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qzack

 

Posts: 39
Joined: Aug. 17 2011
 

Alternate Tuning 

Hi all,

I wonder how people came up with certain alternate tuning to accomodate certain nuance and ease of playability to get the voicing the composer wanted. Has anyone got any idea where do we start with alternate tuning? Some colleague of mine suggesting that we can go with open chord tuning first to figure out but I’m not really sure if that’s always the case. I’m wondering how the creative process was going on these alternate tuning pieces like on Antonio Rey’s Dos Partes de Mi and Tomatito’s Caminillo Viejo for example. By right, perhaps even Ramon Montoya’s Rondeña also need to be taken into account as well as I am not aware of any other tuning until he came up with one

I suppose it’s quite interesting to explore what we can do with alternate tuning. Let me know what do you guys think

Cheers

Qzack
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2021 9:06:41
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14799
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to qzack

quote:

ORIGINAL: qzack

Hi all,

I wonder how people came up with certain alternate tuning to accomodate certain nuance and ease of playability to get the voicing the composer wanted. Has anyone got any idea where do we start with alternate tuning? Some colleague of mine suggesting that we can go with open chord tuning first to figure out but I’m not really sure if that’s always the case. I’m wondering how the creative process was going on these alternate tuning pieces like on Antonio Rey’s Dos Partes de Mi and Tomatito’s Caminillo Viejo for example. By right, perhaps even Ramon Montoya’s Rondeña also need to be taken into account as well as I am not aware of any other tuning until he came up with one

I suppose it’s quite interesting to explore what we can do with alternate tuning. Let me know what do you guys think

Cheers

Qzack


Some might say Montoya came up with the Rondeña after the old lute tuning that was used (where the G was dropped to F#). Not sure if this is the case. The resultant sound of Rondeña is D lydian when you take into account the scale used mainly. This is very exotic IMO in terms of classical guitar music, so I am not so sure. Right away we see similar figures used as Taranta ligados in the 2-4th fret area. My personal belief is he was trying to expand on the “toque levante” sound. This also accounts for his famous falseta that mimics the Levantica cante. The open G chord sound is simply shifted up a set of strings for an open D chord sound, in context.

Moving into modern toque we see some similar concepts. Either it starts with a drop 6 to achieve a desired bass note (drop D or Drop C# etc down to Drop A), or some other string is dropped so that a certain dissonance or voicing is evoked. Piñonate for example has the drop A (Paco’s friend Mclaughlin was using this at the same time this was recorded), but the trebles drop to produce the Granaina sound on the open tonic chord. (I first heard this piece and thought it was in B Phrygian for this reason). Tomatito used a special tuning to achieve the Taranta sound in the minera position by tuning the trebles sharp a whole step. Then an open Gm (add 9) for a D phrygian tango, and later Solea por Buleria (again in D Phrygian). I believe one of those tuning was recycled for his Colombianas in Major.

Nuñez uses many interesting tunings, often starting with a dropped bass note and sometimes adding other strings in order to accommodate fretted voicings. HIs siguiriyas for example is based on Granaina position with Drop B, but by dropping the 1st to D# he can do barre chords that have major 3rds on top. In another case he evokes rondeña with a drop C by playing in B phrygian. More interesting might be his solea por buleria (and one bulerias as well) that uses flat bass strings (Eb Ab Db) and the trebles normal. Every time I change my trebles I tune em half step sharp to stretch, and relative to bass strings I can work on that nuñez tune as the strings settle down. I am certain he probably invented that tunning for the same reason.

So clearly you need to first be well versed in the traditional palos and voicings before you go exploring, if you want to retain the authentic flavor these guys were going for. But for sure the playing field is otherwise wide open in terms of tunings.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2021 11:53:27
 
cigany

Posts: 83
Joined: Jan. 30 2008
From: USA

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to qzack

Is El Viejin the only flamenco player to use the Hijaz tuning? (It seems pretty unique/rare.)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2021 15:22:01
 
Piwin

Posts: 3559
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to cigany

What is "Hijaz tuning"?

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2021 15:56:45
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3458
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to cigany

quote:

Is El Viejin the only flamenco player to use the Hijaz tuning? (It seems pretty unique/rare.)


