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Author: Subject: DEFENDING ŞERIF MUHIEDDINE HAIDAR TARGAN'S SCHOOL
Alfaraby
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info.gif posted on 9-28-2015 at 01:42 PM
DEFENDING ŞERIF MUHIEDDINE HAIDAR TARGAN'S SCHOOL


My 700'th post is dedicated to ŞERIF MUHIEDDINE and to my five readers :)

One Turkish fellow member once wrote in an another post here that there's no Iraqi school of oud playing and that Serif Muhieddine Haidar was full Turkish. He seemed to be terrified from the fact that Arabs are actually trying to steel Targan from his homeland or his original national affiliation.
So here is why I believe that Muhieddine Haidar was the pioneer of the new Iraqi school of thought, both in music and in oud playing, despite the fact he was and remained a 100% Turkish.

DEFENDING ŞERIF MUHIEDDINE HAIDAR TARGAN'S SCHOOL

[file]36974[/file]


Mohieddin Haidar was the grandson of the Emir of Mecca, Ali Haidar Pasha, who is believed to be a descendant of the prophet Mohammad, and therefore traditionally called Sharif or sherif (شريف = of noble origins). He was born in Istanbul on January 21, 1892, and started studying and playing piano when he was four years old, as was common in upper class families at that time. At the age of seven he began studying oud, and at the age of 14 he turned to cello. He mastered playing all three instruments along with his other studies as well and eventually graduated from the Faculty of Law and Arts in 1914. Along with his musical talents, he was a gifted painter as well, who exhibited his paintings in galleries and ateliers.

World War I broke out in 1914 and stopped art life in Turkey, so Muhiddin moved to Mecca, and then to Aleppo. Later in 1924, he immigrated to USA, where he met the most important musicians in New York at that time, who strongly advised him to perform his art on stage. However, he had his first concert in America only in 1928, playing oud and cello. The press reported that Mohieddin's oud playing was revolutionary, therefore he was dubbed the "Paganini of the oud”. "He had the ability to use his both hands on the same level in a very advanced technique, producing unfamiliar sounds from his oud"; the media had reported.

Muhiddin came back to Turkey in 1932, and started playing his masterpieces in Europe as well, the first to present the oud to Western taste in America and in the Continent, and in doing so, he was the first to reveal its potential to the Western world in the modern era, very long before his students Jamil & Munir Bashir first performed in Europe.

The year 1936 was another turning point in his life, when he was invited by King Faisal of Iraq – who was supposedly a relative of his - to come to Iraq to establish the first formal academic institute (known today as The Institute of Fine Arts), to grant a recognized degree in music. He welcomed the idea, and the institute was established that same year.

Music at that time in Iraq was imprisoned in general folk classic frameworks, as known as the art of Maqam, lead by Mohammed Al-Qabbanji (1901-1989), which was subject to unwritten chaotic rules and was never studied seriously.

Muhiddin was the oud tutor at the institute, and thanks to him, oud was taught for the first time in progressive and graded difficult levels, according to a specific curriculum and method exercises, similar to how Western classical music was taught. He also published his UD Metodo, the oud method book, which is considered one of the most sophisticated and most useful books on oud fingering.

Muhiddin set a scientific curriculum for the Institute of Music in Baghdad, and also for the music to be broadcasted on the Radio of Baghdad. This was very important in re-shaping and educating the general musical taste of the day. With the expertise of senior professors, like Professor Hanna Botrus from Baghdad, Sando Albo, violin tutor from Romania, Julian Herz, piano tutor, and others. Muhiddin was able to pump cultural awareness and open minded attitude to various cultures into the institute's main current.

At that time, the audience's ear was still used to long tones and slow rhythmic songs, and at first was not able to grasp the depth of his playing and composition. In works like "Meditation, Sama'i Mosta'ar, and Sama'i Ushaq", it was less complicated for the audience, but he proved he was a deep and skillful composer, who was able to faithfully reflect the development of an artist who longs to fly away from the classic cage. Although he used the old Arabic classical music forms in some of his pieces, the substance was ultra modernistic.

Being a cello player, Muhiddin developed a unique fingers spread style technique on the oud’s fingerboard, since cello was the closest to oud in terms of the left hand fingering and also the distances between the fingers. Muhiddin also created techniques that were used for the first time on oud, like interlaced fingers technique positions, and upward plucking. The old classical oud school in the Arab world relied on downward strokes of the plectrum, for there was no need for speed or virtuosity. Muhiddin was one of the first to challenge this attitude, along with other innovative musicians in other Arab countries, like Al Qasabji of Egypt.

By doing this, he also approached difficult unprecedented Maqams and created new templates, preceded his contemporaries, discovered new horizons and means that influenced and continue to influence oud playing, 48 years after his departure.
In his composition, he presented deep ideas without repeating himself or copying others. His music was saturated with the Eastern spirit, developed through his studies of Western music and cello, and was early well-aware of the importance of world music and its impact on his vision.

Based on that knowledge, Muhiddin laid the foundations of the modern school of Iraqi oud, now well spread in many parts of the world, and did justice to the instrumental music and to the oud, acculturating between Eastern and Western music.

One should be honest and fair to the legacy of the oud history and to Sharif Muhiddin Haidar, and admits that he was undoubtedly THE pioneer of the modern Iraqi school, followed by brilliant students and successors, such as Jamil and Munir Bashir, Salman Shukor, Ghanem Haddad, Salem Abdul Karim, Naseer Shamma, and Ahmed Mukhtar, among others.

No one can deny that the Turkish School has had the greatest impact on this boom caused by Muhiddin in Iraq, since he was fully Turkish. It cannot be denied also that these two schools intersect in depending on miraculous speed and almost unplayable works; nevertheless, the two schools exist independently, each with its inherited music heritage, passed throughout history through generations of musicians.

Had our friend remained in Turkey, he might have been only one among other great musicians and composers like Jamil Bey Tanbouri, Masoud Bey Jamil, Cinuçen Tanrıkorur and others, but his move to Baghdad opened a window to Arab music in front of him, allowed acculturating with his students and colleagues, and came up with a new Turkish-Iraqi mixed style school, which Muhiddin was its unchallenged pioneer. Now, almost half a century after his death in 1967, the Iraqi school is still breathing, progressing and influencing all oud players around the world, this way or another, consciously or not.


Muhiddin and oud makers

At that time, the Iraqi oud making was still trapped in traditional/classical style. Usta Ali Al Ajami, who was the master of his time along with Hanna George hanna Al Awwad (1862-1940), Najmeddine Abdallah (1906-1982) (Fadel's uncle) and others, made, and taught their apprentices, to make classical style fixed-bridge ouds. It was only in 1952, as Ya'rob Fadel was quoted, when Jamil Bashir asked Usta Mohammad Fadel (1910-2002) to make him the first floating bridge ever.

Coming from the fine art high quality luthiery in Turkey, led by Manol's students, Muhiddin didn't find in Iraqi ouds of the 1930's the instrument he sought for his special style, so he asked Usta Ali to make him one with his special specifications. "When he stepped in my poor workshop all of a sudden, I thought he is an ambassador of a foreign country" - Usta Ali was quoted in a short interview to a local newspaper - "He invited me to his house and explained what he actually wanted from his coming oud. At the end he gave me a piece of paper with a list of the exact dimensions and specifications he desired, but the moment I stepped out of his house I tore the paper and threw it away; first, because I memorized all what he had explained to me very patiently and second, because I'm illiterate !" Usta Ali joked.

It's known also that Muhiddin had owned one of the finest and the most glorious ouds of all times from Master Abdo George Nahhat of Damascus (1860-1941). This oud is now kept in The Musical Museum of Konya/Turkey, as it was published earlier, somewhere in Mike's Oud Forum. This oud was called the princely oud, along with Hamza Alaa Eddine's famous oud and another two or three pieces of a kind from that series, one of which is owned by a fellow member of our forum.
Please don't ask :) :)

Sorry It was longer than I planned, but things should be written for the history sake and for the documentation, even if only few read it.


