System of Music Theory Welcome to the miq productions makam theory website. Makamlar (Turkish, plural for makam), or maqamat (Arabic, plural for maqam) are the modal structures that make up the melodic rules for middle eastern music. The distribution of the makam system is wide, covering all the North African countries, the whole arab world, Sudan, parts of Kenya, Turkey, Greece, and east through Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Read more about the geographical distribution of makam. Makam is one of the oldest modal theories in the world, dating at least as far back as al- Farabi (c. 950), but some concepts in makam theory extend all the way back to Sumerian music theory that is over 2500 years old. Central to the makam system is an understanding of the tuning of instruments, and tuning of intervals. Read more about the tuning systems included in the makam system. Makam-based music is notated currently on the western 5-line staff, using the treble clef, a manner that has been in use for about 300 years. There have been other notational systems, notably the Hamparsam system, and the Khorzemian tanbur notational systems, both in use in the 18th century. However, makam notation uses a number of symbols for flats and a number of symbols for sharps that aid the notation of more than 12 notes to the octave. Read more about the notational systems. The makam system of Turkey names at least 270 distinct modes, which are grouped into families. Likewise, Arabic maqam theory names 90-110 maqams, grouped into fasilah. Fasilah groupings are often based on modes that share the first 4 primary pitches in common. Read more about fasilah, and the groupings of modes. A great amount of information on makams will be included in a forthcoming book by Eliot Bates, entitled The Makam Book. The book is in editor-proof edition, and will be published shortly. It will be available here and at many world-music stores. The book diagrams over 40 makams in their entirety, and includes repertoire lists, discographies, history, regional tuning variations, and compositional notes for each makam. Additionally, there are chapters of discussion of the differences between the theory and practice, and a simple, straightforward, step-by-step approach towards understanding makam as a performer. Check back soon, but the estimated publication date is April 1, 2002. from: http://www.musiq.com