Imagine: A Scientific Fantasy – or Video-Analysis from 2D to 3D on the example of a Huseynî Taksim performed by Neyzen Tevfik

This 46th video-analysis of the VIAMAP series (but the 47th to be made public – see features 3D graphic techniques as well as a short introduction explaining the scale used in the analysis. It is a demonstration of some of the possibilities offered by 3D handling of graphic analysis of melodies, on the example of a Huseynî Taksim performed by Neyzen Tevfik Kolayli, corresponding to track 11 on the CD 199 Kalan Müzik entitled Hiç’in Azâb-ı Mukaddes’i – Neyzen Tevfik (2000-2001). Note that a preliminary version was published privately February 8, 2019 on the YouTube channel of the CERMAA.

Neyzen Tevfik performing on ney: from CD 199 Kalan Müzik p. 55

The last sequence preceding the end credits proposes the following text:

now imagine what it would be if we could…
apply 3D graphic analysis and animation
to all aspects and characteristics of sound
stop, rewind, slow down the music and animation at will
zoom in, zoom out, keep selected characteristics
and look up each and all details from the desired point of view and, finally, apply all these to the analysis of multi-part music with each part shown separately, or together with other parts…

Amine Beyhom – “Imagine, a scientific fantasy”

A CERMAA production

Analysis, graphic design and editing: Amine Beyhom

Notes for the graphic representation

The pitch contour is shown as a black broken line in the 2D analysis, and in blueish color in the 3D analysis, with the relative intensity shown as a reddish (maroonish) line. In the 3D analysis, the pitch and intensity contours are showed in two parallel planes with a corresponding cursor for each of them. The graphic scale (see figure below) is based on on the conventional quarter-tone division (half-flat and half-sharp accidentals) and features to the left (and in the intermediate column) the names of the degrees of the scale: these follow Amine Beyhom’s proposed solmization (available as FHT 57 p. 245 in the article “MAT for the VIAMAP” by the author/editor – downloadable here, and below), namely, for the main degrees of the scale of maqām Rāst: rā = RĀST = c, = DŪKĀ = d, = SĪKĀ = e, ja = JAHĀRKĀ = f, na = NAWĀ = g, ḥu = ḤUSAYNĪ = a, aw = AWJ = b and Rā = KIRDĀN = c’ (C). The tonic (here ) is relative with note names undergoing a change of the case of the initial letter with the change of octaves. Intermediate notes (ʿarabāt) are likewise given corresponding solmization syllables.

Explanations about the graphic scale used in the video
Copy of FHT 57 p. 245 in the article “MAT for the VIAMAP” by the author/editor: Extended solmization of the scale of maqām music. Columns from left to right: (1) Original (7 notes per octave) solmization proposed in 2012; (2) Names of the main notes of the scale (the burdāt of maqām RĀST); (3) Names of the intermediate notes between the burdāt (ʿarabāt); (4) Names of the intermediate notes between the ʿarabāt (tīk = raised, nīm = lowered); (5) number of the note in the scale of al-Ḥijāzī; (6) Extended solmization as proposed by the author; (7) Corresponding numbers of the notes in the “Modern” scale (Western-inspired on the base of the division of the half-tone in two equal parts). Note that RĀST equates with c while however not indicating a fixed (but a relative) pitch. Degrees tīk-KURDĪ, nīm-BŪSALĪK, tīk-ʿAJAM and nīm-NAHAFT figure on a gray background to underline the fact that the “Modern” theory of the scale does not acknowledge them: consequently, the intervals between adjacent notes in column (7) – the last to the right – differ one from another by one quarter-tone (theoretical). Lastly: the solmization of note NAHAFT was modified as to avoid creating a duplicate with the (main) note NAWĀ: KAWASHT is the equivalent of NAHAFT in the lower octave (below the RĀST). See also the tables in ‎FHT ‎‎54 of the aforementioned article for a complete review of the degrees of the two-octavial scale of maqām music
Excerpt from the liner notes: [p. 51, 53]

Neyzen Tevfik Kolayli was one of the most interesting and unusual personalities of Turkish Music, and is remembered as one of its “legendary heroes”. He was born in Bodrum on March 28, 1879, and died on January 28, 1953 in Istanbul, at the age of 74. His life was a series of adventures that might seem startling or at least incongruous to the common person. He might be found playing his ney one day in the Grand Vizier’s mansions with the repose of a king, and the next day on the street, a handkerchief spread out in front of him, playing for drinking money. […]

He was smitten at the early age of 7 by the voice of the ney, and was so bound by his passion for this voice that it was the most basic element of his existence. From surviving recordings, as well as awe-filled testimonies of those writers who heard him play, we can gain some idea of how that passionate bond moved him.

