مشاهدة جميع الاصدارات : Kunuz Dar Al Kotob - 3/3

28-05-2006, 11:31
The third file is unfortunately in an *awful* technical condition, but I still believe it’s worth uploading. Please prepare your ears for *bad* khashkhasha.
This is Shaykh Sayyid al-Safti’s Zonophone version of "El-bolbol gani we-qalli" (Ahmad Ashur, Ibrahim al-Qabbani).
Zonophone Z2-102421/2/3/4
Recorded 1905, replacing the 1903 takes. Primitive quality.
Let’s us not fight about the maqam and call it rast. Sure, I would be temped to call it suznak but I admit the dulab isn’t. The first descent, on the word «el bolbol» in the madhhab, although ambiguous, seems to be in gins higaz, Safti uses it again in an inventive "el bolbol" at 1’25”, because the first sentence of the dor (leh ya hamam) is also gins higaz (2’40”), the first instrumental translation is suznak (3’00”), as well as the very final sentences, which closes the dor in this mode (12’10”). I remember that Abu Dawud in his rendition always replaced gins higaz by bayyati, which is why I (abusively?) qualified the dor as "nayruz rast", my point being that a mutrib is free to slightly alter the scales. But this is all a rather moot point, as I absolutely admit there’s hardly any higaz afterwords : the whole idea of the architecture in this piece is slowly climbing the degrees and changing the fundamental. If one considers this dor is based on rast/nawa, the development pattern is thus rast/nawa > bayyati/husayni (4’08”) > sikah/awg (6’40”)> bayyati/muhayyar (8’22”) (with occasional but rare rast/kerdan stop), then back to higaz/muhayyar and qafla rast/nawa. If you estimate (I only sing, don’t play an instrument) that it is placed lower than nawa, just adapt the whole plot to whatever degree you see the dor set on (gaharkah for instance).
Safti is really brilliant in this recording, moving and flirtatious at the same time. The opening "leh ya hamam betnawwah leh fakkarteni bel-habayeb" of the second side (3’27”) is beautiful. See how gins higaz/muhayyar is clearly replaced by bayyati/muhayyar by the instrumentalists in the lazma (3’50”), preparing for the later development of the piece, notice the slight saba/husayni accidentals in the vocal line, spotted and translated by the takht (5’10”). The transition to sikah/awg is wonderful (6’40” and following) with a delicious accidental in sikah baladi (8’02”). Safti has an admirable sentence on the letter «l» of haltara (9’48” >10’00”). As for the za3lan leh section (12’00”), it is simply divine.

الوثيقة الثالثة أقلها جودة على الصعيد التقني فتهيئوا لخشخشة حقا مزعجة.
الشيخ سيد الصفتي : دور/ البلبل جاني وقاللي، شركة زونوفون 1905
دور إبراهيم القباني على مقام راست، وتحديدا سوزناك إن شئتم، إن اعتبرنا النزلة الأولى والجملة اللحنية الأولى في الدور (ليه يا حمام) وكذلك الختام والقفلة. غير أن جنس الحجاز يكاد لا يسمع في معالجة الصفتي لهذا الدور، الذي تعتمد بنيته على الارتقاء درجة درجة وتغيير درجة الركوز صعودا من بياتي على الدرجة الثانية، وسيكاه على الثالثة وبياتي على الخامسة حتى العودة إلى جنس حجاز على الدرجة الخامسة فالقفلة.
أداء الصفتي ممتاز حقا في هذا التسجيل رغم رداءته، أسلوبه مؤثر ولعوب في آن، انتبهو إلى جملته على حرف اللام من كلمة «هلترى» وأدائه البديع لقسم «زعلان ليه»

