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Author: Subject: Who actually plays "Iraqi" tuning? (Fa Do Re Sol Do Fa)
majnuunNavid
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[*] posted on 9-17-2020 at 03:53 PM
Who actually plays "Iraqi" tuning? (Fa Do Re Sol Do Fa)


I have only heard about this tuning recently, and it's interesting, but I don't know anyone who actually uses this tuning?



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[*] posted on 9-19-2020 at 05:32 AM


common answer would be within the iraqi school mainly.
And I don't know why this specificity, i think it have to deal with vocal arts.
From 5 strings, some went down register adding the C, and some to the high register adding the F ? I don't know, just a thought. But i was thinking of a friend frpom east Syria who feel more confortable in his singing on F tuning.
Well
Nowadays, you will find many exemples while listening, moreover some players will use C tuning in a projet and F in another.
I think Ahmad Al Khatib use F tuning in the project Jadayel with Quatuor Bela.
I guess Said Chraibi who passed away recently, reast in peace, used it. But surely not only.
Naseer Shamma play this tuning usually.
Omar Bashir in the continuity of his father heritage play it.
Mmm..Hazem Shaheen ..ok ok he is using seven strings ouds ^^
Then i dont know but while listening, trying to play along i'm sure you will find many others

Or sometimes you will here it tune a bit higher, as Jamil Bashir did playing in G. I think to remember the album recording of Raheel el Qamar for Naseer Shamma is a tone higher




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[*] posted on 9-19-2020 at 06:19 AM


The Do instead of La is odd. But I guess it's the same as tuning base strings Do Mi instead of Do Fa. It works better sometimes for open string in certain maqams ex: Kurd



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[*] posted on 9-19-2020 at 09:11 AM


Quote: Originally posted by SamirCanada  
The Do instead of La is odd. But I guess it's the same as tuning base strings Do Mi instead of Do Fa. It works better sometimes for open string in certain maqams ex: Kurd


Having Do instead of La makes it more like the "regular" tuning, it's a transposed version of C G A d g c' (F C d g c' f').
It's not uncommon especially on old recordings, like suzidil said if it accommodates the singer's vocal range.





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[*] posted on 9-20-2020 at 09:41 AM


like the nahawand taksim for Abd el Wahab for which you shared the transcript ;)
old school is usually associated with do tuning which is not true

Quote: Originally posted by Brian Prunka  
Quote: Originally posted by SamirCanada  
The Do instead of La is odd. But I guess it's the same as tuning base strings Do Mi instead of Do Fa. It works better sometimes for open string in certain maqams ex: Kurd


Having Do instead of La makes it more like the "regular" tuning, it's a transposed version of C G A d g c' (F C d g c' f').
It's not uncommon especially on old recordings, like suzidil said if it accommodates the singer's vocal range.




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[*] posted on 9-21-2020 at 07:03 AM


Thanks everyone.

This tuning is potentially really great for Persian music and ensemble work. I need to try it sometime, but I would miss the low range.

I was thinking along similar lines that it's like CGADgc but transposed up. Very cool.

The next question is finding strings for this...




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suz_i_dil
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[*] posted on 9-21-2020 at 08:55 AM


Yes actually, all tuning work the same the same, in F , in C , in D you will get always the same intervals for the 1 to 4th course:
A D G C in C tuning
Then for the 2 bass courses which are the variables ones, like in C tuning : C E / C F / C G / D G for the common ones but as low as A for the single bass as we comonly hear with turkish players .. B F# which is nothing more than the one tone higher of a player in C playing his bass A E
I dont know if i make things clear ^^ but it works the same for f tuning.

A matter of transposition I found interesting while going from Arabic to Turkish studies.

Something to point, people oftenly says they don't like turkish tuning because it is two high. But the tuning of B F# allow to play a transpose version, which i think they call mustahzen (i'm not sure)..Which actually is lower than the usual arabic version play in rast C (on C tuning).
Check muhayyer semay for Cemil Bey, an arabic player tune in C you will oftenly here it began on D note. A turkish player tune in D but playing mustahzen, you will hear it begin in B (2nd course). Check a record from Necati Celik for exemple

Ok and another one..then i stop, but this is a way of playing directly on turkish score without making a headache. Considering your oud, anyway the tuning, as C tuned, withe the bass in A E you can play directly from the turkish score and play " mustahzen " way.
Check muhayyer saz semai, on the turkish score it begins in A (the B you hear on turkish records but it is just they tune one tone higher).