Yours indeed
Alfaraby

[file]36972[/file]
Usta Ali Al Ajamy rare photo
Colombia & His Master's Voice Records:
https://instagram.com/p/uWDZxPyiJM/
https://instagram.com/p/ysnG30yiKT/





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[*] posted on 9-28-2015 at 08:52 PM


Thanks so much for this wonderful research!
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[*] posted on 9-29-2015 at 03:39 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Alfaraby  
My 700'th post is dedicated to ŞERIF MUHIEDDINE and to my five readers :)

One Turkish fellow member once wrote in an another post here that there's no Iraqi school of oud playing and that Serif Muhieddine Haidar was full Turkish. He seemed to be terrified from the fact that Arabs are actually trying to steel Targan from his homeland or his original national affiliation.
So here is why I believe that Muhieddine Haidar was the pioneer of the new Iraqi school of thought, both in music and in oud playing, despite the fact he was and remained a 100% Turkish.

...

Sorry It was longer than I planned, but things should be written for the history sake and for the documentation, even if only few read it. [/size]

Yours indeed
Alfaraby




Hello,

and thank you for taking your time to write this post.

I assume this "Turkish fellow member" is meant to be me. You could have quoted me, or just respond to me in that thread here:
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=15958#pid10...
as I asked you a direct question, but you haven't replied (until now).
At least I know now that my previous post's information are matching with yours.

Secondly, I am not terrified that Arabs are trying to steal Targan. Implying that is a bit disrespectful. I said:
"I don't understand how you count Şerif Mûhiddin Targan as the Iraqi School. "
and later on after Jody Stecher explained me your post I said:
"But now with your clarification I understand what he meant and I think his choosing of words was perfect with "Iraqi Neo-Classical School of Targan". As with this description it is explained that Targan is supposed to be the milestone in this matter but with the statement that this is "Iraqi" because of what you explained.Sorry, it was a misunderstanding from my side. "

I just thought that you were implying Targan is Iraqi somehow or that his school is Iraqi. But as you say it is "Iraqi Neo-Classical School of Targan." with the emphasis "of". So you also agree that this school is Targan's school. And I agree with you. And with Targan belonging to the Turkish School (probably Nevres Bey's lineage) he is the creator of the modern Iraqi School. Yes, he is the pioneer of that school.

Thirdly, in the future, it would be nice if you could write the names of the Turkish musicians correctly. Turkey is using Latin characters for almost 100 years. I don't understand why you write Turkish names in Arabic-Latinised script version instead of Turkish-Latinised version. Or should I start calling "David" as "Davut" and so on? His name is Şerif Mûhiddin (Haydar) Targan. I can understand when you would repleace "Ş" with "Sh", as that character doesn't exist in English alphabet. But for the existing characters the Turkish script is the correct one. As it is "Tanbûrî" and not "Tanbouri" or "Mesud" and "Cemil" and not "Jamil" or "Masoud".
Wouldn't you like that your name is written down correctly?


But while this thread is made, let me allow to mention some things related to this stuff.

I wasn't terrified despite you are saying that. But honestly, do you know what I think? Many cultures have stolen things. We can't deny that. The important thing is, that we should stay scientific and just say what it is. It should be applied also to the makam world. As I also often see "theft" in this world.

Let's come back to the Targan question. I am not an oud player nor am I literate in Arab history/culture. So I am asking, I am curious and want to learn. I am open for education, don't pre-judge me by saying I am afraid of something or terrified.
So we all agree that this Neo-Iraqi School is Targan's School. The players being in Iraq, being Iraqi and embracing that culture gives this school undeniably an Iraqi "touch". Without a doubt. I mean Targan could have been in China and lecturing there, so it would have been the Chinese "touch". This kind of influence is inevitable. Cultural influences, cultural mixture will always happen. But to call it "a school of its own" it needs more than basic cultural differences.

So, how is this Neo-Iraqi School Iraqi? Could you explain this to me? I mean Targan being and brining Turkish culture, how is this Neo-Iraqi School not a sub-school of the Turkish School? A branch of Turkish School? Targan, who himself created a new school by himself (his oud/music style) taught a handful of musicians his culture. I don't understand how these handful of people created something differently than Targan that you can say that those schools exist independently.
If you say that those schools are independent, the Turkish and the Neo-Iraqi, where is Targan's School now? Died? If Neo-Iraqi School is Targan's, isn't it automatically a branch of Turkish School as Targan himself belongs to it?
But if you say it is not, the students of Targan created something different than their teacher, what happened to Targan's School then? Died with him? So his style/technique/culture just lived with him and died after him? But why do you call it the Neo-Iraqi School of Targan then? What is the difference between him and his students after him that you call it a school of its own?
I assume you are trying to say that it is a mixture of both but could you explain what is Iraqi and what is by Targan then?
Hypothetically, if a virtuoso master such as Targan would have lectured in 5 different countries for 50 years, would we have now 5 different independent schools as all of them would have their own cultural influences?
Targan was only for 12 years in Iraq. And it seems with him everything changed there. Which players were famously known before Targan in that area? Any names?

These are my thoughts and questions. As I said, I just want to learn and understand.


Regards.
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[*] posted on 9-29-2015 at 07:09 AM


Hi! :)

Many thanks for all the above writtings! Those writtings are valuable and precious. I am very happy being member of this forum. Keep on good work guys! Thank you all!

Chris

P.S. It doesn't matter what's my oppinion about it. (I am Greek). I really respect the way of the expression of your opinion. Keep on!
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[*] posted on 9-29-2015 at 08:59 AM


1 ) One of the beauties of this forum is the variety of spellings found here in the various posts from people from every part of the world. The medium is English but English is often not the first language of forum members. And many of the words used are not of English origin and these appear in many spellings. Yet everyone is able to make their point and be understood. I like this. If someone spells a word in a way that coincides with the spelling of a word with a different meaning then certainly it is worth commenting on. There was some amusing banter recently about the *bowl * of an oud being spelled *bowel* because the meaning is so different. But surely only one person can be meant by the various spellings of the full name of the subject of this thread. Of the components of his full name only "Targan" has been consistently spelled in the various documents I have read in print and on the internet. Look at the variety of ways that European and American woods are spelled on the websites of Turkish oud makers. There is no consistency at all and it is not a problem. One expects good ouds from them, not good spelling. So perhaps it should it should not be expected that —outside of Turkey — there should be an awareness and adherence to standard Turkish spelling.

2) Was Targan (I'll stick to that name since the spelling is undisputed) of Arabic ancestry? I had that impression but maybe I am mistaken. Does anyone know?

3) To discover why what is being called Iraqi oud school is not Turkish one needs only to listen at random to any of the oud players who have been named in this thread. The difference can be heard immediately.

4) The neo classical Iraqi school, by any name, owes some of its technique to what Targan taught. These players are not for the most part playing Turkish repertoire, not playing the makam-s of Turkey, not using Turkish intonation (compare the Rast of this school with the Rast of Turkey for instance), not getting the tone colors of Turkish oud, not developing Taxim (I spelled it the Greek way…why not?) as Turkish oudists do, and so on. Those are a few of the reasons why it is not a sub-school of Turkish oud playing. To summarize this point: part of the technique they are using was taught in Iraq by Targan. They are using this technique to play non-Turkish music.
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[*] posted on 9-29-2015 at 01:57 PM


Thank you all for relating to this subject.
Special thanks to Jody who has been reading between my lines and explaining what I had meant, even better than I myself may.
English is my third language so I may sometimes skip a point just because an idea was awkwardly phrased
Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
Targan belonging to the Turkish School

Muhieddine was only half Turkish, since his father was a cousin of King Faisal of Iraq at that time, while only his mother was Turkish. His full name is : Muhieddine Haidar Ali Al Ghalib Alhosny, none of which is Turkish or insinuate any Turkish origins. He grew up in Turkey, but kept good relations with his father's relatives. When he fled from Istanbul when WW1 broke up, he went to Macca, then to Aleppo, where he spent 10 years at least before flying to the States. His records, as we have often seen, indicated Iraq or Syria as the origin of his music, and not Turkey. This happened many years before he was first called to Baghdad in 1936 to establish his "school". Therefore I'm not sure about this 100 % Turkish thing. The man was multicultural and the outcome of acculturation of many origins and influences as has been mentioned earlier.

