#1August 17th, 2005 · 02:30 AM
1 threads
10 posts
Iranian Traditional Music

Designs, masonries and miniatures belonging to the pre-Islamic history of Iran all indicate Iraniansí interest and taste in music. In the post-islamic era, too, despite some opposition which made music lose its former success, this art survived. The survival of music the Safavid era can be found inChehel Sotun palac. and the music chamber ofAli Qapu Monumen in Isfahan.

Iranís music is an amalgamation of tunes and melodies which have been created in the course of centuries Iran and have evolved along with other aspects of the Iranian life. They refelct the moral characteristics, as well as political, social events and geographical features of a countly with an ancient history. The subtlety and profundity of Iranian music leads man to reflection and deep thought and takes him to a celestial world, Iranian music includes the following branches:

1-The pre-Islamic music (the music of ancient Iranian tribes such as, Bakhtyari, Kordi, Lori, etc.)

2-The post-Islamic music:a)Maghaml (mystic) music; This music includes epic music, tyric music for marriage, birthday and other happy occasions, and elegiac music for mournful occasions.

b) Radif music which Includes the Dastgahs(modes) of Traditional music.

In the contemporary era, Iranian music includes three branches; the two above-mentioned groups in addition to a third one which is Iranís national music. This branch covers the traditional melodies of the two above groups, but with a classic rendition.

According to the new classifIcation of Iranian Awaz (songs) and modes, which has been set since a century ago, Iranís traditional singing and music has been divided Into 12 groups. The seven groups which are wider and more independent are called Dastgah (mode) and the other five groups which are not independent and have been derived from the Dastgahs or modes are called Awaz (a group of melodies with the same gamut.) So, Iranís present traditional music is only a remainder of the former 12 Maghams (modes) and what we have today is a very small part of the Iranian traditional music. The seven main Dastgahs (modes) and the five Awaz groups have several pieces (gushe) which are now the models of the contemporary musicians and singers. The number of these pieces (gushes) is said to be 228. The varoius and well-known Radifi (Iranian classical music) of the masters of the 100-year old Iranian traditional music such as Agha Hosein GhoMirza Abdollali, Darvish Khan, and Saba follow the same order.

The Dastgahs (modes) and Awazes (melodies) in iranís Traditional Music.

The seven main Dastgahs or modes are: Shoor, Mahoor, Homayoon, Segah, Chahargah, Nava, and Rast Panjgah. The five Awazes or melodies are: Isfahan, Abou Ate, Bayat-e-Tork, Afsharl and Dashti.
#2August 17th, 2005 · 03:35 PM
31 threads / 1 songs
434 posts
United States of America
wow... this is really cool... always fun to know about music in other cultures... i haven't read this thing yet actually... i'm just glancing at it... but it looks cool.. i'll come back and check it out more thoroughly later... thanks man this is some good quality content
#3August 17th, 2005 · 05:26 PM
6 threads / 4 songs
33 posts
United States of America
I agree with the above. Are the modes similar to the european (greek) modes of the natural scale, or are they some other representation of modal music?
#4August 18th, 2005 · 01:04 AM
1 threads
10 posts
History of Iranian Music(part two)
I would like to say thanks to Mr entheon for his care and interest towards Iran's culture and music. and i may have to repeat some already explained parts , i hope you forgive me for that.and i promise i will make sure that all the questions are humbly answered in following texts
part two:
The Dastgahs (modes) and Awazes (melodies) in iranís Traditional Music:

The seven main Dastgahs or modes are: Shoor, Mahoor, Homayoon, Segah, Chahargah, Nava, and Rast Panjgah. The five Awazes or melodies are: Isfahan, Abou Ate, Bayat-e-Tork, Afshari and Dashti.

The Components of Dastgah and Awaz

In order to perform a Dastgah or Awaz, a special order must be followed and that is; prelude, Awaz, Tasnif (song) and Reng (dance tune). The late Oarvish Kban Innovated and added Plshdaramad (what comes before the prelude) and Chahar Mezrab to this order.