To echo Piwin: What is "Hijaz tuning"? The Hijaz (Hejaz) is the western strip of Saudi Arabia where the second city of Jiddah is located by the Red Sea. Is Hijaz tuning some sort of Arabic tuning, as applied to the oud, for example? Are you suggesting that such tuning was transferred to the guitar? I look forward to an explanation, as it would seem to have interesting possibilities.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2021 16:40:14
 
kitarist

Posts: 1715
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to Piwin

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piwin

What is "Hijaz tuning"?


There is https://www.maqamworld.com/en/maqam/hijaz.php mentioned here: http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=332688&mpage=1&key=hijaz&s=#332739

But it is not compatible with an equal temperament instrument such as the guitar.

_____________________________

Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2021 18:42:01
 
cigany

Posts: 83
Joined: Jan. 30 2008
From: USA

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to qzack

Sorry, I confused El Viejin’s “tonality” with “tunings”.

"Sastipén Talí" (Fandangos de Huelva) is in the Hijaz-Nahawand Phrygian dominant scale D#, an unusual tonality for fandangos.

“Caño Roto" (Soleá por bulería) is in D#Hijaz.

“Algo que decir” (Bulerias) tuning is 1=E, 2=B, 3=G, 4=D, 5=A 6=B, described as a “modern tuning”.

Rafael Riqueni’s “Vivencias” (Tangos) is described as in the key of “F#Hijaz” (por Taranta).
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 31 2021 22:33:33
 
Piwin

Posts: 3559
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to cigany

OK, thanks. To me hijaz refers to what kitarist linked to (ty @kitarist btw!) and it's not a term I'd use for flamenco. I'm going to guess I'm just confused by the terminology you're using, but as an example, is this "D sharp hijaz" for you?



If so, then it's the "D sharp" part that stands out. The "hijaz" part would be just the usual flamenco phrygian. For whatever reason, in Spain they usually call it Eb (mi bemol), and no El Viejin isn't the only one to use it. Someone else would have to confirm, but I seem to remember Ricardo saying David Serva came up with it as a way to approximate the sound of rondeña tuning (6th lowered to D, 3rd to F sharp) but using standard tuning.

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 1 2021 8:17:41
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3458
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to Piwin

"Tonality" and "tuning" aside, as one who has always had an interest in linguistics, I still wonder where the term "Hijaz," as applied to music, came from. The western strip of Saudi Arabia running along the Red Sea known as the "Hijaz" (or Hejaz) I mentioned above was part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire until 1918. Perhaps the term was applied in the manner mentioned above by Konstantin and Piwin by the Turks?

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 1 2021 12:07:03
 
kitarist

Posts: 1715
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH

"Tonality" and "tuning" aside, as one who has always had an interest in linguistics, I still wonder where the term "Hijaz," as applied to music, came from. The western strip of Saudi Arabia running along the Red Sea known as the "Hijaz" (or Hejaz) I mentioned above was part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire until 1918. Perhaps the term was applied in the manner mentioned above by Konstantin and Piwin by the Turks?


I downloaded a bunch of papers back when we were discussing maqams and as I recall in general the Persian framework preceded the Arabic and Turkish version, but will go back and rummage through to find out specifically when and where did "Hijaz" become a musical term. Update soon.

_____________________________

Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 1 2021 16:41:07
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14799
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to Piwin

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piwin

What is "Hijaz tuning"?


Missing info is, as we discussed with joe videtto earlier, Enrique Vargas had a series of books where he attempts to equate Arabic music to flamenco. Grain of salt needs to be taken with that info. Cigano obviously read those and took it to heart.

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=332688&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=enrique%2Chijaz&tmode=&smode=&s=#332688

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2021 13:48:03
 
kitarist

Posts: 1715
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to kitarist

quote:

ORIGINAL: kitarist

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH

"Tonality" and "tuning" aside, as one who has always had an interest in linguistics, I still wonder where the term "Hijaz," as applied to music, came from. The western strip of Saudi Arabia running along the Red Sea known as the "Hijaz" (or Hejaz) I mentioned above was part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire until 1918. Perhaps the term was applied in the manner mentioned above by Konstantin and Piwin by the Turks?


I downloaded a bunch of papers back when we were discussing maqams and as I recall in general the Persian framework preceded the Arabic and Turkish version, but will go back and rummage through to find out specifically when and where did "Hijaz" become a musical term. Update soon.


[Some sources below]

It appears that "Hijaz", or "Hejaz" in Persian music, is indeed referring to the place/region name where the mode or scale fragment originated from. Another Arabic maqam - 'Iraq - appears named on the same principle.