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  

I assume this "Turkish fellow member" is meant to be me.
I asked you a direct question, but you haven't replied (until now)
Implying that is a bit disrespectful.

Any personifying of any comment is hereby denied and rejected with both hands. I know none of you and certainly can't (and won't) dishonor or disrespect anyone or any affiliation whatsoever. On the other hand, I can't blame any new fellow member on board for not knowing his fellows. This who comes to quibble or dispute, should read first all of my 700 posts, along with several thousands of threads, quite thoroughly, in order to get to know some of what we all have been doing for the last decade, some more and some less, including some codes we have managed to develop. One just can't jump on board and immediately start arguing with jdowning for instance before reading his thousands valuable researches and experiments.
Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
I don't understand why you write Turkish names in Arabic-Latinised script version instead of Turkish-Latinised version

Turkish names ? Oh really ? You should have known that sharif, mohie, al dine, haidar, masoud, tanbur, jamil are all ARABIC names whic were written exactly the way they should be pronounced and written, despite what Turkish-Latinised writing suggests. I shall not, with due respect, echo this distorted suggestions of such original Arabic words. Shouldn't I be writing Mehmet instead of Mohammad ? Let's therfore just keep this hushed, otherwise I'll have to write another thread defending Arabian Names :)
Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  

1) How is this Neo-Iraqi School not a sub-school /branch of the Turkish School? If Neo-Iraqi School is Targan's, isn't it automatically a branch of Turkish School as Targan himself belongs to it?
2) Where is Targan's School now? Died ?
3) What is the difference between him and his students after him that you call it a school of its own?
4) What is Iraqi and what is by Targan then?
5) Which players were famously known before Targan in that area? Any names?

Well, I have to admit that some of the questions raised above are good for a musicologist, whom I'm not, even if I had what to say on each one of them. Your questions were partially answered by Jody and shall eventually be related to by other scholars here.
I may return to this later. I have to study first.

Yours indeed
Alfaraby

Here are some photos and a rare piece recorded in NYC in 1927:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=627uawN_3ZQ&list=RDEMqNNCtWT2VLa...




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[*] posted on 9-29-2015 at 04:24 PM


Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
I assume this "Turkish fellow member" is meant to be me.

Obviously.

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
You could have quoted me, or just respond to me in that thread here:

Or he can make a separate topic of it without quoting you at all, since interest in Alfaraby's article is bound to go beyond the needs of that thread. It's purely up to him.

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
as I asked you a direct question,

He doesn't have to answer your questions, direct or otherwise. Nobody does, that's one of the reasons we show each other respect: we hope to be shown it in return.

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
Secondly, I am not terrified that Arabs are trying to steal Targan. Implying that is a bit disrespectful.

Telling a senior member how to spell is more disrespectful.

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
Thirdly, in the future, it would be nice if you could write the names of the Turkish musicians correctly.

Don't tell forum members how to spell. Should genuine confusion occur, ask politely for clarification, but which obviously didn't happen here, since one has to understand which person is being referred to before he can claim his name has been mispelled.

Most people on this forum are grateful for the information others share with us, such that we'd never dare complain that a "gift of gold wasn't wrapped in silk".

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
Turkey is using Latin characters for almost 100 years.

And yet for some reason the forum owner has not chosen to make proficiency in Turkish a requirement for membership.

It's astonishing, I know ¦·D

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
But honestly, do you know what I think? Many cultures have stolen things. We can't deny that.

Yes, we can deny that. What you're talking is actually copying, not theft, and to call it theft is ridiculous.

When something is actually stolen, the original owner loses possession of it, can no longer enjoy use of it, but which cannot happen when one culture merely copies a facet of another. Information cannot be owned.

Did the Turks steal tea from the Chinese?

Did the Turks steal the hundreds of words of Persian and Arabic origin they use?

Did the Turks steal the Latin script from Europe whose misuse you are so worried about? ¦·D

At most we could say that credit for a discovery is "stolen" from time to time, which is what you're really worried about, but which isn't really theft either, but rather a matter of lying, or of merely being misinformed.

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
Let's come back to the Targan question. I am not an oud player nor am I literate in Arab history/culture.

And yet you assumed that Targan brought Turkish music to Iraq.

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
So we all agree that this Neo-Iraqi School is Targan's School. The players being in Iraq, being Iraqi and embracing that culture gives this school undeniably an Iraqi "touch".

No, you have it backwards. It's an essentially Iraqi school with possibly a Turkish "touch" due to Targan's Turkish origin.

There's nothing especially debilitating about being raised a Turk that prevents one from properly assimilating and peforming non-turkish people's musics. Neither is there anything magical about Turkish blood that turns anything touched by a Turk into something Turkish.

When a Turkish mechanic works on a German car, the car remains German. It doesn't become Turkish.

When a Turkish chef makes coq au vin, it doesn't become Turkish cuisine. It remains French.

When a Turkish musician plays Bach, it doesn't become Makam music.

And when a Turk decides to move to Iraq and take up Iraqi music, it likewise remains Iraqi music, though the possibility of that music gaining a Turkish "touch" is certainly likely.

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
So, how is this Neo-Iraqi School Iraqi? Could you explain this to me? I mean Targan being and brining Turkish culture, how is this Neo-Iraqi School not a sub-school of the Turkish School? A branch of Turkish School?

Targan, who himself created a new school by himself (his oud/music style) taught a handful of musicians his culture.

No. What appears to have happened is he learned their culture, and then added something more to it.

Good for him!

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
I don't understand how these handful of people created something differently than Targan that you can say that those schools exist independently.
If you say that those schools are independent, the Turkish and the Neo-Iraqi, where is Targan's School now? Died? If Neo-Iraqi School is Targan's, isn't it automatically a branch of Turkish School as Targan himself belongs to it?
But if you say it is not, the students of Targan created something different than their teacher, what happened to Targan's School then? Died with him? So his style/technique/culture just lived with him and died after him? But why do you call it the Neo-Iraqi School of Targan then? What is the difference between him and his students after him that you call it a school of its own?
I assume you are trying to say that it is a mixture of both but could you explain what is Iraqi and what is by Targan then?
Hypothetically, if a virtuoso master such as Targan would have lectured in 5 different countries for 50 years, would we have now 5 different independent schools as all of them would have their own cultural influences?
Targan was only for 12 years in Iraq. And it seems with him everything changed there.

Really "everything"? It's great magic indeed that you attribute to Turkish blood xD

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
These are my thoughts and questions. As I said, I just want to learn and understand.

Well these questions have been, by now, mostly answered by others.

Without being an expert in Iraqi music, as you've admitted, you assumed that Targan brought Turkish music to Iraq, whereas what actually happened is that he worked within the Iraqi idiom to produce a new branch.

It's not uncommon for people moving to a new country to develop a preference for some aspect of that culture over that of their homeland. Possibly Targan liked Iraqi music better than Turkish, or maybe he just enjoyed variety. There's no way to know.

¦·)

Davut
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[*] posted on 9-29-2015 at 06:27 PM


This was a brilliant addition, thank you Alfaraby! ما شاء الله‎

I am not so familiar with the Iraqi school, but I am inspired to learn more now that I have read this thread.

