Note: Before you look at this project, you can read my research regarding the dominant here.
Project 14 is about creating a piece within which the dominant is prolonged and varied as long as possible before its final resolution into the tonic.
Here is the short piece I composed:
You can find and listen to its audio version below:
Continue reading “Project 14: Improvisation on a Dominant”
Note: You can take a look at the research I did about Elizabethan music, and the one Bach, although these aren’t really connected to this exercise, since I mostly use the old knowledge I had, when I studied Fux and other polyphonic classics.
Here is my exercise:
Click here to download the audio.
Continue reading “Three-part Polyphonic Exercise”
The previous post introduced the Middle Eastern traditions and their modes with some basic notion. Here I will concentrate on and write specifically about the Arabic system.
I will first start with the building blocks of the modes – jins or ajnas in plural, which I also mentioned in the previous part of my research. The Arabic modes, which are heptatonic, are made of two sets – upper and lower. These can be joined on the same note – conjunct, be separated – disjunct, or overlap. It is based on the lower jins that maqamat are classified into families or branches. (Gu, 2014: 105) While jins are usually defined by tetrachords, there are some reasons to use trichords.
In case of Ajam and Jiharkah, this is because the three of their notes may be enough to convey the mood of maqam. Both of these are similar to the first three notes of the Western major scale. (Fig. 1)
Fig. 1. Ajam and Jiharkah trichords Continue reading “Example 3 Research, Part 2: Arabic Maqamat”
In the introductory post, I mentioned how the first pentatonic example I wrote, combined with the free flow of the melody, somehow ended up resembling a Western chant, which inspired me to start this research and brought me to a stream of scholarly thought, where pentatonic scale is seen as the underlying framework of the Gregorian chant.
This link is not surprising, since, as I’ve mentioned before, pentatonic scale is common to early cultures through the world. Beside the Far Eastern and Celtic cultures, Engel (1870: 138, 153-57), Gavaert (1875: 4-5), Helmholtz (1890: 257-258), Riemann (1916), Sachs (1943: 204, 218-221) and others suggest its relationship in the antiquity with the West and the Middle East, including the Greek, Assyrian and Egyptian music. Also, authors like Szabolcsi (1948: 309-13) and Sendrey (1969: 212) argue that early Hebraic melodies appeared to have been based largely on the pentatonic scale. Furthermore, Glantz (2008: 192-193) points out that the Nusach service for the weekday morning Amidah is based on the pentatonic scale – its original mode, and his theory asserts that Ashkenazi liturgical music repertoire is almost entirely under the pentatonic scale. Continue reading “Example 1 Research, Part 5: Pentatonicism in the Gregorian Chant”