As to when this happened, consulting my sources it seems that it would have happened way before the beginning of the Ottoman occupation of the Hejaz region in the 16th century. There are surviving musical treatises from the second half of the 13th century by the so-called 'systematists' in which 'Hijaz' or 'Hejaz' is already mentioned as a mode/maqam. Farmer seems to think that the region of Hijaz was already developing its own musical ideas while borrowing from Persian music starting around the late 7th century - only some 50 years after the death of famous Al-Hejaz local Muhammad:

“During the reign of Mu'awiya I (661-80), Persian slaves were brought from Al-'Iraq to work on the buildings being erected at Mecca, and their singing immediately attracted attention just as it had already charmed the people of Al-Medina. The first to take advantage of this exotic art was Ibn Misjah, who is claimed to have been the "first who sang the Arabian song copied from the Persians," or again that he was the "first who transferred the Persian song (ghind*) into the Arabian song."

“More important perhaps were the other innovations of Ibn Misjah. It is highly probable that the Arabs of Al-HIra and Ghassan possessed the Pythagorean scale, although those of Al-Hijaz still retained the old scale of the tunbur almizam. When Al-Nadr ibn al-Harith introduced the *ud (lute) from Al-HIra about the close of the 6th century, some foretaste of the Pythagorean scale may have been introduced at the same time. Yet there is no certainty on this question. All that we know is that the Arabs of Al-Hijaz had a system of music that was different from that of Byzantium and Persia. We get this information in the life of Ibn Misjah already mentioned.

“This musician, we are told, was responsible for grafting sundry "foreign" musical ideas upon the native practice. Here is the whole passage from the Kitab al-aghdm* :

“"In Syria, he [Ibn Misjah] learned the melodies (alhari) of Byzantium and received instruction from the barbiton players (barbatiyya) and the theorists (astukhusiyya) . He then turned to Persia, where he learned much of their song (ghina'), as well as the art of accompaniment. Returning to Al-Hijaz, he chose the most advantageous of the modes (nagham) of these countries, and rejected what was disagreeable, for instance, the intervals (ndbaraf) and modes (nagham), which he found in the song (ghina) of the Persians and Byzantines, which were alien to the Arabian song. And he sang [henceforth] according to this method, and he was the first to demonstrate this [method] and after this the people followed him in this." “

The extensive borrowing of musical ideas, including mode names, is also discussed by Farraj and Shumays:

“The names of many Arabic maqamat can be traced to the Persian language: for example, Farahfaza (from Farah Faza); Suzidil, Dalanshin (from Dil Nishin); Suznak, Rast, Sikah (from She Gah); Bastanikar (from Basta Nigar); Jiharkah (from Chehar Gah); and Nairuz (from Nowruz). The reverse is also true, with Persian gusheh (scale fragment) names taken from Arabic, such as Hejaz (from Hijaz), Hosseyni (from Husayni), and Oshshagh (from ‘Ushshaq). Similarly, many Arabic maqam names come from the Turkish makam system, such as Sultani Yakah and Buselik, while some Turkish makam names, for example, Hiçāz, Irak, Huseyni, Sűnbűle, and Uşşak, trace their origins to Arabic.”

Some interesting books that are freely available:

1. A History of Arabian Music to the XIII-th Century, by H.G. Farmer, published 1929: https://archive.org/details/historyofarabian030364mbp/page/n5/mode/2up

2. Historical Facts For The Arabian Musical Influence, by H.G. Farmer, published 1930: https://archive.org/details/historicalfactsf030523mbp/page/n7/mode/2up
(in this one Farmer seems really pissed at a certain "Miss Schlesinger" who critiqued his 1925 paper "Clues for the Arabian Influence on European Musical Theory" in her 1925 response "Is European Musical Theory Indebted to the Arabs?" - Farmer mentions her in this book no fewer than 136 times.)

3. The Modal System of Arab and Persian Music, A.D.1250-1300, by O. Wright, first published in 1969 as a Dissertation: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/29733/1/10752705.pdf (pdf) and later in 1978 as a book.