Regards,
Navid




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[*] posted on 9-29-2015 at 07:58 PM


Difficult for me to see what there is to argue about here. These are such diverse and rich traditions of music. Moments of fusion like this one, indicate to me a complementarity among the idioms. Isn't that just more enriching?
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[*] posted on 9-29-2015 at 09:43 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Jody Stecher  
1 ) One of the beauties of this forum is the variety of spellings found here in the various posts from people from every part of the world. The medium is English but English is often not the first language of forum members. And many of the words used are not of English origin and these appear in many spellings. Yet everyone is able to make their point and be understood. I like this. If someone spells a word in a way that coincides with the spelling of a word with a different meaning then certainly it is worth commenting on. There was some amusing banter recently about the *bowl * of an oud being spelled *bowel* because the meaning is so different. But surely only one person can be meant by the various spellings of the full name of the subject of this thread. Of the components of his full name only "Targan" has been consistently spelled in the various documents I have read in print and on the internet. Look at the variety of ways that European and American woods are spelled on the websites of Turkish oud makers. There is no consistency at all and it is not a problem. One expects good ouds from them, not good spelling. So perhaps it should it should not be expected that —outside of Turkey — there should be an awareness and adherence to standard Turkish spelling.

2) Was Targan (I'll stick to that name since the spelling is undisputed) of Arabic ancestry? I had that impression but maybe I am mistaken. Does anyone know?

3) To discover why what is being called Iraqi oud school is not Turkish one needs only to listen at random to any of the oud players who have been named in this thread. The difference can be heard immediately.

4) The neo classical Iraqi school, by any name, owes some of its technique to what Targan taught. These players are not for the most part playing Turkish repertoire, not playing the makam-s of Turkey, not using Turkish intonation (compare the Rast of this school with the Rast of Turkey for instance), not getting the tone colors of Turkish oud, not developing Taxim (I spelled it the Greek way…why not?) as Turkish oudists do, and so on. Those are a few of the reasons why it is not a sub-school of Turkish oud playing. To summarize this point: part of the technique they are using was taught in Iraq by Targan. They are using this technique to play non-Turkish music.



1) I agree with you but as a "makam world members" we should stick to universal terms. It is more scientific and the correct way of using the words shows many details. As for example talking about "Rasheed", "Rashid" or "Raşit" makes it clearer to all of us where the origin of this person is. Same name, but the first one tells us that this person is from the US, the 2nd one is probably an Arab and the third one is definitely Turkish.
It is just irritating if we don't stick to the common spelling.
For example the mentioned names in the first posting of Alfaraby:
Correct form:
Jamil and Munir Bashir, Salman Shukor, Ghanem Haddad, Salem Abdul Karim, Naseer Shamma, and Ahmed Mukhtar,
Turkish form:
Cemil and Münir Beşir, Selman Şükür, Ganem Hattat, Salim (Selim) Abdül Kerim, Nesir Şemma, Ahmet Muhtar
So, would you like if I should stick to those ways of spelling? Then most people won't get of who I am talking about. I find it strange, that's why I find it important that we try to stick to the original forms.
Of course nobody is perfect and we all will make mistakes but at least we can try.

2) I saw also people writing Targan with a "q" like "Tarqan", so don't be that sure :).
As I wrote in my earlier posting: "and his family tree (roots) includes the Prophet Muhammed, so his roots are Arabic, but we can't consider him as Arabic really. It is like saying American people are Europeans because their roots are from Europe." He and his father were born in Istanbul, I think his grandfather in Mecca but I am not sure. This family has had a big role in Ottoman Empire, so a family of aristocrats.

3) I know, I feel the difference. But the question still stays. As Targan's school (he himself) is solely different than the Turkish School. I am not an oud player but oud players say that he has had a different kind of style than all of the others. More westernized. So, this difference of Iraqi School. Does it come from Targan or from the Iraqi influences? That's the question here. I am not disputing the difference between the todays Turkish School and the Neo-Iraqi School. I am just asking to myself that it may be that the Iraqi School is different because of Targan which would make the Iraqi School a branch of the Turkish School. Because I doubt that "handful of students" of Targan created completely something different than their master Targan. So I'd say they followed the Targan way which is today the Iraqi School but to be precise it should be the Targan School.

4) I see. Thank you. With those points I can work with, will try to focus on some of the points you mentioned. Some points are a cause of the Arabic makam system, so not very valid but some are interesting (like not developing taksim and using different makams).
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[*] posted on 9-30-2015 at 12:15 AM


Hello alfaraby,

Quote: Originally posted by Alfaraby  
Thank you all for relating to this subject.
Special thanks to Jody who has been reading between my lines and explaining what I had meant, even better than I myself may.
English is my third language so I may sometimes skip a pont just because an idea was awkwardly phrased
Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
Targan belonging to the Turkish School

Muhieddine was only half Turkish, since his father was a cousin of King Faisal of Iraq at that time, while only his mother was Turkish. His full name is : Muhieddine Haidar Ali Al Ghalib Alhosny, none of which is Turkish or insinuate any Turkish origins. He grew up in Turkey, but kept good relations with his father's relatives. When he fled from Istanbul when WW1 broke up, he went to Macca, then to Aleppo, where he spent 10 years at least before flying to the States. His records, as we have often seen, indicated Iraq or Syria as the origin of his music, and not Turkey. This happened many years before he was first called to Baghdad in 1936 to establish his "school". Therefore I'm not sure about this 100 % Turkish thing. The man was multicultural and the outcome of acculturation of many origins and influences as has been mentioned earlier.

English is also my third language btw.

Considering Targan as half Arab is wrong as he is from 37. generation the descendant of the prophet. So, if you want to use the "genetics card", then in that matter we don't know how much % his blood is Arabic. But in today's world if we define someone's nationality, then the genetic factor is almost non-existent.
Describing as "half" implifies that one of his parents are fully Arabic while neither of his parents were. He was born and raised in Turkey, like his father. He had to learn Arabic, as Arabic was not his native language. He was a member of an aristocrat family which were for centuries the Sharif of Mecca. One member was being the King Faisal, who also have been raised in Turkey, who started the rebellion against the Ottoman Empire in the WWI. But the important information here is that Targan's father refused to revolt who was the last Sharif of Mecca. So he chose a side. So, I think it should be clear that he is Turkish. Targan's grave is also in Turkey.
I mean else we can consider whole USA as Europeans. And most of the Europeans came from Asia, so basically Americans are Asians? I mean how long will you look back?




Quote:

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
I assume this "Turkish fellow member" is meant to be me.I asked you a direct question, but you haven't replied (until now)Implying that is a bit disrespectful.
Any personifying of any comment is hereby denied and rejected with both hands. I know none of you and certainly can't (and won't) dishonor or disrespect anyone or any affiliation whatsoever. On the other hand, I can't blame any new fellow member on board for not knowing his fellows. This who comes to quibble or dispute, should read first all of my 700 posts, along with several thousands of threads, quite thoroughly, in order get to know some of what we all have been doing for the last decade, some more and some less, including some codes we have managed to develop. One just can't jump on board and immediately start arguing with jdowning for instance before reading his thousands valuable researches and experiments.

I see. This is the "you are the new one in the clique" treatment. Right, right. With all respect, I find the tone used by you very offending. I would never use such a tone.
I don't understand why you have this kind of attitude towards my person.

