The Arab Music Archiving and Research foundation (AMAR), in collaboration with the Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF), presents “Sama‘ ”.
“Sama‘ ” is a show that discusses our musical heritage through comparison and analysis…
A concept by Mustafa Said.
Welcome to a new episode of “Sama‘ ”
Today we will be resuming our discussion about the dawr a‘raj, i.e. dawr composed to rhythms other than the maṣmūdī or ‘ala al-waḥda 4-pulse’ rhythms.
We have previously discussed dawr “El-ḥelū lammā in‘aṭaf” composed to the dārij 3-pulse’ rhythm.
Today we will discuss dawr “Fī zamān el-waṣl” composed to the aqsāq 9-pulse’ rhythm (aqsāq i.e. a‘raj). The lyrics of this dawr seem very similar to Ismā‘īl Bāshā Ṣabrī’s lyrics: a simple text mixing the Egyptian popular dialect and literary Arabic language, and a common meter: i.e. the first hemistich would be for example “fā‘ilātun fā‘ilātun” and the second hemistich would be “fā‘ilun mustaf‘ilun fā‘ilun”… very much like Ismā‘īl Bāshā Ṣabrī’s texts, yet we have no proof that this dawr was written by him.
It was composed by Sheikh ‘Abd al-Raḥīm al-Maslūb, a very ambiguous figure who is supposed to belong to the generation preceding Abduh al-Ḥāmūlī and ‘Uthmān’s generation, and whose dawr are supposed to comply with the structure preceding ‘Abduh al-Ḥāmūlī and Muḥammad ‘Uthmān’s evolved structure. Moreover, he liked to tease his students –if we consider the relationship between them as a guide / disciple relationship–: for example, if ‘Abduh al-Ḥāmūlī composed “El-ḥelū lammā in‘aṭaf” to the dārij, Sheikh Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Raḥīm Al-Maslūb would compose a dawr to the aqsāq; or if Muḥammad ‘Uthmān included āhāt or chose a certain dawr pattern, Sheikh ‘Abd al-Raḥīm would compose a dawr with a different pattern including tarannum, waḥāyid …etc… a strange relationship indeed.
Here are the Lyrics of the dawr:
Fī zamān el-waṣl hānnī munyatī we-aṭfī el-lahīb bi-kās
Da bi‘ād el-ḥibb hānnī we-ḥasal ‘and el-ṭabīb ayās
Rabbī yagzī man yalumnī
El-kamāl min ba‘di sa‘dak we-inta nūr ‘ēn el-gamāl kamāl
Wa-fu’ādī adduh addak we-kān anā mish add el-dalāl
Rabbī yagzī man yalumnī
Again, there are similarities…
Such as in:
“Wa-fu’ādī adduh addak” that includes a play on words: “Wa-fu’ādī qaddahu” (the bed of my heart) is “addak” i.e. your “qadd” (your bed).
…Since Ismā‘īl Bāshā Ṣabrī did include plays on words
Such as in:
“Ṭaraqtu al-bāb ḥatta kalla matnī, fa-lammā kalla matnī kallamatnī”: “kalla matnī” (my arm ached… from knocking at the door). “fa-lammā kalla matnī kallamatnī” (when my arm got tired from knocking, she answered me / she talked to me).
Ismā‘īl Bāshā Ṣabrī’s poetry included such play on words in a mawwāl style, which may imply that he is the composer of this dawr.
This dawr was composed to the ‘ushshāq maqām that, according to the Sheikh’s description, was derived from the dūkāh, a maqām derived from the bayyātī, by altering the sīkāh note and replacing it with the būsalīk aspect –thus called in Turkey– and that is closer to the strong jins i.e. 1 / ½ / 1, one tone and a semitone, while neither the tone or the semitone are strong… A descending jahārkāh and a major tone between the jahārkāh and the nawa…etc. Anyway, this is not the point…
Today, we have two recordings:
The first recording is of Sheikh Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī made by Gramophone –who signed a monopoly contract with him in 1907 – during Sheikh Yūsuf’s second recording campaign in 1908. He is accompanied by takht Muḥammad al-‘Aqqād (qānūn), Ibrāhīm Sahlūn (kamān), ‘Alī ‘Abduh Ṣāliḥ (nāy), and Muḥammad Abū Kāmil al-raqqāq (percussions).
The second recording is of Zakī Murād made around 1920 by Odeon. He is accompanied by takht Sāmī Afandī al-Shawwā (violin), ‘Abd al-Ḥamīd al-Quḍḍābī (qānūn), and Muḥmūd Raḥmī (percussions).
We can clearly notice the influence of the first recording on the second, i.e. Zakī Afandī Murād was very clearly influenced by Sheikh Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī’s recording made around 12 years earlier. He had obviously heard it and was influenced by it.
We will now listen to the madhhab performed by Sheikh Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī, then by Zakī Murād…
We have heard both versions of the madhhab:
Sheikh Yūsuf’s performance is very cautious and leaves space for the takht while Zakī Murād’s performance is very impish –even though Sheikh Yūsuf is known to give impish performances.
Zakī Murād’s conclusion includes theatrical āhāt in the madhhab. They ended the first side and started the second with impish ornamentations.
