Presenting the video analyses on this page
Welcome to the Tunisian ṭubūʿ page with seven video analyses of fourteen ṭabʿ, and thirteen short video analyses of ṭabʿ scales.
The recordings are all taken from the 1932 Congrès du Caire (Cairo Congress) on music.
The series of analyses are documented, explained and commented in an article by Amine Beyhom and Hamdi Makhlouf entitled “A VIAMAP exploration of the Tunisian ṭubūʿ” and published online on June 2 2021 on the site of the CTUPM (CTUPM – Tunisian Center of Musicological Publication). The article is also available as a pdf publication, with direct access to the videos, which include the video analyses (seven for fourteen ṭabʿ or modes) and the videos made from Power Point shows of analyses of the scales of the ṭubūʿ of Tunisian music, included in the CD 1 accompanying the book of Manoubi Snoussi Initiation à la musique tunisienne: Musique classique with 3 CDs, Tunis: Centre des Musiques Arabes et Méditerranéennes Ennejma Ezzahra.
The article is the continuation of three previous articles by the first author concerning the new (video) tools used by the CERMAA team for the analysis of maqām performances. Knowing that the notation and scale tools used in maqām analysis are biased as they are based on the ideological premises of Western musicology, video animated analyses become one alternative way of analysing maqām and other musics – especially solo performances.
While previous VIAMAP (Video Animated Music Analysis Project) analyses concentrated mainly on more complex performances with numerous modulations and musical or vocal and instrumental techniques, the video analyses proposed in this article concern more simple performances, which develop generally one single ṭabʿ scale with few modulations.
Each main video shows the analysis of two successive istikhbār(s) each in a different ṭabʿ (a Tunisian maqām), the first being performed on the r[a]bāb by Muḥammad Ghānim (Figure 1 below), and the second on the ʿūd °ʿarbī° – the two “degree” signs surrounding a word indicate that this term is transliterated from Tunisian vernacular; the ʿūd °ʿarbī° would be thus, in standard Arabic, the “ʿūd ʿarabiyy” – by °Khmayyis° Tarnān (Figure 2 below).
Figure 1. Muḥammad Ghānim and his rabāb at the 1932 Congrès du Caire
Figure 2. °Khmayyis° Tarnān and his ʿūd °ʿarbī° at the 1932 Congrès du Caire
In the 1988 2 CD edition of chosen recordings of the 1932 Congrès du Caire, Bernard Moussali (in Various. 1988. La Musique Arabe Savante et Populaire – Congrès du Caire – 1932. 2 CD. APN 88/9-10. Paris: Institut du Monde Arabe / Bibliothèque Nationale de France, p. 146) comments:
The Tunisian ensemble was selected by d’Erlanger and Darwīsh as part of a strategy to reconstitute melodies of bygone years, as they conceived them. Muhammad Ghānim (c. 1880-1940) was encouraged to drop his current technique on the rabāb, which carried the basic melody line, in favour of a technique close to that of the violin: armed with a long, unusual bow, he provided embellishments and improvisations. °Khmayyis° Tarnān (1894-1964), student of Aḥmad a-ṭ-Ṭuwaylī (c. 1870-1933) began his career as a lutenist and an interpreter of Near-Eastern music. He was encouraged to learn the traditional vocal suites (maʾlūf)and to use the ʿūd °ʿarbī°, the lute of the family of the quwaytra, or °qwītra° in dialect (diminutive of qītāra, from the lndo-European ‘guitar’). He went on to become one of the masters of Tunisian music.
As for (Rodolphe) d’Erlanger:
“[The] Baron Rodolphe d’Erlanger, [was an] Arabic scholar, [a] patron of the arts, and [a] player of the qānūn who had settled near Tunis”,
and for ʿAlī a-d-Darwīsh:
“The Baron [d’Erlanger,] entrusted the musician ʿAlī a-d-Darwīsh (1872-1952) of Aleppo with the task of collecting the ancient repertory, noting it down musically, and preparing the Tunisian contribution to the  Congress [of Arabian Music]. Darwīsh, who was a disciple of ʿAmil Yaʿqūb Tshélébī, grand master of the Mawlawiyya brotherhood and of ʿUthmān bey Hammāmī Zadeh, was lead flutist of the takiyya-s of Kastamonü and Aleppo”.
We have no further info about the recordings as such except the identifications (ID number) of the master recordings: no mentions of the recording “engineer”, of the exact recording date and/or of the circumstances in which each recording was made, are available to us. To allow cross-verification of the recordings, the id numbers of each recording are showed for each video analysis: thus “CDC HC 50a” meaning “Congrès du Caire” (for CDC), the master recording number “HC 50” and “a” being the face (“a” or “b”) of the 78 rpm original recording.
Finally: the recordings were all taken from the (most) complete edition of the 1932 CDC, the “Various. 2015. Congrès de musique arabe du Caire: 1932 = The Cairo congress of Arab music : 1932. 18 CD. BNF 01 CD-01-18. Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale de France / Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority”. As usual, each video analysis holds two numbers, the first for its rank on the page, the second for its rank in the VIAMAP analyses published till date.