Way Back Wednesday = Today's history fact is on the word Chiftitelli.

Chiftitelli. (Pronounced "shift uh TELL lee".) An alternate spelling is chiftetelli. The word has taken on several meanings. In one of its meanings, it refers to a certain Turkish drum rhythm which is in 8/4 time. (8 beats to a measure, a quarter note gets one count.) The Arabic-speakers call the chiftitelli rhythm "wahad e noss" or "dar e noss" ( "1 & 1/2" or "hit & 1/2"). Another use of the word chiftitelli refers to an improvised musical section by a solo melody instrument that is layered over the top of that pulsing rhythm (similar to the Arabic taxim, which is defined below). There are two primary ways the chiftitelli rhythm may be played–as a fast, spirited, upbeat song, or as a slow, hypnotic, sensuous melody. The fast chiftitelli originated as a folk dance done by couples and occasionally groups, but is now frequently used by belly dancers who enjoy Turkish music. When belly dancers refer to chiftitelli, they are usually thinking of the slow chiftitelli, which they may use for floor work, balancing, or standing undulations. Greeks spell this Tsiftetelli, and in Greece this word refers not only to the musical definition of the word but is also used to mean "belly dancing" in general. That's why many Greek recordings intended for belly dancing contain the word "tsiftetelli" on the label.

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Belly Dance Terms: A Glossary
Learn what all those words of Middle Eastern origin mean that you hear other belly dancers using. This glossary covers over 60 such terms. This page appears on The Art Of Middle Eastern Dance, which offers over 400 articles related to belly dancing: poetry, translated song lyrics, tips and tricks, f…