Oud learning diary X

23/12/2015 § Leave a comment

After my practising the maqam scales fervently, Ehsan only tested me on Nahawand, and he seemed happy with that. Nevertheless, the three maqamat should be practised every day, especially since they are likely going to test me on them.

One of the most important things that happened in the lesson last Saturday was the fact that Ehsan changed the tuning of the oud from CGADGC to CFADGC, so now it is in traditional Arabic tuning. This makes things slightly more tricky when trying to play familiar pieces, but the psychological adjustments will come over time, I know this by now.

The mahur samai is improving, though the first section really needs practising more thoroughly, especially the fifth and sixth notes. It’s quite hard to go from fa dez to sol correctly, but this will have to be practised. The feel of the piece – like Haydar’s Huzzam Samai – is coming quite naturally to me. I am noticing more and more of a difference between the Turkish and Iraqi styles and should soon start developing my own interpretations of them.

I imagine the next diary entry will be more thorough – at the lesson on Saturday Ehsan gave me what looks like the hardest piece yet, a Farafaza Samai by Haydar. From memory the first and second section are quite easy, the third and fourth, on the other hard, look very tough. This is the trend with samais, so I am told, that the third and fourth section can demand a high technique from the player. I have practised nothing as much as the third section from the Haydar Huzzam Samai [which is improving more and more] but the Farafaza may take more effort.

Because of the time of year I may push the next lesson to 9th Jan. That would give me some time to progress a little with the Farafaza. Ehsan seems to think that I will have a good handle on the piece within three months, and the Mahur should definitely be a lot better by then.

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