I: Historical Context 1 CHAPTER I: THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF TURKISH ART MUSIC In the modern Republic of Turkey, the term “Turkish” hascome to mean many things. In a quest for a national identity inthe 20th century, some Turks have been led to claim equallythe civilization of the ancient Hittites and the language of thepresent Turkic tribes of Central Asia as Turkish. On the otherhand, the much closer heritage of the Ottoman period is oftenrejected by these same people, who wish to disassociatethemselves from this latter symbol of backwardness andcorruption. Turkish art music (Türk sanat musikisi) is clearly theproduct of the Ottoman civilization and, as such, suffers froma conscious opposition by those who reject that culture forideological reasons. The force of tradition has been so powerful,though, that this music continues to find superb interpretersand capacity audiences after half a century of official andunofficial suppression. The present study is an attempt to explain some aspectsof a major organizing principle of Turkish art music, theXmakam (modal) system. Because of the vitality of thecontemporary tradition, the current state of the art isemphasized. Nevertheless, a summary of the historical originsof the music at the outset should give some perspective to thesubsequent discussion. Traditional Turkish art music today draws its strengthfrom a rich past. Its vast repertoire includes compositionsnumbering in the thousands and spanning a period of at leastfive centuries. During that time, several native Turkish not-ational systems were developed to better preserve that rep-
10 Makam: Modal Practice in Turkish Art Music CHAPTER II: THE CLASSICAL TRADITION IN CONTEMPORARY PRACTICE Since this study is concerned with the makam (modal)system in the context of Turkish classical music, this chapter isdevoted to defining that genre in terms of current practice.First, it will be necessary to differentiate the classical genrefrom other types of music played today in Turkey. Next, thetypes of performances and instruments used in classical musicwill be briefly examined. And finally, the basic principles andforms of classical music will be reviewed. NonnClassical Genres In Turkey at the present, a wide variety of music can beheard. Aside from the classical genre, the following types ofnonnWestern music can be distinguished: folk, popular,seminclassical, mosque, and dervish. To some extent thesecategories overlap, yet each has its own style, forms andinstruments. All of these genres are distinct from Turkishclassical music, but each has some relationship to it. Originally, folk music meant village music. The archetypalexamples are the shepherd on the mountain playing his kaval(flute), the farm wife singing a lullaby to her child, and thegypsy musician performing at a wedding. A quasi-improvisatoryepic form for solo voice is called uzun hava, a dance tune iscalled oyun hava, and a folk song is called türkü. Each regionof Turkey has its own variants on these forms. Folk music hasa great variety of musical instruments, of which the mostcommon are: davul and zurna (bass drum and shawm),balama saz2 (longnnecked lute), kemençe (Black Sea fiddle),and darbuka (Arab vase drum). A neonfolk music style hasdeveloped in recent years for urban consumption, charact-
22 Makam: Modal Practice in Turkish Art Music CHAPTER IV: INTERVALIC STRUCTURE OF TURKISH ART MUSIC There are many structural aspects to the Turkish makamsystem, but of these, the intervalic structure is the mostfundamental. A recognized succession of intervals forms a scaleand, as Gürmeriç expresses it, a makam is first and foremosta scale. The exact size of various intervals is important becauseminute inflections of pitch are often one basis for distinctionbetween one makam and another. The microtonal differencesbetween similar scales are the source of unending debatebetween practicing musicians. Current theory of intervals, scales, and notation is almostentirely derived from the work of Yekta, Ezgi, and Arel. The firstpart of this chapter is a summary of the main points pertainingto these subjects. The remainder of the chapter is devoted toan evaluation of that theory in terms of current practice. Intervals Yekta, Ezgi, and Arel came to an agreement on the basicintervals which they said would account for the differencebetween any two adjacent tones of any scale. These basicintervals are five in number and their names are: (1) bakiye;(2) küçük mücennep; (3) büyük mücennep; (4) tanini; (5) art2kikili (Arel 1968:5). The best English terms for these wouldseem to be: (1) small half tone; (2) large half tone; (3) smallwhole tone; (4) large whole tone; (5) augmented second. Tothese we can add the koma (Pythagorean comma), which is notan interval in itself but is commonly used in Turkish theory andpractice as a discrete increment. Table I below shows thesetheoretical intervals, the rounded off value of each in commas, 1and the respective values in cents (also roundedn off).
