In this course, we will use the compositions of 16th and 17th century Ottoman composer Dimitri Kantemir to study makam and ûsül (rhythmic cycles). These are the key to understanding the aesthetics of early Ottoman music.
This course is open to any instrument, however instrumental and vocal students alike must be capable of producing the intervals (including microtones) specific to the makam system. The rebab, perhaps the oldest bowed instrument of Ottoman music, will be used as a reference. Given that staff notation will be used, basic sight reading ability will be helpful. We will also explore improvisation (taksim), attempting to emulate the distinct aesthetic atmosphere of a makam, which involves utilizing characteristic melodic phrases and maps.
At the end of this course, students will have an overall understanding of the various components that characterize early Ottoman music, a better grasp of the nuances of makam and taksim, and several compositions from the repertoire of Dimitri Kantemir.