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Chapter 8 Notes

by: Amy Turk

Chapter 8 Notes MUS-22121-001

Amy Turk

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About this Document

The Middle East
Music As A World Phenomenon
Dr. Priwan Nanongkham
Class Notes
maghrib, mashriq, Africa, Egypt, Muslim, arabic, islam, adhan, sunni, shia, Sufi, taqasim, UD, buzuq, Iran, dastgan, santur, voice, chordophone, dastgah, gushen, daramad, tahrir, takht, qanun, Sufism, dhikr, judaism, shofar, cantillation, Torah, service
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amy Turk on Friday May 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MUS-22121-001 at Kent State University taught by Dr. Priwan Nanongkham in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Music As A World Phenomenon in Music at Kent State University.


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Date Created: 05/20/16
The Middle East ● ethnocentric ● the boundaries of this region are less clear cut than those of most other areas ● maghrib = north Africa ○ “the time or place of the sunset” ● mashriq = Egypt ○ “the time or place of the sunrise” ○ the east ● predominantly muslim ● arabic = the holy language of Islam ○ a musical tradition whose history is intricately linked with the spread of language ● the “cradle of civilization” ● most of Europe’s instruments can be traced to Arab sources Islam & the Arabic World ● 23% of the world’s population = a profound influence on culture Islamic Adhan, “Call to Prayer” ● vocalist performs a single melodic line ● in an Islamic context, this would not be considered singing, rather holy speech ● uttered five times daily ● the purpose of the call is to communicate a specific message ● melodically improvised to a certain degree ● free rhythm ● words are in classical Arabic ● affirms that Muhammad is the prophet of God ● sunni = the mainstream of majority branch of Islam ● shia = the minority branch of Islam that follows Muhammad’s cousin, Ali ○ are the majority in Iran & Iraq ● sufi = the mystical branch of Islam ○ seek union with God through trance ● the call to prayer serves as a reminder to make a pilgrimmage to Mecca ● most branches of Islam view music as overly sensual ○ the call to prayer is considered by muslims to be non-music Arabic Taqasim for Ud & Buzuq ● Ud = fretless, plucked pear-shaped lute that is found in Arabic music traditions ● unmetered ● melodic line seems to spin out spontaneously ● middle Eastern improvisation = an opportunity for the performer to compose, within strict boundaries, while playing ○ maqam = Arabic/Turkish mode or system of rules and expectations for composition and improvisation ● 24 pitches in an octave, with each measuring 50 cents (a way to measure sound intervals) ○ a semitone or quarter tone ● 2 of these quartertones equal one western semitone ● a performance can shift from one maquam to another ● when one musician is prominent, the other strums lightly ○ any resulting simultaneously of notes is incidental ● improvisations may occur alone or as part of a longer suite that also includes fixed compositions in meter ● an unmetered movement featuring improvisation is called a taqasim when performed by instrumentalists ○ only the most skilled can play taqasim ● islam frowns on realistic representation in art, to avoid the temptation toward idol worship Iran ● the size of Alaska ● most of the population is shia muslim ○ associated with the lower economic classes Dastgan for Santur & Voice ● Iranian classical music often has a melancholy mood ● vocal timbre is heartfelt ● begins with a stringed instrument playing a free melody in an improvisatory manner ● chordophone ○ a Persian santaur = a hammered zither ● persian music (like Arabic music) is based on an elaborate modal system ○ dastgah = officially 12, each with 7 pitches ○ a vast body of composed melodic phrases that amount to short compositions = gushen ■ each dastgah is learned by memorizing a variable number of these short compositions that can be strung together to create a longer & more complete composition ● groups of gushen are organized around specific pitches of the dastgah, allowing the player to progress from the lowest note to higher pitches ● a complete performance of a dastgah usually unfolds in several sections ○ daramad = the opening movement ■ free rhythm ■ lower-pitched ○ tahrir = free rhythm, emphasizing melismatic melodic work ● the art comes in how the gushen are joined to each other and in how they are subtly changed and elaborated ● specific gushen generally sound different from one performance to another ● value rhythmically free improvisations Egypt ● little is known about the sound of egyptian music until long after contact with Islam Takht Instrumental Ensemble ● instrumental groups play fixed compositions ● takht = typical ensemble ○ 3 to 5 players ○ most are chordophones, but at least one aerophone ● qanun = plucked zither that resembles an autoharp ● the melodic instruments perform the same melody but with slight variations, resulting in a slightly heterophonic structure ● arabic drumming is highly organized ○ in closed cycles of beats ● rhythmic modes ● work with the Arab modal system called maqam ● instruments are mostly chordophones and aerophones ● traditional ensembles play heterophonically and modernized ensembles are usually highly arranged, with varied orchestration and occasional harmony ● also accompanies dance ○ belly dance ○ dance in egypt is closely associated with religious expression ● music has the power to heal and bring people closer to God ○ the goal is to bring listeners into a state of ecstasy Sufism ● the mystical branch of Islam ● engage in activities that are prohibited by other Muslims ● a person can become one with Allah through the elimination of the ego Sufi Dhikr Ceremony ● often upbeat with an undertone of seriousness ● sound is thought to be a vital link between the spiritual and physical realms ● Jalal Al-Din Muhammad Rumi = sufi saint of islamic mysticism known for his poems and as the founder of the Mevlevi religious order ● enter a trance-like state in which they become spiritually ecstatic Judaism ● Klezmer = a European-derived dance music commonly associated with Jewish celebrations Jewish Shofar & Liturgical Cantillation ● 8 pitches ● no regular meter = “speech rhythm” ● generally syllabic ● an oral tradition ● tabernacle singers (cantors) construct melodies from a body of traditional modes and melodic formulas that can be freely interpreted ● cantillation = a kind of heightened speech that is between speaking and singing ● careful attention to sacred law ● torah = the first five books of the Bible ● sacred writings are read in heightened speech ● service = liturgical rituals that can be held several times a day ● the use of musical instruments is generally avoided, but there are exceptions ● shofar = a ritual trumpet blown to mark divisions in a service


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