SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

7. Chakavak / The Nightingale's Warbling

Voice with tar

The mode of Hamayun is transformed in the gushe. The range of melodic activity is shifted up, reaching the 7th above the tonic (F) and concentrating on the pentachord above the tonic. C (4th above the tonic) is the most prominent degree: it is the primary note, as well as the usual cadential note and starting note for improvisation.

The E flat and F (6th and 7th above the tonic) are used in the melodic climax. The melodic movement tends to be stepwise, the only permissible leaps being to perfect fourths: from the tonic to C above, or from C to F below. The note is no longer emphasised, and the F and E (below the tonic), unlike in Homayun itself, are entirely non-essential.

'aqilan-e khushechin az serr-e Leyli ghafeland

in karamat nist joz Majnun-e kharman suz ra


Those men of reason who reap their wheat

Sheaf by Sheaf, who gather up their grain

Are heedless of Layla's mystery, for that's

A gift of grace that Majnun alone knows

From withered fields, his crops burn up.