Locally rhythmical and metric organization of music phrases in free rhythm Taksim Improvisations

The current study examines the rhythmical and metrical organization of phrases in the classical form of Ottoman Taksim. Taksim is a non-metric form of improvisation in classical Ottoman music. The phenomenon is being taught, presented and analyzed by musicians on a basis of melody with notions such as the melodic development and melodic gravity. Recent computational analysis suggests, in addition, the relevance of rhythmical presence in Taksim. Our research contributes to this line of inquiry. We transcribed and analyzed improvisations from masters of the Taksim field, as registered in the Makampedia database. We found clear rhythmical patterns and structures in improvisations and model those findings with the use of basic music theory. The study widens our perception of musical phrasing and melodic flow, it creates educational possibilities for bridging the gap between non-rhythmical and metric approaches and it gives us new tools for modal music education and performance in educational institutions such as conservatories. The outcome of the research has been put into practice and it is being tested in various modules of the Turkish Music curriculum at Codarts, University for the Arts, Rotterdam. It will be demonstrated during this lecture-recital.