Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

‘Ūd Taqsīm as a Model of Pre-Composition

In this research project Nizar Rohana analyzes and reflects on taqsīm recordings by two leading figures of ‘ūd playing who were pillars of modern Arabic music, namely the Egyptians Muḥammad al-Qaṣabjī (1898-1964) and Riyāḍ al-Sunbāṭī (1906-1981).


Rohana decodes and underline their most significant traits in order to: 

1) enrich and develop his melodic-rhythmic vocabulary; 
2) deepen his understanding of the structural, melodic and rhythmic processes underlying the genre;  
3) design a structural framework or a model for pre-composing taqsīm-like pieces of   music.

To put it another way, the dissertation discusses the creation of pre-composed taqāsīm. The pieces follow a specific model of pre-composition that was designed while taking al-Qaṣabjī and al-Sunbāṭī’s taqsīm practice as a reference and a source of inspiration. This model contributes to both artistic research and practical knowledge, and provides new insights into structural, melodic and rhythmical processes of the genre. The artistic outcome of this project includes five new works for solo ‘ūd. 

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