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Chris-Stephens
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[*] posted on 4-30-2019 at 06:44 PM


Oh now I see the difference between 7 course and high f tuning! I see from that taqsim (which is fantastic btw, can't believe its been 8 years since I first saw it) that yes his rast is the third note up from his D string. Now Jody what would you say in response to the discription on that video "Master Naser El Houari playing in classical tarab style." since you said this "Old style Arabic music seeks to arouse tarab, a type of ecstasy or altered state. The sonorities of a floating bridge oud in F tuning can seem sterile when compared to what can happen on a low-tuned oud when set to vibrating by a player who knows how pull out a sound that simultaneously punches the listener in the gut, stimulates the heart, and activates a wavelength in the brain. Fixed bridge ouds in F tuning seem to occupy a sonic territory in between." Would you say this video is an exception?

How would you define what this "Tarab style" mentioned in the video description is? Is that common practice of using tremelo to 'drag out' the intuitive end of a phrase then pause, usually causing the listeners to applaude, cheer, allah allah etc, a theme for arousing tarab?
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[*] posted on 4-30-2019 at 06:58 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Chris-Stephens  
Oh now I see the difference between 7 course and high f tuning! I see from that taqsim (which is fantastic btw, can't believe its been 8 years since I first saw it) that yes his rast is the third note up from his D string. Now Jody what would you say in response to the discription on that video "Master Naser El Houari playing in classical tarab style." since you said this "Old style Arabic music seeks to arouse tarab, a type of ecstasy or altered state. The sonorities of a floating bridge oud in F tuning can seem sterile when compared to what can happen on a low-tuned oud when set to vibrating by a player who knows how pull out a sound that simultaneously punches the listener in the gut, stimulates the heart, and activates a wavelength in the brain. Fixed bridge ouds in F tuning seem to occupy a sonic territory in between." Would you say this video is an exception?

How would you define what this "Tarab style" mentioned in the video description is? Is that common practice of using tremelo to 'drag out' the intuitive end of a phrase then pause, usually causing the listeners to applaude, cheer, allah allah etc, a theme for arousing tarab?


This is not a video of a floating bridge oud.

I am not qualified to define the style but I can say that it is not defined by tremolo at the end of a phrase. That is but one oudism and oud is but a portion of the music, much of which after all, is vocal.
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[*] posted on 5-1-2019 at 06:20 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Chris-Stephens  
Now Jody what would you say in response to the discription on that video "Master Naser El Houari playing in classical tarab style." ?


I may be misinterpreting, but I think the intention of the description is to make it clear, that although the player is Moroccan he is not playing oud in any of the "Andalus" styles from that region but rather in the musical style of "the east".

At any rate I think the description is accurate.
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 5-1-2019 at 03:19 PM


Hey guys, I didn't mean that I was going to completely abandon the conversation. I just felt that I'd written a whole lot about the topic and didn't have anything more to add, and didn't want to keep going over the same points.

Regarding what to listen to to get a sense of the "tradition" to which I was referring, I'll reiterate that it's not about the oud, it's about the overall musical tradition, which is 90% songs.

Not sure what you've been listening to, so here's a sampling of things I'd recommend as a starting point:

Oum Kulthoum - so much music. Many people find her 50s and later music more approachable at first (clearer, more modern recordings, among other reasons). Good starting points are: Daret al Ayyam, Enta Omri, Alf Leila wa Leila, Fakarouni, il Qalb Yeshaq, Aghadan alqak, Amal hayat, Hayyart qalbi maak, Lissah fakir, Huwah Sahih, Ana fi intizarak

Ahmed Abdel Wahab
Khay Khay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzARECoMUqs
Kol da kan leh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzARECoMUqs

Farid al-Atrash
Noura Noura: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4QZo-FbEgs
Gamil Gamal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4QZo-FbEgs
Awel Hamsa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu6Dtj2Y568

Sabah Fakhri - there is a 14-volume set called "Nagham al Ams" (roughly, "melodies of yesterday" or "melodies of the past") where he does a one or more suite in each maqam. Unfortunately I don't know where you can get it. But there is a ton of his stuff on youtube.

Mohamed Abdel Mutalib (Muttalib, Mutaleb, etc - search in Arabic as well to find more)
محمد عبد المطلب
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv0AvBKOHk0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlfumyy52pQ

Sayed Darwish
سيد درويش
Ana Hawait: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-XRWwZjAVk
Shed il Hizam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xaa9oTZL22o

Of course there is tons and tons more music, maybe folks will chime in with some other favorites. It's a bit crazy to try to even pick a handful like this—you can fall down any number of rabbit holes checking out further music from these folks.






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[*] posted on 5-1-2019 at 05:36 PM


Thank you Brian. Your list is very helpful and I really appreciate it. I have listened quite a bit to Oum Kalthoum and Farid Al-Atrache, but most of the other names/songs were new to me.