Mehmet Ergün – Translated by Bob Beer

Video Analysis

Literal description of the performance

Note in the analysis below that s_a = “Analysis time in seconds”; s_v = “Video time in seconds” ; “tpps” = “Theoretical Position of the Pitch on the Scale”; furthermore, the upper and lower cases lettering differentiates (the scale of) for example maqām Rāst (initial uppercase) from the (pitch) tonic RĀST (uppercase) and the polychord (or genos) rāst (lowercase). Further explanations can be found at and

Note also that, due to two factors which are the accompanying cello and the bad condition of the recording, all details of the analysis could not be reproduced and that the reproduction of the tonic of the scale performed by the neyist may – among other characteristics – be slightly influenced by the (lower) tonic performed with the cello (see figure below in which the tonic is too low around 70 s_a).

Frame showing the reproduction of the tonic of the maqām as performed by the ney (beg. 70 s_a), here influenced by the lower tonic of the cello

General analysis

On the general ascending scale of maqām Ḥusaynī dū (d) 3344334 (in multiples of the quarter-tone – concatenated) the performer begins with a jump of fourth from (d) to na (g) then to the fifth ḥu (a) and ascends to the upper Ja (F) then exposes the descending scale till lower  (C) (thus defining the span of the performance, i.e. one octave + fifth, with exceptional rises to the upper Na – G – at 130 and 137 s_a) while returning to the central ḥu (a) and stabilizing around it with various developments until the return (at 51 s_a) to the tonic. Follows a display of the different subdivisions of the maqām scale and a display of virtuoso techniques, including an extended (in time) portamento from (below) the upper Ja (F) to the upper (d) [111-119 s_a] followed by developments on rā (c) (c. 130 s_a – probably a jins rāst 433[4] leading to the upper Na – G), while returning to the main development of the scale from 152 to 162 s_a (with modulations) followed by the conclusion of the performance (164-188 s_a) on the tonic (d).

Parts I and II are balanced (about 80 seconds each) with a shorter (25 seconds) conclusive part.

A (more) Detailed analysis:

Part I from 0 to 79 s_a (77 to 156 s_v): The initial sub-part (I.I) of Part I of the performance consists in a development of the scale of maqām Ḥusaynī with an initial jump of fourth from (d) to na (g) then a call from fourth to the fifth ḥu (a – 1-2 s_a) followed by a modified bayāt genos [ḥu – a – 334 + 33] resulting in a low in portamento to the “tpps” (“Theoretical Position of the Pitch on the Scale”) around 7 s_a (see also at 9 s_a), then a descending development of the scale from the octave tonic (D) suggesting a būsalīk aspect of the descending na to (g to d) part [424 on dū=d] – because of the low na (g), ja (f) and (dū=d is frequently, if not systematically, lower than the tpps which confirms the handling of the maqām as a plagal maqām Bayāt centered on ḥu=a). Rise beg. 11 s_a at DŪKĀ (t-zi=d) in būsalīk [424] with always low ja (t-bū=f) and na (t-ḥij=g) – note also the low (g) at 15 s_a. Then comes a descending development of the upper genos bayāt (beg. 16 s_a) with beautiful descending portamentos from aw+ (b) to ḥu (a) around 18 and 20 s_a, with a concluding first part (21-30 s_a) with a confirmation of the lower būsalīk on t-zi (=d) closing on ḥu (26-28 s_a). Note: (e) and ḥu (a) are here pivotal notes which remain stable throughout this first part.

