Oud learning diary XVI

03/03/2016 § Leave a comment

The bayat samai gave me greater problems than I predicted with the two bars as noted in the last diary being particularly heard to fathom. Seeing as I won’t be, by the looks of things, being part of a Middle Eastern ensemble this term [doubly frustrating by the fact that there is one at the moment in SOAS and there wasn’t one last year] the best way to do things is to bring the ensemble to me and play along with the pieces.

I’m surprised I didn’t think of this before and it is proving very effective so far, mostly because it shows me the ways in which I have misinterpreted the pieces rhythmically. I split up the most problematic bar into quavers:


The problem with this bar is that the do comes on the sixth beat whereas it feels like it should be the re beforehand. Trying to get the ‘feel’ of a piece is an essential part in having a natural understanding in music but this feel doesn’t always come completely naturally. Sometimes, in cases such as this, one has to analyse things in ways that make the most sense to the player in order to gain a feel for the piece. The other thing which is difficult with this bar is the fact that the ninth beat comes halfway through the last do of the bar. Only by isolating the bar and putting it on a perpetual loop did I really get a feel for it:

The other thing that is the most significant was that I was treating the end of each hanna as a crotchet rather than a quaver, which it is. I think the most important thing from this exercise is what I have learned from playing in the ‘virtual ensemble’. Of course it does not compare from playing in a real one, but it is better than playing alone to the same piece since it gives ones a sense of timing and the correct rhythm, as well as other instruments within the same piece. More than anything though, it gives me a context which is sadly missing when playing the piece on one’s own. A YouTube playlist of all the best versions of these pieces may not be a bad idea.

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