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danieletarab
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[*] posted on 10-25-2018 at 04:14 PM
arabic maqam seyir?


Hi oud lovers!
Over the last months I have been studying all the arabic maqamat focusing on the ajnas, the idiomatic phrases, the most important notes in the scale, the common modulations and so on. I am wondering if in the arabic maqamat exists a seyir like in the turkish system: do we have ascending or descending maqamat or something similar in the arabic system? Or are we always supposed to start from the lower tonic and making our way up to the higher octave? A part from ajnas structure, idiomatic phrases, intonation, common modulations, is there anything else to take into account?
As always, thank you very very very much!
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 10-25-2018 at 07:10 PM


Quote: Originally posted by danieletarab  
Hi oud lovers!
Over the last months I have been studying all the arabic maqamat focusing on the ajnas, the idiomatic phrases, the most important notes in the scale, the common modulations and so on. I am wondering if in the arabic maqamat exists a seyir like in the turkish system: do we have ascending or descending maqamat or something similar in the arabic system? Or are we always supposed to start from the lower tonic and making our way up to the higher octave? A part from ajnas structure, idiomatic phrases, intonation, common modulations, is there anything else to take into account?
As always, thank you very very very much!


Yes, Arabic maqam has seyir (sometimes transliterated sayr). It's similar to Turkish but less formal and strict. I don't know of an Arabs who make the seyir explicit and strict the way Turkish teachers do. It's more something that is expected to be learned from lots of listening and learning repertoire. Essentially, the path of the maqam is just the aggregate tendencies of the classic repertoire.

In many cases, older maqamat with different paths have been combined into one maqam with more flexible options. So where in the old tradition the seyir of Kirdan (Girdanye) is descending and Rast is ascending, in modern Arabic maqam we just consider them to be two forms of Rast, not really separate maqamat.
The modern seyir of Arabic Bayati is more a mix of the old Bayati and Ussak. Ferahfaza and Nahawand are likewise mostly descending and ascending versions of the 'same' maqam etc.
But the seyir persists because of the old repertoire still played, which observes the traditional paths. Arabic music definitely does not consider all the small variations of seyir to be different maqamat the way it is in Turkish/Ottoman music.

But there are ascending, descending, and mixed paths (such as Suznak and Nawa athar)




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al-Halabi
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[*] posted on 10-25-2018 at 07:53 PM


Arabic song-text collections from Syria and Egypt (many of which remain in manuscript) show that into the nineteenth century the maqams in use in these areas overlapped to a great degree with the maqams common in the Turkish-speaking areas. They include maqams that had similar scalar structures but different seyirs and tonal centers––for example Ushshaq, Bayati, Husayni, Muhayyar, Rahawi, 'Ajam (the Turkish Acem, not 'Ajam 'Ushayran), etc. In the modern period the number of maqams in active use in Arab music shrank considerably, and maqams with similar tetrachord/pentachord structures were often conflated into a single generic maqam (such as Bayati). This shift was accompanied by a reduced attention to the distinct melodic progression of various maqams. The musical concept of seyir is today not nearly as central in Arab as in Turkish music. Many Arab musicians tend to think of a maqam in terms of a Western-style scale, with the tonic serving as its starting point. Their taqsims in maqams such as Hijazkar and Hijazkarkurd, for instance, most often begin around the note rast rather than follow the traditional descending seyir of these modes. More can be said about the divergence of the two musical systems, but the different approach to melodic progression is certainly one important distinction.
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ChanningPDX
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[*] posted on 10-25-2018 at 09:47 PM


If you have not done so already, I would strongly recommend buying David Muallem's "The Maqām Book." In addition to being an excellent reference to pull off the shelf at 3 am when you want to know, "What the Hell is maqām Bzurk?!", it includes some enlightening commentary about historical and contemporary performance practice for many Arab maqāmat. The book comes with a CD of renowned Iraqi-Israeli qanun master Avraham Salman playing about 40 taqasim to illustrate many of the maqāmat in the book. These are all beautifully played and at least sometimes enlightening. (YMMV)

Here's a short video about the book. It's widely available from Amazon and other online booksellers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwSGW9dUC_Q