A very recent modern and comprehensive treatment:

4. Inside Arabic Music, by Farraj and Shumays, published 2019 by Oxford University Press. Info: https://www.maqamworld.com/en/book.php

_____________________________

Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2021 18:51:32
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14799
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to kitarist

quote:

ORIGINAL: kitarist

quote:

ORIGINAL: kitarist

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH

"Tonality" and "tuning" aside, as one who has always had an interest in linguistics, I still wonder where the term "Hijaz," as applied to music, came from. The western strip of Saudi Arabia running along the Red Sea known as the "Hijaz" (or Hejaz) I mentioned above was part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire until 1918. Perhaps the term was applied in the manner mentioned above by Konstantin and Piwin by the Turks?


I downloaded a bunch of papers back when we were discussing maqams and as I recall in general the Persian framework preceded the Arabic and Turkish version, but will go back and rummage through to find out specifically when and where did "Hijaz" become a musical term. Update soon.


[Some sources below]

It appears that "Hijaz", or "Hejaz" in Persian music, is indeed referring to the place/region name where the mode or scale fragment originated from. Another Arabic maqam - 'Iraq - appears named on the same principle.

As to when this happened, consulting my sources it seems that it would have happened way before the beginning of the Ottoman occupation of the Hejaz region in the 16th century. There are surviving musical treatises from the second half of the 13th century by the so-called 'systematists' in which 'Hijaz' or 'Hejaz' is already mentioned as a mode/maqam. Farmer seems to think that the region of Hijaz was already developing its own musical ideas while borrowing from Persian music starting around the late 7th century - only some 50 years after the death of famous Al-Hejaz local Muhammad:

“During the reign of Mu'awiya I (661-80), Persian slaves were brought from Al-'Iraq to work on the buildings being erected at Mecca, and their singing immediately attracted attention just as it had already charmed the people of Al-Medina. The first to take advantage of this exotic art was Ibn Misjah, who is claimed to have been the "first who sang the Arabian song copied from the Persians," or again that he was the "first who transferred the Persian song (ghind*) into the Arabian song."

“More important perhaps were the other innovations of Ibn Misjah. It is highly probable that the Arabs of Al-HIra and Ghassan possessed the Pythagorean scale, although those of Al-Hijaz still retained the old scale of the tunbur almizam. When Al-Nadr ibn al-Harith introduced the *ud (lute) from Al-HIra about the close of the 6th century, some foretaste of the Pythagorean scale may have been introduced at the same time. Yet there is no certainty on this question. All that we know is that the Arabs of Al-Hijaz had a system of music that was different from that of Byzantium and Persia. We get this information in the life of Ibn Misjah already mentioned.

“This musician, we are told, was responsible for grafting sundry "foreign" musical ideas upon the native practice. Here is the whole passage from the Kitab al-aghdm* :

“"In Syria, he [Ibn Misjah] learned the melodies (alhari) of Byzantium and received instruction from the barbiton players (barbatiyya) and the theorists (astukhusiyya) . He then turned to Persia, where he learned much of their song (ghina'), as well as the art of accompaniment. Returning to Al-Hijaz, he chose the most advantageous of the modes (nagham) of these countries, and rejected what was disagreeable, for instance, the intervals (ndbaraf) and modes (nagham), which he found in the song (ghina) of the Persians and Byzantines, which were alien to the Arabian song. And he sang [henceforth] according to this method, and he was the first to demonstrate this [method] and after this the people followed him in this." “

The extensive borrowing of musical ideas, including mode names, is also discussed by Farraj and Shumays:

“The names of many Arabic maqamat can be traced to the Persian language: for example, Farahfaza (from Farah Faza); Suzidil, Dalanshin (from Dil Nishin); Suznak, Rast, Sikah (from She Gah); Bastanikar (from Basta Nigar); Jiharkah (from Chehar Gah); and Nairuz (from Nowruz). The reverse is also true, with Persian gusheh (scale fragment) names taken from Arabic, such as Hejaz (from Hijaz), Hosseyni (from Husayni), and Oshshagh (from ‘Ushshaq). Similarly, many Arabic maqam names come from the Turkish makam system, such as Sultani Yakah and Buselik, while some Turkish makam names, for example, Hiçāz, Irak, Huseyni, Sűnbűle, and Uşşak, trace their origins to Arabic.”

