Oud learning diary XIII
24/01/2016 § Leave a comment
The lesson yesterday with Ehsan concentrated mostly on the Farafaza samai. As usual I seem to be having problems with getting the rhythm correct in some parts and this is something I should really concentrate more on improving. One of the most interesting parts of the lesson was the fact that I have been fingering the fourth hana of the piece incorrectly, playing it higher up the neck than necessary. Ehsan said that I should concentrate on playing it lower down round the centre of the fingerboard, which I find easier. He seemed to be quite pleased with my progress with the piece overall.
With regard to the tradition, I asked him why we were concentrating on samais. He said that there were many different types of pieces [longa, sirto etc] but that samai was the most commonly recognisable and it had the most variety in technique, presumably with regard to the fact that it changes time signature and maqam throughout, mostly normally – it may be worth reading up on some supporting literature of the samai.
He also stressed the importance of Haydar on the tradition, just with regard to how he advanced the discipline and that before he came along ‘Arabic people were asleep’, doing things with the oud which were beforehand unthinkable. It’s clear to me that I should concentrate on a Haydar piece if I am going to examine a samai, and preferably one which I should play in performance.
He also provided me with a new piece to play, a Bayat Samai by Al Aryran. I am, at present, completely unfamiliar with the piece but it’s nice to have one on Bayat. From what I can tell there is no high playing on the neck, the highest note being the Fa. I am curious to see where the difficulties will lie in the piece, I presume they will be rhythmic. Ehsan told me to copy the piece and hand him back the sheet music in a fortnight. I am unclear whether he was referring to photocopying though ideally I should copy it out. The piece is about fourteen staves so it would only take about one stave a day to do.
Ehsan also empahsised the importance of getting acquainted with intervallic structure and that these were the key to transposition. I should get to know the intervallic structures of all the major maqams – which was something I used to know well and I need to get back to. Particularly rast, nahawand, hijaz, saba, segah, bayat, kurd and possibly huzzam.