Music Instruction and Perfect Harmony!
Harmonic Secrets of Arabic Music and Maqam Practice Tracks are the detailed teaching materials which can enable musicians to move into the realms of perfect harmony!
I wonder what the musical scale intervals in traditional Middle Eastern music really sounded like hundreds of years ago?
Suppose there was a way to figure that out… Are there laws of acoustic physics which determine what the ears of a skilled musician might have been listening for?
Harmonic Secrets of Arabic Music explains these laws maqam by maqam… Is it the essential all-purpose guide to dozens of and dozens of maqamat for which you have been searching?
And… yes… the set of simple and slow compositions in 20 different maqams illustrated in the Maqam Practice Tracks use exactly those intervals! No one will ever know for sure… There were no audio recording devices back in those times… But we know the audiences would rave about the perfect performances when they heard them… Now this set of audio tracks which follow the laws of acoustic physics can give your ears the training you have been looking for… Your musical performances can seriously benefit from a little immersion in this musical magic…
It so happens that ancient music traditions sometimes preserve these same harmonies.
It is possible for musicians to learn to hear perfect harmony, but since music scales in the West are tuned to Equal Temperament, which is convenient but not really in tune, it can be necessary to unlearn some musical habits in order to move into hearing and playing in just intonation, or perfect harmony.
The information on this page is designed to help clarify the differences between “just intonation” (perfect harmony) and “equal temperament” (modern Western tuning which is, unfortunately, out-of-tune).
And they show the out-of-tune interference patterns from sound waves created by Equal Tempered intervals.
of Traditional Egyptian
Maqam Music Scales
are seen below
in this column…
of Modern Western
are seen below
in this column…
Western Music Problem Number One caused by Equal Temperament:
The Amazing Musical Cage in which we are Trapped by having only 12 notes per octave…
“Imagine all artists are told by the art industry that 12 standard colors are enough for their art, and there is never a need to tint or shade or mix colors.
Practically speaking, this is the situation which exists in the music world today.
12 equally spaced pitches per octave are the default modern music industry standard, but 12 pitches represent less than 5% of the pitches that the average person is capable of responding to.
This photo uses a full pallet of colors for display:
Whereas this photo is allowed only 12 colors for display:
Research has proven that on average, around 200 different pitches can be heard within one octave, and like unique colors, they all have unique effects; many more than 12 of them sound “good”; in fact, they are all expressive and useful for art.
Imagine what kind of new music is possible when all of the pitches are available…”
— Aaron Andrew Hunt
“Nobody dares tell a painter not to use this or that color. There is no law ordering sculptors to use only marble under the chisel…
I dare to predict that when more tuning systems are available to composers, the contrast of moods will be a most powerful addition to any composer’s vocabulary.”
— Ivor Darreg
How many musical notes do you want to know about?
The 12-note scale imposes a huge limitation on Western music, but that’s not the biggest problem…
Western Music Problem Number Two: “Equal Temperament” keeps us playing notes which are out of tune!
What is Perfect Harmony?
Above we see two wavelengths from 2 different Notes in a music scale which are in Perfect Harmony.
There is a simple mathematical ratio, like 3 to 2, which defines this Harmony.
You can see that the Harmonious notes nest together and consequently sound GREAT together!
Listen to Justly Intonated Interval
Sounds totally smooth and in tune!
We Would Like To Be Able To Play Perfectly Harmonious Music, But Unfortunately Our Western Instruments Are Tuned Like This:
Above we see two wavelengths from 2 different Notes in a Western Major Music Scale which are NOT in Perfect Harmony…
You can see that the notes do NOT nest together and consequently they don’t sound harmonious to someone who has learned to listen carefully!
Listen to Equal Tempered Interval
Not so harmonious! We can hear the notes fighting with each other!
Unfortunately, Western culture lost its Harmonious Musical Tuning about 150 years ago and most European and American audiences can no longer even notice and hear the difference!
But your musicianship can take a quantum leap!
You will know the secret of bringing your audiences into an ecstatic state!