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Search For A Theoretical Model Conforming To Turkish Maqam Music Practice: A Selection Of Fixed-Pitch Settings From 34-tone

Equal Temperament To The 79-tone Tuning Ozan Yarman1 Why we say “Maqam Music”, what does the term “Turkish Maqam Music” mean? First of all, at a conjuncture where we face expressions such as “Classical Turkish Music” (CTM), “Turkish Tasavvuf Music” (TTM), “Turkish Art Music” (TAM), “Traditional Turkish Art Music” (TTAM), “Turkish Folk Music” (TFM) and “Alla Turca”, each more cumbersome than the other, it is necessary to elucidate what we mean by the expression “Maqam Music”. It must be confessed that our music community lingers on a medley of concepts. As someone who received Classical Western Music formation, I am concerned by the sight I behold. What we have before us is a repertory notated on a single staff… lacking dynamics more often than not, prepared jejunely, with what instruments the scores shall be performed are not specified, there are almost no instrumental parts, no sign of instrumentation. Almost all the scores have been hastily notated in the near past. Moreover, it is not very clear which of the aforesaid categories the repertory falls into… For example, let us take the Hijaz sharki by Hammamizade İsmail Dede Efendi with the lyrics "Ey büt-i nev eda, olmuşam mübtela"… Is this sharki, which bears the characteristics of 19th Century, CTM, TAM, or TTAM? Consider, if it were to be performed by an instrumental ensemble comprising bağlama, kaval or kabak kemane also, what prevents them from being perceived as TFM? Similarly, let us look at the following works with the given lyrics: Hafız Post’s Rast “Gelse o şuh meclise, naz ü tegafül eylese”, Tanburi Mustafa Çavuş’s Hisar-Buselik “Dök zülfünü meydana gel” or Yesari Asım Ersoy’s Hijaz “Yar saçları lüle lüle”… Will they become CTM when the State Classical Turkish Music Choir performs them? Does a work acquire “artfulness” once it passes through the hands of TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Institution) that we call it “Art Music”? Or will they become TFM pieces in case the State Turkish Folk Music Ensemble renders them? Are not the listeners of these works “ordinary folk” already, that we establish a genre called Folk Music? I believe these are well-placed questions. It strikes me that we were excessively hasty in branding styles/forms differing in the slightest without the least bit of change in the texture of music as genres. Whereas, Western societies do not bother with such problems. The Classical-Contemporary genre, which encapsulates different performance styles and schools, is being transmitted to new generations via conservatories that (as the name implies) preserve the tradition, and evolves throughout history in an organic manner without severing its ties with the past. One may count every kind of performance tradition here, from violin or piano solos to
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or in Western fashion. from time to time. ud. when the “Turkish” prefix is omitted. it therefore becomes possible to evaluate our Armenian. but – just as with ClassicalContemporary Western Music – the repertory based on maqams which are more or less the equivalent of keys/modes. and because the East-West conflict still dominates a huge part of our lives. regional and popular musics such as Blues. we may offer the “Alla Turca–Alla Franca dichotomy” troubling us since eighty years. As an additional reason why we do not say “Turkish Music” straightforwardly. kemençe. no music other than “the music made by Turks” is understood. based on characteristic maqams. and that which is mostly monophonic. How much of a Westen Music can “Çıktık açık alınla on yılda her savaştan” which incites the millions be regarded? This piece is not sung by Westerners. we dub “Turkish Maqam Music” the genre that necessitates a tuning which contains more tones compared to Classical Western Music. Hence. When we say Turkish Music. Shostakovitch. be it “without maqams” the way we recognize them. twelve-tone equal temperament methodology dominates the scene due to the undisputed influence of the pianoforte since the past two hundred years.gigantic symphony orchestras and choirs. I adopt the “Maqam Music” nomenclature for this reason. World Music and Fusion type syntheses are among these. comprising many performance styles and manners. The saying “Turkish Maqam Music” ought not imply different instrumental ensembles. Rock. So great is the curiosity of the West in regards to cultures foreign to its own. Abd al-wahhab and Umm Kulthum become part of our multi-cultural identity. but our masses. that “Gamelan Orchestras” unique to Indonesia are founded in the music departments of some universities. Let us return to ourselves… It will be expedient to dissipate the confusion a little. Thereby. What of the Popular musics that are in vogue since the 1950s? Such artists like Celal İnce? Erol Büyükburç? Erkin Koray? Cahit Berkay? Barış Manço? In the end. all these artists have most certainly composed Turkish Music. Jazz. since they are the outcome of our culture before all else. regularly performed on instruments such as tanbur. borders chauvanism. 