The art of playing in just intonation can be gradually perfected.

Just intonation refers to the perfectly harmonious intervals contained in certain ancient indigenous musical scales.

 

Her Magical Eyelashes

This microtonal song in Arabic may have been composed  a thousand years ago… Probably in Andalusian Spain…  It has been preserved in Syria and Lebanon. Ghada Shbeir, a Lebanese singer, has produced a recent recording of this song… We learned it from her recording… and re-arranged it to our taste… A woman is longing for her lover… Her eyelashes are partially closed… seductive…

The song is in maqam saba with some changes into maqam hijaz… The intervals between notes are played in just intonation – perfect harmony…

The rhythm is called ‘awfar masri’… Each measure lasts 19 beats… This extreme exotic rhythm structure is a hallmark of the ancient Arabic genre known as ‘muwashah.’

It is a very smoky, beautiful and unusual song… Kristina Sophia is the singer… Gilly Gonzalez is on percussion… Cameron Powers is playing oud, cumbus and nay… Listen… Relax… Enjoy…

This version of the song may be purchased on CD Baby…

These perfectly harmonious intervals correspond to the laws of acoustic physics and there is nothing mysterious about them.

Justly intonated harmonies are part of deep ancient musical traditions which enable ecstatic trance.

Traditional Egyptian music scales, called maqams, are a portal into this ancient musical wisdom.

Unfortunately, the modern Western tuning system, known as “equal temperament,” although efficient for transpositions into multiple keys, does not follow these laws of perfect acoustic harmony. Consequently, one of the three most important ancient portals into musical ecstasy remains closed in our modern times. But with deep knowledge of justly intonated microtonal musical intervals, certain possibilities exist.

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