Friday, March 2, 2007

Maqamat - Arabic Musical Modes

When it comes to Maqam the roots are said to be from mostly Persian in their origin with the exception of Hujaz which came from the land of Hujaz. As far as the knowledge of Maqam Iraq was known to carry and drove most of the musical knowledge because of its close proximity to both of these areas. This was mostly before Islam and even after. After Islam spread more west Spain became the center for the Islamic music and where much of the knowledge of Maqamat were taught.

When it comes to understanding Maqamat the context of what is written here is about vocal Maqam. The human voice is much more important than any instrument. The musician needs to think how to make the sound on an instrument whereas a singer can spontaneously make the sound without a need for tuning.

The Maqamat are 7 in their roots or foundations. Each Maqam is said to be a street or a way. Each Maqam also has its branches or derivations and examples of this will be given later.

Example Lessons on Maqamat

In order to understand the Maqamat, it is necessary to know the scales of Arabic Music first. Here is a quick overview of the 'darajaat'or 'scales' :

Maqam Bayati - maqam used for gentleness, light joy, vitality,

Maqam Rast - masculine, power, soundness of mind,

Maqam Rast - Jawab (High Tone)

Maqam Saba - literally in Arabic, baby boy; used for sadness, tragic, lamenting, pain

Maqam Hujaz - which is named after a region in arabia; distant longing, desert, solemn,invocation

Maqam Nahawand - named after a city in Iran, resolution, seriousness, discourse

Maqam Nahawand- Jawab (High Tone)

Maqam Seeka - from the Persian for "third place", serious, love

Maqam Jiharkah -

Maqam Ajam - named after the Arabic word for "
Iranian", is used to mark happy occasions such as holidays, weddings, and other joyous occasions