مشاهدة جميع الاصدارات : سر "القفلة" ..The secret of the "Qafla"

12-02-2008, 03:28
3amr is the one to blame because he opened this important subject

I have many questions.. as well as many opinions

My impression about this subject, I guess, will be totally different from the way you guys around here view it.

In western music, they have 'qafla' too, what is called the cadence. But what is the function or the emotional impact of the cadence in western music? Aside from the obvious function of closing a phrase or section of music.. the cadence comes with the following effects
1) decisiveness (in loud cadences that usually end with a bang.. for example)
2) tranquility (by giving a fading qafla)
3) release of tension, usually achieved by the inescapable return to the tonic.. this is the most important function of most western cadences

But look what the Arabic Qafla does: it is the total opposite!! The qafla (to quote 3amr) is like:

furnace that leaves you a burnt husk of a human being afterwards.

Very stange!! Instead of acting as a release of tension.. it is in fact can be the utmost climax of tension!! That is why you hear the audience in various recordings screaming in recordings from the effect of "saltana".

[3amr in particular must add his wisdom to this thread, because he said that hosni and zakariya ahmed are masters of qafla! I still fail to understand how he reached this opinion.]

Now my question, what is the anatomy of the qafla?
Are there different types of qafla?
Who are the masters of the qafla .. citing examples please?
Any favorite qaflas of yours?

My opinions inshaAllah later.

12-02-2008, 09:49
I fear there has been a misunderstanding, if you read carefully what I am saying, it is that Hosni and Zakariyya represent the extreme case of putting forward the whole phrase itself as the centre of attention and of emotional impact, mainly using the qafla for closure, where as most other singers would chose a balance between the sentence (clause, phrase...) and the qafla, the latter being the main representation of where vocal abilities and mastery come into the show (others incluse 'irab, bahhat, jawabat...).

In this context, Hosni and Zakariyya are the opposite of where you thought I've put them.

To address the question at hand: I would say the main function of the arabic qafla ranges between being the centre of tarab (usually in the shami school, which has very wide and heavy qaflat) where the sentence is usually simple and only serves to lead you to the main attraction (i.e. tha qafla), but with the sentences punctuated by other means of vocal expression, to other instances in which the phrase is so intense and so powerful that the qafla is just the way to end your "suffering", as usual, and as we say in arabic, khitamuhu misk, and qaflas of this type are not usually vocally astounding, but are quite solid and decisive (Zakariyya Ahmad in mawaweel, and Hosni in adwar, because Zakariyya is a completely different thing with rythmic music). And in between I would say are a school that emphasizes maqamic variation in short masterful sentences (with some fearfully long ones as a sign of saltana), usually sentences that repeat with variations of trance like quality, and accompanied by an incredibly acrobatic qafla (I wrote that with names in mind such as Manyalawi, Hilmi, Sheikh Ali Mahmoud, and Sheikh Salah Kabbara, each reflecting a section of that broad definition of the "middle way").

This whole thing is empirical, and based on what I have heard so far, and what my modest analytical abilities have managed to extract for this specific discussion.

We ought to switch to arabic soon, because this is precisely the sort of discussion where I'd want to hear what Ovide has to say about it, not to mention the others who are comfortable in english (Abu Ala2, Frederic, Abou Karam....).

أبو علاء
12-02-2008, 11:13
الحقيقة أنّي لم يسبق لي التّفكير في هذا الموضوع (موضوع القفلة)، وهو بلا ريب موضوع حريّ بالنّظر، وللوهلة الأولى أجدني متّفقا مع عمرو في تحليله العامّ ومقابلته بين جعل القفلة بؤرة التّأثير وذروة الطّرب في نهاية جملة "خفيفة الوزن" من حيث القوّة التّأثيريّة والثّراء النّغميّ وبين "بثّ" التّاثير والطّرب بثّا في سائر أجزاء الجملة وجعل القفلة "زفرة الخلاص" وفي جعله داود حسني خير ممثّل لهذا الاتّجاه الأخير ؛ ولا يمكنني أن أزيذ على ذلك الآن.