Some interesting books that are freely available:

1. A History of Arabian Music to the XIII-th Century, by H.G. Farmer, published 1929: https://archive.org/details/historyofarabian030364mbp/page/n5/mode/2up

2. Historical Facts For The Arabian Musical Influence, by H.G. Farmer, published 1930: https://archive.org/details/historicalfactsf030523mbp/page/n7/mode/2up
(in this one Farmer seems really pissed at a certain "Miss Schlesinger" who critiqued his 1925 paper "Clues for the Arabian Influence on European Musical Theory" in her 1925 response "Is European Musical Theory Indebted to the Arabs?" - Farmer mentions her in this book no fewer than 136 times.)

3. The Modal System of Arab and Persian Music, A.D.1250-1300, by O. Wright, first published in 1969 as a Dissertation: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/29733/1/10752705.pdf (pdf) and later in 1978 as a book.

A very recent modern and comprehensive treatment:

4. Inside Arabic Music, by Farraj and Shumays, published 2019 by Oxford University Press. Info: https://www.maqamworld.com/en/book.php


That is a fairly extensive upgrade to the discussion we had earlier. However I am curious about any details (other than naming of scales) relates to our discussions on the relationship of those systems to specific flamenco guitarist operations. Any insights there? For example the Vargas method books….any new info reinforce his take on the relationship to flamenco?

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 4 2021 11:30:13
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14799
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to cigany

quote:

Sorry, I confused El Viejin’s “tonality” with “tunings”.

"Sastipén Talí" (Fandangos de Huelva) is in the Hijaz-Nahawand Phrygian dominant scale D#, an unusual tonality for fandangos.

“Caño Roto" (Soleá por bulería) is in D#Hijaz.

“Algo que decir” (Bulerias) tuning is 1=E, 2=B, 3=G, 4=D, 5=A 6=B, described as a “modern tuning”.

Rafael Riqueni’s “Vivencias” (Tangos) is described as in the key of “F#Hijaz” (por Taranta).


You might want to discuss this topic with Joe Videtto who also studied with Vargas and the books where this info comes from, and please check our discussion about his books (with PDFs) the thread I linked earlier.

But just to clear up a couple of concepts. Sastipen Tali is meant to be a fandango. The idea, I feel, was to explore a different palo than the ones that had already been explored by others in D#. The tonality or key traces back to American David Serva who introduced this tonality as an alternative to the Rondeña altered tuning of Montoya, in the mid to late 1970’s. The guitarists (gitano families mainly focused on cutting edge guitar and dance) embraced the concept in Caño Roto neighborhood of Madrid, though recordings did not appear until the late 1980’s. Serva (aka Mr. Jones of the counting crows famous song) supposedly got the idea from a dancer that also played guitar. Nino Miguel appeared on TV with a rumba in this key, then Tomatito recorded his own rumba (he is a relative of Niño Miguel) on his first solo album. I am not aware of a recording before this. I put Serva’s original composition on youtube for posterity, though this performance is from 2002:



After tomatito, Nunez and Vicente started working it in to the other palos (tango, buleria, solea por buleria, granaina etc etc). Viejin’s version comes later but he might be the first to try fandango. It is odd as when we think of fandango, the main thing of the form is the copla in relative major (B major in this case). I don’t recall the piece doing a lot in B major but I will check. Paco did not touch this key until his tangos on the album Luzia.

As for the other pieces, again, using the concept of hijaz as a basis for the fandango based forms is misleading (Taranta coplas are in D major for example) as the main point is the relative major relation which is NOT what Arabic hijaz is about, so to me Vargas is making a false equivalence by reinforcing his personal view that flamenco forms come from or equate to Arabic traditions.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 4 2021 12:30:11
 
kitarist

Posts: 1715
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

However I am curious about any details (other than naming of scales) relates to our discussions on the relationship of those systems to specific flamenco guitarist operations. Any insights there? For example the Vargas method books….any new info reinforce his take on the relationship to flamenco?


No, I haven't found evidence that it is more than wishful thinking. Several scholars remark how tenuous the claim is; it seems one of the stronger arguments for Arabic influence on flamenco was the 'felah mengu" business and we know from more recent research how that turned out. Also, remember that 3000-page dissertation by D. Guillermo Castro Buendia? He goes over that question and dismisses it (having the benefit of a circa-2014 look at all the previous scientific literature on the subject). There are temporal issues as well - the Arabic musical influence practically over by the 15th century with the fall of Granada while the gitanos were only just arriving in Andalucia by then and flamenco proper only appearing around the late 18th - early 19th century.

