This course will help you acquire the tools and techniques needed to approach Arabic music as a bowed string player.
This course will mostly be taught by ear, focusing on ornamentation, microtonal intonation, modulations and bow technique. We will also discuss maqamat including Nahawand, Rast, and Bayati, examining the ways they're connected. We will practice ear training and maqam analysis by examining ajnas and listening to select pieces. We will also compose melodies in each maqam. There will be notation available to those who need it, and everyone will receive the notation and other material at the end of each class.
This course is for students who are comfortable on their bowed instruments, able to focus on the specific technique and musical nuances of Arabic music.
Day 1: Introduction and course overview.
- Defining “maqam.”
Day 2: Maqam Nahawand
- Learn a custom piece in Nahawand, written by Layth Sidiq for this course.
- Listen to “Samai Nahawand” by Mesut Cemil.
Day 3: Maqam Bayati
- Learn a custom piece in Bayati, written by Layth Sidiq for this course.
- Modulation between Bayati and Nahawand.
- Listen to “Ala Shawati Dijlah” by Saleh al-Kuwaiti.
Day 4: Maqam Rast
- Learn a custom piece in Rast, written by Layth Sidiq for this course.
- Modulation between Bayati, Nahawand and Rast.
- Listen to “Muwashhah Ya Udhaib al-Marshaf.”
- Learn how to accompany a vocalist.
Day 5: Recording + Reflection
- Go over our final piece with modulations.
- Use Soundtrap or another software to record it together in class and hear it as an ensemble.