MUSC 110: Listening Assignment 3 – Arabic Takht Ensemble

(20 points)


This assignment must be typed. Turn in a paper copy on the due date.

Listen to the example of the takht instrumental performance of a waslah which is a performance that strings together short compositions to make a longer performance. The example is on our Week 5: Middle East page on Canvas. The purpose of this exercise is to continue building your listening skills and to get better at putting what you hear into words.

The song:

Copy that url and download the song to listen too.

Below I have marked out sections for this example. For each part, describe what is happening musically in the best detail possible. You should describe aspects such as what instrument(s) is playing, how instruments are interacting or supporting each other, repetition of melodic ideas, what is happening rhythmically, and dynamics. Also identify the iqa cycles wahdah or maqsum in any given section. I have provided an example for the first section to get you started, and to show how descriptive you can be when describing one instrument.

Section 1, 0:00 – 0:58

This opening section starts with an ud taqasim. It starts with a short melodic phrase that repeats twice. Then you can hear the fast tremolo picking of the ud as it makes its way up to the higher notes, and then winds its way back down to the lower register of the instrument. So far there is no percussion present and the flow of the melody seems like it is in free rhythm. Then there is a slight pause followed by the ud playing a descending melody, from high to low. It begins to slow down and quiet down as it reaches near 56 seconds. This signals a coming change. There is another pause at 57 seconds, then a three-note phrase from low to high that brings in the rest of the ensemble.

Now for you to describe the rest in:

Section 2, 1:40 – 2:42

Section 3, 2:42 – 3:24

Section 4, 3:24 – 4:29

Section 5, 4:30 – 5:38

Section 6, 5:40 – 9:44

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