Final MENAME concert: Thursday, March 26, 2009

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Note that there will be a dress rehearsal on Wednesday, March 25, 6:30 pm in Convocation Hall (Old Arts Building), where the concert will also be held. For the concert, try arrive at Convocation Hall around 5pm, so as to stow your things and quickly test equipment and chair arrangements. Then we can all get a quick dinner before returning to the hall by 6:30.

The concert is now scheduled to start at 7:30 pm, but since all will be early, we'll start promptly. Dress: smart casual (no jeans or sneakers). Be sure to have the music or lyrics you need in the right order, in a black folder.

A musical journey (click to browse the map)

Program order:


  • Bilafrah Hijaz G (3 min). Play entire form once only.
  • Taqsim Hijaz G to Nahawand C (org)
  • Dulab Nahawand C. Cue: 3 beats. Then melody instruments start (upbeat), then percussion enters on wahda, switching to maqsum. Repeat form twice, with four bar percussion solo in middle.
  • taqsim Nahawand C. Nadir.
  • Sa'altak habibi Mona and Tony (5 min) Nahawand C. Cue from MF: four beats (one bar). Start with instrumental group and percussion (masmudi). Percussion shift to wahda for refrain and first part of each verse (using masmudi on the second part). The first line of the refrain is repeated first by solo, then by group. The first two lines of each verse are repeated first by Mona, then by Tony; the remainder of each verse is a solo by Mona. Percussion, remember to pause on cue, then resume in second half of bar 44 with masmudi. End quietly - simply hold final note, without any percussive drama. Click here for details


  • Taqsim Nahawand to Rast C. Aws.
  • Dulab Rast C. Same melodic contours as Dulab Nahawand. Start with melody instruments, then percussion enter on wahda, switching to maqsum. Play form once only (be prepared for the slowdown!)
  • La Khabar Rast C. Solo group: Amal, Tony, David, Rana. (5 min). Cue from MF: four beats (one bar). Begin with instrumental section; soloists (nay and violin) be prepared! Others should not play solo but rather emphasize the response. Be careful to keep the response in time! When accompanying the singers, instrumental lawazim (stems down) should be emphasized. Percussion: switch to wahda in bars 29-32 (first half of the first verse melody), switch to from bar 38, then back to Maqsum in 46. Singers: soloists sing each section, followed by repeat from chorus, except that on the 2nd repeat of the entire form the chorus should sing the entire refrain twice, before relinquishing the melody to the soloists and continuing as in the first repeat of the form. Slow down at the end (and here percussive drama is welcome!).


  • Bidad Zaman D minor. Elaheh solo, with single percussionist (other percussionists should sing). (5 min). Begin with 4 bars (2/4) of solo drum (Kioumars), then music enters. Vocalists: take your cues from Elaheh. After repeating the form start at the top and take the first repeat, then stop at the word "music" on the 2nd line. I'll cue a slight slowdown.
  • Chang-e Rudaki G minor. Kioumars and Yuliya solo, with Steven and Andrew on percussion. (5 min). Cue from Kioumars. 2 bars of percussion (3/4), followed by instrumental section (line 4 bar 3). 2nd half: 2 bars of percussion (2/4) followed by instrumental section (p. 3). Return to first page (top) to end (and ignore 1st/2nd ending markings). Instruments: take care to observe all repeat marks, accidentals, and dynamics!
  • Ali Hooshiar and Raman Yazdani, avaz (7 min) (piano and voice). MENAME: remain seated while they enter, perform, and exit.
  • Shaneh Ensemble. (5 min). Cue: 4 beats from MF (not too fast). Percussion begin with 4 bars of D.ttd.t. - keep this same pattern throughout. Sing to the first bar on the last line, then repeat to the letter A, and end at B.
  • al-Uzubiyya Next, I'll cue 4 beats (slightly faster), and percussion begins ) with bamb. We then sing al-Uzubiyya using the form: refrain 2x (solo/all) - verse - refrain (all) - verse - refrain (all). Ashraf will sing the first line of each verse solo, followed by the chorus, then he'll sing the second line solo. Percussion switch to malfuf for verses. Repeat final refrain several times (probably thrice) - I'll indicate speedups. Watch me carefully for cues to slow down at the end!