2 . In these performance traditions. Because no racial/ethnic distinction can be made between westernized modernist Turks and conservative Turks who uphold Eastern values. we may consider the works also based on maqams/dastgahs by neighbouring nations under the umbrella of “Maqam Music” – just as is the case with Brahms. Country. and Copland making ClassicalContemporary Western Music despite the fact that they belonged to different nations. As is well known. the ones most sought after are Indian and Arab (otherwise. ney. and are Turkish in origin. only saying “Turkish Music” does unfortunately nothing but confuse minds. Greek. performance styles and manners. and Jewish musicians outside of the scope of a Turkish nationalism that. Hiphop (all of which use a similar tuning system and notation due to the delimiting prevalance of guitars and electronic keyboards) and ethnic musics coming from old Western colonies to Europe and Americas should be recalled. Moreover. kaval and basically by people of Turkish origin or Turkophiles. “Oriental”) musics. kanun. Besides the Classical-Contemporary genre. bağlama. To sum up.

1999). For one thing. seems to promote a “Turkish Maqam Music” bereft of “quarter-tones”. it is necessary to develop a new theoretical model along with a proprietary notation faithfully embracing executed intervals. Saadettin Arel and Suphi Ezgi. That being the case. and thus. 32 or more frets from yegah to neva are affixed on tanburs today. and in the end. 2008).Search for a theoretical model compatible with practice It has been established on the basis of frequency measurements and analyses. and divide the remaining length to the nut into six equal parts. 11:10 are particularly used in maqams such as Uşşak. 12:11. there are also those who set forth tenacious opinions such as that the perdes have no fixedness. or to reinterpret and revise the notation at hand. Hüzzam. in other words. The 24tone Pythagorean tuning and theoretical model based on it. these intervals associated with Byzantine and Arabs and dubbed “quarter-tones” had been asserted as a pretext to reject “Alla Turca”. It has been made manifest that characteristic middle second intervals representable by such superparticular ratios (based on the formula n+1/n) and roughly corresponding to 2/3. they practically divide the octave into 72 equal parts without probably being aware of it. Fixedness of pitch In Turkish Maqam Music. Recently. and that these are not haphazard deviations (Yarman. far from being regarded as Arabic or Byzantine origin. It is not possible for us to agree with either of these arguments. not provoking the response of the “Music Reformation”. During the “Music Reformation” period of 1920s and 30s (Paçacı. that the 24-tone Pythagorean tuning is not a model suitable to express all the intervals of Turkish Maqam Music and does not suffice to compensate practice contrary to what is claimed (Karaosmanoğlu & Akkoç. Moreover. Saba. qanun-makers affix semi-tone mandals at logarithmically one twelveth of the octave by referring to tuners imported from the West. Consequently. one may perceive that it is impossible for practice not to conflict with current theory. It is interesting that the controversial theory employed in practice and education today was formed just at a time when the tradition was under attack. to assure that there is no discrepancy between what is written and what is performed. 2008). and therefore may not be learned but “passed on by way of meshk (oral instruction)”. 3/4 and 4/5 whole-tone like 13:12. it is being debated how much sharper or flatter in terms of commas should the variable degrees of maqams which are not executed as they are notated be sounded compared to the theory based on the 24-tone Pythagorean tuning called “Arel-Ezgi-Uzdilek” (AEU). et al. Karcığar. 2003). This disposition is surely due to the need to express middle second intervals not specified in current theory. whose foundations were laid by Rauf Yekta. characteristic middle second intervals peculiar to certain maqams 3 . From this state of affairs. just as there are those who say that one should never under any circumstances venture outside the boundaries of the 24 Pythagorean perdes (tones). nonconformance appears to have arisen due to the brushing aside of “quartertones” in concord with the rationale stated above (Yarman.. In the same context.

