Sunday, April 14, 2013

Music From Around the World: The Middle East

This week we'll be focusing on the beautiful and deeply influential music of the Middle East. We'll be listening for the monophony and heterophony we've previously studied in our travels, as well as learning some interesting new terms that define the characteristic sounds of the region. We'll be discussing how the music of this region influenced the music of surrounding areas, and we'll start learning about musical modes.

When you listen to the selection below, think about role rhythm plays in the texture of this music. Is it more or less complex than the music of the regions we've already studied?

  This week's important terms are:

1. Mode: A musical pattern. A tonal mode is a set pattern of pitches, and a rhythmic mode is a set pattern of long and short sounds.

2. Maqam: A tonal mode used in traditional Middle Eastern music. There are 72 commonly used maqams, each of which evoke a particular mood.

3. Iqa: A rhythmic mode.

4. Taqasim: An improvised section at the beginning of a piece that introduces the maqam.

5. Microtones: Pitches that fall in between the white and black keys on the piano. 

Review Terms:

1. Monophony: Everyone singing or playing the same pitches at the same time.

2. Heterophony: Everyone singing or playing the same pitches at the same time with slight variations or improvisations.

  Here is an additional sample of Middle Eastern music for your enjoyment:

Thanks for stopping by the blog today! See you at your lesson!

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