_____________________________

Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 4 2021 20:31:40
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3458
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to kitarist

Konstantin,

Many thanks for your research into the origin of the term "Hijaz" or "Hejaz" as applied to the music under discussion. Your formidable powers of research and ability to locate and tap into appropriate sources is, not for the first time, a boon to the Foro membership. Again, thanks, amigo.

Should we be fortunate enough to meet somewhere in the future, dinner and a bottle of wine will be on me.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 4 2021 21:59:38
 
kitarist

Posts: 1715
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH

Konstantin,

Many thanks for your research into the origin of the term "Hijaz" or "Hejaz" as applied to the music under discussion. Your formidable powers of research and ability to locate and tap into appropriate sources is, not for the first time, a boon to the Foro membership. Again, thanks, amigo.

Should we be fortunate enough to meet somewhere in the future, dinner and a bottle of wine will be on me.

Bill


Bill, thank you! sounds like a deal This place really keeps me going and inspires me anew when I don't feel like picking up my guitar.. and kind words mean so much.

_____________________________

Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 5 2021 4:25:33
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3430
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Some might say Montoya came up with the Rondeña after the old lute tuning that was used (where the G was dropped to F#). Not sure if this is the case. The resultant sound of Rondeña is D lydian when you take into account the scale used mainly. This is very exotic IMO in terms of classical guitar music, so I am not so sure.


Montoya spends a lot of time seeming to be in D Lydian in Rondeña, but eventually resolves to C# several times. My reaction is sort of, "Were we in D Lydian, or were we in C# Phrygian?"

That's the cool part of the tonality for me.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 5 2021 21:09:37
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

My reaction is sort of, "Were we in D Lydian, or were we in C# Phrygian?"


Your reaction is pointing to the music theory thing I have been talking about for ages. Modes relate to each other as a manner of tension and release when we learn about tonal harmony. The tensions of G mixolydian resolve when we move to C ionian, and that modal concept collapses into a single new umbrella concept of V-I in the key of C major. Simarily the E phrygian dominant resolves tensions with A aeolian, hence V-i in minor. So the flamenco idea of a “key” verses modes is that the F lydian tensions resolve to E Phrygian as a special case of II-I. This might seem contrived at first but there is a good argument for how II replaces V in the phrygian scale, which Jazz disciplines call the “Tritone substitution”. In the classical world, this operation is viewed as a half cadence in the relative minor key, or borrowed from there, and described as “Augmented 6th chords”.

So Montoya’s piece spends time exploring the D lydian tensions before resolving them “II-I” as if the piece is in the C# phrygian key, rather than using two different but related modes. Not surprisingly he ventures off into relative major, A major (using V-I or E to A), with his Levantica falseta, pointing again to the umbrella concept of an overall key, rather than modes.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 6 2021 14:09:19
 
machopicasso

 

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RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ome might say Montoya came up with the Rondeña after the old lute tuning that was used (where the G was dropped to F#). Not sure if this is the case. The resultant sound of Rondeña is D lydian when you take into account the scale used mainly. This is very exotic IMO in terms of classical guitar music, so I am not so sure. Right away we see similar figures used as Taranta ligados in the 2-4th fret area. My personal belief is he was trying to expand on the “toque levante” sound. This also accounts for his famous falseta that mimics the Levantica cante. The open G chord sound is simply shifted up a set of strings for an open D chord sound, in context.


Was "the old lute tuning" used in flamenco? Were there any other alternate tunings used in flamenco prior to Montoya developing the Rondeña tuning?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2023 4:50:34
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to machopicasso

quote:

Was "the old lute tuning" used in flamenco? Were there any other alternate tunings used in flamenco prior to Montoya developing the Rondeña tuning?


Short answer is “no”, or better, “we don’t have any evidence of any, but of course there could have been”. To be clear, most flamencologists feel that the only keys used for early audio recordings were por medio, por arriba, por Granaina, that’s it. Relative major Cantinas used A, C, or E major. The other tonalities appear on recordings by Montoya…Taranta, Minera, Rondeña, making him a supposed creator (some contemporaries also used Taranta tuning). While drop D ‘Por abajo’ was certainly an option, we don’t honestly find many examples. Those Arabic sounding pieces called “Danza Arabe, or danza mora, or Zambia’ use the drop D. Mantilla de Féria by Esteban de Sanlucar uses drop D and drop G, and has some Arabic style sections similar to those other examples.