There was this thread about "al-shamsy" and in a off-topic part I just asked a question about Targan, that I didn't understand that reference.
This is a forum, so you ask questions and you make statements. I did that. I didn't know that I have to wait a decade to be eligable for posting a question quoting you or any other member. I mean aren't we here to discuss things? Why am I treated like that I argue, quibble or dispute things? I'm a fresh attendant who wants to learn from you guys. Should I stay in the corner silently? I have a lot of questions to ask. So I ask. I have also an opinion, so I share it, like you all do. You have a different opinion than me maybe. So? It is fine. Why do you downgrade it as I attack your persons? Is it not allowed not to share your views or opinions? Do I have to be a master of sth to be treated with respect?
I sit here for many hours to write a meaningful post, with explaining everything. I could write only 2-3 lines. But to show my respect, I take the time to write down these long posts, as I do now. But you will take this again as "quibbling". Alright, I think I'll switch to the "silently-reading modus" from now on, as it seems the best for everyone here.

I havent started arguing with jdowning. I joined the forums. Someone wrote in a topic something which brought up this topic of jdowning to the up (else I wouldn't know it exists). So I showed my respect to the thread as I read the whole thread (it is a huge thread) and tried to bring up my information. I didn't realize that this topic is old (which is irrelevant anyway, as I believe no topic in the world has a expiry date) and quoted him. What did I do? It took me hours to write those posts, bringing up information, linking the sources I got and explaining the situation. This is how I learned how the scientific life works as a mathematician. Anyway, I see that you somehow take this on a personal level even though you deny it in your post. I apologize from jdowning, I didn't know I have attacked him or something.

My lesson from this is that I won't quote anyone from now on. I am not sure if I will participate actively again, but in case I do, I won't relate in any kind of way to opinions of other members. This is also my last posting about "this stuff here" except the last one I will write to abc123xyz after this post.


Quote:

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
I don't understand why you write Turkish names in Arabic-Latinised script version instead of Turkish-Latinised version
Turkish names ? Oh really ? You should have known that sharif, mohie, al dine, haidar, masoud, tanbur, jamil are all ARABIC names whic were written exactly the way they should be pronounced and written, despite what Turkish-Latinised writing suggests. I shall not, with due respect, echo this distorted suggestions of such original Arabic words. Shouldn't I be writing Mehmet instead of Mohammad ? Let's therfore just keep this hushed, otherwise I'll have to write another thread defending Arabian Names :)

No, they are not Arabic names in this case. Their origins are Arabic but the names are Turkish. Of course I am aware that those names have Arabic origin, as how else should you have written that names in the Arabic forms, just Arabs are using Arabic script. So any kind of name you write down with the English Alphabet will be wrong as you won't be able to fully express the correct name. But yet somehow one must also write down Arabic words with Latin characters, so you use it.
Whereas the Turkish country is officially using Latin characters for a century. And if we are talking about Turkish people here (or formerly Ottoman), we should stick to the official versions of the names, as they are Turkish names (even though with Arabic origin) and have already a Latinised version. But I just asked if you could do this. You don't have to.

PS: I don't think that the origin of the word "tanbur" is Arabic.

Regards.
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[*] posted on 9-30-2015 at 02:20 AM


Hello abc123xyz,



Quote: Originally posted by abc123xyz  
Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
I assume this "Turkish fellow member" is meant to be me.
Obviously.

I didn't know that I'm such a pain for you guys here. But I now get that I am not much welcomed here. No problem. You'll forget me soon I hope.


Quote:

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
You could have quoted me, or just respond to me in that thread here:
Or he can make a separate topic of it without quoting you at all, since interest in Alfaraby's article is bound to go beyond the needs of that thread. It's purely up to him.

Yeah, but he could have mentioned in that thread that he is gonna respond in a new thread or something. Not that I have a right of to know what he is going to do. I mean just for the sake of the discussion, he could have just write 1 sentence. He ignored me completely (not without a reason I see now). It is ok. No feelings are hurt just it is not the way I am used to.


Quote:

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
as I asked you a direct question,
He doesn't have to answer your questions, direct or otherwise. Nobody does, that's one of the reasons we show each other respect: we hope to be shown it in return.

Did I say that he has to?
How is it showing respect by ignoring a direct quote? Is that the way you are showing your respect?
Did you see me complaining or asking somewhere here why he hasn't responded? No.
Until this topic I did say nothing, so I showed my respect I think, don't you think? I thought he has his reasons not to respond to, maybe not have seen it or has no time etc.
I didn't put any meaning into it and moved on.
But it seems he hasn't moved on and he read my quote and started this topic. So I just mentioned the previous situation.
And about respect, how is it respectful to leave out my name while he is clearly talking about me? So ignored again?
Anyway, it is not that important as I won't put any meanings into these stuff.
But you talked about respect and I wanted to clarify some things here...




Quote:

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
Secondly, I am not terrified that Arabs are trying to steal Targan. Implying that is a bit disrespectful.
Telling a senior member how to spell is more disrespectful.

I don't know who is a senior member and who not. I didn't know I joined a cult here or something. I am using forums for as long as the internet is there and I never payed attention to who is "longer registered" or "is some kind of an expert" as I treat everyone equally. Wouldn't you like to be treated equally? Or do have senior members and junior members different rights?
Why should it be disrespectful to ask people to write down names the correct ways? I am not correcting grammar or literally spelling of words (my native language is not English anyway that I could correct someone anyway).
I think all people deserve the respect to be named like they are named. Of course there are the limitations of the modern technology. And in this case, this is not a matter of a limitation (not asking to write in Cyrillic or Thai alphabet). It is a matter of attitude. I think all of you can write down Cemil instead of Jamil. I explained above to Jody Stecher why a correct spelling is better as it gives valuable information to the reader. And as a part of a community which deals with a lot of different cultures and languages, everyone would benefit if we should stick to the correct terms. And I think in this matter the correct terms are the Turkish way of writing those names as these people are Turkish (or Ottoman).
It has nothing to do with this topic but I also mailed one member of this community the same suggestion. I didn't think about that this is disrespectful to people. If it is, I apologize.


Quote:

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
Thirdly, in the future, it would be nice if you could write the names of the Turkish musicians correctly.
Don't tell forum members how to spell. Should genuine confusion occur, ask politely for clarification, but which obviously didn't happen here, since one has to understand which person is being referred to before he can claim his name has been mispelled.

But you are telling me what to do? What a irony. Again, I didn't tell anyone, I ASKED.


Quote:

Most people on this forum are grateful for the information others share with us, such that we'd never dare complain that a "gift of gold wasn't wrapped in silk".

So am I, I am grateful.
Did I complain anywhere about the information someone is sharing?



Quote:

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
But honestly, do you know what I think? Many cultures have stolen things. We can't deny that.
Yes, we can deny that. What you're talking is actually copying, not theft, and to call it theft is ridiculous. When something is actually stolen, the original owner loses possession of it, can no longer enjoy use of it, but which cannot happen when one culture merely copies a facet of another. Information cannot be owned.

I don't agree with your definition of stealing.
Stealing is, when someone gets something from someone/something and treats it as his own property.
I know of many Turkish artists who stole from Arabic musicians for example. They ripped off those Arabic melodies or songs and sold in Turkey as their pieces.
The whole "Arabesque" music is like that in Turkey.
Original:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfvkcG59Vq8
68 Turkey:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxPppEzE71M
Modern Turkey:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRJ4XMIpg9o

They are not referencing to the owners, at least in the 60s to 90s they didnt. Probably more than half of Abdel Halem Hafez's works were used in Turkey, without giving a credit. Not just credit, people declared those compositions as theirs by registering their names in the music registrar offices. So, yes, you can deny what you want but it is clear.

And yes, information can be also stolen and owned. At least in todays world, it is called "patents".


Quote:

Did the Turks steal tea from the Chinese? Did the Turks steal the hundreds of words of Persian and Arabic origin they use? Did the Turks steal the Latin script from Europe whose misuse you are so worried about? ¦·D At most we could say that credit for a discovery is "stolen" from time to time, which is what you're really worried about, but which isn't really theft either, but rather a matter of lying, or of merely being misinformed.