1 cents or 2/3 of a Holdrian comma.do not exist in the “Arel-Ezgi-Uzdilek” system. However. we insinuate it when explaining the theory in effect by saying that there are “9 commas in a whole-tone. its indispensability in elucidating the 6 and 7 comma middle seconds peculiar to maqams such as Uşşak. Rast. and strings show deviations from 12-tone equal temperament (tET). qanun. The first is being used since more than half a century as a theoretical tool to express how much sharper or flatter in terms of commas the variable degrees of maqams will be played (Aksoy. In Western Music too do woodwinds. Furthermore. In order to compensate for these. brass. Both are very sturdy systems. the pitches of the qanun and the tanbur remain relatively static throughout performance. be it pure or tempered. and segah-evc will always be a fifth. it should be feasible to satisfactorily approximate executed frequencies by a high resolution tone-grid. 2008). the advantages of dividing the octave into 72 equal parts becomes manifest. 53 in an octave”. Above all. compared to the Çargah of “Arel-Ezgi-Uzdilek” which is defined as C Major (Levendoğlu. In 72-tET. To discuss how useful and necessary it is to take fixedness of pitch as a basis in music education is redundant. In any event. The features of this system. Saba. On the other hand. I would like to mention a tuning I arrived at by dividing the octave into 159 parts and extracting from that 79 tones. Even if we were to accept that ney perdes are very flexible. Besides. 53-tET comprises the 24-tone Pythagorean tuning with maximum 1 cent absolute error. 72-tET. whose generator interval is 15. So. Since we are soaring about so high numbers. there will inevitably be mathematical relationships between pitches. dügah-hüseyni. in order to lay the groundwork for a theory true to Turkish Maqam Music. we see in qanuns another system. additional frets are fastened to tanburs and mandals affixed to qanuns. it becomes a fundamental goal to incline towards a “microtonal fixedness of pitch” that shuns ambiguity but allows room for flexibility. Between these two tunings. more detail is present. amongst temperaments that equally divide the octave into logarithmic parts. 2003). The latter is the elaborated version of the “12 equal semi-tones per octave methodology” that has come to be applied to qanuns due to interactions with Western Music. et al. there are differences at certain locations that amount to as much as half a comma. 1995). namely. we know of 53 and 72-tone equal temperaments. For instance. tanbur and ney are “quantized instruments”. which I implemented on a qanun manufactured by Ejder Güleç. instrumental education is geared toward 12-tET which is originally intended for keyboard instruments. That the main maqam is. and in the very least. A selection of fixed-pitch settings for Maqam Music In Turkish Maqam Music. we shall be able to say that the interval between rast-neva. If a higher resolution than 53-tET is desired. Hüzzam and Karcığar is incontestable (Yarman. as was the case in the past. are: 1. and that the 4 .. but this tuning is able to satisfactorily represent played frequencies.