I get what you are saying about the tradition being about the music itself, and not the oud in particular. In one of my other threads you mentioned the adhan (call to prayer) as an example of a maqam tradition that is probably relatively unaffected by Westernization and also hasn't been affected by the constraints of specific musical instruments. Even if the adhan is not necessarily part of this musical tradition per se (whether or not the adhan is "music" or not is a discussion in itself), it did get me thinking more about Arabic music as more of a vocal tradition of songs with instrumental accompaniment rather than something defined by strictly instrumental music (instrumental oud taqsims, etc).
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[*] posted on 5-2-2019 at 03:56 AM


Was the high tuning Targan's idea?

(I've got Targan's book of exercises - depressing to think that anyone would want to spend so much effort turning themselves into an oud-playing robot).




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[*] posted on 5-2-2019 at 05:11 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Jack_Campin  
Was the high tuning Targan's idea?

(I've got Targan's book of exercises - depressing to think that anyone would want to spend so much effort turning themselves into an oud-playing robot).


On the recordings I've heard of Targan his neva/nawa course is tuned to B natural: One step above today's Turkish tuning, two steps above Arabic. Was it his original idea? I don't know. That's a half step below F tuning. His student Jamil Bashir tuned even higher.

Do you think Targan sounded Robotic? I don't.

I also don't think that technical mastery turns a musician into a technician. Technique is there to free the artist, not to enslave. It's up to the artist what to do with the technique.
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Chris-Stephens
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[*] posted on 5-2-2019 at 06:13 PM


Realy loving the foundational insights provided in this thread.The whole idea that the musical tradition is primarily vocal, and the oud only seeks to mimic and/or accompany singers is a new perspective for me. I've only been drawn to the instrumental vast world of instrumental music. The same is true in Indian raga music, its origins are with the voice, later instruments sought to replicate and play along with singers. Still though the oud has such a long history its hard not to think that a seperate tradition of instrumental music hasn't developed in the past few thousand years. Anyway, different topic.

Follow up question, why would Nasser Houari be tuned to a primarily Iraqi style tuning?
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[*] posted on 5-2-2019 at 08:39 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Chris-Stephens  


Follow up question, why would Nasser Houari be tuned to a primarily Iraqi style tuning?


The tuning is now widespread and has been for some time now. It's everywhere. Anouar Brahem from Tunisia has used it for many years now for instance. And if he doesn't usually sound Tunisian he doesn't sound Iraqi either. And... and this is perhaps a technicality or "hairsplitting", historically it was perhaps not really an Iraqi tuning, it's just one that a famous oud player from Baghdad used and... even more hairspltting.... he (Munir Bashir) didn't actually use that exact tuning. He had his single bass course at the bottom, toward the floor, past the high ff. Check any photo or video. I know of some oud players in Baghdad who played in C tuning, but then they were Palestinians. And Bashir's teacher was from Turkey. So many influences in every type of maqam music. The deeper I look into any part of it the more any idea of anything monolithic melts away.
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[*] posted on 5-2-2019 at 10:48 PM


Omar, from this forum and a good friend of mine, is from Baghdad and he plays in C tuning. It would be interesting to get his thoughts on this as an "Iraqi" tuning. As you said Jody, I don't really consider the F tuning an Iraqi tuning (with the relatively little I know). I've long considered it something that Bashir just did and then some people followed his lead.
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Omar Al-Mufti
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[*] posted on 5-2-2019 at 11:35 PM


Hi dears. Thanks Dave.
The F tuning is actually considered to be the modern Iraqi tuning. It is relaively new, when Sharif Muhildeen Haider established the modern school in Baghdad.
The modern oud players mainly used Turkish ouds with Turkish tuning at the beginning.
Later in order to be compatible with the other arabic music instruments, they had to find a way and had to have their own compatible tuning Until that time arabic ouds had only 5 strings. What they did is that they just added thin ff strings. The classical arabic tuning fans liked the idea of having 6 strings, so they also added one, but it was the single C.
The modern oudists used turkish strings but tuned higher to meet the new tuning....this exerted higher tension and some structural problems to their turkish ouds (and the iraqi ouds that were made similar to the turkish light weight ouds, for example Ali Al Ajmi ouds), therefire the idea of having floating bridge ouds was the solution.
That is the version I know.

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Chris-Stephens
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[*] posted on 5-3-2019 at 08:11 PM


Thank you for your info about and the role Sharif Muhildeen Haider played. I hadn't heard of this influential musician! He seems to have had a lasting impact on the Iraqi oud world! I see now why high ff tuned oud is called Iraqi style by some string sellers online. So do you know which other Arabic instruments the Turkish ouds had to be compatable with, and how adding a high ff course helped the Turkish style ouds play with Arabic instruments? Were the other Arabic instruments tuned to F already?
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[*] posted on 5-4-2019 at 05:29 AM


I have been reading along for a bit, great contributions by Jody, Bryan, Omar and others. In my mind I keep thinking... Oh dear you obviously havent met and interacted with Najib...no comment. Regardless of his lack of tact, there is some explanation for this general animosity towards the high F tuning.

