Oud learning diary XV

21/02/2016 § Leave a comment

I’ve been working with the Bayat piece over the last couple of weeks and things are going much better, in fact I’ve almost been working on it exclusively. In spite of the fact that I said in the previous entry that it was an easy piece, I am not finding it too easy. The reason for this is twofold – firstly because the rhythms in the second and third hanna are quite unusual and secondly because it flits in and out of using quartertones within the same maqam. This makes it quite hard to remember where the ‘correct’ quartertones should be.

This means that I am still having a little problem learning the piece with total accuracy. The ‘feel’ of the piece is not coming that naturally. The fourth hanna is by far the simplest and presents no problems though, with its unusual [for me at this stage anyway] change into 6/8. Interestingly enough I have noticed a trend with this piece, in that each hanna of the piece is five bars. Not all samais seem to be five bars [judging by the huzzam piece by Haydar] but they all seem to have similar lengths to the hannas. It would be good to be more versed in other styles, but clearly I should get to know a lot about the samai by the end of this academic year.

Yesterday Ehsan and I concentrated on the Bayat again, with it being nearly complete, the main issues with it can be narrowed down to two bars. In the second hanna:


And in the third:



The dotted quabers providing confusion over the rhythm. These two bars need to be straightened out before moving on. We also discussed other time signatures for samais such as 10/16 and 32/8. I asked why would anyone have time signatures such as these, to which E replied, “because the music is the most rich”. Ehsan also gave me this [rather straightforward] melody to learn and possibly improvising Iraqi style ornamentations over by next fortnight:


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