7. modulation to Mahur is made possible. 1. in accordance with the international diapason 2 which comes along with the usage of Western staff notation. That there are no inconsistencies in notation and that accidental symbols are adequate for microtonal polyphony. The 79-tone tuning is a most suitable theoretical device for the transposition of scales to any degree with a maximum deviation of 8 cents at every step. 3. which is segah. and therefore. that the 3rd and 7th degrees of the Rast scale are replaced by the higher perdes buselik and mahur. and the 7th degree. 5. Right barbs raising or lowering a pitch by 2 degrees & . “Süpürde Ahenk” (C key/diapason) is taken as basis where Rast scale more or less corresponds to the white keys of the pianoforte. double sharps and double flats are 12 degrees. principal scale of this maqam is expressed as natural (nonaccidented) notes on the staff. That. That a 12-tone closed cycle is extracted for chromatic passages. Accordingly. and that it becomes possible to transpose over to every ahenk (key/diapason) on the qanun.2. Again. 4. That the 3rd degree. 8. via an uninterrupted cycle of fifths. That such procedures are repeated at sharp and flat tones as easily as on natural tones. 2 A4/La = 440 cps 5 . That myriad “middle second” intervals seen in practice are positioned between such points as dügah-segah. çargahsaba. I adopted the “Sagittal Microtonal George Secor and David Keenan (Secor & Keenan. We provide the 79-tone tuning and the traditional perdes collected in 17 zones below (Table 1). In notating the System” developed by 2006). 2. Left barbs raising or lowering a pitch by 1 degree & . Sharps and flats are always 6 degrees. It is possible additional microtonal These accidentals are: 79-tone tuning. of Rast are acquired without breaking the cycle of fifths utilized in the construction of the scale. to express every comma nuance with only three accidentals alongside customary sharps and flats. 3. the + = formula always stands. Notation is very much consistent. and the tones in between are found by adding to or subtracting from these the microtonal accidentals of the Sagittal System. Double barbs raising or lowering a pitch by 3 degrees or a quartertone & . which is evc. and neva-hisar. 6.

34-tET on the other hand. 702 and 704 cent fifths respectively.35/ 32 11/10. there are two kinds of middle seconds.660 120.36/35. just as with 53-tET. Nevertheless.000 15.13/1 2 88/81. and it is an attractive system. we partition the octave into 41 equal parts. focusing on 72-tET and beyond is unavoidable.094 30. 41-tET appears most ideal for tanburs.189 45.472 90. All of these are favourable for transpositions and polyphony. seems more compatible with the 17 traditional perdes outlook due to being divisible by this number. it might be necessary to focus on tunings “less voluminous” than 53-tET. Their generator intervals are 706.943 166. In 46-tET.566 105. however.038 181.849 150.55/54 128/125. 34tET.27/25.10 /9 6 . If asked that we choose one. choose either 34 or 41-tone equal temperament for low resolution. the frets which can be fastened are limited in number. If. These are. In academic studies. Table 1: 17 traditional perde zones in 79-tone tuning Degree 0: 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: Cents 0.16/15.12/11.283 60. if we seek more detail.But what about tanburs? No matter how long their necks are.117/112.3125/307 2. We ought to think of the bağlamas as well. Under these circumstances. Bağlamas and qanuns can too be manufactured in conformance to it. we shall preferably move up to the 79-tone tuning. we can acquire the 24-tone Pythagorean tuning within tolerable limits and obtain at least one kind of middle second.2187 /2048 15/14. 81/80 64/63. We can conceive theory and notation from the beginning accordingly (Table 2).100/99.755 135.132 159-tET 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 Zengule Zengule cluster 17 Perde Zones Rast-C Dik Rast (Sarp Rast) (Rast+irha) (nerm Şuri) Şuri Nim Zengule Ratios 1/1 126/125.28/27.256/243. 41-tET and 46-tET.22 /21 20/19.2 7/26 25/24. In that case.14/13 14/13.377 75.1 35/128 17/16. and converge on the 79tone tuning for high resolution.3 3/32 729/704.54/49 65536/59049. from small to large. I suggest that we advance in two frontiers.