Maybe this is the origin of tonality between turkish and arabic scores ? I don't know

ANd if I want to play directly from turkish score as usual arabic way, i consider in my head my oud as tune in rast sol. The muhayeer note, A on turkish score, get to the usual D you hear from arabic players when you are using an oud tune in C. I mean my oud is tune in C on tuner, but in my head I read as it was in G..Get back to the story of intervals , it is just an habit to take. I tune for exemple my oud D G A D G C but I play from the Turkish score as if it was A D E A D G. Weird at first but this is just in my head as if I had an oud tune in C but without the C treble string

The same way you would play an arabic score in C on an oud tune in F, usually you will play rast F even if it written C on the score

with time this help, because you can play this way with any score, witthout bothering on matters of transposition

Going back to the string..sorry for this long disgression, may need paracetamol ;) but i think it is useful to work on

The most affordable and sure way i have found for strings is ordering C strings by lot of a brand i appreciate (i get a good price for it this way) and use for the F string nylon fish line, 0.5 to 0.6 mm, depending on the stringlength of your oud. I make this way because i mostly play in C.

best of luck




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[*] posted on 9-26-2020 at 03:45 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Brian Prunka  
Quote: Originally posted by SamirCanada  
The Do instead of La is odd. But I guess it's the same as tuning base strings Do Mi instead of Do Fa. It works better sometimes for open string in certain maqams ex: Kurd


Having Do instead of La makes it more like the "regular" tuning, it's a transposed version of C G A d g c' (F C d g c' f').
It's not uncommon especially on old recordings, like suzidil said if it accommodates the singer's vocal range.


Exactly.
Both Munir Bashir and Naseer Shamma use this tuning. The only difference is that Munir Bashir transposes everything a 4th so basically his rast note is a F instead of C and in this cases the open C is the equivalent of the G in a 'classical Arabic tuning'.
Naseer Shamma, on the other hand, uses the open C as the rast note, which indeed is a bit unusual.
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[*] posted on 1-10-2021 at 03:29 AM


Fa, Do, Re, Sol, Do, Fa is the standard Iraqi tuning for Floating Bridge, since 1957 - Mohammed Fadhil's patented first Floating Bridge Oud. The reason here is two fold, first being physical: floating bridge ouds work very well with mid- and high-tension strings; sound is bright, yet Cedar faces common in these ouds ensure a warm feel even in high nots. Second is to do with the range of Ajnas within the scales in Iraq; most of these have been amalgamated and/or summarised within the more mainstream maqams (e.g. Bayat in Iraq has 14 shapes - Mahmoudi, Bherzawi, Jbouri, Ibrahimi, Mkhalaf ...etc. + the standard Re Bayat, versus what is a single form of the Bayat elsewhere, often mistakenly termed Bayati, thus the finely stitched harmonic temprents within the same scale). This type of tuning is part and parcel, and therefore perfect for this intricate and very sophisticated music scheme.

Interestingly, pre-1957 floating bridge ouds made in Iraq by Mohammed Fadhil, Usta Fraj and others, employed Fa, La, Re, Sol, Do, Fa (the so-called Fa-Fa or F-F) . This then found its way elsewhere within and outside of the Arab peninsula, finding favour in Syria, then later on in Egypt, through exchanges such as the various Arab music conferences from 1964 onwards.

Music in Turkey and Iran took this modus operandi in two distinct directions, where the Turkish school opted for tweaked tuning, suitable for higher-pitched, smaller instruments, geared towards female performers in the Dawaween, whereas Iranian music took the religious chanting routes, akin with the Iraqi school, hence this tuning works beautifully there.

There's a good academic body on the origins of stringed musical instruments, the Oud in particular and the seven fundamental scales in both pre- and post- 2nd Sumerian Dynasty (c. 2334 BC & c. 1885 BC respectively), some of the most recent being Charest, 2019, van de Mieroop, 2016 and others.

