Demetrius Cantemir: The Collection of Notations: Volume 2: Commentary, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Demetrius Cantemir: The Collection of Notations

Volume 2: Commentary, 1st Edition

By Owen Wright


620 pages

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Hardback: 9780754602811
pub: 2000-12-31
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The substantial collection of notations of seventeenth-century Ottoman instrumental music made by Demetrius Cantemir is both a record of compositions of considerable intrinsic interest and a historical document of vital importance, representing as it does one of the most comprehensive accounts of any Middle Eastern repertoire before the widespread adoption of Western notation in the twentieth century. This volume contains a commentary to the edition of Cantemir's notations prepared by the same author. The introductory section provides a context for the collection, giving a biographical sketch of its compiler and relating it to the theoretical treatise it accompanies. This is followed by a substantial analysis of modal structures which examines each makam individually and then attempts to make progressively wider generalizations. The projection of melody onto the various rhythmic cycles is next examined, with particular attention being paid to the various formulaic elements which constitute much of the compositional language of the period. A final section shifts to a more diachronic perspective, surveying internal evidence for historical change and for the survival of earlier styles.


'This is a singular and valuable achievement that will benefit those with a specific interest in Ottoman music, as well as those with a more general interest in Middle Eastern music history.' Bulletin of SOAS

Table of Contents

Contents: Part 1: Prelude: Life; Context; Text; Part 2: Mode: Approaches; Modes 1-4; The buselik group; The hicaz group; the acem group; the irak group; the segâh group; the rast group; High-register modes; The ussak group; neva; The hüseyni group; Unnamed material; Structures and classifications; Modulation; Part 3: Rhythm: Introduction; Metrical structures; The repertoire of cycles; Typology and formulae; Internal sequences; Melodic mapping; Tempo Part 4: Postlude: Introduction; Form; Diachronic strata; Appendix; List of works consulted; Indexes.

About the Series

SOAS Studies in Music Series

SOAS Musicology Series is today one of the world’s leading series in the discipline of ethnomusicology. Our core mission is to produce high-quality, ethnographically rich studies of music-making in the world’s diverse musical cultures. We publish monographs and edited volumes that explore musical repertories and performance practice, critical issues in ethnomusicology, sound studies, historical and analytical approaches to music across the globe. We recognize the value of applied, interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and our authors draw on current approaches in musicology and anthropology, psychology, media and gender studies. We welcome monographs that investigate global contemporary, classical and popular musics, the effects of digital mediation and transnational flows.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General