Arab Instruments Forum

Doumbek / Darbuka => Doumbek Advice, Tips Questions & Lessons => Topic started by: dHuGo on January 09, 2019, 07:46:16 AM

Title: Some words on semantics - [beginner to intermediate to advanced]
Post by: dHuGo on January 09, 2019, 07:46:16 AM
I’m curious, is there ever a time when the rhythms Maqsum and Beledi would be played in the same sitting?  Alternating the Doums and Teks?

To alternate Doums and Teks? - Never ever...!  ;)

The basic pattern of a rhythm is build of a row of different Doums, Teks (and rests). That is typical - this gives the rhythm a signature, a meaning - a unique style at least.

You may ask me, as a beginner: "Ok, but I have some Ka in the base I'm now playing...?" - So let's stop on it and me tell you: "What is a Ka?!" - ... should be same like a Tek- but actually played with wrong hand instead.  :) Ka is featuring the Teks. Playing some alternating Tekka you get an ornament, a roll!

That's why it is important to do the Tekka with the same or similar sound, independent of you are playing right now a Tek (with your strong hand) or Ka (with the weaker one). It’s communication. Audience but dancers will hear your pattern and get some orientation what’s going up now.

That way Doums and Teks are encoding semantics of the pattern. - In Arabic rhythms there is it like in Arabian language too:
All the Arabian words have a root what’s encoded by the row of (mostly three) consonants in it, i.e. “KTB” means “written”.

That gives the word a basic meaning, what never will change for the whole word family and all word forms within are featuring with different vocals in between the root of the words:
And in drumming?! – You have a basic pattern and several variations of it. - It’s like telling a story in words…


Title: Re: Some words on semantics - [beginner to intermediate to advanced]
Post by: bsfloyd on January 09, 2019, 04:00:14 PM
This is a great explanation!  I do understand the point you are wanting to get across.... mostly.  When I wrote alternating the Doums and Teks, I was not meaning at random but rather alternating the actual rhythms in their correct form.  So are you saying that different rhythm patterns will never be played in the same tune, even if they are the same time signature?  I used the example of Beledi and Maqsum because they are so similar.  I thought I read on the internet (or maybe it was a video) that players will sometimes mix different rhythms of the same beat to change the timbre of the tune.  Surely it is known that there is a lot of false information on the internet, and I would much rather trust an actual traditional player over something I read online.
Title: Re: Some words on semantics - [beginner to intermediate to advanced]
Post by: dHuGo on January 11, 2019, 04:35:57 AM
Many thanks ... the topic isn't  full yet.

(Here my "never" is that same of driving school, saying "Never brake inside turns, do it before!!!")
 ;)

... but we've moved forward with your response:

The approach we have to solve next is: "Never ever...?!"
 :)
Title: Re: Some words on semantics - [beginner to intermediate to advanced]
Post by: dHuGo on March 03, 2019, 07:34:48 PM
So, let's continue:
Last I mentioned a driving school, where you learn first to brake only on a straight line. Otherwise you should be ready to brake every time (i.e. for an fast stop) - in turns too - it's paradox!

Same with Doums and Teks, played in time they build a pattern, what we, drummers and listeners, can recognize. Changing in sounds will change the pattern. Anyway the drummer may play a Doum or a Tek - anytime ... How to get an orientation, what's allowed, what's wrong!? - My advice: Listen to signals!

Which ones?! - Let's start with an example:

https://youtu.be/WXJGYxszMh8
Title: Re: Some words on semantics - [beginner to intermediate to advanced]
Post by: bsfloyd on March 04, 2019, 05:19:58 PM
Wow, great video!!  You have a way with words to really make one think.  I need to have the time to be able to sit and listen with zero distractions.  I love the challenge :D
Title: Re: Some words on semantics - [beginner to intermediate to advanced]
Post by: dHuGo on March 04, 2019, 05:40:20 PM
I know.... That's my best boy!

 ;) :)
Title: Re: Some words on semantics - [beginner to intermediate to advanced]
Post by: dHuGo on March 09, 2019, 02:47:19 PM
Hey, don't worry a lot. It's one, two, three very simple things I'd like here to point out...
Title: Re: Some words on semantics - [beginner to intermediate to advanced]
Post by: bsfloyd on March 13, 2019, 06:12:15 PM
Sorry for my slight absence, work has got the better of me the past couple of weeks.

Yes, I have listened to the video several times - it is a great piece of music!  What stands out to me is that one thing that never changes is an underlying pulse.  Along with that there is much soloing phrasing going on over top of that with a few different instruments, and sometimes more than one instrument soloing at the same time playing different styles.  But, the pulse never changes and keeps everything glued together.  Once again, a wonderful piece of music!
Title: Re: Some words on semantics - [beginner to intermediate to advanced]
Post by: dHuGo on March 20, 2019, 09:19:04 AM
 ... you actually stole my words ...  ;)

Let me add the ONE:
The signal here is the first strong downbeat, the heavy Doum on first pulse.

Those ONE is called "Wahda" (الوهدة). - "Wahid" means "one" as a number.  It's a lot of Arab boys with the name (or "Wahida" when you got a daughter).  - So, the "Wahda" claims to be something first, and it's subject is that unheard Doum. - It's important like the capital letter which marks a start of a phrase...

The conception of "Wahda" is to build time framework around all those fills and ornaments wich may happen inbetween the Doums - in that silent gap ... a maximum of creativity! - To be "glued" seems me the best word to explain the relationship inside "Wahda".

Well, you may say: "... and what?! - We have downbeats on the first pulse everywhere! There's nothing especial...!" - I'd tell you: "Sure, but never before I had ever heard this principle celebrating like in eastern rhythms."

In the arrangement here we have one single drum (a Davul b.t.w.) for the only accent grounding the whole piece. That's the art of Wahda - and when you have it on your mind this, you can slightly understand a lot what's different in Arabic participation on rhythms.
Title: Re: Some words on semantics - [beginner to intermediate to advanced]
Post by: bsfloyd on March 21, 2019, 05:22:34 PM
Ahhh, I see!  I am quite naive to the Wahda rhythm - so I thank you for the history of it.  I appreciate learning the history or origins of the rhythms.  Now I can listen again with a different and better educated mindset... :)