I have not come across the literal common lute tuning, but I HAVE noticed the Rondeña tuning of Montoya is not unique (we see 5 pieces in Fuenllana vihuela publication) and the tonality of C# phrygian (both Fuenllana and Naravaez so far but have not studied all sources) was used, suggesting it was not a random accident that Montoya first recorded with that tuning. The whole thing makes sense to me after reading Juan Bermudo, who says a “vihuela” (probably a lute) was the same thing as a guitar (back then like a ukulele had 4 courses) in the MIDDLE, with an added Bass and treble string on the outside. So, essentially, the Rondeña is mimicking the old vihuela tonalities and tuning of the Renaissance, and Montoya was some how exposed to it (either by seeing an early classical player like Pujol demonstrate it, or it is simply a gypsy tradition that almost died out).

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2023 23:18:24
 
machopicasso

 

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RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

The other tonalities appear on recordings by Montoya…Taranta, Minera, Rondeña, making him a supposed creator (some contemporaries also used Taranta tuning).


What is the Taranta tuning? Were Montoya's contemporaries already using this tuning before he developed the Rondeña tuning?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 28 2023 6:39:12
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to machopicasso

quote:

What is the Taranta tuning?


Very sorry I meant to type TONALITY, not “tuning”. There is no special tuning for that, just the key you are in, F# phrygian/B minor/D major. It was also referred to as “toque Levante”, and used quite frequently for Malagueñas back in the early recording days. Conversely Por arriba was often used for cantes mineros….this was all a result of these “Levante” cantes mixing or alternating letras. This is part of why it is a good idea to separate into two broad groups, FANDANGOS (Huelva styles, naturales etc), and CANTE LEVANTE (Malagueñas, Granainas, Cartageneras, Tarantas, Taranto, Minera, etc.).

_____________________________

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 28 2023 20:16:21
 
machopicasso

 

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RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Very sorry I meant to type TONALITY, not “tuning”.


I was so confused. There is NOTHING on the internet about the "taranta tuning"!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 29 2023 6:16:25
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14799
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From: Washington DC

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to machopicasso

quote:

ORIGINAL: machopicasso

quote:

Very sorry I meant to type TONALITY, not “tuning”.


I was so confused. There is NOTHING on the internet about the "taranta tuning"!


The main point, if you had followed also the rest of what I wrote, was that it is believed only por medio and por arriba were known “keys” used by flamenco guitarists, and by the earliest recordings with Montoya, he is associated with Granaina and Taranta keys. Because guitarists would alter the tuning in-terms of pitch deliberately (tune the entire guitar down a whole step for example using Granaina), it is believed the “toque Levante” (Taranta) key was developed with capo 3 as an alternative to dropping the pitch to match the singer’s vocal range [essentially the absolute pitch of A was preferred, and guitarists did not want to use por medio or por arriba, so would alter the tuning down a whole step so B=A or use capo 3 in F# to achieve the same pitch]. Granaina toque was known to exist before Montoya (Ocon score shows it from 1860s), so therefore, Taranta might be associated with Montoya coming on the scene anyway, nobody knows for sure. What is known is the two “new” toques were Minera and Rondeña, both introduced by Montoya for singers in the 1920’s, and he also expanded the toque Granaina at the same time.

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www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2023 14:50:18
 
machopicasso

 

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RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

The main point, if you had followed also the rest of what I wrote, was that it is believed only por medio and por arriba were known “keys” used by flamenco guitarists, and by the earliest recordings with Montoya, he is associated with Granaina and Taranta keys. Because guitarists would alter the tuning in-terms of pitch deliberately (tune the entire guitar down a whole step for example using Granaina), it is believed the “toque Levante” (Taranta) key was developed with capo 3 as an alternative to dropping the pitch to match the singer’s vocal range [essentially the absolute pitch of A was preferred, and guitarists did not want to use por medio or por arriba, so would alter the tuning down a whole step so B=A or use capo 3 in F# to achieve the same pitch]. Granaina toque was known to exist before Montoya (Ocon score shows it from 1860s), so therefore, Taranta might be associated with Montoya coming on the scene anyway, nobody knows for sure. What is known is the two “new” toques were Minera and Rondeña, both introduced by Montoya for singers in the 1920’s, and he also expanded the toque Granaina at the same time.


That's fascinating.

When you say "using Granaina" do you mean playing music associated with Granaina or something else?

