Maqam Music with Sonic Pi - Performance

So this is the pull request to incorporate makam music into Sonic Pi. If we can’t make it into the main codebase, maybe this is patchable somehow into the Sonic Pi installation for people who want to try out the makams. I would help if I can somehow.


My fork:

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(For the benefit of anyone not closely keeping an eye on the source code repository on GitHub: this work has now been merged :tada:)


If you want a great introduction to these scales and to Turkish Music then the site contains wealth of information on the subject. Look especially at the Maqam section.


That’s a great introduction to modality and the Arabic Makam music. Spot on for someone new to idea of microtonal and middle-eastern makams.

In addition to your comment, Arabic makams and Turkish makams differs from each other with slight variances but noticable by an experienced and trained Arabic or Turkish instrumentalist/vocalist ear. For example, I can see they have 1.5 or 0.5 tones in their hicaz (hijaz) makam, but Turkish makam music does not have half or 1.5 tone. If you have any spare time to dig through it, please check out my addition to scale.rb file, our minimum step is 1/53. 1 stands for an octave. But AFAIK and see, Arabic makam music uses the standart 1/12 notation for ease of use and to blend with the western tamperament system. This makes so much difference for the tonality of the makams. Please correct me if I’m wrong about this.

Arabic and Turkish cultures are influenced by each other just like any other two neighbor cultures. This goes the same for the early Byzantian music, which you can hear modalities highly similar to contemporary Turkish makam music. I will share the music from that era if I can find. For example natural major thirds are achievable by these systems but unfortunately not with the 12 tamperament systems. Explanation by Tolgahan Çoğulu:

Also we can start a discussion about baroque and classical era tonalities and their differences to the current 12 tamperament system. My implementation was an example of achieving such structures.

I’m up to idea and implementation of any other scale system to enrich the tonality of the Sonic Pi. This is a great opportunity for us to get to know musical systems other than our home culture and use them together to create a new type of music.

I’m grateful for the people who has designed that site. Spectacular and easy of access to the knowledge of the Arabic makam music. I will also try to find explanation for the Turkish makams in English.



Well, replying to my own comment, Wikipedia has very good explanations regarding the issue:

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Thanks for this. I wonder if you have examples of Turkish music you have programmed in Sonic Pi using your scales? It would be great to see some code which illustrates them in use. I have sort of started trying to read the code from the video you posted some time ago showing Sonic Pi being used with this, but haven;t got very far with it yet, as I’m working on another Sonic Pi related project at present.

So that video belongs to 2017 and I have fallen behind a bit on the coding in Sonic Pi. Your interest though, drives me to get some coding done to at least to get you going.

You can use them like every other scale like sampling from them to create an atmosphere, playing them forward or backward to get some tension going.

I will do my best to practice these on a simple code snippet in my free time.

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OHHHHH!!! FANTASTIC KIVANC!!! A lot of thanks!!!
Then is possible to use your makam system in Sonic Pi!!!
I will study this summer :wink:

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Cheers mate! Your enthusiasm makes my effort totally worth it.

Please share if you do any kind of thing done with them!

It is an exciting musical system with a fascinating richness and variety of scales.
I hope that soon we can all enjoy the magic of Turkish music thanks to the effort and generous dedication of KIVANC :wink:

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Honestly, I just recently discovered sonic pi and I’m delighted, but I’ve been offline for several weeks now.
Now knowing that you have taken up the project again I will study this summer
many thanks

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These are great places with turkish music scores:

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