64/51.830 467.41/33.17/ 14 39/32.226 211.21/ 17 31/25.25/21.075 347.019 498.40/33.27/ 20 19/14.48/35.264 377.32/ 27 32/27.100/81.491 573.981 332.170 362.19/15.208 528.509 256.27/2 2 16/13.5/4 5/4.46/ 37.23/18.113 513.13/11.125 /108 7/6 33/28.925 483.1024/729.604 271.887 316.396 558.37/28 4/3 39/29.19683/1638 4 63/52.679 603.35/26.358 392.21/16 33/25.59/47 81/64.81/70.302 543.792 301.13/10 38/29.45 /32 24/17.11/ 8 11/8.13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22: 23: 24: 25: 26: 27: 28: 29: 30: 31: 32: 33: 34: 35: 36: 37: 38: 39: 40: 196.11/9.415 241.453 407.81/ 68 6/5.774 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 Dügah-D Dik Dügah (Sarp Dügah) Nim Kürdi (Nim Nihavend) Nerm Kürdi Kürdi Dik Kürdi Nihavend Hicazi Segah Uşşaki Segah Sabai Segah Segahçe Segah-E Buselik (E*) Nişabür (Dik Nişabür) (Buselik+irh a) (Nişabür+ir ha) Nerm Çargah Çargah-F Dik Çargah (Sarp Çargah) Nim Hicaz (Nim Saba) Nerm Hicaz Hicaz Uzzal 28/25.585 588.33/ 26 14/11.49/36 26/19.8/7 144/125 37/32.642 437.698 286.547 422.32/2 5 9/7 35/27.29/21 25/18.32/23.39/ 28 7/5.9/8 9/8.17/12 7 .26/23 256/225.736 452.321 226.

396 958.1024/6 75 32/21.057 664.39/23.40/23.075 747.12/7 50/29.642 837.208 928.128/81.925 883.679 159-tET 82 84 86 88 90 93 95 97 99 101 103 105 107 109 111 113 115 117 119 121 123 125 127 129 131 8 17 Perde Zones Saba Ratios 10/7 23/16.14/9 25/16.Degree 1: 4 2: 4 3: 4 4: 4 5: 4 6: 7: 8: 9: 5 0: 1: 2: 3: 4: 5 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 0: 1: 2: 3: 6 4: 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 Cents 618.41/24.302 943.49/34 Saba cluster 16/11.245 701.69/47.8192/5625.75/49 192/125.491 973.264 777.019 898.19/12 43/27.830 867.29/19.13/8 44/27.20/13.8/5.33/20 Hisar(ek) Hüseyni-A4 Dik Hüseyni (Sarp Hüseyni) Nim Acem (Nim Dik Acem) Nerm Acem Acem 32768/19683.736 852.170 762.47/27 7/4.17/10 128/75.50/33.868 633.72/49 37/25.105/64 28/17.47/30.54/3 5 45/29.35/ 24 22/15.547 822.11/7 30/19.585 988.151 679.64/3 7 125/72.453 807.962 649.216/125.81/50.40/27 Neva-G Dik Neva (Sarp Neva) (Neva+irha) (Nerm Bayati) Bayati Nim Hisar 3/2 53/35.6561/409 6 37/23 Hisar/Hüzzam cluster 34/21.981 732.18/11.358 792.5/3 5/3.42/25.113 913.36/25.16/9 .59/38.27/16 27/16.887 716.225/128 23/13.

434 7 7 7 1049.151 1079.057 1064.17/9 256/135.23/12.13/7 28/15 15/8.774 133 135 137 139 141 143 145 147 149 151 153 Nerm Evc Evc-B Mahur (B*) Dik Mahur (Mahurek) (Mahur+irha) Evc cluster Dik Acem Sarp Acem 16/9.40 /21 21/11.962 1018.528 1139.243/128.105/53 2/1 155 (Dik Mahur+irha) 157 Nerm Gerdaniye 159 Gerdaniye-C 9 .868 6 1003.39/20.245 1094.125/64 49/25.55/28.34 0 1033.32/17.6144/3 125 2025/1024.59049/32768 29/16.623 1109.717 7 7 1124.50/27.906 1200.811 7 1154.00 0 1169.31/16 37/19.25/14 9/5.48/25 27/14.5: 6: 6 7: 6 8: 6 9: 0: 1: 2: 7 3: 4: 5: 6: 7 7: 8: 7 9: 7 1184.29/15.20/11 11/6 37/20.

