Geske

What is ....

22 posts in this topic

I intend to pick your brains as long and as much as you let me, guys, so here's another question from your tame barbarian:

someone mentionned somewhere in this forum the word 'taksim' .

what is that?

I apologize but I really can't find who said it or where. This is one of those concepts that make vague connections in my mind (isn't it some sort of prelude? like Bach's but oriental? or is sung?) - Vague connections but no light! Any help, a few examples, anything - will be most appreciated.

(Edited by Geeske at 9:35 am on July 20, 2001)

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Hi there Geeske

Allow me to be the first one to answer this since I'm  a musician myself.  'Taksim' comes from Asia Minor or what is now known as Turkey;

 and literally means Solo.

 

  A good Taksimi as we Greeks say, can come from a Musician's solo while he is improvising on the mode in any particular style of song. And most importantly, it should fit  the characteristics of the scales that used to interpret that song and what scale its used for the Taksim.  This transition also includes  preludes (before the song begins).

   A good example of this is on Dalaras Latin number      'Una Monade Le'.

  If you ever seen him perform this song live, then you will have noticed him improvising on the Guitar before the song actually begins with the whole band/ensemble.

 In addition, A good Taksimi is not limited to just a musician, for a good trained vocalist or soloist like Dalaras can improvise on the spot and compose a good Taksim with the voice called in Greek an 'Amane'.  

 Again borrowed probably from Asia/Minor Byzantine era.

 

 Take for example the Amane Dalaras did on the song "Thartho Na Se' Vro".   No,  I don't mean the new track from the new cd; but from the Live recording at the Attikon with Vasillis Papakonstantino.  

    In the duet, Dalaras ad-libed in the middle of the song and composed a short melody with his own voice.

  This is definately what you call a good Taksmi by utililizing the voice to its full potential. And best of all, it was indeed perfect because it flowed smoothly in that Byzantine Asia/Minor mode.

 Hope this helps.

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Christo, it helps a lot, thank you!

Yes I know exactly which "Thartho na se 'vro" you mean - I was playing my Attikon tape on the way over so I was listening it just half an hour ago! :)  

I have a live version somewhere of 'mana mou Ellas' (I think from the concert with Galani) which has always fascinated me because of the "amane" - it's so powerfull!!!

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Well, since you're so kind, I'll just go on taking advandage, and  here's my next mystery...

I am the happy (very happy) owner of a copy of "To Elliniko prosopo tou Giorgiou Dalara". This CD starts, to my enduring delight, with a short spoken statement in which Dalaras introduces the concert. After listening to it a few thousand times, I *think*  I can make out that he is speaking of a concert programme exploring two tracks: one 'to laiko, to dimotico" and the other 'to neo Elliniko tragoudi'

Now as to the first, Michael has just explained to me that laiko and dimotico are related, but not the same (did I get that right?) and for the second, I can translate it as 'new greek song' but that doesn't tell me very much.

Can someone un-confuse me a bit further? ( You've got a quiet :) week ahead to do it in, since I'm going to be away till the 31st.)

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To Christo's explanations about "taksim" and "amanes" I would like to add only some examples (as for reasons of authenticity I would not have chosen the two ones mentioned by him :)):

I will mention the song title and then the instrument with which the taksim is played. Sometimes the taksim is at the beginning of the song (*) sometimes it is more in the middle or quite near the end of it (**):

Mi mou thimoneis, matia mou (bouzouki / **)

Na' moun o Megalexandros (bouzouki / *)

O tragoudistis (violin / **)

Ein' o dounias paralogos (akordeon or syntheziser ? / **)

Einai arga (bouzouki / *)

Kykeonas (violin / *)

Sto kapilio (bouzouki / **)

Mana mou Ellas (santouri / *)

And you are right, Geeske: "Mana mou Ellas" starts also with a wonderful "amane".

One of the best examples for a type of "taksim" interpreted by the human voice is the song "Anatoli" with Dalaras (participation on the record "Oli ti mousiki mes stin agapi vale" ).

