I am totally blown away and deeply inspired. You all nailed the lower Jins Bayat when we sang the notes individually. You were right on key when we sang Sur Ya El. And I was stunned by how accurate and moving the 3 Mawals were – congratulations to Abe Manopla, Joey Franco, and Ovadia Sutton, great work – It takes guts to get up there and be in the spotlight. A special thanks to Maury for selflessly sharing his musical talent with us and adding new flavor to our class.
I’d like to continue focusing on and perfecting the lower Jins of Bayat, with the addition of what we’ve added to our repertoire, note 5, which also happens to be the tonic or starting & ending point for Husseini. This is the same note as “El” in Sur Ya El, so you can always sing that first verse to reach that note (and the rest of Bayat). Also pay attention to the following notes: Melech Ha’olam (4) and Le-cha Ra’ (3-2-1) –yonay (1), ezram-oram-hay-ram (1-2-3-2-1).
Below the media files is a recap and highlights of the material we covered during the technical portion of our class on the whiteboard, specifically quartertones and how they relate to note 2 of the Bayat scale. Again, consider this information gravy – you don’t need to understand it to succeed in this class. If it is confusing to you, I suggest leaving it alone and focusing instead on the music.
The exceptional growth some of you have experienced was a result of what you did between classes, not during the class. The real work takes place in your living room, listening, reading, and practicing. Keep up the great work.
Bayat Notes 1 – 5
Note: remember that note 5 is also the accent note for Husseini and “El” of “Sur Ya El”
Bayat Mawal Notes 1 – 5
Note: at 0:26 I move a quartertone up on note 2, touching on Nahawand. At 0:37 I incorporate Hijaz on top giving Bayat Shuri.
Sur Ya El (page 313 in red book) – If anyone can copy the vocals in the last few seconds of this recording, I will give them a chance to sing it solo next class.
Samai Bayati played by: Orchestra of Aleppo
Detailed Technical Review:
Pitch = A sound
Note = musical notation representing a pitch
Tone = the interval or space between pitches, creating the DNA of a Maqam or Scale
Key/Tonic = the first note in a scale
Jins/Ajnas (pl.) = A group of tones or intervals (usually resulting in a tetrachord of 4 notes) used a “pant” or “shirt” of a Maqam. For example, the Bayat scale has a lower Jins of Bayat and an upper Jins of Nahawand, while Bayat Shuri has a lower Jins Bayat and an upper Jins Hijaz (watch first section of the class for examples of those two).
Maqam/Scale = a combination of 2 or more Ajnas (plural of Jins), usually consisting of 8 notes as with Maqam Bayat) Octave = a spatial interval of 6 whole tones between two notes (ex: from C to the next C)
An Octave is an interval 6 whole tones, 12 half tones, and 24 quartertones (and usually a distance of 8 notes as in note 1 and 8 in Maqam Bayat) where the highest note is the same as the lowest note but with double the frequency (higher pitch). For example, Mahur is the same note as Rast only one Octave higher (2:1 ratio of frequency). Think of it as the same color but a different depth of shade. This is critical as we progress with Maqam Bayat and other maqamat because note 8 will be the same as note 1 just an octave higher. Review the video of the class for examples of octaves.
While a Pitch/Key/Note are the actual sounds of the Maqam scale, the tones are the spaces or intervals between them (the silent part). Thus in a scale of 8 notes there are 7 tones. In our Maqam system, those tones can be as large as a 1& ½ tone (as in between notes 2 & 3 in Maqam Hijaz) and as small as a ½ tone in between notes (as in between notes 2 & 3 in Nahawand). A quartertone is a tiny interval by which we expand or contract an existing tone. So in the example of Nahawand below, there is 1 whole tone between notes 1 and 2, and a half tone between notes 2 and 3. Shifting note 2 down ¼ tone, now shortens the first tone to a ¾ tone and expands the second tone to a 3/4 tone, making a Bayat scale (shown below as well).
Thus Maqam Nahawand, Bayat, and Kurd, can be played with exactly the same notes with the exception of note 2, and consequently the two tones between 1 & 2, and 2 & 3. Starting from Nahawand and moving note 2 down by ¼ gives you Maqam Bayat, and moving it down yet another ¼ tone gives you Maqam Kurd. The difference is so slight that it might seem impossible to discern between these 3 scales. This is where all the other elements of a Maqam come into play, such as phrasing/cadence, melodic progression, rhythm, accented notes. This in Arabic Maqamat is know as Sayir. We will learn more about these in the coming classes.