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Chris-Stephens
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[*] posted on 3-2-2020 at 05:19 PM
Rast Taqasim


Hey all! So i've been focusing my Oud listening and practicing on maqam Rast, and from the many recordings i've come across it seems that in the Arabic styles a Maqam Rast taqasim can modulate from Rast to really every other maqam. This leads me to a series of questions.. Is there an established process in that modulation? It usually has Hijaz on G and Bayati on D, Segah, Saba, Ajam, Kurd, Nahawand, etc are there on F, A, C or another interval. What makes Rast different from other maqamat in that all others can be contained in its taqasim? And a bit of hair-splitting, but if a taqasim is in Rast, are all these other maqam being modulated to still part of Rast or are they seperate but all just called Rast for simplicitys sake? Is this method of modulating to all other maqams within Rast a fairly recent phenomenon or go back pretty far in the tradition? Thanks for help understanding this fascinating aspect of Arabic music!
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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 3-2-2020 at 05:53 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Chris-Stephens  
And a bit of hair-splitting, but if a taqasim is in Rast, and all these other maqam being modulated to still part of Rast or are they seperate but all just called Rast for simplicitys sake?


As I understand it, IF I understand it, they are separate and are not called Rast. A modulation is a modulation. When the side trip is over one returns to the main journey, which in the case of Rast, is Rast. Now it's called Rast.
On the other hand if one happens to be the idiot who created my computer's spell checker, Rast is never called Rast. It's called Last or East.
The entire performance however would be called Taqsim Rast for simplicity's sake, yes. It's understood that the opening and closing jins will be Rast. Most modulations will take place in the second jins. This is expected.
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 3-2-2020 at 10:05 PM


Hey Chris!
You should pick up Inside Arabic Music, they do a really great job of explaining how thing work.

The gist is that "maqams" in Arabic music are really made up of combinations of jins behavior, and that modulation is part of the music.
So there are a number of modulations that are typical of Rast, some that are common but optional, some that are rare or unusual.

Jody's explanation is true enough, but I think the conception of what a maqam is in the first place kind of needs some refinement.
To use a Western example: "Fly Me to the Moon" has VI7 (instead of (VIm7) and III7 (instead of IIIm7) in it but it's still in a major key. "All of Me" has III7, II7 and IVm, but again is still in a major key. All of those chords are outside the key, but are very commonly occurring secondary chords.

Likewise, Rast commonly has hijaz on 5, Nahawand on 5, Jiharkah on 8, and Saba on 6. It also can frequently have sikah/huzam on 3, bayati on 5, saba on 5, and sikah beledi on 8. They're modulations, but you're still in Rast overall. Modulation to the various ajnas doesn't mean that you'd say that the maqam changed, just the jins.
But you could have a full modulation that results in a new maqam; this would usually be if you had a whole section where the base jins changed. In that case, you'd more likely describe the maqam as having changed to a new maqam.

To address some of your specific observations, just because there is a bayati phrase on D, I wouldn't say that it has modulated, any more than a phrase in western music that ends on V has modulated. Just because a phrase stops on or emphasizes a particular note it may not be a modulation. Rast doesn't really ever fully modulate to bayati D, at least that I'm aware of. But it's common to have a Rast phrase where D is a note of emphasis.

Rast is a flexible maqam, both it and Bayati are very open in terms of the modulation possibilities, but it's more a matter of degree than something totally unique. All the maqamat are interrelated through the ajnas they contain.





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ChanningPDX
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[*] posted on 3-3-2020 at 10:33 AM


Check out this wonderful taqsim in rast from Tareq Al-Jundi. He really explores a whole host of modulations that I wouldn't have expected and makes a big meal of it.

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

I'm trying to get over noodling anxiety and be a little more bold in exploring modulation possibilities when studying how to play a taqsim, but with rast, I still play it pretty safe, e.g. modulations to suzinak, sikah, nakriz (and from there maybe to hijaz), etc.

