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Author: Subject: Taqsim Transcription
Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 6-10-2020 at 02:28 PM
Taqsim Transcription


Hey Mikeoudis!

I'm trying something new. I know that for many oud players, it's difficult to find a teacher where they live, and the cost of individual lessons can be pretty high if you're trying to study regularly.

I've been really lucky to be able to study with great teachers like Simon Shaheen, Charbel Rouhana and Bassam Saba, as well play with seasoned musicians in New York's Arabic music community.
So I thought I would start a newsletter where I share stuff that I've learned, my transcriptions, short lessons and tips, answer questions, rare recordings, etc.

To get it started, I wanted to share a transcription and analysis I did of a really nice taqsim in maqam Nahawand by Mohamed Abdel Wahab. It's a great learning tool.

Here you go:
Taqsim Nahawand - Mohamed Abdel Wahab








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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 6-11-2020 at 08:58 AM


Thank you for this, Brian. I have downloaded and printed the transcription. I have 2 questions.
1) what do you mean by "4 b10" etc?
2) is there an easily accessible recording of the taqsim ?
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 6-11-2020 at 09:49 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Jody Stecher  
Thank you for this, Brian. I have downloaded and printed the transcription. I have 2 questions.
1) what do you mean by "4 b10" etc?
2) is there an easily accessible recording of the taqsim ?


Hey Jody! Thanks for checking it out.

1) Each note in the maqam can be identified as an interval from the tonic, this is useful when keeping track of where modulations are, the range of various phrases etc. What I think you're referring to, is where I'm indicating the range of the phrase; the phrase is in jins Hijaz on 5, but the actual range of the phrase is from 4 to b10 (F to high Eb if we're in C). This is important because changes in the range of phrases are one of the key ways the jins develops.

2) I'm putting together another email with the recording, both in the original (F) and retuned to C, as well as slightly slower versions of both for practicing. You (and anyone else who downloaded it) should receive it later today.

cheers,
Brian






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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 6-11-2020 at 10:49 AM


Ah! Now i get it Thanks!
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Eric Stern Music
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[*] posted on 6-14-2020 at 07:39 PM


Hey Brian that is really nice and generous of you. Thanks, as always, for sharing your knowledge on this forum and now on your new newsletter!
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[*] posted on 6-20-2020 at 09:26 AM


By now I've had a chance to listen to the recording and look at the transcription and play through the first page, each a good number of times. I have some questions about the transcription please.

In the transposed C version there's a repeated figure of 5 G notes phrased as 3 plus 2 with the first note being an octave lower than the rest (which are played on the open nawa g string). There is a curved mark under and extending to the right of the low G. I am taking this to mean that this note is allowed to resonate longer than the strokes that follow. MAW's oud has short sustain but in fact it does sound like he is allowing that low G to sing longer than the nominal eighth note. Am I on the right track? Or is something else meant by that symbol?

Near the end of line 4 in the transcription there is the familiar Nahawand descent from E flat with tremolo through D and coming to rest on C. But in this case that C and the C that follows —the very next note— are in parentheses. What are the parentheses intended to convey? These two C-s are quieter than the many repeated C-s that follow. Is that the intended meaning of the parentheses? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?
Thanks!

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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 6-21-2020 at 11:42 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Jody Stecher  
By now I've had a chance to listen to the recording and look at the transcription and play through the first page, each a good number of times. I have some questions about the transcription please.

In the transposed C version there's a repeated figure of 5 G notes phrased as 3 plus 2 with the first note being an octave lower than the rest (which are played on the open nawa g string). There is a curved mark under and extending to the right of the low G. I am taking this to mean that this note is allowed to resonate longer than the strokes that follow. MAW's oud has short sustain but in fact it does sound like he is allowing that low G to sing longer than the nominal eighth note. Am I on the right track? Or is something else meant by that symbol?

Near the end of line 4 in the transcription there is the familiar Nahawand descent from E flat with tremolo through D and coming to rest on C. But in this case that C and the C that follows —the very next note— are in parentheses. What are the parentheses intended to convey? These two C-s are quieter than the many repeated C-s that follow. Is that the intended meaning of the parentheses? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?
Thanks!



Yes, Jody — you're exactly right and I'm glad you're going through it in such detail!
The mark on the low G is a "laissez vibrer" tie, which is a way of marking that a note is supposed to be allowed vibrate. It's very common on the oud, of course, and I debated whether to even notate it, but in the end I decided to include it where it seemed to clarify the intent and where it might not be obvious otherwise.
Since octave leaps often, but not always, use the technique I thought it best to mark it here.

Regarding notes in parentheses — I use those for a couple of different reasons. They essentially indicate "ghosted" notes, or notes that are subtle enough that the intent of the passage changes little whether they are included or not. Sometimes this is because they are played much more quietly, sometimes this is because the player seemed to intend them but missed actually executing them, or sometimes it is because they are lightly hammered on (though this is also marked with a slur). Since I assume people will be approaching a transcription with the recording, I figure that the exact meaning will be apparent in context (which is what you did).

Transcribing taqasim inevitably involves some "judgment" calls about exactly what to write or how to write it. I try to include the details that seem important but not overload the reader with subtleties that are confusing in notation but readily apparent with listening. So in some cases, the markings are more of a way to say "listen carefully here!"




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[*] posted on 6-21-2020 at 12:03 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Brian Prunka  

So in some cases, the markings are more of a way to say "listen carefully here!"


And that's exactly what I did. Well done! thank you.
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suz_i_dil
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[*] posted on 6-24-2020 at 01:52 AM


thanks for sharing , very generous from you, there is an obvious lack of ressources in this field.
Highly recommended ! :)

I would have pass through quicly and maybe misunderstood the nahawand murassa for a saba and the mahur for a rast. Was very interesting to work this parts, and refers then to a samay to mahur. For sure this kind of ressource open doors

measure 7 is a change of the tonic of ajam by the way ? I mean from ajam E to ajam Bb with the use of A natural toward the end ? It was not an evidence to my ear at first the A get natural at the end of the measure

Thanks again !




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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 6-24-2020 at 05:59 AM


Quote: Originally posted by suz_i_dil  
thanks for sharing , very generous from you, there is an obvious lack of ressources in this field.
Highly recommended ! :)

I would have pass through quicly and maybe misunderstood the nahawand murassa for a saba and the mahur for a rast. Was very interesting to work this parts, and refers then to a samay to mahur. For sure this kind of ressource open doors

measure 7 is a change of the tonic of ajam by the way ? I mean from ajam E to ajam Bb with the use of A natural toward the end ? It was not an evidence to my ear at first the A get natural at the end of the measure

Thanks again !


You're welcome — I'm glad to hear some folks are getting value out of it.
Of course Nahawand Murassa has some similarities with Saba, I think of them like cousins.

Regarding the A natural — this is open to interpretation, but to my ears, the tonic remains Eb and the A is just a temporary leading tone that emphasises the Bb.

This kind of thing happens so frequently and quickly that I wouldn't usually note it as a modulation, but you could call this a (very) temporary tonicization. It's the same phenomenon either way, just a question of what you call it. To me, even in m.8 it continues to sound more like the Eb is still the tonic (until the B natural).




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