Are Turks claiming tea is Turkish? No. Tea is a part of our culture now (for 100 years very likely) but nobody is claiming tea is Turkish as it is Chinese or Indian. So your example is not good.
And Arabic and Persians use many Turkish words, too. I think 3000-5000 Turkish words are in Persian. That is not called stealing, it is "borrowing", those are loanwords. I am talking about a different thing here. And don't forget, even though Turkish has a lot of words with Arabic/Persian origins, Arabs or Farsi people can't understand them. As the whole meanings are different and many words are made up by Turks using Arabic grammar rules. That it is why an Arab can't read or understand Ottoman script (it is written with Arabic letters). I mean take away the Turkish words (with Turkic origins) and just let them read those words with Arabic origins and yet they won't be able to do it. As many of them don't exist for them, are written differently and have different meanings.
For example the word "usta" has a different meaning for us than for Iranian people. Sour examples are not good, really.
I am not talking about "not mentioning the credit/source". I was talking about stealing. Using something as you are the owner of it.


Quote:

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
Let's come back to the Targan question. I am not an oud player nor am I literate in Arab history/culture.
And yet you assumed that Targan brought Turkish music to Iraq.

I didn't say he brought Turkish music. I said he brought the Turkish School which are different things. And I was asking, not making a whole statement.



Quote:

Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
So we all agree that this Neo-Iraqi School is Targan's School. The players being in Iraq, being Iraqi and embracing that culture gives this school undeniably an Iraqi "touch".
No, you have it backwards. It's an essentially Iraqi school with possibly a Turkish "touch" due to Targan's Turkish origin.

That is exactly the part I am asking here. Is it or not? As Targan created a new school by himself. Different than the traditional Turkish School. How can you be sure, it is just a Turkish "touch" here and not other way around.
Because this whole Neo-Iraqi School we talked about are only around those musicians Targan teached to. Only those people (if I am not mistaken) (and then their students). So, I assume it is the Targan School with the Iraqi touch else we would also have the Classical-Iraqi School. Right?
I mean you say there was this Iraqi School and Targan came and contributed to it. Ok. And then this Neo-Iraqi School happened among those students of Targan. But besides this evolution, also the classical-Iraqi School must be there somewhere. Where is it? I mean if there is this Iraqi School before Targan, and Targan only teached to handful of players, the Iraqi School besides Targan's must lived somewhere outside of Targan's approach. So today we should have 2 schools in Iraq according to you people. The Targan's one and the one before Targan, as Targan only teached to handful of players, so can't have influenced the whole region. Can you follow my thoughts? And then if we couldcompare both, the schools before and after Targan, we could then see how much is by Targan and how much not and classify it correctly as Iraqi or a subschool of Turkish School.
I am not talking about bringing Turkish music, as Arabs use a different system anyway. Just the "oud schools" are compared here.


Quote:

There's nothing especially debilitating about being raised a Turk that prevents one from properly assimilating and peforming non-turkish people's musics. Neither is there anything magical about Turkish blood that turns anything touched by a Turk into something Turkish.

Correct. But we talk about a genius here, he was compared to Paganini. Not just a random player. It doesn't matter if he is Turkish or not. (But in this case it is.)
So it is a whole different case that someone like Paganini brings his culture to a country or a random violine player. As these guys have such a big impact we can't dream of. Those kind of people, musicians, scientists, artists, etc. have that capability of re-inventing things. (Just to be clear, I am not saying Targan re-invented Iraqi Music, but he invented his own oud school before Iraq, so the question is if the lineage after Iraq is his lineage or the Iraqi lineage mixed with his lineage).





Quote:

Really "everything"? It's great magic indeed that you attribute to Turkish blood xD
Quote: Originally posted by DivanMakam  
These are my thoughts and questions. As I said, I just want to learn and understand.
Well these questions have been, by now, mostly answered by others. Without being an expert in Iraqi music, as you've admitted, you assumed that Targan brought Turkish music to Iraq, whereas what actually happened is that he worked within the Iraqi idiom to produce a new branch. It's not uncommon for people moving to a new country to develop a preference for some aspect of that culture over that of their homeland. Possibly Targan liked Iraqi music better than Turkish, or maybe he just enjoyed variety. There's no way to know. ¦·) Davut

I think we had already the discussion about being precise. I am just talking about the oud here. I mean the topic were about oud schools, right? So everything is related to that.
I mean if he brought Turkish Music, as you misunderstand me, if I meant that or if that happened, we would see Turkish makam theory used there. This was not I was talking about, only about the oud and its use of styles.

Thanks.



PS: This is my last message in this thread as mentioned a post earlier. Thx for your patience with me.
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[*] posted on 9-30-2015 at 03:02 AM


I think this is over due.
You're welcome to argue and ask, and no offence whatsoever was meant by answering your posts, this way or another as I and others did. This respect/dishonor issue is off topic, after I have said that none were intended ! My advise was, in short, to read as much as you can in order to get to 'know' your interlocutor. Please stick with the main topic and ask as many question as you want. Please don't stop writing just because someone thinks you're wrong, even if this someone is 'yours indeed' :). If this was the case, I would have been hushed long time ago.
Your questions about the Iraqi school are of great importance, as I have indicated, and should be seriousely directed to musicologists.
Jdowning issue was pointed out as an example for a highly sophisticated scholar, without being aware that you had any dispute with him in particular. I think I mislead with this example.
Last, Tanbur/Tanbour is an Arabized world of Persian origins . In Persian it means 'resembles the fat tail of the sheep', due to its shape ("dunba barah" or however it should be written &/or pronounced - Navid ! Help) !

فارسي معرب ، أَصله دُنْبَهِ بَرَهُ أَي يُشْبِه أَلْيةَ الحَمَل

Thank you

Yours indeed
Alfaraby




alfarabymusic@gmail.com
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[*] posted on 9-30-2015 at 05:15 AM


Interesting discussion here... I have less experience than most of you, but I do have Targan's Oud Method book (purchased in Istanbul), have played a few of his Saz Semai along with Karpis, and have listened to his recordings a LOT. To *me* his playing and compositions sound primarily "Turkish" but with some "western" influence in what I would call his non-traditional pieces, like Kapris, Çocuk Havası, Kanatlarım Olsaydı, and Koşan Çocuk. The last thing I would think when hearing Targan's playing or compositions is that they were Arabic influenced.

Of course that says nothing of how the Iraqi oud style evolved... As Jody mentioned in a post above, maybe the new Iraqi style has elements of Targan's teachings but applied to the traditional Iraqi/Arabic music.
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[*] posted on 9-30-2015 at 06:56 AM


Guys, DivanMakam is opinionated and a bit confrontational, but he is polite . . . one of the great things about this forum is the diversity of members and the unusually friendly and tolerant atmosphere. Let's try to minimize the personal complaints and focus on the ideas.


In that regard, several facts should be noted:
1) Influence in the Ottoman period was a two-way street. The makams Shad Araban, Iraq and Hijaz are obviously examples, referring to the Arab world in their names. Also many of the note names are Persian, etc.
2) Iraq has an indigenous music tradition that is independent of both Turkish music and Arabic music. This predates Targan's arrival and Targan seemed to have no influence on the style or repertoire.
3) Iraq is musically quite complex and contains at least 3 musical traditions: a) the Iraqi maqam b) the pan-Arab Egyptian/Syrian tradition and c) the Targan-influenced oud tradition. These are all distinct, and the third is easily the smallest and least culturally significant within Iraq.

With respect to Targan, I disagree with referring to the "Iraqi oud style" as the "Targan School". Munir and Jamil Bashir were towering musical figures in their own right, and were native Iraqis. In regard to the topic, the so-called "Targan school" is really more properly the "Bashir school" as they are the ones who created the hybrid style that is actually influential. They combined Targan's influence with elements of both the Iraqi maqam and the Pan-Arab tradition, as well as their own ideas. This is the "Iraqi oud style"—the Bashir style, not the Targan style. There is no Iraqi "Targan school" apart from the influence of the Bashirs. Listen to the Bashirs and listen to Targan, it seems to me that despite a strong influence, they did not simply continue his style but instead adapted it to their music.