12-02-2008, 13:22
مع الملاحظة أنني في إطار مناقشة أساليب الأداء الغنائي، أي أنني أنظر هنا إلى داوود حسني بصفته مطربا في أدائه لأدوار غيره، و زكريا أحمد بصفته مغنيا للموال حصرا، مع الترابط الذي لهذا بألحان المذكورين و أدائهم في ألوان أخرى.

أعجبتني كالعادة صياغة أبو علاء للمسألة بلغته الرخيمة البليغة.

13-02-2008, 17:24
Very stange!! Instead of acting as a release of tension.. it is in fact can be the utmost climax of tension!!
This is exactly how :A. Jihad Racy proposes in his book (countering H H Touma )
very nice book Bassio i recommend it :

02-10-2008, 00:18
To answer bassio here,
I don't have enough experience with either Ali Mahmoud and Abul Ila to do comparisons.
About microtonal control of the Qafla, that is one the most important faculties of any singer of arabic music, at least worth the name, and it's one of the things most lacking in any modern singer of arabic music no matter how good his voice or training are. This is something you gain from listening to the old masters, not from any conservatory.

About Ali Mahmoud, I know him just enough to say there is nothing on earth he cannot do.
About Abul Ila, I know just enough to say this man a force of nature when it comes to projecting tarab and the subtlest of subtleties through a thick and rather unwieldy voice.

About the qaflat, it'll need some time before I can speak in detail about Abul Ilas qaflat and so on, because I have not listened that much with focus on qaflat and these details.
About a collection of qaflat for comparison, that'll take more time than I currently can manage, so I'll have to excuse myself for now.

If you're so interested in qaflat, why don't you listen to the mawlid I uploaded and tell me what you think of the qaflat there.

02-10-2008, 01:51
About Ali Mahmoud, I know him just enough to say there is nothing on earth he cannot do.

Having listened to almost every record by Ali Mo7moud obtainable, ranging from qur2an reciting to singing to ibithals, I can unreservedly say that He is an extraordinary performer. In my viewpoint Egypt hasn't given birth to a person like him as yet - not to even 3omran, who almost successfully tried to copy his famous bayati azan as he did to Mo7ammad Rif3at's siga one. However and regardless of the characteristics or the rawness of his voice, which is always secondary to me, the other aspects that complement a piece of singing such as his artistic maneuvers including maquams shifting, mosaic and throat-vibrating tunes and most of all his exemplary quaflats are truly next to none. All these aspects are mind-blowing and very staggering when you listen to Him. He almost reached perfection in everything namely, his crammed and highly commanded quaflat, maquams shifting, high and low notes tricks and lastly but not least his distinguished voice, which may not be the loveliest in his time, to say the least, but all those main aspects I mentioned will categorically offset it.

Listening to Him is the best lesson(s) you may learn in musical art. That's a sole viewpoint you may want to take it or discard it, but I would like to think that I possess a good sense to know the good from the bad from the ugly.:)

02-10-2008, 12:42
He is the master now doubt. I love it that in one of the recording he is called "Ustad el Sharq" what a perfect title.

His qaflahs in Bestenikar in A ya jiratal shi3b el yimani are something to stop at and ponder. They are impossible to mimick.

05-10-2008, 21:25
Thank you all for your replies.

There is a long list of listening tasks ahead of me.

05-10-2008, 22:00
but not least his distinguished voice, which may not be the loveliest in his time

I suppose that comes in a field where timbre is not that crucial (but always welcomed).

Ali Mahmoud aside, I am always amazed by how the art of Arabic music at that time accomodated just any sort of timbre you can imagine (a quick listen to performers in the Renaissance forum gives a good idea). On the other hand, the timbre of the performer in western music may have a devastating effect on the validity of his performance.. hmm.