Saudi Arabia:

  • Ahabbek law tekun hader Mona and Samira (4 min). Cue from MF: first give pitch (D), then count full bar (4 beats) plus 2 - then vocalists and instrumentalists enter with melody together. Percussion doesn't start until near the end of the 4th bar (don't forget to emphasize the khaligi D..D pattern, and swing a bit!). Percussion: remember your "stop" points. Form: refrain (all), refrain (melody), verse 1 (solo), verse 1 (all), refrain (all), verse (instrumental only), verse 2 (solo), verse 2 (all), refrain (all). Remember that the vocalists have to come in at the beginning of this song - be ready! Generally: percussionists, don't hesitate; enjoy the groove.

Dance suite:

  • Taqsim huzam (Aws)
  • Dulab Huzam, with final slowdown (3 min). The Dulab is three phrases - call them A, B, C. We repeat AABB for a while, then close with C. Cue: 4 beats from MF, all start together. We start out briskly (percussion begin in wahda, then switch to maqsum after repeating the first phrase). Watch for my cue to do the "slowdown" - a slight drop in tempo. This will be our last repeat of AABB. We then close with C, much slower, and end.
  • Raqs al-Hawanem (7 min, with dancing featuring Pam and Cari, and audience participation).
    Cue: 4 beats (from MF; not too slow): Percussion start in masmudi. Don't forget: 2 drum solos (bars 7, 8) then all stop in bar 10 (no solo). Move to ciftetelli in bar 16, return to maqsum in 30, shift to Dt....(tt)(tt) in 36, back to masmudi in 41. At end of first repeat of form: 4 bars of malfuf (this is 2 bars in the score, not 4 as I've notated it - yes a mistake in my notation!), then return to repeat the form. This time the first rhythm is malfuf, skip the repeat, and continue to the second ending (don't worry about ayoub as I've indicated on the notation). There follows some soloing and then a return to the first part of the piece, as follows:
  1. Play form all the way through, 2x (ensemble, Pam solo dance onstage)
  2. Taqsim oud (Ashraf) with drone; no drumming (Pam solo dance onstage)
  3. Add instrumental ciftetelli ostinato, continue taqsim
  4. Add instrumental maqsum ostinato, drum solo begins
  5. Drum solo continues; instruments move with the rhythm, stopping when meter stops. (Cari take the dancing to the aisle with veils and zills, audience participation)
  6. Drum returns to Masmudi (4 cycles)
  7. Perform Raqs al-Hawanem to the first repeat mark, and end there.

Instrumentalists: follow MF lead for melodic patterns, and be sure to watch for my cue to return to the top of the form, and to stop!

about 50 minutes to here

- intermission - 15 minutes


  • Dulab Rast. Starts with melody instruments, then percussion enter. As before, once through only, no percussion solo. Watch for signal to slow down.
  • Ya Shadi al-Alhan Rana and Tony (4 min). Cue: four beats. Start with percussion section playing 14 beat cycle twice through.
    Overall form: instrumental/verse 1/instrumenal/verse 2/instrumental/verse 3/verse 1. At end: hold E half flat and end on cue from MF. Click for detail
  • Longa Riyad (subgroup) (4 min). Nahawand G. Note: transition from triple meter back to duple: leave one beat pause, then return to teslim.
  • il Hilwa Di, featuring Amr Eid, Ashraf and Samira (4 min). Ashraf and Samira will begin with the refrain, then everyone enter on the repeat. Perform as we usually do from here on. Don't forget the slight slowdown in the final section (Bayyati).


  • Leylim Ley Samira, Amal, & Elaheh (5 min). Begin with short taqsim from Aws, followed by metric bar (be careful to select the right tempo here!), repeated by all. Instrumental section is divided into solo (plucked instruments), and group (others). On the first and second repeats: group performs the first two and a half bars, and solo responds; then solo plays the next 2 and a half bars, and group responds; then solo plays the next one and a half bars, and group responds. On the third repeat: reverse roles of solo and group. Next, vocalists enter. Be sure to differentiate soloists and group (the group sings "Leylim Ley" in response to solo, except the last phrase, which is sung by everyone). Repeat instrumental section between verses. At the end, loop the last phrase while org plays short solo. Then MF will cue sections to drop out after completing the current phrase: first, violins, then percussion. End with vocalists and plucked instruments, with slight slowdown on cue.