The second sub-part (I.II) starts with a similar initial call from fourth to fifth while it however hints a lower na (“n-na”=t-ḥij=g at 29.5 s_a) with a similar also hint of low (“n-rā”=t-ka=c) rising to (c) at around 35 s_a – repeated around 37 s_a – during the development of the upper bayāt (ḥu=a 334). In the descending development of this genos undertaken by the performer beg. 37 s_a, a ʿaj=bb (“n-aw” is first hinted, then confirmed at 41 s_a in what becomes a descending nahawand (or būsalik) genos on na [na=g 424] extended below to the ja=f [ja 4424] which transforms it in a ʿajam tetrachord on ja=f (43-44 s_a) and back (45-49 s_a) to bayāt [334] on =d and a confirmation of ḥu=a as pivotal degree of the scale, and closing (around 51 s_a) on t-bū (f). In both upper and lower part of the scale, for these two initial sub-parts (from 0 to 50 s_a), subtle changes in pitches and the use of portamentos create constant variations between the use of lower (than ḥu=a) bayāt [=d 334] and būsalīk [=d – or t-zi 424] tetrachords with a definite tendency to shift from “minor” (nahawand or būsalik) to “zalzalian” (bayāt tetrachord) with occasional hints of “major” (ʿajam tetrachord) aspects, the latter being underlined by the change in the accompaniment by the cello (from predominant ḥu=a to ja=f=t-bū) at c. 50 s_a.

While the third sub-part (I.III) starts like the first two with a na-ḥu (g-a) call, it concentrates at first (around 60 s_a) on the upper part of the scale with a development of rāst [433] on (c), immediately followed by a reaffirmation of the Ḥusaynī character of the maqām with a hint of rāst [433] on na=g (63 s_a) centered on ḥu=a and with a closing bayāt [334] on =d reaffirming the (lower, around 71 s_a) tonic of the maqām, followed (73 s_a) by a reversed jump from ḥu to na (a to g) and a brisk display of the ascending (from aw to Ja – b to F) then (complete) descending scale, closing (78 s_a) with the (d).

Part II from 83 to 162 s_a (160 to 239 s_v): The different feeling of the second part (beg. 83 s_a) is announced by a jump of fourth from na to (g to c) with a development of the (upper) rāst [=c 433] and a rapid display of the (descending till lower =C) scale stabilizing on (the upper) =c (93-94 s_a), then a variation stabilizing on the (upper) =D with a pentachordal rāst [na=g 4334] closing (108 s_a) the first sub-part II.I. Follows (beg. 110 s_a) the second (II.II) sub-part which consists in an approach of the upper rāst [=c 433] from below the tpps with a beautiful rising then descending portamento from t-Bū=F to Ku=Eb stabilizing on =D after tackling the lower two degrees, and variations in the upper bayāt [=D 33] beg. 120 s_a and a virtuoso display of the (descending then ascending) lower octave + 1 (reaching the lower =C) scale insisting (around 127 s_a) on the unresolved (upper) =c and upper rāst [=c 4334] with a nearly continuous descending portamento from (upper) Ḥu+ (A+) to (lower) ḥu=a (137-140 s_a) which shifts (140 s_a) to a trill between aw=b and =c followed by a very short (in time) ascending bayāt [ḥu=a 334] stabilizing on =D (142 s_a), and a modulation to kurd on ḥu=a [ḥu 244] from 143 to 148 s_a, suddenly modulating (with a change in the accompaniment) to rāst [433] on na stabilizing (149 s_a) on =c, followed (152 s_a) after a short silence by a būsalīk [424] on =d beginning (and insisting) on the central bū=eb, and closing with a double ascending call of fifth from (lower) to na (C to g) then na=g to (upper) =D (155-158 s_a) followed by a descending call of octave and a closing ascending call of fifth (159 s_a) from =d to the stabilized ḥu=a.

Part III: Conclusion from 164 to 188 s_a (241 to 265 s_v): The closing part is initiated by a jump of third (165 s_a) from na (g) to aw+ (≈b) ascending to =D followed by the display in portamento (167-170 s_a) of the descending scale of the maqām till the central (“plagal”) tonic ḥu=a then an ascending pentacordal rāst [4334] on na=g, followed (170-173 s_a) by the descending scale featuring a bū=eb in place of the ja=f, followed (175-183 s_a) by variations between būsalīk [424] and bayāt [334] on =d with a (pre-) final (ascending) call of octave Ḥu-ḥu (A-a) and a final descent (184-187 s_a) from the ḥu=a to the tonic (d at 187-188 s_a).