Sheikh Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī seems to be unaccustomed to improvising to the aqsāq rhythm, even though he does not fail when he improvises. Still, he is clearly uncomfortable with this improvisation… Maybe, he simply did not want those who would listen to his recording to say that Sheikh Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī failed in this rhythm.
While Zakī Murād had clearly developed his own style, and had obviously heard Sheikh Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī’s recording that influenced his performance. Yet, despite this influence, he did not challenge him. He performed with simplicity, following the Sheikh’s way, not the Afandī’s… Sheikh Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī’s performance would have possibly resembled Zakī Murād’s if he had sung the dawr 12 years later.
To illustrate these words, let us listen to part of the tafrīd section, i.e. the peak of the tarannum preceding the layālī.
At the peak of the tafrīd, Sheikh Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī sings the maqām’s jawāb then uses the madhhab’s melody to go up to the layālī and sing them to the bayyātī / ḥusaynī: the peak of the tafrīd is to the ‘ushshāq / muḥayyar, then Sheikh Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī must go to the bayyātī / ḥusaynī to sing the tarannum. He goes down completely and uses the madhhab’s melody.
Whereas Zakī Murād remains at the peak and takes the bayyātī from the peak in order to sing the layālī.
… An indication of Sheikh Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī’s discomfort as to improvising to the aqsāq.
Let us listen to both recordings.
This helps us confirm that, during a certain period, discs were also a means to memorize and to learn, besides being a means to listen.
Let us continue with the layālī:
Sheikh Yūsuf excels as usual, singing the dawr’s layālī in his own style. He remained stable and complied with the rhythm and performed beautiful salṭana and ṭarab.
Zakī Murād’s performance of salṭana is different: it resembles ‘Abd al-Ḥayy Ḥilmī’s simple performance yet added to Murād’s impishness.
Let us listen to the tarannum performed by Sheikh Yūsuf and by Zakī Murād.
The tarannum is not followed by waḥāyid or by anything else. They went directly to the conclusion… another reminder of Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Raḥīm Al-Maslūb’s simple style.
Let us listen first to Sheikh Yūsuf’s complete recording of dawr “Fī zamān el-waṣl”. As mentioned previously, the recording was made in 1908 by Gramophone. Sheikh Yūsuf is accompanied by the takht of Muḥammad al-‘Aqqād, Ibrāhīm Sahlūn, ‘Alī ‘Abduh Ṣāliḥ, and Muḥammad Abū Kāmil al-raqqāq, and by his son Ḥasan Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī as a member of the biṭāna that includes another person singing the qarār at the end of the recording.
Here are some remarks: the recording starts with the “ ‘Abbās March” played as a musical introduction to the dawr, followed by taqsīm layālī ‘ala al-waḥda to the bamb in a dialogue between Sheikh Yūsuf and Muḥammad Afandī al-‘Aqqād. The dawr is followed by a conclusion of beautiful violin taqsīm played by Ibrāhīm Sahlūn.
In his recording made by Odeon no less than 12 years after the first recording, Zakī Murād is accompanied by the takht of Sāmī al-Shawwā, ‘Abd al-Ḥamīd al-Quḍḍābī, and Maḥmūd Raḥmī. The biṭāna member singing the jawāb is unknown.
In fact, the role of the biṭāna in Zakī Murād’s performances is not as important as it is in Sheikh Yūsuf’s. Zakī Murād sings the dawr almost without the biṭāna. This highlights the difference between Afandī and Sheikh, the latter relying on the biṭāna they are accustomed to singing with because of the dhikr ceremonies, while the Afandī rely more on solo singing, thus the disc does not cite the members of the biṭāna.
This of course does not reflect live performances: Zakī Murād surely sang accompanied by a biṭāna during his concerts…
Here are some other remarks: the recording starts with a dūlāb to the ‘ushshāq maqām, followed by taqsīm layālī. It is unclear whether the latter are to the aqsāq or to the bamb: the percussion instrument plays aqsāq while ‘Abd al-Ḥamīd al-Quḍḍābī’s qānūn and Zakī Murād’s singing –because of the influence of Sheikh Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī’s recording– start to the bamb, but they soon shift to the aqsāq and resume the dawr.
Note that the dialogue between Zakī Murād and the instrumentalists during the singing section is very rich while the interpretation is very limited, unlike the performance of Sheikh Yūsuf who leaves space for interpretation while the dialogue is almost inexistent during the singing section in his performance.
After the dūlāb and the taqsīm layālī, he sings the dawr followed by a violin taqsīma concluding the disc and played by Sāmī al-Shawwā whose performance is influenced by Ibrāhīm Sahlūn’s taqsīma in Sheikh Yūsuf’s recording. This constitutes another indication of the first recording’s influence on the second recording. Yet, Zakī Murād greets Sāmī al-Shawwā and ‘Abd al-Ḥamīd al-Quḍḍābī at the end of the recording, while Sheikh Yūsuf al-Manyalāwī leaves this task to the muṭayyabātī (informal member of the band who drives the mood of the audience).
Let us listen to dawr “Fī zamān el-waṣl” performed by Zakī Murād.
Dear listeners, we have reached the end of today’s episode of “Sama‘ ”.
We will meet again in a new episode to resume our discussion about the dawr a‘raj.
“Sama‘ ” was presented to you by AMAR.