Were they tuning the guitar down a whole step just to accompany one song or (what I guess is more likely) to accompany all the songs for a given singer?

Given that the capo had already been around for a while (supposedly, the end of the 18th century), were flamenco guitarists using it in the way you described (i.e. as a substitute for tuning down) in the late 19th or early 20th century before Montoya?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 1 2023 3:53:32
 
orsonw

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From: London

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to machopicasso

quote:

When you say "using Granaina" do you mean playing music associated with Granaina or something else?


In the same way that you can accompany Solea por medio open, or por arriba capo 5. For the cante levantes, depending on the singer's pitch and mix of letras, the guitar can sometimes accompany using granaina tonos, or tarantas tonos, or malaguena tonos etc..



e.g.

Y no llegaste a quererme
Eras mis cinco sentios
Y no llegaste a quererme
Y que desgraciaito he sio
Y que he tenio que aborrecerte
Tanto como Yo a ti, te he querio.

Capo 3 por granaina



Capo 6 por malaguena first letra (here singing a bit higher, one semitone up, accompanying above example por malaguena would be capo 5)


Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 1 2023 10:18:45
 
Ricardo

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Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to machopicasso

quote:

Were they tuning the guitar down a whole step just to accompany one song or (what I guess is more likely) to accompany all the songs for a given singer?

Given that the capo had already been around for a while (supposedly, the end of the 18th century), were flamenco guitarists using it in the way you described (i.e. as a substitute for tuning down) in the late 19th or early 20th century before Montoya?


Most likely, if a single cante were needed to be accompanied lower (necessitating the drop tuning of the entire guitar), then a live performance would require the Tocar to place the capo 2 frets HIGHER for all the rest, compared to “normal”, rather than waste stage time tuning down then back up. We only know about what happened on studio recordings, and what we hear by both montoya and other players is Granaina tonality dropped in pitch as needed, or Taranta tonality with capo at 3, or thereabouts.

Since Montoya was the first solo instrumental flamenco guitarist to record (after a strong push from a family friend to do so), the alternate recordings on the double CD release reveal a drop pitch of the entire guitar with no capo for a bunch of palos. I am sure this was deliberate to facilitate some singer nearby (rather than a conscious choice to slack the strings for solo guitar playing). However, we notice Ramon’s nephew do a ridiculous thing of dropping pitch a 4th (!!!) to do his rubber band ligados with the RH twirling in the air, so who really knows?

For sure we don’t know about “scordatura” or alternate tunings from standard relative tuning, before Montoya introduced Rondeña, and I was only pointing out that in addition to THAT, comes expansion of other tonalities in standard tuning as well. Just because Montoya was first to utilize some of these on recordings, doesn’t mean in the real live world of gypsy toque that it was not already going on, or even predating Montoya’s birth. We simply have no evidence.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 1 2023 17:16:11
 
machopicasso

 

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Joined: Nov. 27 2010
 

RE: Alternate Tuning (in reply to Ricardo

quote:


Most likely, if a single cante were needed to be accompanied lower (necessitating the drop tuning of the entire guitar), then a live performance would require the Tocar to place the capo 2 frets HIGHER for all the rest, compared to “normal”, rather than waste stage time tuning down then back up. We only know about what happened on studio recordings, and what we hear by both montoya and other players is Granaina tonality dropped in pitch as needed, or Taranta tonality with capo at 3, or thereabouts.

Since Montoya was the first solo instrumental flamenco guitarist to record (after a strong push from a family friend to do so), the alternate recordings on the double CD release reveal a drop pitch of the entire guitar with no capo for a bunch of palos. I am sure this was deliberate to facilitate some singer nearby (rather than a conscious choice to slack the strings for solo guitar playing). However, we notice Ramon’s nephew do a ridiculous thing of dropping pitch a 4th (!!!) to do his rubber band ligados with the RH twirling in the air, so who really knows?

For sure we don’t know about “scordatura” or alternate tunings from standard relative tuning, before Montoya introduced Rondeña, and I was only pointing out that in addition to THAT, comes expansion of other tonalities in standard tuning as well. Just because Montoya was first to utilize some of these on recordings, doesn’t mean in the real live world of gypsy toque that it was not already going on, or even predating Montoya’s birth. We simply have no evidence.


Thanks, Ricardo. I hope you have a book in the works on all this stuff!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 2 2023 3:38:35
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