Our Music Our Selves


Programming for the Year 1435 A.H. — The Chaconne, with Concertos and Symphonies

Posted in Programming,Schedule,The Year 1435 A.H. by Lester Knibbs on the October 31st, 2013

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

As-Salaam alaikum! Peace!

Our Music Our Selves is a serious and educational exploration of the Qur’an, of symphonic music, and of the role of both the Qur’an and symphonic music in shaping human history and identity; we ask and attempt to answer the questions, Who are we? What are we? and What will we become? Our mission is a mission of healing, a sacred jihaad, to overcome the damaging effects of the Middle Passage, the centuries of terroristic exploitation and oppression, and the generations of self-perpetuating self-destruction that continue to this day. Our program is not entertainment; it is struggle, healing, and change.

Our scheduled broadcast time is every Thursday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/americanmuslim360. Our call-in number is 646-716-4478. You can call in to listen or, by dialing “1″, join our conversation. Call us! We love to hear from you.

General Theme for 1435: The Chaconne

Chaconne” is the name I am using to refer to a musical format which, in symphonic music, has three aspects – rhythm, melody, and harmony.

The rhythm of the chaconne is an ancient rhythm – at least thousands of years old, perhaps tens of thousands. It seems to have originated in Africa. For ourselves, as African American Muslims, it is particularly significant that this rhythm occurs in the first several aayats of at least five soorahs – soorahs ##37, 51, 77, 79, and 100 – of the Qur’an.

The rhythm and melody of the chaconne was introduced to medieval Europe by the Moors – Black African Muslims — who conquered and ruled in most of what is now Spain for several centuries. It is from the influence of the Moors that symphonic music evolved in Europe.

(See my “Outline for ‘The Music of the Moors: The African Roots of European Classical Music’” – http://doctorhakeem.com/blog/2013/08/03/outline-for-the-music-of-the-moors-the-african-roots-of-european-classical-music/)

In the current Age of European Domination, the chaconne was again introduced to Europeans by the enslaved African captives in Cuba. It is from this point in history – Europe’s 16th century in particular – that the rhythm, melody and harmony of the chaconne can be heard to join the diverse musical expressions of Africa, Europe and the Americas. It becomes evident in the following century that the harmonic aspect of the chaconne is the catalyst for the development of modern tonality – which I refer to as “cadential structure” – which is the foundation of symphonic music.

The chaconne is strongly present in the music of Spain and in Afro-Latin music, and can be heard in the Rhythm-and-Blues forms of African American music in the United States. It is heard in symphonic music that openly incorporates Spanish and Latin American influences, as well as in chaconnes and sarabandes, in certain types of themes and fugue subjects, and in the form of phrase or section ending traditionally called the “Phrygian Cadence” – but which I prefer to call the “Moorish Cadence”. The chaconne is also present, as an organizing principle, in many passages of extended development in symphonic movements.

We will discuss these aspects of the chaconne over the coming year – a little at a time in each program. In addition, several of our featured works (highlighted below in green) are based entirely or largely on a prominent aspect of the chaconne. Our first program of the year features a chaconne for solo violin by J.S. Bach which is entirely in the form of a chaconne – rhythmically, melodically, and harmonically – and a concerto for two violins and string orchestra, also by J.S. Bach, the first movement of which is based on a fugue subject centered around the characteristic descending melodic line of the chaconne.

Five (or Six) Concertos in D Minor

  • 4 Muḥarram 1435 (November 7, 2013):
    J.S. Bach, Chaconne from Partita #2 in D minor for solo violin
    J.S. Bach, Concerto in D minor for two violins and orchestra
  • 11 Muḥarram 1435 (November 14, 2013):
    J.S. Bach, Concerto #1 in D minor for clavier and orchestra
  • 18 Muḥarram 1435 (November 21, 2013):
    Mozart, Concerto #20 in D minor for piano and orchestra
  • 25 Muḥarram 1435 (November 28, 2013):
    Brahms, Concerto #1 in D minor for piano and orchestra
  • 2 Ṣafar 1435 (December 5, 2013):
    MacDowell, Concerto #2 in D minor for piano and orchestra

Five (or Six) Violin Concertos

  • 9 Ṣafar 1435 (December 12, 2013):
    Sibelius, Concerto in D minor for violin and orchestra
  • 16 Ṣafar 1435 (December 19, 2013):
    Mozart, Concerto #4 in D major for violin and orchestra
    Mozart, Concerto #5 in A major for violin and orchestra
  • 23 Ṣafar 1435 (December 26, 2013):
    Beethoven, Concerto in D major for violin and orchestra
  • 1 Rabee`-ul-Awwal 1435 (January 2, 2014):
    Brahms, Concerto in D major for violin and orchestra
  • 8 Rabee`-ul-Awwal 1435 (January 9, 2014):
    Tchaikovsky, Concerto in D major for violin and orchestra

Concertos in B-A-C-H
(Bach’s name spells the notes b-flat, a-natural, c-natural, and b-natural – in German.)

