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HAZZANUT חזנות

Arabic maqam is the system of melodic modes used in traditional Arabic music. Each maqam is built on a scale, and carries a tradition that defines its habitual phrases, important notes, melodic development and modulation. Each Shabbat, Sephardic Middle Eastern congregations conduct services applying a different maqam. The maqam is selected based on the Torah portion's theme or an upcoming occasion. The melodies used in a given maqam aim effectively to express the appropriate emotional mindset throughout the liturgy (The explanations of the maqamot are courtesy of www.pizmonim.com).

Please choose from the table below the maqam you are interested in to access the recording of the Shabbat prayers. There are multiple parts of the tefillah of shabbat that the whole congregation sings together and many different pizmonim can be used to sing those parts. I have started recording these parts in many different tunes to provide a comprehensive variety of singing the tefillah.

MAQAMOT מקאמות
RAST
ראסת
Rast is the first maqam in the arrangement of the Oriental maqamot and therefore represents a beginning. The word Rast sounds similar to RAS, the Arabic word for head. This maqam is used on Shabbat Minha.
AJAM
עג'ם
Maqam Ajam originated in Persia (Iran), and therefore it was named after Persia, which translates to Ajam in Arabic. Ajam is the Arabic equivalent of the Western Major scale.
BAYAT
ביאת
Maqam Bayat is a slumber sounding maqam and does not necessarily imply a given theme. It is the most commonly used of the Syrian Maqamot. This maqam is used for Arbit Saturday night.
NAHWAND
נהוונד
Nahwand is named after a city in Iranian Kurdistan. This maqam was popular in Iran and Turkey before it made its way down to Syria and Egypt. Nahwand is the closest equivalent of the Western Minor Scale.
SABA
צבא
The Arabic word Sabi means baby boy, and this is why Maqam Saba is used for the Berit Milah (circumcision). Saba is used for perashiot that contain either births, covenants (berit), or the mention or reference to an army (Saba).
SIGAH
שיגא
Maqam Sigah, from the Persian for "third place", is applied when there are special Torah readings. This maqam is usually used for the weekday prayers as well as the Syrian way of chanting the Torah with the cantillations (Ta'amim).
HIJAZ
חג'אז
Hijaz refers to Saudi Arabia, which in Arabic is still known as the Hijaz. This maqam, which originated in Saudi Arabia, is linked with death, and is used to mark sad occasions that occur on the calendar, as well as sad occasions that occur in a given parasha.

©Faraj Samra 2009-2014