If you regard the Bashir style and it's practitioners to be merely a subset of "Turkish" style, then you would have to conclude that they are doing a rather bad job of it.

Let's try to remember that there is a complex history of cultural exchange and development in the region; very little can be clearly delineated as being 100% belonging to one tradition. We are all friends here!

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[*] posted on 9-30-2015 at 09:04 AM


Divan Makam, I will address your reply to me but first I will make an incomplete inadequate answer to your question, asked twice now (to whomever will answer) as to what pre-Targan Iraqi oud music was. I hope someone more well informed than me can provide more details.
A complex story told simplistically:
Iraq has been home to more than one kind of music. This is natural for a place that has been home to so many different communities and ethnicities. Baghdad alone has been perhaps as varied in its people as Istanbul. There has been rural and village folk music, urban folk music, religious music, and "art music" to name just a few. One type of music, which was not confined to any particular ethnic or religious community, nor to one social class, and not confined to Baghdad alone, was called Iraqi Maqam. This is a repertoire, a style, a world of its own. The principal instruments are voice, santur, a small vertical fiddle called jawzah (spelled many ways) and various kinds of percussion. In 20th century Iraq there was radio, recordings, and of course there was travel between places, as there has always been. So Iraqi musicians and music lovers were aware of the various developments in the popular/classical music of Cairo and of the music in Syria and other middle eastern places. There were also visiting musicians from these places. Sometimes the Iraqi Maqam music was played by an ensemble of oud, nay,and qanun, sometimes violin, just as in these other places. Two of Targan's students were the Bashir brothers, Jamil and Munir. They were born to a Syriac/Assyrian Christian family. this minority group had their own music. The spoken and sung language is related to Aramaic. The musical language is related to some of the music of Iran, as is the Iraqi Maqam, but in a different way. Their father played oud by the way. Meanwhile there were a number of Jewish musicians in Baghdad who played the same kinds of music as other communities and also their own repertoire. In addition there were musicians in Baghdad who played the same music that was played in Cairo. All of ways that the oud was played throughout the Arabic world was present in Baghdad before the arrival of Targan. And his students had been exposed to it and continued to be exposed to it.

Now on to your responses to my four points.

1) there is no monolithic agreed upon pronunciation of the Arabic language and therefore no agreed upon transliteration of Arabic words into English. There is a lot of variety in pronunciation according to geography.

I don't agree that it would be better if we all used the same spellings. For me it is a pleasure to hear and see all the ways a word can be spelled and/or spoken. I was particularly amused last week when I received sheet music of the Huzam sama'i composed by Mohammed Abdo Saleh. The composer's name had been transliterated as "Muhamed Habedu Shalac". Shalac resembles "shellac", a finish for wood, sometimes used on ouds. "Habedu" resembles "yaba daba du", the nonsensical rant of Fred Flintstone, a 1960s American television cartoon character. I was delighted at the odd spelling and I saw how it could happen. I was filled with wonder and appreciation at the variety of human speech and how different brains interpret sounds. So I think all the spellings that appear on this forum are a positive thing. In my opinion, it is only when a spelling occurs that coincides with a word of another meaning that comment is called for. Bowl/bowel. Padauk/paddock. That sort of thing. So to answer your question: I would not mind if you used only Turkish spellings. Spell as you like! I don't find a variety of spellings irritating. In fact I am inconsistent in my own spelling of non-English words. I also misspell words in my own language (english) from time to time.

2) i stand corrected . Tarqan! sure, why not? It's only when spelled "Tarzan" that I start to laugh! But I am not irritated by inconsistency.

3) three parts to this answer.
part one: there were several aspects to Targan's oud playing. The westernized part was partly a matter of creating a methodical technique. He used this technique to create and play technically brilliant super duper fast passages that to my sensibilities are musically vacuous. I don't like to listen to it. It sounds like he is being paid by the note. But he also composed some musically beautiful pieces. These I love. And he plays them so expressively on the old recordings. You can hear this same way of playing in some of Jamil Bashir's emotive oud playing. (I also am left cold by Jamil's east/west "modern" compositions, but I love to hear him play taxim and dance music.)

part two: Targan made the "western" sounding technical innovations to his playing before he came to teach in Baghdad. The part of his playing that did not sound "western" sounded…. I would say it sounded unique but "eastern". He made recordings of compositions in the saz-i-semai form. They are easy to find on the internet. His way of playing was unique but more Turkish than Arabic. He uses a lot of Çarpma, an ornament typical of Turkey, but his use of silence is not typically Turkish. There are three recordings of Targan playing his own sama'i Ferahfaza. They differ from each other in various ways. What they have in common is his style of playing.

part three: I don't know what transpired between Targan and his students in Baghdad. I don't know what repertoire he gave them or what exercises he gave them to play or what personal advice he imparted. All i have to go on is how his students played on recordings and television broadcasts and in concerts etc.
I think it is safe to say that they used the technique he gave them to play the music they wanted to play. And this included aspects of the musics I mentioned at the start of this post. These were all influences. His students all composed original music. But the students of his students (and their students) Do Not Sound Like Targan. What I think he gave his Iraqi students was a system of fingering. They each used this technique to play the music they wished to play.

4) I did not mean that the students of Targan and the oudists of the Neo Classical Iraqi school do not develop Taksim. I meant (and wrote) that they do not do this in the way that the Turkish players do.
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[*] posted on 9-30-2015 at 09:28 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Brian Prunka  
Guys, DivanMakam is opinionated and a bit confrontational, but he is polite . . . one of the great things about this forum is the diversity of members and the unusually friendly and tolerant atmosphere. Let's try to minimize the personal complaints and focus on the ideas.


In that regard, several facts should be noted:
1) Influence in the Ottoman period was a two-way street. The makams Shad Araban, Iraq and Hijaz are obviously examples, referring to the Arab world in their names. Also many of the note names are Persian, etc.
2) Iraq has an indigenous music tradition that is independent of both Turkish music and Arabic music. This predates Targan's arrival and Targan seemed to have no influence on the style or repertoire.
3) Iraq is musically quite complex and contains at least 3 musical traditions: a) the Iraqi maqam b) the pan-Arab Egyptian/Syrian tradition and c) the Targan-influenced oud tradition. These are all distinct, and the third is easily the smallest and least culturally significant within Iraq.

With respect to Targan, I disagree with referring to the "Iraqi oud style" as the "Targan School". Munir and Jamil Bashir were towering musical figures in their own right, and were native Iraqis. In regard to the topic, the so-called "Targan school" is really more properly the "Bashir school" as they are the ones who created the hybrid style that is actually influential. They combined Targan's influence with elements of both the Iraqi maqam and the Pan-Arab tradition, as well as their own ideas. This is the "Iraqi oud style"—the Bashir style, not the Targan style. There is no Iraqi "Targan school" apart from the influence of the Bashirs. Listen to the Bashirs and listen to Targan, it seems to me that despite a strong influence, they did not simply continue his style but instead adapted it to their music.

If you regard the Bashir style and it's practitioners to be merely a subset of "Turkish" style, then you would have to conclude that they are doing a rather bad job of it.

Let's try to remember that there is a complex history of cultural exchange and development in the region; very little can be clearly delineated as being 100% belonging to one tradition. We are all friends here!



Hi Brian

I always considered the Iraqi oud player Mu'ataz al-Bayati to be continuing the Targan style to the present day, rather than the Bashir style, but I could be wrong about this. (There are some videos of him on Youtube.) Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will be able to comment on this. I believe Adel Salameh was his student, so he might be able to shed some light on it?