Hope this helps :)
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[*] posted on 4-5-2021 at 03:15 PM


Rahim Alhaj also plays in this tuning; Makes sense as he was a student of Munir. Today I restrung my oud and began exploring this tuning.
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[*] posted on 4-5-2021 at 03:47 PM


Concerning stringing for this I do know that Rahim uses Daniel Mari arabic strings...ditches the 6th (do) string shifts the other strings up and uses the optional 00fa course in place of 1.

Today I used what was on hand. Diadario arabic and used high fa strings from a set of la bella f-f string set. (Aou80a I believe).
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[*] posted on 4-6-2021 at 12:39 AM


Many Iraqi players use it, and I've also heard some Egyptians use it. I used to! I know a few others who still do (friends of mine, none of them famous so no point name dropping...)
The main advantage I found was being able to play guitar notation more easily in the same range. But you do lose some of that oud bass sound. I found it works best on zenne oud or barbat or anything else with a smaller body where you'd lose some of the low frequencies anyway. On full-bodied ouds, I found the higher course lacks enough 'punch' sometimes to justify it (this may, as mentioned above, be solved by using a floating bridge oud).




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[*] posted on 4-6-2021 at 03:56 AM


Dusepo,

I agree with the loss of the bass...I somewhat lement the change but it has been requested by my teacher that I learn it. While I was away from my teacher for 5 years I switched to Do - do and have grown very accustomed to it and enjoy having more bass. I am using a smaller body oud with floating bridge that I got through Mikes oud shop some years back. I believe it is a Shehata apprentice oud. It came strung Fa-fa but with the 5th course La. It is handeling the the Iraqi tuning well and the string combination is doing the job...tension feels pretty equal and doesn't seem to be stressing the oud at all. I also have used Fa- fa on my Saber oud in the past which has a larger body thus more bass...this helped but yes the the higher notes were very dead. So now back with my teacher and learning Iraqi tuning I will be keeping two ouds; one in the iraqi Fa to fa and the other in Do-do. ...Having a bit of a struggle wrapping my head around that whole step between Do and Re strings though....

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[*] posted on 4-7-2021 at 11:18 AM


FCDGCF is really interesting because it helps hearing the intonation of the oldschool repertoire.

FADGCF seems to be very common today but the major third interval on the bass strings (FA) creates an impossible problem in the tuning process if you want to tune your oud be ear.

Turkish music employs a lot the natural third, so the tuning choice is very important, the presence of a tempered major third in the tuning could create unpleasant sympathetic resonance. In my case I recently moved from DF#BEAD to DABEAD for that reason, I also find that a second interval offers differrent opportunities :) but you have to get used to it.

Best.

Julien B.

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[*] posted on 4-16-2021 at 07:05 AM


I have been using the FCDGCF tuning for a couple weeks now and starting to grow more accustomed to it. Which primarily getting used to the the major second C ,D. having been a guitarist all my life using standard tuning...that major second messes with my muscle memory. Lol! But its good to stretch the brain! I had an ah ha! moments and realized I could tune my Do -do oud C,G,A,D,G,C instead of C,F,A,D,G,C like I had been. This solves my lament over loosing the bass of the C (on one oud) while keeping with the interval pattern of FCDGCF which my teacher wants me to use.

"FADGCF seems to be very common today but the major third interval on the bass strings (FA) creates an impossible problem in the tuning process if you want to tune your oud be ear." Having played with that tuning for a couple years I had not thought about that sympathetic response....makes sense to me. Thanks for that Julien.
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[*] posted on 4-17-2021 at 05:51 AM


I want to add that Jameel Ghanim used the same tuning too (Iraqi school disciple...). He used it verry well in his only recording reveries : Nahawand and Farahfaza on C and on F.

Quote:
There's a good academic body on the origins of stringed musical instruments, the Oud in particular and the seven fundamental scales in both pre- and post- 2nd Sumerian Dynasty (c. 2334 BC & c. 1885 BC respectively), some of the most recent being Charest, 2019, van de Mieroop, 2016 and others.


Dear ahmedalalousi, Thank you for the references, I'll be interested in some others that you mention, if it's possible (by U2U...) many thanks !!




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