Mike's Oud Forums
Not logged in [Login - Register]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: Tuning the F string differently for Rast or Bayati?
Onglon
Oud Maniac
****




Posts: 76
Registered: 3-1-2015
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-6-2020 at 12:05 PM
Tuning the F string differently for Rast or Bayati?


hi wonderful forum,

would you say that the F note is slightly different when playing the Bayati D from when playing Rast C? for example, could we say that the F note for Bayati D is an F that is in tune with the D note as minor thrid, whereas the F note for Rast C is in tune with the C note as a perfect fourth, and that these two notes are very slightly different?

i am asking because i learned to tune my oud by ear starting from high cc, and then going down each string a fourth at a time until i get to the low F string, which i used to tune as a fourth to C or cc, but now i am wondering if it is the same note if i should tune it as a minor third to the D string when playing a Bayati on D....

many thanks!
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Jody Stecher
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 1134
Registered: 11-5-2011
Location: California
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-6-2020 at 03:37 PM


I have yet to meet any two accomplished musicians who agree on when a minor third is in tune. There are so many possible variations. I don't know if the F-s in Bayati from D and Rast from C are the same exact pitch or not (I think it depends on the musical phrase being played) but I tune the low FF course so that the second harmonic (upper partial) is in tune with the high cc course. And I keep it tuned that way for the two maqamat we're talking about.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Onglon
Oud Maniac
****




Posts: 76
Registered: 3-1-2015
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-7-2020 at 01:19 AM


thank you Jody for sharing your views and experience on this.

i would like to add one element about tuning the low F string to play Bayati from D. Could we consider that we would improve the sound if we are to tune the F string as a major third to the A string (i am assuming that it is easier to hear a properly tuned major third interval)?

View user's profile View All Posts By User
Jody Stecher
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 1134
Registered: 11-5-2011
Location: California
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-7-2020 at 07:47 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Onglon  
thank you Jody for sharing your views and experience on this.

i would like to add one element about tuning the low F string to play Bayati from D. Could we consider that we would improve the sound if we are to tune the F string as a major third to the A string (i am assuming that it is easier to hear a properly tuned major third interval)?



There are too many versions of major third. They range in pitch from Turkish segah (from Rast) to the ultra-high tempered third of piano tuning. Using any of these for tuning A would likely mean that the interval between A and D was no longer a pleasant sounding fourth. Try it and you'll see what I mean.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Brian Prunka
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 2528
Registered: 1-30-2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Member Is Offline

Mood: Stringish

[*] posted on 1-7-2020 at 10:54 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Onglon  
thank you Jody for sharing your views and experience on this.

i would like to add one element about tuning the low F string to play Bayati from D. Could we consider that we would improve the sound if we are to tune the F string as a major third to the A string (i am assuming that it is easier to hear a properly tuned major third interval)?



No.
Tuning is arbitrary and culturally determined. Arabic music is melodic and not chord-based, so the specific resonances that result from pure ratio tuning don't add any particular benefit in Arabic music. Trying to rationalize or "improve" the tuning in the way that you propose is not appropriate, because the "correct" tuning is the one determined by tradition, not mathematics.

There is not simply one correct tuning, either, as it is variable regionally and across different time periods (a oft-cited example is the difference in Oum Kulthoum recordings from the 1930s and the 1960s).

The history of the oud is thus:
4 courses, tuned in pure ratio fourths (4:3). These would be kirdan, nawa, dukah, and ashiran. In contemporary tuning, these normally correspond to c', g, d, and A, respectively, however the actual pitch is unimportant and can historically be anywhere from a m3 below to a P4 higher in practice.

The two lowest courses can be tuned to the upper 4 in any manner that is convenient. Typically this is C GG, D GG, or C FF, with the strings tuned either an octave or P4 (or P11) in relation to one of the upper 4 courses.

In my experience, the F is generally considered invariable in the common maqamat, so Bayati and Rast theoretically have the same F. However, the F also traditionally has a heavy vibrato when playing bayati, so its character is substantially colored by that practice.

What you are probably noting is that the relationship between D and F is that of a Pythagorean m3 (32:27), which is rather lower than a 5-limit JI m3 derived from the D minor triad where D and A are a 3:2 P5 and the F and A are a 5:4 M3 (6:5). If playing chords, the latter is indeed more consonant (although the modern ET piano is in fact a bit closer to the Pythagorean interval)

Since the F is played wherever you put your finger, you certainly are free to play that note a bit higher in certain contexts if you desire to do so, but it is not necessarily an "improvement" if one's goal is to play Arabic music, which I would expect if you are playing bayati.

A possible wrinkle:
The "minor" scales of Nahawand and Buselik are used in Arabic music. It seems that the older tradition is primarily to play the m3 in the Pythagorean form noted above, but because of the Western influence and the ease of varying the Eb interval, sometimes Nahawand C seems to have the 3rd often played closer to the JI interval you are thinking of.
So by raising the F if playing Buselik (Nahawand D), you would approximate the sound that one hears when playing Nahawand C. This would likely be okay if one was careful not to veer into Rast territory, although if using an open F they would of course be out of tune. As will all things musical, let your ears be your guide.






View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
Onglon
Oud Maniac
****




Posts: 76
Registered: 3-1-2015
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-7-2020 at 02:45 PM


thank you Brian for your response, i will read carefully
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Onglon
Oud Maniac
****




Posts: 76
Registered: 3-1-2015
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-26-2020 at 03:22 PM


thank you very much for the responses. if i may, i have a follow-up related question:

we know that the E half flat (the sika tone) is higher when playing the Rast C maqam than when playing a Bayati D maqam. Now, we often use a bayati phrase within a Rast C maqam, for example, when we pause slightly on the D; within the context of this bayati incidental phrase, where do you play the sika tone? on the lower side to conform to the bayati phrase, or on the higher side to conform to the Rast C overall scale?

many thanks again for the knowledge.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
al-Halabi
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 348
Registered: 6-8-2005
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 1-26-2020 at 04:46 PM


You presumably want this modulation, however brief, to have the distinct flavor of bayyati, so definitely play the intervals associated with maqam bayyati, with the lower version of sikah.
View user's profile View All Posts By User

  Go To Top

Powered by XMB
XMB Forum Software © 2001-2011 The XMB Group