Oriënt Express

sat 3 nov 2007 07:02 

The masters of Egypt (part 4).

In this episode attention for instrumental music. We will play rare 78 rpm records that have been collected by, among others, French professor Frédéric Lagrange versus recent improvisation and interpretations of classical instrumental pieces.
Music from the early period was generally executed by the ‘takht’ of ‘tècht’, an ensemble consisting of a lead singer and a choir of 2-4 men accompanied by the qanun (a classic Arabic plank siter), the ‘ud (Arabic Lute), the ney (Arabic Flute) and the riqq as percussion instrument. Vocal and instrumental forms were always played in a certain maqâm (modi) in one go, also called Wasla (Suite). The Wasla carries the name of the modus in which is played, for example pieces in the modus Bayyati is called a Wasla Bayyati. There is a lot of improvisation in a maqâm (modus) and heterophony is an important feature.
Instrumental forms:
1. Samaa (Semaï) or Basjraf (Pesjrev) is a Ottoman instrumental prelude with a certain rhythmic and modal development.
2. Taqasim is an improvisation on a solo instrument. In this the player gets a chance to show his virtuosity.
3. Dulab is a short instrumental introduction to show the basic maqâm. 
4. Tahmila is a semi-composed improvised instrumental piece. The melody is continuously repeated to give every musician a chance to improvise on a simple rhythm. 
For more information about different musical forms look here www.maqamworld.com