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Poeme en Fa...
...was composed in 1955, and is inspired by a melody of Hazrat Inayat Khan. This composition is the composer's first attempt to combine Eastern ragas and Western traditional harmonic structures in one and the same musical message.
In this composition, the note ‘F’ is the Dominant note prevailing all the way through as is mandatory by Eastern tradition on the subject of Ragas, as opposed to Western concepts of harmonic systems,which are recognisable by the freedom in their modulations. The note “F” is also the Key Note of the western F minor scale, to which the various melodic lines are tuned, while also offering the characteristics of the Indian Raga called “Bhairavi”, which emphasises the oriental style of the music.
The Poème en Fa is based on the Western Classical Lied Form. In the opening section, monotonous rhythmic elements, which are designed to illustrate the rhythmic beats of the Tabla, are intermingled by the Tonic and the Dominant of the group of notes through which they evolve. These rhythmic elements gradually turn into melodic groups, which constitute the harmonic lay out of the middle section, structured in an Aria form.
The middle section is a development of all elements which were introduced in the opening section, and which acquire here a particular coloration with the object of expressing in musical terms the words of Omar Kayyam’s ‘Rubaiyat’, on an original melody composed by my Father Hazrat Inayat Khan, and in whose memory this work is dedicated in deep homage and devotion.
The closing section is a culmination of melodic and rhythmic elements, emphasized by the beating of the drums, the echo of which illustrates the ‘Call to Prayer’.
All through this musical poem which is inspired by “Prayer”, there is a hidden attempt to conciliate Raga concepts and Harmonic systems in a venture to offer a vehicle of ascension to the ‘Realm of Meditation’ where it is said that the heart becomes attuned to the music of the Divine all pervading.