  • 15 Rabee`-ul-Awwal 1435 (January 16, 2014):
    Tchaikovsky, Concerto in B-flat minor for piano and orchestra
  • 22 Rabee`-ul-Awwal 1435 (January 23, 2014):
    Schumann, Concerto in A minor for piano and orchestra
  • 29 Rabee`-ul-Awwal 1435 (January 30, 2014):
    Mozart, Concerto #24 in C minor for piano and orchestra
    Beethoven, 32 Variations; Schubert, Piano Sonata in C minor
  • 6 Rabee`-ul-Aakhar 1435 (February 6, 2014):
    Dvořak, Concerto in B minor for cello and orchestra

Classical Symphonies by Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert

  • 13 Rabee`-ul-Aakhar 1435 (February 13, 2014):
    Haydn, Symphony #45 in F minor (“Farewell”) (1772)
  • 20 Rabee`-ul-Aakhar 1435 (February 20, 2014):
    Haydn, Symphony #94 in G major (“Surprise”) (1791)
  • 27 Rabee`-ul-Aakhar 1435 (February 27, 2014):
    Haydn, Symphony #101 in D major (“Clock”) (1794)
  • 5 Jumaada al-Awwal 1435 (March 6, 2014):
    Haydn, Symphony #104 in D major (“London”) (1795)
  • 12 Jumaada al-Awwal 1435 (March 13, 2014):
    Mozart, Symphony #35 in D major (“Haffner”) (1782)
  • 19 Jumaada al-Awwal 1435 (March 20, 2014):
    Mozart, Symphony #39 in E-flat major (1788)
  • 26 Jumaada al-Awwal 1435 (March 27, 2014):
    Mozart, Symphony #40 in G minor (1788)
  • 3 Jumaada al-Aakhirah 1435 (April 3, 2014):
    Mozart, Symphony #41 in C major (1788)
  • 10 Jumaada al-Aakhirah 1435 (April 10, 2014):
    Schubert, Symphony #5 in B-flat major (1816)

Masterpieces of Variation, Canon, and Fugue by J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

  • 17 Jumaada al-Aakhirah 1435 (April 17, 2014):
    J.S. Bach, Goldberg Variations (published 1741)
  • 24 Jumaada al-Aakhirah 1435 (April 24, 2014):
    J.S. Bach, Art of the Fugue (1750, last fugue incomplete at his death)

Symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms

  • 2 Rajab 1435 (May 1, 2014):
    Beethoven, Symphony #2 in D major (1802)
  • 9 Rajab 1435 (May 8, 2014):
    Beethoven, Symphony #3 in E-flat major (1804)
  • 16 Rajab 1435 (May 15, 2014):
    Beethoven, Symphony #5 in C minor (1808)
  • 23 Rajab 1435 (May 22, 2014):
    Beethoven, Symphony #7 in A major (1812)
  • 30 Rajab 1435 (May 29, 2014):
    Beethoven, Symphony #9 in D minor (1824)
  • 7 Sha`baan 1435 (June 5, 2014):
    Brahms, Symphony #1 in C minor (1876)
  • 14 Sha`baan 1435 (June 12, 2014):
    Brahms, Symphony #2 in D major (1877)
  • 21 Sha`baan 1435 (June 19, 2014):
    Brahms, Symphony #3 in F major (1883)
  • 28 Sha`baan 1435 (June 26, 2014):
    Brahms, Symphony #4 in E minor (1885)

Special Ramadan Programming
“It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing:
Riff, Response, and Refrain in the Qur’an”

  • 6 Ramaḍaan 1435 (July 3, 2014):
    Riff: The Rhythm of the Chaconne in Soorat-aṣ-Ṣaaffaat, Soorat-adh-Dhaariyaat, Soorat-al-Mursalaat, Sooraat-an-Naazi`aat, and Soorat-al-`Aadiyaat of the Qur’aan”
  • 13 Ramaḍaan 1435 (July 10, 2014):
    “Response: Repetition and Response in Soorat-al-Qamar, Soorat-ar-Rahmaan, Soorat-al-Mursalaat, and Other Passages in the Qur’an”
  • 20 Ramaḍaan 1435 (July 17, 2014):
    “Refrain: Recurrent Passages in Soorat-ash-Shu`araa’ and in Other Sections of the Qur’an”
  • 27 Ramaḍaan 1435 (July 24, 2014):
    “Riff, Response, Refrain, and the Symphonic Structure of the Qur’an”

From Mendelssohn to Mahler: Symphonies of the 19th Century

  • 4 Shawwaal 1435 (July 31, 2014):
    Mendelssohn, Symphony #4 in A major (“Italian”) (1833)
  • 11 Shawwaal 1435 (August 7, 2014):
    Mendelssohn, Symphony #3 in A minor (“Scottish”) (1842)
  • 18 Shawwaal 1435 (August 14, 2014):
    Cesar Franck, Symphony in D minor (1888)
  • 25 Shawwaal 1435 (August 21, 2014):
    Borodin, Symphony #2 in B minor (1876)
  • 2 Dhul-Qa`dah 1435 (August 28, 2014):
    Tchaikovsky, Symphony #4 in F minor (1878)
  • 9 Dhul-Qa`dah 1435 (September 4, 2014):
    Tchaikovsky, Symphony #5 in E minor (1888)
  • 16 Dhul-Qa`dah 1435 (September 11, 2014):
    Tchaikovsky, Symphony #6 in B minor (1893)
  • 23 Dhul-Qa`dah 1435 (September 18, 2014):
    Dvořak, Symphony #7 in D minor (1885)
  • 1 Dhul-Ḥijjah 1435 (September 25, 2014):
    Dvořak, Symphony #8 in G major (1889)
  • 8 Dhul-Ḥijjah 1435 (October 2, 2014):
    Dvořak, Symphony #9 in E minor (1893)
  • 15 Dhul-Ḥijjah 1435 (October 9, 2014):
    The Chaconne in 19th Century Symphonic Works, Part I
  • 22 Dhul-Ḥijjah 1435 (October 16, 2014):
    The Chaconne in 19th Century Symphonic Works, Part II
  • 29 Dhul-Ḥijjah 1435 (October 23, 2014):
    Gustav Mahler, Symphony #5 in D major (1902)

Thanks for listening.

Take it easy.

Brother Lester