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Bayati is a maqam that, like all other maqams, is a heptatonic scale. It contains neutral intervals and the standard version has step pattern LLmmLLs, making it a MODMOS which can be derived by chromatic alteration from either the diatonic or the mohajira scale.

The term bayati is also used to refer to the variants (modulations) Bayati Shuri and Husseini. The latter has the same step structure (LLmmLmm) as the rast MODMOS, while the former includes an augmented second.

In a harmonic context

While maqams are primarily a melodic art form, it is possible to adapt them to a harmonic context and there are several ways to do so depending on what tempering is used.

Bayati embeddings can be classified by the size of the tempered perfect fifth. On the very wide superpyth end of the spectrum, 27edo gives a version that is 5533551. This embedding is very unusual because the "minor second" is actually smaller than a quarter tone, which would make it alien even within the context of Arab music; its "major third" is also decidedly interseptimal and thus has an odd effect.

The more moderate superpyth system 17edo gives an interesting bayati embedding (screamapillar; 3322331) that is excellent for harmony, providing an abundance of no-fives 13-limit chords; especially of interest is its diminished triad that closely matches 9:11:13. Melodically it's also close to optimal if you're going for expressive intonation.

The typical tuning for Arab music, however, is 24edo and here the step pattern is 4433442.

A decidedly meantone tuning that could be used is 31edo (step pattern 5544553). There is much less contrast between the interval sizes, however, which might result in a duller melodic effect.

10edo gives a "degenerate" bayati in which the chromatic alteration used to create it also merges two notes together, leading to 2211220 which gives a hexatonic scale.

External links

Maqam World article