أبو علاء
28-05-2006, 13:49
First, as far as I'm concerned you didn't commit a strategic mistake :) by leaving this recording to the end. I'm not going to say it's a better one or more precious than Hilmi's 'asli-l-gharam, but it's valuable in its own right and delightful. Remember, though, that Safti is one of my most preferred interpreters. Even from the point of view of sound quality, this recording is not the worst. In fact, I think the first of the three ('abu Dawud's Maliki) is worse than this one.
I think I could have said (I didn't have this thought earlier), without any prejudice to the quality of 'abu Dawud's performance, wouldn't I have heard Maliki 'ana 'abdak as sung by Al-harith first I would'nt have realised how great a dawr it was. I can say quite the same for El-bulbul jani. The only version thereof I heard before today was 'abu Dawud's version you put in the hakawati. But only now do I grasp the beauty of this dawr. I'm not saying that 'abu Dawud's versions have a strictly "scientific interest". But I do need such versions as those by Safti, Murad or Al-harith to correctly perceive a dawr. Are such people mere imitating performers to the original compositions or faithful reproducers of the early performances thereof? So be it. To say the least, I simply can not be in a position to appreciate "reworked" versions in all their persoanl inventivity and fantasy without having had first the chance to receive the piece in its "original form", to seize its overall thrust and structure, its logics.
You know, it would be interesting to know whether one of the questions in debate in Hamuli-'uthman era wasn't the one opposing a "classicist" school whose esthetics would be made up of such elements as continuity, linearity and globality, a sort of macro-esthetics, and a "modernist" one which privileged such a sort of micro-esthetics based on discontinuity that cares more for the beauty of small elements, the phrase rather than the sentence, the minimal unit rather than the global structure. Just an idea.
Back to the recording. I think you reviewed all the salient elements therein (yeees, that "lllll" is divine!). I do agree the first word "El-bublbul" is sung in suznak. Same for the other occurences of hijaz-suznak you've spotted. But, as a whole, if we follow Najib's criterion, I would still say this dawr is basically in rast. However, as you put it so rightly, it's not that such modal classification matters that much. This kind of debate is typical of Arab musicians and musicologists and while I don't belong to either groups, I humbly think, by focusing on such kind of subjects, they miss far more important ones.
I think there's an interesting development in jaharkah starting from min 1' 40" and which is closed by a lovely transposed qaflah kirdan (always under the assumption that the fundamental is rast nawa - I do sing as well, but I'm not at all good at this kind of game) on za'lan in min 1' 56".
What's really delighting in this interpretation is that it leaves all the required room and time to appreciate the various maqams in the various sections of the dawr and that's one of my fundamental requirements in appreciating a taqsim, a layali and/or mawwal, in particular, but even in composed or semi composed pieces. The sikah (isn't there huzam in that one?) and the muhayyar ones are a shear delight for my ears.

28-05-2006, 14:54
@ Abu Alaa' :
Now that you've been introduced to Safti's outlining of the dor, and Abu Dawud's personnal reading, you should be fully ready to receive and appreciate soon the two "real" versions of El-bolbol Gani we-Qalli [your writing "Jani" always makes me smile, it's as if I refered to the famous Tunisian song Jari ya Hammuda as "Gari ya Hammuda" :D :D ]
What I call the "real ones", and so utterly typical of their authors, is the ultimate "continuity aesthetics + architectural additions to the canvas in a composer's way" version, i.e. Shaykh Yusuf's, and the ultimate "I'll sing whatever pleases me in this dor because I'm a genius welli mesh 3agbo yeruh yequl l'abuya", the "batr mubtakir" master, i.e. Abd al-Hayy, equally fantastic although he hardly sings a third of the composed material.

أبو علاء
28-05-2006, 15:16
And I'm ready to listen. By the way, I totally agree on your classification of Manyalawi in our virtual shaping of the nahdha singing scenery.
Concerning the "g" vs "j" debate. I chose the latter in my notations for a very simple reason. When writing in Arabic, we don't have a specific scriptural form to transcribe the Egyptian "gim" and the character used is the standard "gim" one.:) Moreover, the Egyptians themselves revert to the standard "gim" as soon as they have to reproduce a verse of the quran or a tradition of the prophet...etc
Now, to be more serious, I think your choice is more appropriate as it is in conformity with the commonly agreed one of the E.I. The problem is that we don't have in the table of characters in our pcs the right symbols to correctly reproduce all the Arab sounds, hence my using "kh", "dh"... and so on.

30-05-2006, 16:21
I can't wait to listen to the "real" stuff too.

Delicious rendition by the way.


أبو علاء
30-05-2006, 16:34
Folks! I've just realized something that might be insignificant but what I find amazing. The first phrase in El-bulbul jani and in particular that very El-bulbul in suznak is an exact replica of the initial phrase of the famous tahmilah rast... I don't know which came first, though, the dawr or the tahmilah.

30-05-2006, 17:09
Absolutely right.

You know, I've grown to hate you now :-)

Oh I don't know music, but here's a makam de-construction of the whole dor.

I'm not a musicologist but here's a new theory on continuity vs discontinuity esthetics in adwars.

What's next? Huh? :p

أبو علاء
30-05-2006, 17:43
Don't be silly, Najib!:) There's nothing exceptional there which goes beyond empirical observation and a relatively well grown auditive memory. The tahmilah rast thing was so obvious that I can't understand how I didn't notice it immediately. Now, if I remember well, I think 'abu Dawud doesn't sing it that way. Let's wait and see what Hilmi and Manyalawi did of it . After all, it might be that the assimilation to the tahmilah was of Safti's own thinking, in which case, my observation would be indeed insignificant.