Music, School of


Date of this Version



Copyright (c) 1996, 2014 Randall Snyder


I Shiraz

Text is by Hafiz, considered Persia’s greatest lyric poet. He was born in Shiraz c. 1325and died there c.1388. Poetry combines sensual images with Sufi metaphors. The scale used originated from the serendipitous accidentally tuning of Cretan goat bells. Rhythm is modeled on typical asymmetric meter found in Arabic music.

II Aabortan

Text is by Rabindrnath Tagore (1861-1941), most prominent Bengali of the 20th cen. Tagore published first book of poetry at age 18, later published poetry in Bengali and English simultaneously. He was awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Tagore was also a composer of over 3000 songs as well as a distinguished painter. Aaborten, like much of his work, is suffused with metaphysical ideas. The music uses some elements of classical Indian music, such as the drone, which sounds continuously through the first and third sections and a lydian mode used to suggest a Raga. Tablas are used to further suggest the Indian theme.

III Suzunoya (House of Bells)

Suzunoya was the home in Matsusaka, Japan of Mootori Noranaga (1730-1801), an important Japanese scholar and sets three Tankas (5 line 31 syllable) and two Haikus (3 line 17 syllables) plus additional Japanese words that contain bell imagery. The music is based on the two most common Koto tunings, Hira-joshi, and Hon-kumoi-joshi

IV Kka-Chi

The Korean songbird Kka Chi, a relative of the Magpie, figures prominently in Korean Folk Culture and is especially a favorite of children. It is believed that seeing a Kka Chi on New Year’s Day is an auspicious event that will ensure the coming year to be one filled with good luck. One of the most popular of all Korean Children’s songs is about the Kka Chi: