Alabina by Ishtar – musical analysis for belly dancers

Alabina by Ishtar musical analysis for belly dancers

In this article you will find the Alabina musical analysis to help you count whether you are learning someone else’s belly dance choreography or creating your own.

Alabina is a perfect song for Arabic Flamenco belly dance fusion. It’s cheerful, upbeat and easy to listen to even for unexperienced audience. However, it is more difficult to count than you might expect because most of the singing starts on the upbeat.

Alabina (Original Version)

Alabina by Ishtar – musical analysis

I always analyse music before creating a choreography and sum it up in a table such as the one below.

I record time marks in minutes and seconds, how many counts, phrasing (how are the counts grouped together – this is very subjective), melodic themes and any other notes. This structure then serves as a starting point for my choreography work.

Musical analysis of Alabina by Ishtar
Time: Counts: Phrasing: Theme: Notes:
0:00 – 0:04 8 8 Intro 1 soft moves, flows and speeds up
0:04 – 0:13 16 4 – 4 – 4 – 4 Intro 2 very strong first beat
0:13 – 0:22 16 8 – 8 Intro 3 melody rises then concludes
0:22 – 0:42 32 16 – 16 A verse, regular beat
0:42 – 0:58 28 4 – 4 – 4 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 8 B1 hit accents on 2 – 2 – 2 – 2
0:59 – 1:08 16 4 – 4 – 4 – 4 C drums solo, very fast
1:08 – 1:17 16 4 – 4 – 4 – 4 D violins, arms, upper body
1:17 – 1:36 32 16 – 16 E steps, formations, fans
1:36 – 1:52 28 4 – 4 – 4 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 8 B2 hit accents on 2 – 2 – 2 – 2
1:52 – 2:10 32 16 – 16 F1 interlude, steps, formations, fans
2:10 – 2:29 32 16 – 16 A verse, regular beat
2:29 – 2:46 28 4 – 4 – 4 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 8 B3 hit accents on 2 – 2 – 2 – 2
2:47 – 3:05 32 16 – 16 A verse, regular beat
3:05 – 3:23 32 16 – 16 E steps, formations, fans
3:24 – 3:43 32 16 – 16 F2 conclusion, fades out

Download a free printable version of Alabina – musical analysis

As you see, the verse repeats three times without any variation (theme A), theme B repeats three times as well but there are different words and slight changes in melody therefore noted as B1, B2 and B3.

This repetition means that if you create a combination for theme A and theme B, you can dance it three times exactly the same to start with. Then you can either keep them the same or create slight variations of the first one or create a different one for other repetitions. The theme E repeats twice, the same applies. Start simple and then build up complexity by variations and layering.

Alabina by Ishtar – Lyrics

Theme A
De Granada a Casablanca
En ti vi mi fantasia
Una guitarra, un gitano canta
Canta mi Andalucía

De Granada a Casablanca
Tú me bailas en la playa
Con tus ojos negros, chiquita
Y con tu boca enamorada

Theme B1
Enamorado como tú (como tu)
Enamorado como tú (como tu)
Enamorado como tú (como tu)
Como tú, como tú, no hay nadie como tu…

Theme E
Y’Alabina yalla
Ya habibi yalla
Nifrah win ool, masha allah

Yalabina yalla
Ya habibi yalla
Nifrah win ool, masha allah

Theme B2
Yalabina ala tool
Yalabina ala tool
Yalabina ala tool
Ah ya aili waili waili waili waili
Ulu inshallah…

Theme A
De Granada a Casablanca
En ti vi mi fantasia
Una guitarra, un gitano canta
Canta mi Andalucía

De Granada a Casablanca
En ti vi mi fantasia
Una guitarra y un gitano canta
Canta mi Andalucia

Theme B3
Ayunak helwa
Shafayfek ghenwa
Ayunak helwa
Shafayfek ghenwa
Ah ya aili waili waili, waili waili ulu inshallah…

Theme A
De Granada a Casablanca
En ti vi mi fantasia
Una guitarra, un gitano canta
Canta mi Andalucía

De Granada a Casablanca
En ti vi mi fantasia
Una guitarra y un gitano canta
Canta mi Andalucia

Theme E
Y’Alabina yalla
Ya habibi yalla
Nifrah win ool, masha allah

Yalabina yalla
Ya habibi yalla
Nifrah win ool, masha allah

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