“… two “Beste”s and two “Semaî”s have to be composed to form a fasıl of an air. These are verbal pieces. The “beste”s are in the forms of “Murabba” or “Nakış”. “Murabba”s composed on two couplets of a “Gazel” can be with or without “Terennüm”s. Melodies formed with meaningless words such as “ten, tenen, tenenen, ten nen ni”, etc. or meaningful words such as “canım, ömrüm” etc. in accordance with the measure…”
Farrah found it very difficult to focus on the music lesson; she had been out late at the Rashid household teaching the women there how to hide their slate and scrolls from the men, how to meet and study in the many hours when women are not seen around the house by their fathers, husbands, brothers.
Besides, this droning old man had not an ounce of beauty in his soul. Her father had sung often when she was little, rousing war histories and clever tales of princes to amuse his sole child. Once, and this memory was vague to her but nonetheless dear for that, Farrah had spied upon her parents at night and her mother had danced while her father sang slowly, low of voice and somehow softer than he was with everyone else.
This foolish old teacher had never seen a woman dance like that for him, and never would. Songs were a sort of machine to him, but Farrah would rather have gears she could touch.
Lately, Farrah’s father didn’t sing much. She generally avoided him, to preserve her secrets from the man who had power enough to ruin everything, but even the townspeople whispered at how the mighty warrior had diminished in body and spirit. For just a second, Farrah was swept up in the silly thought that the Al-Azars might not be so powerful always. But that wasn’t possible. If anything, her own plans were growing in power and could in future be used to the advantage of trade, politics, and even war! Imagine her father taking up sword again, marching at the head of an army with advanced weaponry that the VOC had never dreamed of, every regiment with a talented Doctor and prosthetinai mechanic.
While of course Farrah wrote the laws in Cairo, corresponding with their merchant vessels and the ambassadors from countries around the world.
The teacher was still droning on about how each fasil could be constructed in patterns of 6 and 8, but Farrah thought instead of her father’s favorite song to sing for her.
My life, my little darling
My life for you
My love for you
The world is sleeping but you have woken me.
Little darling my child._