The sound of the Humayun RAV Vast has a sweet and exotic taste like fruit sherbet that you drink in the late warm evening somewhere in the Middle-East. This scale refers to the music tradition of Azerbaijan mughams and has a high-pitched sonorous voice. After the long and accurate review of many mugam modes, we picked up Humayun to create another RAV steel tongue drum scale.
The word "humayun" means a bird of paradise in Turkish mythology and is translated as good fortune and luck. This scale is great for creating tender and lyric melodies.
If you are looking for some ultimately new and refreshing kind of sound and you are a fan of Middle Eastern music, the Humayun RAV Vast will be a great drum for you. It's an upper-intermediate/ advanced-level scale that opens the door for seasoned tongue drum/pan drum musicians to boost the creativity and go into the stratosphere playing the tongue drum.
Humayun is one of the modes of the Azerbaijan musical tradition which is based on the system of mughams. Each mugham or mode has its own mood and is used depending on the aim of music composition. The Rast mugham is associated with energy and courage, Segah – with love, Shutter – with deep grief, Shargyah – with passion, excitement, and the Humayun mugham – with sorrow.
Humayun mode was used in folk songs full of tragedy and created a mournful feeling. We took the best of the original Huymaun mode to make the Humayun RAV Vast that recreates the amazing sound and the mysterious mood of this mode without a tragic feeling. You can hear the exotic vibes of this ethnic music in the voice of this instrument.
The Humayun RAV drum has one of the highest tones in the RAV's collection. The notes of this metal tongue drum are tuned in 3rd and 4th octaves, the Ding is tuned in G3. The scale has two halftones (G3-G#3, G#4-A4). You can also avoid the Ding and play harmonic A minor scale using A4 as a keynote.
This scale has 7 adjacent notes available to play. This layout can be a little hard to deal with. However, if you have some harmonic and melodic background, you'll benefit a lot. The Humayun RAV Vast provides you with an opportunity to pick up both major and minor intervals. Just like playing the piano, it only depends on you which mode to choose and what melody to create – the drum provides you with a full toolkit for that.
Humayun is the mode that exists outside of the major/minor system. Major and minor modes were distinguished in 1600-s and are most commonly used today, but the modes like Humayun were created long before that and were used in composing traditional folk songs.
Although Humayun is closer to major modes, it was designed to compose lyric melodies. RAV Vast tried to recreate this mood in the Humayun RAV Vast. Thus, you play a tongue drum with a major feeling and lo and behold the elegiac songs are composed. That's what makes this scale so different from other RAV steel tongue drums available for sale.
The Humayun melodies are very contrasting. Just like most of the compositions in the Middle Eastern music tradition they consist of the fast changes of high and low pitches. Thus, the Humayun RAV Vast works great for practising a fast playing style.
This scale can sound a little bit relative to the B Kurd RAV Vast as both of these scales are based on mughams and have Middle Eastern vibes as well as the similarities in playing style.
For whom this scale will work
Due to the fact this scale is very different from western scales we are mainly used to, it can be a little tricky to deal with at the beginning. That's why we recommend it for buying for those who have already gained some experience in playing the percussions like handpan and tongue drum or those who have some solid music background.
The Humayun RAV Vast scale will be of interest for those who love traditional Middle Eastern music. It's a great drum for composing and improvising music with Arabian vibes.
Humayun mode is not only used in ethnic music. The Humayun mugham was used by Kara Karaev when composing music for the ballet "Seven Beauties". Humayun mode was also involved in piano music and modal jazz improvisation. If you feel confident with dealing with this scale, you can experiment and create some really interesting combinations with jazz players who also play in Humayun mode. It can be a really innovative and eye-catching collaboration. To make it sound more jazzy, pick up the mallets (you can find them in the accessories section of the RAV products).
The Humayun RAV Vast can be played solo or be accompanied by other instruments, especially the percussions like darbuka, doumbek, cajon, dayereh and daf.