The best place to do it is in the car if you own one, it's private and you can be loud and sound stupid all you like.
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From:androgenie
Date:May 15th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
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I practice mine in the car....no one cares about my noise, and it's a great rush hour stress reliever!
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From:tishalro
Date:May 15th, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
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*smacks forehead* Practice in the CAR! BRILLIANT!

(I have the same apartment issues you have, and was wondering where I could practice more)
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From:redheadfae
Date:May 15th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
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I've found that the best way to get folks to get that "hearty" sound is to tell them to begin the sound in the diaphragm, and let the tongue simply "shape" the sound into leh-leh-lehs, and use the back of the throat to change the pitch.

We seem to do the leh-leh-leh around here (mid USA--no really .. Mid, as in Kansas) rather than either a la-la-la or a lee-lee-lee, and most of us end with a quick loud LEEEEEE to trail off, in other words the pitch goes higher to end it instead of trailing off in a downward pitch.

oh, and fwiw, we're not much into distinctions between tribal and cab around here.. most of us do both and more ;)
From:jagnightwalker
Date:May 15th, 2007 10:44 pm (UTC)
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I have heard (and the information may be completely wrong), that an ululation is just that and named such because of it, an "UL UL UL UL" sound rather then "lee" or "la".

It ends up sounding like lulululu when put together but the terminology describes the sound in this one, an onomatopoeia. Or is supposed to, based on what this person said, lol.
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From:bailar_vivir
Date:May 17th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC)
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My teacher shows the audience at every dance performance how to do it. She explains it like this: put your tongue up behind your teeth and say "la la la la" really fast, and really high pitched. It seems to work... the audience usually picks up on it right away.