I have to admit, I've not fully embraced the digital world when it comes to my music collection and I am very attached to owning the actual CD containing the tracks I am after. And yes, it's important that these are the originals.
|Windows of l'Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris|
My other main trick for buying great Arabic music is browsing for my collection wherever I happen to be on holiday. This can often include the big chain music stores like fnac. Certainly different countries in Europe will often have various middle eastern communities in their midst, so browsing through a store catering for local tastes whilst abroad can open the doors to many new titles and lables. For example, on a trip to Paris a few months ago, I made a special trip to l'Institut du monde arabe, just to go to their bookstore and browse through a complete set of music titles from their own label.
This post responds to Emma Chapman's article on Choosing Your Music, a blog entry aimed at advising her students. Emma is a Cambridge based professional belly dancer and her handy guide contains some great tips on where to start and useful links. A nice little introduction for any student, particularly those accessing Arabic dance from a Modern Egyptian style perspective.