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Author: Subject: Webapp for playing middle eastern maqams
hasenj
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[*] posted on 10-27-2011 at 08:00 AM
Webapp for playing middle eastern maqams


Hello everyone,

This is a webapp I made for playing middle eastern scales (it's free)

http://oud.hasenj.org

It only works on Firefox.

You can think of it as a web-based oud :P

I made it because as I was trying to learn how to play the Oud, I found myself rather slow, and I wished that I could experiment with some tunes and melodies more easily, like like one usually can do with a normal music keyboard.

So, I made this web-app.

You have buttons on the right to change the current Maqam.

It starts out on Ajam by default (basically C Major).

You can press this sequence to play the basic scale:

E R T Y U I O P

You can for instance play the beginning of the happy birthday tune like this:

E E R E Y T
E E R E U Y

Now, for the more interesting parts,

Press the "Hijaz" button to activate the Hijaz scale

Now play the basic scale by pressing the same sequence as above:

E R T Y U I O P

I don't know what Arabic or Middle Eastern tunes you guys are familiar with to give you examples :)

I'm gonna assume you're familiar with "foug el nakhal" :P

E Y Y Y
T U Y U
T Y U I U Y
U Y T R
T T Y T R E

Well, you could always play this on the regular western piano too, I guess.

Switch to Hijaz2,

Are you fmailiar with Al-Atlal?

Q Q W Q
E E W
Q W E R W

Switch to Saba, and here's another verse from Al-Atlal:

E R T T
Y T R T Y T R E

And basically the way you use it is, you choose a maqam, then start playing.

Please note that it's designed for amateurs (like myself!), not for professional work.

It's for exploring and learning and playing around!

Hope you enjoy it!

Also, this is not a "finished" product, so if you have comments or suggestions for improvements, please do give feedback!

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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 10-27-2011 at 08:09 AM


Nice idea, but it doesn't work for me.

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.5; en-US; rv:1.9.2.23) Gecko/20110920 Firefox/3.6.2

Also, a suggestion: make the scale work from the "home" row of the keyboard (asdfghjkl;) since that is a more natural place to place your fingers.




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cjmichael
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[*] posted on 10-27-2011 at 11:27 AM


It works for me: Firefox 7 on Mac OS X. For HTML5, latest browser builds are a must. Perhaps you could detect that and have a Java version as well for compatibility? Maybe that's taking it a little too far, though. ;-)

The app is really cool. I recommend highlighting the first note, but you were probably going to do that already.
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Greg
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[*] posted on 10-27-2011 at 04:29 PM


A warm welcome to the forums Hasenj.

And what a great first post. Most first timers are looking for advice. You came bearing gifts :applause:

Regards,

Greg
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Jack_Campin
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[*] posted on 10-27-2011 at 05:45 PM


Doesn't work for me (Firefox 3.6.23 on MacOS 10.4.11).

I can't use a later Firefox without updating the OS and I can't do that without losing a lot.

I'd love to use this if you can figure out a workaround.




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hasenj
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[*] posted on 10-27-2011 at 05:54 PM


Quote:
Nice idea, but it doesn't work for me.

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.5; en-US; rv:1.9.2.23) Gecko/20110920 Firefox/3.6.2


Firefox 3.6 does have the audio api as far as I know, so it should work in theory, but, I don't know.

Anyway, I didn't put a version because Firefox is now at version 7 and I didn't think anyone would still be using an old version :P

Quote:
Doesn't work for me (Firefox 3.6.23 on MacOS 10.4.11).

I can't use a later Firefox without updating the OS and I can't do that without losing a lot.

Hmm, really? I didn't know people had this problem with the mac. I'll try to look into it.

Chrome should work, but right now it produces very choppy sound. I'll try to fix it for chrome.

Can you guys run a recent version of chrome?

Quote:
make the scale work from the "home" row of the keyboard (asdfghjkl;) since that is a more natural place to place your fingers.

hmm well, each row is an octave (+/- some keys from next/prev octave), there are 4 rows on the keyboard. I started with the (12345..) row because it has more keys. The asdf row has 11 keys, and the zxcv row has only 10. This is why I decided to start with the 1234 row. The more keys, the easier it is to play more tunes on just one row. I don't really know if this one extra key is important though.

I guess I could start with the qwerty row, and use the 123 row for shortcuts (e.g. switching maqams).

Quote:
The app is really cool. I recommend highlighting the first note, but you were probably going to do that already.

Thanks. Yea, I sort of had this idea, that is, to make some visual cue to indicate the first note, but not sure if it's that useful. I was a bit worried that it would clutter the interface and make it more confusing.

Quote:
Perhaps you could detect that and have a Java version as well for compatibility? Maybe that's taking it a little too far, though. ;-)

haha, yea that's not really gonna happen :P

If anything I thought of doing it in flash, but I don't know how to make flash apps, and the whole idea to start with was to build this in html5 so that no flash is required to play it. A flash fallback would be a plus, but I don't know if it's worth spending all the effort. (Plus the fact that I'm on Linux makes it even harder).

Quote:
A warm welcome to the forums Hasenj.

And what a great first post. Most first timers are looking for advice. You came bearing gifts :applause:


Thanks for the warm welcome :)
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abc123xyz
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[*] posted on 10-27-2011 at 06:07 PM


Very nice, Hasenj!

I'm having a lot of fun with that thing :D

David
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Jack_Campin
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[*] posted on 10-28-2011 at 07:04 AM


Does this help?

http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/questions/758978

The page he's talking about plays for me.




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littleseb
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[*] posted on 10-29-2011 at 07:03 AM


i use a slightly different device for playing middle eastern maqam. it has 6 courses of strings, is plugged with a risha (pick), and the kids call it 'oud'. ;)

i'm joking, it's cool! thanks for sharing! :)
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hasenj
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[*] posted on 10-30-2011 at 02:52 AM


It should work properly in Chrome now,

Jack and Brian, could you guys check if it works for you (on Chrome, that is!)

Quote:
Does this help?

http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/questions/758978


Hm, seems to be talking about something else. I'm not playing mp3 sounds or anything, I'm generating the signal on the fly :P
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Rambaldi47
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[*] posted on 10-30-2011 at 06:25 PM


Thanks for making this. Great for ear training. :)



Nate.
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 11-10-2011 at 10:05 AM


I updated to Firefox 8, still doesn't work for me.

It no longer says it's not supported, but there is no sound.

Works in Chrome though.

One question, why is the left hand side "LA DO RE" or "SOL SI DO" rather than "SI DO RE" or "LA SI DO" on some maqams?




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hasenj
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[*] posted on 11-11-2011 at 08:40 PM


Quote:
One question, why is the left hand side "LA DO RE" or "SOL SI DO" rather than "SI DO RE" or "LA SI DO" on some maqams?


Hm, at first I didn't understand your question, but now I see.

This is a bug, but it's caused by the ambiguity, e.g. C-sharp is the same as D-flat, so should I label it as C or D? It's determined by context, but I missed this corner case ..
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