Octave Gerdaniye (Dik Gerdaniye) Nerm Şehnaz Şehnaz (Dik Şehnaz) (En Dik Şehnaz) Muhayyer (Dik Muhayyer) (Nerm Sünbüle) Sünbüle/ Dik Sünbüle Tiz … Tiz … (Tiz …) Tiz … (Tiz …) (Tiz …) Tiz … Tiz … Tiz … (Tiz …) Tiz … Tiz … 1 2 2 2 ‡/Mib # ‡ Re Re Re Re Mi Mi (d) Mi (‡) Fa d 23 -27 -30 3 51-380 144 10-439 4 16 68 4 17 98 5 18 27 5 19 56 5 20 85 216 15-673 7 24 02 7 25 32 26 7 61-790 28 8 20-878 Fa ‡ Fa #/Solb Fa # So lb/d l l‡ l‡/Lab l#/Lad So So So So Fa 10 .Table 2: Traditional perdes according to 41-tone equal temperament Degree 0 1 23 34 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 1213 15 8-117 1 46 76 05 34 63 93 22 2 3 b d Cents 0 2 9 5 9-88 8 # ‡ Notes Do Do Do ‡/Reb Do Re Re d I. Octave Kaba … (Kaba …) Kaba … Kaba … (Kaba …) (Kaba …) Kaba … (Kaba …) (Kaba …) Kaba … Kaba … Kaba … (Kaba …) Kaba … (Kaba …) (Kaba …) Kaba … Kaba … Yegah (Dik Yegah) Pes Beyati Pes Hisar II. Octave Rast (Dik Rast) Şuri Zengule (Dik Zengule) (En Dik Zengule) Dügah (Dik Dügah) (Nerm Kürdi) Kürdi/Nihavend Segah Buselik-Nişabur (Nerm Çargah) Çargah (Dik Çargah) (Nerm Hicaz) Hicaz (old Saba) Uzzal-Saba Neva (Dik Neva) Beyati Hisar III.

Karaosmanoğlu. & David C.) AcemAşiran/ Dik AcemAşiran Arak Gevaşt (Dik Gevaşt) (Nerm Rast) Rast Hüseyni (Dik Hüseyni) (Nerm Acem) Acem/Dik Acem Tiz … (Tiz …) (Tiz …) Tiz … -35 36 -37 38 39 40 41 Evc Mahur (Dik Mahur) (Nerm Gerdan.31 32 33 34 07 37 9 66 9 951024 1 0541083 112 141 1 171 200 1 d d) 9 9 ‡ ‡/Sib La La La La # Sib Si( Si ‡ Do Do Si Aşiran (Dik Aşiran) (Nerm AcemAş.. K. Trans.. Ağartan.) Gerdaniye Tiz … Tiz … (Tiz …) (Tiz …) Tiz … 1 1 References Aksoy. 2. (1999). K. “Türk Musikisinde İcra-Teori Birliğini Sağlama Yolunda Bir Girişim”. 4 December. G. ISSN 1303-7013 (pending publication). 181-93.. Yarman. B. Keenan. “Cumhuriyet’in Sesli Serüveni”. Gazi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi. vol 23. O. “Makamın Tanımına Doğru”. Xenharmonikon: An Informal Journal of Experimental Music. Ankara: Gazi University Publication. D. “Klasik Türk Müziği’nde Ana Dizi Tartışması ve Çargah Makamı”. Cumhuriyet’in Sesleri. (2008). G. Türk Makam Müziği İçin 79-Sesli Düzen ve Kuram. Levendoğlu. vol. (2008). 11 . İTÜ Dergisi B. Secor. (2006). Maçka Social Establishments. “Türk makam müziği’nde nazariyat-icra örtüşmezliğine bir çözüm: 79-sesli düzen”. nr. N. “Sagittal – A Microtonal Notation System”. 10-29. Paçacı. 1999. Istanbul Technical University. Ph. M. (2003). O.. Musıkişinas. & Can Akkoç. (2003).. Thesis completed in Istanbul Technical University Turkish Music State Conservatory Musicology Department. et al. Paçacı. Presentation to 10th Müz-Dak (Türk Müziği Dernek ve Vakıfları Dayanışma Konseyi) Symposium. ed. 70-87. Boğaziçi University Turkish Music Club Publication. İstanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yayınları. 18. (1995). 2000. Yarman. D. G. O.