Melodic Development





Hicaz Mandira (trad.)

In the piece Hijaz Mandira there are several modulations happening. The first 14 bars revolve around the base jins of hijaz on E. Not many notes outside of this jins are used. The difference between bars 1-6 and 7-12 is that in the first 6 bars the melody lands on E, and in the next set of bars the melody lands on A, which is the ghammaz of the jins. Then in bar 14 it lands on E again to resolve that part of the melody. Then from bar 15 phrases are formed from the ghammaz A. Here ‘Ajam is played, first around the A, then around the high (octave) E. From bar 29, the melody borrows notes from jins nahawand to create a stronger downward motion back to the A, and ultimately back to the root of the primary jins hijaz on E. From bar 34 the music starts hinting towards jins nikriz by starting phrases on the D below the root note E. In bar 39 the melody lands on this note, and from here it can be seen as a modulation to jins nikriz. At the end the piece ends by going back to the tonic E. Although the note material stays the same within most of the song (sometimes C# is exchanged by C), the piece shows some characteristics of modulation and melodic development. This results in a nice journey through different jins all related to maqam hijaz. The journey can also be shown in a flow chart like this:

Futina Al-Lathi – Rima Khcheich

The song Futina Al-Lathi by Rima Khcheich displays another form of modulation. The tonic of the piece never changes; it is always a C. Nonetheless there are quite some back-and-forth modulations going on, namely between rast and nahawand. Also there are some occasions in which the composer ‘borrowed’ some notes outside of the jins to either create a stronger motion in a certain direction, or to ornament a certain note that is important to the melody at that point.

          An example of the first phenomenon is in bar 40, where the Bb is used rather than B to create a stronger motion towards the A and further down. We have seen this in the chapter on maqam rast as being very common to use jins nahawand to create a stronger downward movement.

          An example of the second type of borrowing notes from another ajnas is nicely displayed in bars 26, 27 and 28. A chromatic ornamentation of the target notes (first F via E and then G via F#) is used to make the melody really land on that note, before resolving back to the root.

Samaii Rast – Tatyos Efendi

In this piece we see some modulations of another kind. This is a Samaii, a common song form, which I will describe in further detail in the chapter Song Forms. The numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 above respectively bars 1, 10, 14 and 22 are used to indicate different verses of the song. Bars 5 to 8 (and bar 9 after the repeat) form a sort of chorus, which is repeated in between verses. The first verse has the function of exhibiting the maqam, which is rast. It stays within the realms of the primary jins of rast.  The chorus is also still within the same tonal material, so no modulations there.

            In the second verse the composer takes us to a new colour: hijaz on G. Note how the composer emphasizes this colour change immediately by playing the Ab very soon. From that point it is clear: we are in a different jins (the assumption that it’s hijaz can already be made because kurd is not that common). This can already be seen as a slight modulation, because maqam rast generally uses rast as a secondary jins as well, and in the chorus the natural A has been used already. In bar 12 the composer hints back to this natural A, reminding us that the piece is in maqam rast which has a natural A by default.

            In the 3rd verse the composer takes us to the upper register of the maqam, a high point in the composition. The colour change is apparent immediately again: no more hijaz, the natural B is back to B, and the Ab is back to A natural. In this verse, the composer highlights a few more jins, as he slowly makes his way back, resolving to the root of the piece. Bars 14 & 15 clearly are jins rast on the high C. From bar 16 the B and the E turn into full flats, and the A in bars 16 and 17 gives us a taste of bayati on G. This doesn’t last very long, because bar 18 sounds like nahawand, before going back to the primary jins of rast from bar 19 and onwards. Notice the D# in bar 18 as a chromatic ornamentation to emphasize the note E.