Best wishes

David




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[*] posted on 9-30-2015 at 10:09 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Brian Prunka  
Guys, DivanMakam is opinionated and a bit confrontational, but he is polite . . .

Oh gods, no. He's anything but polite. In fact I seriously suspect him of some sort of autism or narcissistic personality disorder.

Moreover he's quite transparently motivated by nationalism.

Do you forget that he wrote "the West is very arrogant and ignorant when it comes to science and education or culture"?

To call that merely rude would be charitable, never mind for the moment that it's obviously false.

Turn that around and let a European, American, or Canadian have written "Egypt/Syria/Turkey/Iran is very arrogant and ignorant when it comes to science and education or culture" and watch how the accusations of racism would have flown! lol

Quote: Originally posted by Brian Prunka  
one of the great things about this forum is the diversity of members and the unusually friendly and tolerant atmosphere. Let's try to minimize the personal complaints and focus on the ideas.

[...]

We are all friends here!

Well it certainly seemed that way before he showed up.

David
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[*] posted on 9-30-2015 at 10:49 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Alfaraby  

Last, Tanbur/Tanbour is an Arabized world of Persian origins . In Persian it means 'resembles the fat tail of the sheep', due to its shape ("dunba barah" or however it should be written &/or pronounced - Navid ! Help) !

Yes, I've come across this explanation of tanbur before too, as well as one citing the tandur oven's use to heat the ribs for bending, but those are folk explanations that linguists don't take seriously.

A quote from Wikipedia:

"Erroneous etymologies can exist for many reasons. Some are reasonable interpretations of the evidence that happen to be false. For a given word there may often have been many serious attempts by scholars to propose etymologies based on the best information available at the time, and these can be later modified or rejected as linguistic scholarship advances. The results of medieval etymology, for example, were plausible given the insights available at the time, but have mostly been rejected by modern linguists. The etymologies of humanist scholars in the early modern period began to produce more reliable results, but many of their hypotheses have been superseded. Until academic linguistics developed the comparative study of philology and the development of the laws underlying sound changes, the derivation of words was a matter mostly of guess-work."

The word tanbur is supposed by modern linguists to derive by metathesis from the Sumerian word pan tur, the name of the earliest long-necked lute on record.

Many lutes across the world still bear names descended from pan tur, such as the ancient-greek pandoura, the Indian tambura, the Balkan tamburas, the Turkish tanbur and tambura, the Afghan dambura, the dombyra, dombra, domra, etc.

David

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[*] posted on 9-30-2015 at 06:21 PM


Quote: Originally posted by David Parfitt  


Hi Brian

I always considered the Iraqi oud player Mu'ataz al-Bayati to be continuing the Targan style to the present day, rather than the Bashir style, but I could be wrong about this. (There are some videos of him on Youtube.) Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will be able to comment on this. I believe Adel Salameh was his student, so he might be able to shed some light on it?

Best wishes

David


Thanks for pointing him out, David. I am not at all expert on the Iraqi players and was unfamiliar with him.





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[*] posted on 10-1-2015 at 06:19 AM


Greek modes, both early ones, and the ones used widely until recently in the Greek Orthodox church, did and do indeed sound very different from major and minor scales. That is because they are *not* comprised entirely of whole tones and half steps. The "Greek" modes of the Medieval European church and later of the European conservatory, the ones derived from starting on successive steps of the major scale, were given names associated with places in ancient Greece, but they are not the same modes that may have had the same names in Ancient Greece.
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[*] posted on 10-2-2015 at 03:49 AM


Hello dear Friends ,
first I would like to thank our friend Alfaraby for this wonderful article , it's a rich and a very comprehensive one ...also many thanks for David Parfitt for talking about my master Mou'taz Al Bayati...
I am quite sure if we have asked Sherif Mohieldin Hayder about his nationality .. His response will be I am a citizen of the world ... We consider Sherif as an Arab in the Arab World... his father was an Arab , descending from the Royal family in Hujaz as known now as Saudi Arabia , lived in Syria, Iraq and the USA... What is important about this master is what he left us , his school of playing the OUD , his vision as a composer and as an OUD player , the many students which he had taught ... Most of Sherif ouds were made by Usta Ali of Iraq, also it's known that he had other instruments by Manol and Abdo Nahat ... The loyal student of his was the Iraqi OUD player Salman Shukur ... Sherif loved and was very proud of his student Jamil Bashir he presented him one of his Usta Ali OUD as a gift ... Sherif has left us with a school which is very advanced and I think everybody should study his compositions and études which he has written for the OUD , his greatest work is Semai ferahfaza and the Capris ...

As for my teacher Al Haj Miu'taz al Bayati ... I consider him to be the most loyal OUD player, composer and teacher for the Sherif school , as one of his students I had to study every single note Sherif has written .. it's thanks to him that this school still exist ... My master Al bayati has been the most important OUD teacher in Iraq for the last 30 years , it's hard to find an Iraqi OUD player who has not studied with this master , yet he is un known , keeps a way from the media as a Sufi person ...
He has published one of the most important OUD method book to exist in the Arab world , the other book which I recommend is Jamil Bashir method ... Our friend Charbel Rouhana uses some of my master exercises / Semai's, bashraf in his method for the OUD ... Al bayati has a wonderful collection of Usta Ali Ouds and he owns also one of Sherif Ouds which was presented to him as a gift by Sherif Wife...

He has a great knowledge of Iraqi OUD and how it should be built .. Many makers has learnt from him .. I thank him from my heart for all the time he spent with us students , to everything we have learnt from him , Al Bayati is a real treasure and words can't describe this great man , I hope that I will be able to re visit him after all of these years ... Thanks to every one who has participated in this valuable thread ,
best wishes ,
Adel Salameh
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[*] posted on 10-2-2015 at 06:04 AM


Quote: Originally posted by David Parfitt  

I always considered the Iraqi oud player Mu'ataz al-Bayati to be continuing the Targan style to the present day, rather than the Bashir style, but I could be wrong about this. (There are some videos of him on Youtube.) Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will be able to comment on this. I believe Adel Salameh was his student, so he might be able to shed some light on it?

David


David or anyone can you point us to some youtube videos of Mu'ataz al-Bayati? I'm not easily finding anything and would love to hear any of his playing. Very curious to hear the Targan influence!
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[*] posted on 10-2-2015 at 07:13 AM


Of course you are right that sharing and borrowing is natural. We are all humans. But it is also natural to be curious. For historical reasons and to improve my understanding I like to know things like whether Targan had Arab ancestry. Whether the answer is yes or no is not a question of what is better and what is worse. For instance ever since Aquila introduced "nylgut" strings I have been wanting to know what this material actually is. It is a trade secret that I probably will never find out. If I did know the answer it would not make the strings sound better or worse, just like knowing the ancestry of Targan will not make his music sound better or worse. I also am curious about the wood used on each oud. Where did the tree grow? How old was the tree when it was felled? Knowing these things doesn't make the oud sound better or worse. Curiosity keeps me young. That's all.


Quote: Originally posted by Lute  
Thank you Jody Stecher.

The beauty of music that is derived ''Early Christians derived their music from Jewish and Byzantine religious chant''.

We all share the word, Music-musiqa ''The word music derives from the ancient Greek muses''

It is normal from a music point of view that musicians shares their musics with others. Without exception, Muhieddine Haider has shared his knowledge with Iraq, that happened to be next door to Turkey! Music is derived, shared and infused all the time. So it does not matter if Şerif Mûhiddin (Haydar) Targan/ شريف محي الدين حيدر/ Serif Muhieddine Haidar/ 襯線Muhieddine海達爾 was from an Arab rooted family, Turkish or Mongolian!:airguitar:

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[*] posted on 10-2-2015 at 09:35 AM


Hi Adam

Try copying and pasting this search term into Youtube: معتز البياتي

All the best

David




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