Arabia - Harun al-Rashid - Thikriati; Hijaz Maqam

Peace | View Score



2 Flutes (One doubling Piccolo), Oboe, English Horn, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, 4 French Horns, 2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Vibraphone, Suspended Cymbal, Tubular Bells, Crotales, Tam-Tam, Triangle, Bass Drum, Slapstick, Celesta, Crash Cymbals, Tambourine, Harp, Choir, Darabuka, Nai, Oud, Santoor, Riq, Tar, Tonbak, Strings


2 Flutes, Oboe, English Horn, 2 Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Contrabassoon, 4 French Horns, 2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Bass Trombone, Tuba, Timpani, Large Drum, Tam-Tam, Suspended Cymbal, War Drums, Tubular Bells, Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Crash Cymbals, Harp, Vocal Effects, Oud, Santoor, Darabuka, Nai, Riq, Tonbak, Dunbek, Tar, Daf, Choir, Strings


These pieces take two melodies from the Arabic musical tradition: Thikriati, a traditional Arabic melody, and one of the traditional ancient call to prayer melodies of the Hijaz Maqam. The Hijaz Maqam, named after Hijaz region of Saudi Arabia, refers to a specific way in which a particular melodic mode should be played and improvised in Arabic traditional music. Arabic violinst, Sami Abu Shumays, describes a maqam as being a “pathway among Ajins,” where a jin is “1. as a set of 3, 4, or 5 notes with specific intervals among them, 2. as a collection/repertory of melodies using those notes, and 3. as a particular mood, color, or flavor of melody.”

The peace music takes Thikriati and the call to prayer of the Hijaz Maqam and eventually turns them into an Arabic fugue in the second half of the work to give a sense of improvisation and exhilaration so common in traditional Arabic music. A careful listen to the war piece may reveal hidden allusions to entirely different Arabian world...

Below, listen to Arabic violinist, Sami Abu Shumays, talk about the Hijaz Maqam, and play examples from his Maqam Lesson Podcast (1:57 - end describes the call to prayer melody used in these leader pieces).

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