31 May 2010

Drumming to soothe my son

With the help of Google, we can find out millions of web pages offering theories behind why a baby cries and practical guides to calm and soothe a crying baby. However, I have my own musical approaches.

If my son keeps crying even after his physical needs are totally met, I would try the following two:

a) Playing Arabo-Andalusian classical music CDs for him, just as I played for prenatal education and during labour and delivery.

b) Singing Mongolian khoomei or chanting Tibetan mantras for him, again as I did during pregnancy, labour and delivery.

These two usually suffice.

Nevertheless, in order not to bore him , recently I have developed a new approach: playing the Uzbek frame drum doira. It works very well. Once the travelling pressure wave set up by the pulsation of the vibrating drum membrane reaches him, he stops crying and then gazes into my swaying hands and the doira.

Rather than the complicated Uzbek classical rhythms,I usually play for my son some Arabic rhythmic patterns, which can be easily heard nowadays because of the growing popularity of the so-called belly dance. Among the various drumming patterns, he seems to prefer the maqsum.

How does he look?

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