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Michael, thank you... I'm listening right now to those of your examples that I have (3 out of 9) and will look up the others when I can. Reading your postings is an education all by itself - I'm suspecting you of being some kind of musicologist (surely you haven't told us everything in your post in the "addiction" thread?).

No one seems to feel like unconfusing me about the laiko, dimotico, and neo elliniko tragoudi (my post of July 21st), but never mind - I'll find out eventually!  :)

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No, no Geeske - I must disappoint you and confess that I do not have any musicological knowledge at all. What I told you about the taksim is simply my experience of listening to music.

Concerning your question about laiko - dimotiko etc.:

Maybe the experts forgot to answer and will remember now ;)? Anyway, if no one will answer, I will look for some material (in WWW, in books etc.) and try to present it here.

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I would just like to add that a taksim can be played by two instruments too, the one will act as a background instrument, showing or keeping the music 'dromo' of the taksim. Geeske and all, I have a nice taksim for you. If you carefully listen "To gramma" from the album "Ta tragoudia mou", you will notice that the bouzouki player plays part of this taksim. It comes from Tatavla, a famous neighbourhood of Konstantinoupolis, nowadays Istanbul. You can download it at:

http://students.ceid.upatras.gr/~galanis/taksim.mp3

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In addition to Nikolas' posting: It sounds wonderful when two instruments play a taksim at the same  time. At the moment I cannot mention a concrete example but I will try to remember.

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I've been listening to examples and thinking of parallels in other musical idioms - I don't think Bach's preludes were a good parallel at all... I first thought of the way guitarists in rock bands will 'go off into a solo' - but that is rather more narcissism usually...

The closest I can come up with, is jazz - the sort where a known song is played with extras, more or less improvised, as the musicians feel like.

I don't mean it *sounds* the same obviously!! I mean the feeling.

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Geeske, I often thought that a taksim in a certain way could be compared with what is called in German "Kadenz" (in English: cadence): a virtuos (and improvised I think) solo part for example in a classical concert for piano and orchestra (let's say by Beethoven or Mozart).

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Quite rare nowadays!

But if you look at Renaissance or Baroque music, it was quite normal practice (also a time when we still had lute players worth the name around here :sigh: )

And of course there were the grrrrrreat piano virtuosi of the 19th century, like Liszt and Chopin. But they were so upper-class, if you see what I mean?

Somewhere along the way, improvisation got dropped out of western classical music - not entirely, but almost. A great loss!

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I think I found one of this beautiful examples of a "double taksim" (played by two instruments / here: two bouzoukia):

The introduction of the song "Ithela na 'mouna pouli" on the record "Otan anthizoun pasxalies" by Kougioumtzis (with Dalaras and Kalatzis as singers).

Am I right, Nikola?

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Andrea

There are so many differences. Either technical or musicological. If you want, you may explain your opinion (I can't answer to one line :)) and I will go further...

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A.A., have you read the "laiko-dimotico" topic in the 'greek music' forum? It sure has made a lot clear for me.

One general truth is that there are always songs on the borderline between two (or even more) categories, and it is not very useful to force them into one or the other - just let them be some-of-both, it doesn't hurt :)

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Hi Geeske, Mana mou Ellas is on "The Greek Voice" #05 and is live. On Taksim and other elements of music from Greece or Asia Minor: "Buy Addicted to Greek Music" (Verslaafd aan Griekse muziek)

Sorry to the other readers it is in Dutch and written by a dutch newspaperman who send his news from Athens to Amsterdam during 40 years or so.

You can buy it from "Griekse Eiland" for 27.5 guilders

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I checked my info on the Taksim.

A good Zeibekiko consists of 3 melodies of ametric art. Introduction to the bouzouki called Taksim (Turkish word for Separation) Next a melody for the Bouzoukia and finaly a melody for the Vocal. In the ideal case there is a short prelude in adcvance of the Taksim. The real rebettist knows from that prelude and certainly from the Taksim which song is to start

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