The decline of classical Arabic music in the 80's 90's saw the oud and other arabic instruments replaced by electronic keyboards and more pop music. At the same time munir bashir new oud playing style became popular in Europe, I am not going to say it was all marketing but Europeans liked the idea that it was something pitched as the pure and "real thing". Don't get me wrong I love Sharif muheidin haidar and Jameel bashir and some of music Omar bashir made. But then came naseer shama... He is a great musician and composer but as he became famous his approach to marketing and establishing his school of playing was detrimental to the oud in my opinion. Spread a lot of misinformation and unfortunately created thousands of robots in his school. The general public and media were not well informed and gave his style and school a lot of legitimacy and the expense I think of the traditional oud. So that the Iraqi oud in his style became the most popular amongst students in other Arab countries...example his school of oud in Cairo (the same place that saw the greatest music in history of Arabic music be composed). I think this is where resentment comes from... Just my theory but I am also guilty of feeling this way. Oversimplifyed surely but in a nutshell.

If you give me a oud tuned in F, it doesn't change my playing style which is what you noticed in the videos you shared. I have many ouds by the way and some I keep tuned in F. I agree that when playing with bands it makes the the higher registers come out clearer and I often play Bayati on G. I also agree that it makes you a bit lazy to develop second and third position playing.

So in the end... My recommendation is to buy 3 ouds :) . When you get comfortable with C tuning then you can explore Iraqi repertoire with the F string shorter scale oud. And also get a turkish oud for playing this style of music.









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Omar Al-Mufti
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[*] posted on 5-5-2019 at 04:03 PM


Hi Chris,
Honestly I cannot give you examples of other instruments tuning which oud had to comply with since I haven'tplayed any other instrument besides oud. I had heard the story that I wrote above from some Iraqi musicians and music teachers.
But I would imagine that, since we have arabic and turkish tunings, It must have something to do with the tunings and registers of the other instruments in an arabic or turkish ensembles.
Watching oud players that played with western orchestras, most if not all of them used arabic tuning. This could be another reason why the veterans of the modern Iraqi school chose the Arabic tuning, despite the fact that Sherif Muhiddin Hayder was Turkish.
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[*] posted on 5-5-2019 at 04:10 PM


Samir,
Just like you, I really respect the modern Iraqi style musicians, and many of them are good friends, but I wouldn't listen to a whole cd of that music style. I wouldn't either invest any time trying to play that style. For my taste, oud is the classical oud, Sunbaty, Qasabchy, Farid.... which is nowadays clearly well represented by Simon Shaheen.
This old beautiful school is well maintained in Palastine. Check Emil Bishara, Shafiq Shama ,Rony Sadran, Nizar Rohana, Elias Wakilah, Tayseer Elias and many others.
Even in Egypt, this school is unfortunately vanishing
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Omar Al-Mufti
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[*] posted on 5-5-2019 at 04:13 PM


https://youtu.be/JvsYAE-nKDM
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Omar Al-Mufti
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[*] posted on 5-5-2019 at 04:14 PM


https://youtu.be/Lm7i8Qk2U8I
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Omar Al-Mufti
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[*] posted on 5-5-2019 at 04:15 PM


https://youtu.be/WfM_Ji8cMJI
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Omar Al-Mufti
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[*] posted on 5-5-2019 at 04:21 PM


https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2306588062719218&id=...
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majnuunNavid
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[*] posted on 5-5-2019 at 05:58 PM


The Palestinian players are my favourite.



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Jack_Campin
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[*] posted on 5-6-2019 at 01:07 AM


Quote:
I cannot give you examples of other instruments tuning which oud had to comply with since I haven't played any other instrument besides oud. I had heard the story that I wrote above from some Iraqi musicians and music teachers.
But I would imagine that, since we have arabic and turkish tunings, It must have something to do with the tunings and registers of the other instruments in an arabic or turkish ensembles.


The obvious ones are clarinet and violin. B flat clarinet works fine doing the same sort of things as an Arabic-pitch oudist would do. The Turkish G clarinet works better if the oud is at Turkish pitch and even better with the cümbüş, a fourth higher still.

With the violin, the Arabic GCgc tuning fits the Arabic oud; the standard Western tuning of GDae emphasizes sharp keys, Turkish style.




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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 5-6-2019 at 07:42 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Jack_Campin  


With the violin, the Arabic GCgc tuning fits the Arabic oud; the standard Western tuning of GDae emphasizes sharp keys, Turkish style.


Just a clarification
— Arabic violin is usually G3 D4 G4 D5 or G3 D4 G4 C5




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