24 Makam: Modal Practice in Turkish Art Music One of the purposes of the EzginArel notation systemwould seem to be that of bringing Turkish conventions moreinto conformity with European ones. The Turkish scale closestto the European major one would be that of the makamÇARGÂH. The fivenline Western staff without accidentals wouldtherefore represent the diatonic ÇARGÂH scale. Absolute pitchwould not be implied. All intervals represented on the Westernstaff would derive from the diatonic ÇARGÂH scale. Example 1below shows the scale of ÇARGÂH and the correspondingintervals in both commas and cents. The EzginArel notation system uses six accidentals toexpress the necessary inflections to produce the intervals of allscales from this scale: The scale shown in example 1, transposed up a fourth,will require a “5ncommanflat” accidental. Example 2 belowgives this scale (known as ACEMAÔ1RAN).*in all scales examples, whole notes are tonics, half notes, dominants
66 Makam: Modal Practice in Turkish Art Music Modulation VI: CHAPTER VI: MODULATION BETWEEN MAKAM nS The realization of the seyir of a makam, as we saw in theprevious chapter, is not a random wandering up and down agiven scale, but a purposeful melodic movement regulated byrules. A great deal of modulation from one makam to anothertakes place in Turkish art music. The rules governing mod-ulation are the subject of this chapter. Modulation occurs when, during the course of acomposition or improvisation in a given makam, a note, aphrase, or an entire passage is introduced from anothermakam. Modulation should not be confused with transposition.the latter term refers to the similarity of scales at different pitchlevels (between two separate pieces of music) in Turkish music.(See Chapter VIII: Transposed Makamns.) A “pure” statement of a given makam would be onewhich would contain no passages, no motives, nor even a singlenote from another makam. The purpose of the publishedseyir ns given in the previous chapter was to present themelodic progression of a single makam in its purest form. Modulation in some degree or another is characteristicof every formnlarge or small, instrumental or vocal, composedor improvisednin Turkish art music, with the exception of someof the very briefest and simplest pieces. In improvisation forexample, a musician who would remain blandly in the samemakam for more than, say, three minutes would be consideredto have played something “tads2z” (taste-less), or “renksiz”(colorless). Yet one would be hard put to find more than asentence or two in the literature on this subject, despite itsobvious importance.
VII: Stereotyped Phrases 125 CHAPTER VII: STEREOTYPED MOTIVES AND PHRASES A native Turkish musician can often identify the makamof a piece long before the finalis is sounded, sometimes merelyfrom the briefest of openings alone. This cognitive process wouldseem to depend to a great extent directly on a system ofstereotyped motives and phrases. Presumably, such stereotypedmelodies could not exist independently of the makamcharacteristics thus far discussed in this study: scale, melodicdirection, modulation, etc. This brief chapter attempts to answerthis question as well as others concerning stereotyped melodies.Many makamns have distinctive phrases or motives whichimmediately identify them. Some of these melodies are the“personal property” of their creators; others are “in the publicdomain.” At an informal concert one evening, I was listening to thebeginning of a taksim (improvisation) on the ney (flute). Themakam had not been announced, but after only three notes itwas apparent that it was SABÂ. Those three notes are shown asExample 84. The temporal values and the barline are intendedto suggest the melodic shape and emphasis more than literalvalues, since the original was performed in “free” rhythm. Itshould be noted that less than a tetrachord is revealed, indeed,the most characteristic note of SABÂ, Hicaz (d ), is not yetincluded. This fact suggests the possibility that very shortmotives exist which somehow contain the critical essence of amakam. This idea led me to prepare a test to determine whethersuch motives could be recognized by Turkish musicians.
134 Makam: Modal Practice in Turkish Art Music CHAPTER VIII: TESSITURA AND TRANSPOSED MAKAMnS According to the YektanEzginArel theory, every makambelongs to one of three categories: (1) basit (basic); (2)mürekkep (compound); or (3) Õed (trans-posed). This chapterexamines the nature of the soncalled “transposed” makam inboth theory and actual practice. Transposition refers to an identity or similarity ofintervalic structure between two abstract scales. Numerousexamples of transposition have been mentioned earlier in thisstudy: ÇARGÂH transposed up a fourth (ACEMAÔ¤RAN),H¤CAZ tetrachord on d (passing modulation in BEYAT¤),KÜRD¤nonnG (KÜRD¤L¤n H¤CAZKAR), etc. Transposition maybe considered in two slightly different aspects; the problemsinvolving transposition of an entire makam are more difficultthan those involving fragments. Transposed Fragments In the course of a composition, as we have alreadyseen, many modulations can take place. In an ilâhi shownearlier, the principal makam was SABÂ and the modulation wasto H¤CAZ. Neither makam was transposed, i.e., both were intheir accustomed places, on Dügâh (A). In a Õarki by DedeEfendi, also given earlier, the principal makam was BEYAT¤ (inits accustomed place). The modulation, in this case, was to“H¤CAZ onnd,” a transposed fragment. The characteristicintervals of H¤CAZ, instead of being found on Dügâh, weretransposed up a fourth to Nevâ (d). SABÂ, probably because of its distinctive intervalicstructure, is often used in such passing modulations usingtransposed fragments. It appears in many environments under
Summary 149 SUMMARY The five criteria developed in this studynintervalicstructure, sequence of tonal centers, modulation, stereotypedmelodies, and tessiturancan be used to explain the differencebetween any two makamns. Not all five of the criteria willalways be distinctive, but at least one of them should be; asthe Indian musician, Ravi Shankar, is fond of saying (aproposof the rules of the raga system). “There is nothing fixed, yetsome things are fixed.” If a composer uses a different makamname for a piece, presumably there are musical reasons whichcan be not only subjectively felt but also objectively explained.These five factors seem to be the most readily observablealthough there are probably other factors not touched on inthis study. I should hasten to point out that many of the finedistinctions between makamns mentioned in these pages arenot always and everywhere observed. The guiding principle forme has been, “What have the most respected composersdone?” and “What does Niyazi Say2n (Necdet YaÕar, KâniKaraca, etc.) say?” One does not have to look far to find ataksim (improvisation) which conforms poorly to the repertoireof its nominal makam. If one performs regularly, examples ofcompositions labeled with the “wrong” makam, e.g.,MUHAYYERnKÜRD¤ instead of KÜRDIL¤nH¤CAZKÂR, are notinfrequently encountered. It is interesting to note, however,that the musician who improvises a taksim in the “wrong”makam and the composer who mislabels the makam of hispiece both would admit the finer distinctions if pointed out tothem.