  • Wahrane all (5 min). Cue 5 beats (one full bar plus 2 beats), percussion enter with the DD that comes at the end of the rhythmic cycle. Instrumentalists: enter at the end of their fourth complete cycle. Remember to divide yourselves throughout into the various parts (melody line, lawazim); watch your timing and make the lawazim strong. Singers enter immediately after opening melody repeats 2x. Following instrumental section, sing verse. There follows a taqsim by Aws - everyone else get a bit quieter. When he finishes, I'll signal instrumentalists to play more strongly, and count four bars (on my fingers) - on the fourth, return to the top of the form. Second time through is like the first, but this time we'll fade out with slight slowdown at the very end (watch for cues).
  • A vava inouva all (5 min). Intro from Ben and Nadir, who will set the tempo. Instruments enter on the second repeat of the opening phrase. Vocalists: be ready to enter immediately! Everyone take care with the timing. Ending: watch my cues to fade; we'll repeat a few times before ending, with slight slowdown at the very end. No percussion on this piece.


  • Allah ya Moulana all (antiphonal choirs); Samira leads antiphonal (alternating) choirs (5 min).

1) bass (4 bars)
2) add cymbals, rattle (4 bars)
3) add drums (4 bars)
4) add clapping, and continue until signal
5) music
6) chorus 2x (once for each antiphonal choir), then music
7) verse 1, verse 2, chorus 2x, then music
8) verse 3, verse 4, chorus 2x, then music
9) solo taqasim
10) music
11) chorus 4x (twice for each antiphonal choir), then music
12) at signal: drop out drums
13) at signal: drop out cymbals and rattle
14) close with bass


  • Oudak Rannan Rana (7 min with dancing). Cue from MF: 4 beats (one bar), then percussion enter with 4 bars of maqsum, before instrumentalists perform melodic introduction. (*) There follows the refrain, performed by vocal solo, repeated by chorus. (*) Next comes an instrumental section, followed by the first verse (first line solo, repeated by chorus, finished by solo). Then all sing the refrain once. Second verse is set to the refrain melody, sung solo. There follows the instrumental section, and then verse three ( (first line solo, repeated by chorus, finished by solo). Repeat from (*) until signal from MF to stop. (Meanwhile, Nizar and others dance on stage, then descend to lead dabke through the aisles...)

about 45 minutes

Possible encores:

Total time: 108 min. + 10 min transitions + 15 min intermission = 133 min

General principles

  • melodic instrumentalists should take care: (1) to drop volume during vocal solos, and raise volume during chorus sections; (2) to drop volume during targama (=tracing the main melody line), and raise volume during lawazim, creating a sharp contrast; (2) to drop volume prior to solos, in order to maximize contrast; (3) develop your own tasteful lawazim and heterophonic variations, filling all spaces.
  • melodic instrumentalists should vary repeats, by rising an octave if possible (violins especially)
  • when one instrument has a solo, others should not drop out. For taqasim, provide a quiet drone on the tonic. For other solos, use a "targama" technique, as if accompanying the singer.
  • percussionists should take care: (1) not to let volume get too high; (2) to listen to one another and to the rest of the ensemble, in order to stay in time; (3) not to accelerate or decelerate except where required; (4) provide nice balance of dum and tek, drum sound and jingle sound, within the ensemble by including a variety of percussion instruments: tabla, tonbak, riqq, tambourine, shaker, clave, etc.
  • percussion should always change between chorus and verse; use quieter, less dense cycles with less jangling for verses; louder, denser, janglier for chorus. Precise specifications will vary with the piece.
  • singers: (1) know who is singing solo part and who is singing chorus; (2) sing loudly!; (3) if you're not soloing, be sure you're not singing directly into the microphone!
  • all: know the forms well, then perform with confidence, especially on entrances.
  • watch me for cues, especially to end the pieces. Not all pieces end the same way - some end quietly, and others noisily. See individual piece descriptions for details.
  • please bring only the music/lyrics you need, in the right order, and keep it in a black folder.
  • don't talk on stage, or look at one another. Except when watching for cues, look out at the audience.
  • all: watch each other, watch me, smile and enjoy the performance! :)