If you can tolerate reading Turkish bolahenk notation, Adam Good (a contributor on this forum) has a nice selection of musical examples illustrating the seyirs of common Turkish makams. While not all of this stuff is applicable to Arabic music, I think we could probably do worse than to to study Turkish seyirs and apply them to Arabic maqāmat.

http://www.adamgood.com/turkish_nota/

If you really want to go into the deep end of the Turkish stuff or at least apply some of it to Arabic music, Eric Ederer (also a sometimes contributor to this forum) published what is probably the best book available in English about Turkish makams a couple of years ago called "Makam and Beyond." Conveniently, he includes "Arab level" scale translations for each of the Turkish makams explained in the book. It's another great reference to have in your music collection and also surprisingly fun to read.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/eric-ederer/makam-and-beyond-a-progressive...

Good luck!
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danieletarab
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[*] posted on 10-26-2018 at 06:46 AM


Quote: Originally posted by ChanningPDX  
If you have not done so already, I would strongly recommend buying David Muallem's "The Maqām Book." In addition to being an excellent reference to pull off the shelf at 3 am when you want to know, "What the Hell is maqām Bzurk?!", it includes some enlightening commentary about historical and contemporary performance practice for many Arab maqāmat.

Thank you very much! Actually I have just received the Muallen book and it was open in front of me while reading your kind answer! :)


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danieletarab
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[*] posted on 10-26-2018 at 06:53 AM



The modern seyir of Arabic Bayati is more a mix of the old Bayati and Ussak. Ferahfaza and Nahawand are likewise mostly descending and ascending versions of the 'same' maqam etc.


Thank you Brian! I had actually noticed that all the farafhaza pieces I play are generally descending!
Your suggestions are always very helpful!
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suz_i_dil
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[*] posted on 10-27-2018 at 03:21 AM


Quote: Originally posted by danieletarab  


Ferahfaza and Nahawand are likewise mostly descending and ascending versions of the 'same' maqam etc.



hello

my little contribution, indeed David Muallem book is great but also with its approximation. I will just take a few exemple, my culture is not enough deep in this subject.

From workshop i followed, i would recommend a few advices:
* study the maqam you are wondering about by listening and learn several pieces from its area of origin. Kurd for exemple you will oftenly hear it ascending developement from the tonic. But actually it should begin from high register and develop descending (check this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAPmHRTL8SY )
* arabic music origin from vocal music. The lower register of the singer is yegah note, take the maqam from there up to the higher note, sahem.
I mean a maqam is not only 2 tetrachords, but actually 4 and they may change.
For exemple, nakriz: hijaz on yegah, then nakriz tetrachord, nahawand on nawa and high register saba
* pieces will give you subtilities of the development. For exemple ferahfeza is not only a descending version of nahawand sol. You will notice pieces in ferahfeza oftenly begin of Bb (ajam ushayran) and that there should be no hijaz D. It is to go on nakriz on C if you play F# . You will have Kurd on D in this maqam but not hijaz on D.
* from last advice you will understand you have to study tetrachords

My reference when i have a doubt is to go to Munir Bashir taqasim

I dont mean to make the teacher i just try to transmit a few advices and things i catched from workshop. But trying to get seyir of arabic maqam will ask you a lot of personnal study and listening, and of course if you can follow a workshop with a trustable teacher..Just go for it !

Best of luck !




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suz_i_dil
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[*] posted on 11-2-2018 at 05:03 AM


I was thining also of this serie, do you know it ?
On main maqamat, very pedagogic, it will explain you a lot
i dont know if you speak some arabic but maybe you can sit with an arabic speaker to check those

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKdMco_rqdI&list=PLhvQZtWfZXItHB...




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ChanningPDX
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[*] posted on 11-2-2018 at 09:44 AM


Thanks for letting us know about this, Suz-i-dil! At this point, I've probably forgotten more Arabic than I ever actually knew, but the musical examples are wonderfully illustrative, and I love that there are lots of close-up shots of the players' hands as well. I'll definitely be watching these repeatedly.

By the way, I finally clicked on your Youtube channel. Fantastic playing!
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suz_i_dil
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[*] posted on 11-3-2018 at 12:56 AM


I was working one of those from youtube, but would be more appropriate to share the original website of the project actually:

http://www.musiqana.net

hope it will know further developpment

Thanks for your kind words, glad you appreciate !




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