It's from a Turkish perspective, but Eric Ederer's book "Makam and Beyond" has some enlightening information and strategies about using key notes from different ajnas as jumping off points for modulation.
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Chris-Stephens
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[*] posted on 3-3-2020 at 07:39 PM


Thanks guys! I love Tareq, glad theres so much of his amazing playing on youtube :) Thanks Brian, most of those references to western music are lost on me, but I can get the overall point based on context. What I still dont see though is why a Rast taqasim is, from my litening experience, likely to modulate into more ajnas/maqam than any other. Is that your experience as well or just happen to be what i've heard? Channings link points to that occurance splendidly, sure other taqasims modulate too but Rast seems to cover the most ground in that regard and i'm trying to understand why that is. And possibly a different discussion,but im not sure I'd be able to take a given Rast taqasim and differentiate between 1. empasis on a non-rast note 2. modulation to a non-rast jin and 3. modulation to a non-rast maqam. How does one make these distinctions? Using the linked video above for reference would be great as it is exactly the kind of taqasim i'm referring to.
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 3-3-2020 at 09:40 PM


Okay, so I quickly listened to the taqsim and analyzed how I hear it. May have missed some things—it's a long taqsim (10 minutes!) but this is a decent overview I think.

0:00-1:124 introduction - this is just a bunch of Rast material that doesn't really fit into traditional Taqsim language or structure.

1:25-2:33 Rast opening, basic maqam exposition. This is all pretty standard Rast vocabulary and development

2:35 move to dominant, Nahawand 5, emphasis on 4 (2:50) 3 (2:55), 1. These are examples of emphasis without modulation.

3:07 move to upper octave, emphasis on 7 (3:09)
3:13 Rast 8, descend to Rast 1
3:16 hint of Suznak (Rast 1 with high Ab)

3:28 Rast 8
3:58 Rast 8 with emphasis on D (9), resolving back to C (8) at 4:02
4:06 Sikah on 10 (3rd above 8)
4:12 emphasis on D (9), with Bayati phrases, resolving back to Rast 8 (4:19). You could think of these as a quick modulation but it is so quick that it's more a flavoring than anything I would consider a modulation.
4:24 Sikah 10 (Huzam) phrases, resolving briefly back to Rast 8 (4:35)

4:37 Sikah 10 phrases with full modulation to Sikah at 4:41. This actually spends enough time creating a convincing resolution that I'd call it a modulation.
5:00 Ambiguous modulation to Mukhalif Sharqi 10 (E1/2b F Gb)/Saba 9. He uses the Mukhalif Sharqi phrases to lead into Saba, this is quite clever since they share several notes.
5:11 Moving more definitively to Saba D (9)
5:19 Saba D (9)
5:43 weird stuff
5:46 Saba D (2)
5:50 Saba D (9)
5:54 weird chromatic transition
5:58 Rast 1

6:01 Rast 8
6:04 Jiharkah 8
6:54 Sikah Baladi 8
7:25 Ambiguous transition - Hijazkar 8 to Saba Delanshin 6 (clear by 7:49 it’s Saba Delanshin)

8:23 transitional material, implied Ajam 4 going to Bayati 6 (8:27-8:46)
8:47 Transitional material Ajam 4 going to Zanjouran 1 (8:54-9:10)
9:11 transitional material, Ajam 4 to Rast 1 (9:20-9:36)
9:40 move to 5, upper Rast 8, qaflah in Rast 1


All the stuff in bold is pretty typical.

So out of this, the most unusual moves are the Saba on 9 (the Saba on 2 is really just an echo of the 9), the Bayati 6, and the Zanjouran on 1.
The Saba on 6 is common, however the extent to which he develops it and further modulates to Bayati 6, especially in the low register, is a bit unusual.
The fact that he almost completely avoids Hijaz 5 and Suznak phrases is unusual. I expect this was a deliberate choice to produce an unconventional taqsim.
Usually people modulate from Jiharkah 8 to Saba Delanshin 6 or Sikah Baladi 8, but it's not super common to hear both the Saba and the Sikah (though I've heard Simon Shaheen do this too, so it's not that unusual).
Using the Ajam 4 phrases to pivot in and out of Bayati 6/Zanjouran 1/Rast 1 likewise is clever.

What I would take from this is that he is clearly trying not to produce a classical path through the maqam, and is instead making some bold and less expected choices. Still, the main architecture of the taqsim follows several conventional pathways. This wouldn't be a great taqsim to learn for someone who is trying to digest the basics of the language, he's pushing the boundaries a bit here. But if you've already digested Abdel Wahab, Qassabji, Farid, Sounbati, etc. then there's some great stuff here! Particularly I notice that he spends a fair amount of time around and above the octave C, to get into some of less common modulations.

