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مشاهدة جميع الاصدارات : Emotional contents of maqamat



Miriam
11-07-2011, 21:37
Dear musicians and listeners,

is there anyone who knows or could describe which emotions are connected to which maqam, say, for example, Nahawand, Bayati or Rast, or any of your favourite maqam?

When reading music theory, there seems to be a well established range of emotions and metaphores connected to each maqam, but examples seem not to be written anywhere, and I would love to understand this beyond my subjective impressions as a western listener.

Best wishes and thanks! :)

Miriam

AmrB
16-07-2011, 22:35
Hi Miriam,

Since none of the more experienced members in the forum seems to have gotten to your question, I will venture into giving you a somewhat oversimplified answer. This topic is very much contested, and has been the subject of a few discussions here in the forum, and the conclusion is: emotional associations are nothing but social conventions, whereas the maqamat themselves are pretty open to all sorts of interpretation depending on the composition. There is at least one easily justifiable conventions: Saba is sad, but you will occasionally find pieces that prove otherwise. All other Maqamat, to my knowledge, are pretty much open to anything.

One important aspect of this discussion, however, is what we exactly mean by a Maqam. If we are strictly talking about a scale, then the previous analysis applies. A useful comparison in this case would be with the Western "Modes" which, despite similar conventions, are also open to all sorts of interpretation. On the other hand, if you are talking about a certain scale in addition to a specific treatment and development, it could be different. I am in no way an expert to give you an opinion on this, but I tell you from the very limited knowledge I have acquired listening to, thinking about and discussing music in general and this particular type of music, all of the hype about the emotional associations of maqams, or any other musical forms for that matter, is nothing but pure mythology.

I hope this was of some help.

Miriam
17-07-2011, 23:49
Thank you :)
Where was it written that every myth arises from some truth?
Your answer makes perfect sense- even if it can't turn off the curiosity.
Best wishes,
Miriam

Bassio
22-10-2011, 18:16
Hi Miriam,

Since none of the more experienced members in the forum seems to have gotten to your question, I will venture into giving you a somewhat oversimplified answer. This topic is very much contested, and has been the subject of a few discussions here in the forum, and the conclusion is: emotional associations are nothing but social conventions, whereas the maqamat themselves are pretty open to all sorts of interpretation depending on the composition. There is at least one easily justifiable conventions: Saba is sad, but you will occasionally find pieces that prove otherwise. All other Maqamat, to my knowledge, are pretty much open to anything.

One important aspect of this discussion, however, is what we exactly mean by a Maqam. If we are strictly talking about a scale, then the previous analysis applies. A useful comparison in this case would be with the Western "Modes" which, despite similar conventions, are also open to all sorts of interpretation. On the other hand, if you are talking about a certain scale in addition to a specific treatment and development, it could be different. I am in no way an expert to give you an opinion on this, but I tell you from the very limited knowledge I have acquired listening to, thinking about and discussing music in general and this particular type of music, all of the hype about the emotional associations of maqams, or any other musical forms for that matter, is nothing but pure mythology.

I hope this was of some help.

I would have to agree with AmrB considering this subject. This is very subjective. However, as AmrB pointed out, I think the modulations are the key to the 'emotional content'. I would hence think that the combination of two maqams back and forth might give a certain impression. For me for example, since I listened to Western, minor was a sad mode, and so Nahawand sounded sad to me. This is very subjective.

Anyway, some say that the intervals between the notes in minor mode *in western music* have more dissonance, and this might give the brain an impression of sadness.

In general, dissonance vs consonance and tension vs release explain emotional content of music. However, since Arabic music is "non-harmonic non-polyphonic" in a standard way and is mostly monophonic/heterophonic, I wouldn't haste to say the same rules will apply to Arabic music. Although a study of the intervals between notes in different maqams and their emotional effects will certainly yield interesting results.

@Miriam
If you are really interested in this topic, you should grab a book and read about it. This is called "Psychoacoustics" look it up. Unfortunately, such science is non-existent when it comes to Arabic Music. Alas, we are always behind.