To use Johnny Farraj's metaphor from Inside Arabic Music, he's a great driver and takes us on some scenic detours that most people don't know how to get to.




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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 3-3-2020 at 10:02 PM


Rast does seem to modulate a bit more than other maqamat; I'd say that the sheer volume of language and repertoire around Rast makes it well suited to modulation—people have a lot of pathways to choose from that have been explored in songs etc.

The other thing is that Rast occurs in a LOT of maqamat somewhere. So as a jins, it is related to a lot of different sounds already. Take a look:
Rast (Rast 1 + Rast 5) obviously
Suznak (Rast 1 + Hijaz 5)
Huzam (Sikah 1 + Hijaz 3 + Rast 6)
Jiharkah (Jiharkah 1 + Rast 5)
Bayati (Bayati 1 + Nahawand 4 + Rast 4)
Hijaz (Hijaz 1 + Nahawand 4 + Rast 4)

It just has a lot of flexibility because of the tradition. But note that it's common to modulate to Rast from Nahawand, so pretty much all of the Rast modulations are also available in Nahawand. And Rast is contained within Bayati, Hijaz, and Huzam, so a great deal of the possibilities are there as well.


Some maqamat I would suggest modulate less—Saba typically tends not to modulate a whole lot beyond the standard modulations.
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Chris-Stephens
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[*] posted on 3-4-2020 at 07:38 PM


Man really appreciate that play-by-play narration to that awesome taqasim, Brian! Thats such a great way to learn what's going on, and my suspicions were true in thinking a lot of his playing didn't have a name. Thanks for taking the time to go through that, having an info bar scrolling at the bottom should be common procedure for videos like this :)
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[*] posted on 3-6-2020 at 10:08 AM


Hi Chris,
Here is another beauty to analyze! I love how melodic this one is throughout.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm1QqdEW0FI
cheers,
Matt
ps: great breakdown Brian!
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 3-6-2020 at 10:58 AM


Quote: Originally posted by MattOud  
Hi Chris,
Here is another beauty to analyze! I love how melodic this one is throughout.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm1QqdEW0FI
cheers,
Matt
ps: great breakdown Brian!


This is a perfect exposition of a straightforward classical taqsim, demonstrating the basic path through the maqam.
Rast, Hijaz 5/Suznak (1:22), Rast 8 (2:10), Hijaz 5 again with a touch of nahawand 8, nahawand 5, a dash of bayati 5 (2:43) nahawand 5/Rast 1

His Hijaz intonation is fantastic, in keeping with the tradition instead of the westernized tuning. Such a pleasure to hear.




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majnuunNavid
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[*] posted on 3-6-2020 at 10:18 PM


Rast comes from old Persian and means "straight", also "straightforward", or "easy".

So in other words, Rast is Rast.

I have a completely outlandish and unsubstantial theory that Rast was the original proto-mode from which all other modes derived. Yegah, dugah, segah, chahargah, panjgah, sashgah, haftgah. 1st position, 2nd position, 3rd position, 4th position, etc. These positions are associated with the degrees in the scale and could be modulated to, and after shifting the tonal center to that new position, you could create other modulations from that new position depending on the anatomy of the instrument and established convention and repertoire.

So I think Rast encompasses the intervallic structure that form the basis of many maqamat and that is what makes it the proto-mode and a kind of super-interchange that connects you to other ajnas.




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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 3-7-2020 at 08:30 AM


Quote: Originally posted by majnuunNavid  
Rast comes from old Persian and means "straight", also "straightforward", or "easy".

So in other words, Rast is Rast.

I have a completely outlandish and unsubstantial theory that Rast was the original proto-mode from which all other modes derived. Yegah, dugah, segah, chahargah, panjgah, sashgah, haftgah. 1st position, 2nd position, 3rd position, 4th position, etc. These positions are associated with the degrees in the scale and could be modulated to, and after shifting the tonal center to that new position, you could create other modulations from that new position depending on the anatomy of the instrument and established convention and repertoire.

So I think Rast encompasses the intervallic structure that form the basis of many maqamat and that is what makes it the proto-mode and a kind of super-interchange that connects you to other ajnas.


Well said, Navid. I don't think that theory is outlandish at all.
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Chris-Stephens
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[*] posted on 3-7-2020 at 07:40 PM


Hey Navid, I remember talking about this before, here http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=17844#pid11...

Nice how these two topics are now merging together!
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