Iranís Folklore Melodies

The late Khaleghi said in this regard," One of the valuable sources of music in every country is the music and melodies played and sung by the rural people who live in villages far from the cities. And since their music and songs have been less influenced by the urban people, they are

more iatural and original and are closer to the countryís ancient and authentic music. Collecting such music not only preserves It, but also gives us more lnformaUonaboutaco~ntry and theway Its people live." As Iran has dlffrenttrlbeswlth different cultures, Its folklore musk enjoys a vast variety, both In the songs and the music. For Instance, the music of Gilan, Azarbal Jan, Khorasan. Kordestan, Shlraz, and Baluchistan have different melodle and accents. Iranís folklore music has two forms: 1)- Local melodies which are sung by one person or by a group. 2)~ Local dances which are accompanied by nativ. musical instruments.

Iranís local melodies are one of the richest, most beautiful and most various among the folklore melodies in the world. These melodies reflect the thoughts, lives, and nature of the people who have created them. They are one of the rich cultural sources of Iran and can be the best inspiration for our musicians to compose scientific music.

Some Samples Iranís folklore Melodies:

Gilan and Talesh Music. Kurdistan Music. The music of the South Coast of Iran. Lorestan, Bakhtlari & Fars Music. Sistan va Balouchestan Music. Khorasan Music. Turkmen Music. Azarbaijan Music.
#5August 20th, 2005 · 02:48 PM
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10 posts
History of Iranian Music(part 3)
Musical Instruments

Iranís musical instruments have been of immense importance since ancient times.

Around a hundred years ago, Iranís music was gradually separated from songs and followed its own way Iranian musicians and composers masterted the Iranian musk and made innovations in this regard but, on the whole, Iranís Instrumental music, has two main parts:

 1)- solo which is based on traditional music and improvisation.

2)- Group playing, either small or large groups with solo or chorus.


Solo Is highly significant in oriental music and this can be related to the eastern philosophy and mysticism and making a connection with the spiritual world. The eastern musician, in his own sense, is engaged in some sort of worship, especially in his soNtude.

 Group Playing

Group playing became more common irlran since the time of Nasereddin Shah the Qajar king. Itwas both in the form of traditional music and

instruments and martial music and western instruments which were introduced in Iran by Monsieur Loumer (the French music teacher who had been invited to Iran to teach at Daroiphonoon school) later, group playing became more common and with western musical instruments joining the Iranian ones and the playing of Iranian pieceson western Instruments, It further prospered.

The oldest Iranian musical instruments are the ney (the Iranian flute) and the tambourine. The following are the different kinds of Iranian musica instruments generally classified:
#6August 23rd, 2005 · 01:51 PM
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10 posts
History of Iranian Music(part 4)
Wind Instruments

The ney is the oldest instrument in this group. it is a tube made of cane wIth seven joints and six knots. The ney Is among Iranís rural instrumenti and i~ usually played in all parts ollran.

Another Iranian wind instrument is Sorna (an oboe-like Iranian instrument) which is common all ovElran and is of two types:Bakhtyari and Azarbaijani. In Iran, the Soma is usually accompanied by the Dohol or the naghareh (a drum-like Iranian Instrument). This instrument is played at different occasions according to the particular region of the country. In lraníKordestan, the dohol and the soma are played at mourning ceremonies while in the north, the soma is played along with the performance of ropewalkers and West Azarbaijari, the villagers play the Sorna in their marriage ceremonies along with wood dancing.

The Korna is an ancient and historical instrument which is made and played differently In various provinces Iran. The main types of the Korna (an Iranian instrument of the sorna family) are those in the north ciran, Gilan and Mashhad. The Korna is mostly played in Kordestan and Azarbaijan.

The Bagpipe: It is mostly used in the south oiran. In some parts of Iran, it is called "Khiknai". It is also played in some parts of Azarbaijan.

String Instruments

One of the oldest string Instruments is Kamancheh (an Iranian violin-like instrument resting on the ground during the performance). This instrument can be used well both in solo and in group performance. Kamancheh isa national musical instrument which is played in all the provinces of Iran, but Is mostly common among Turkmen and Turk tribes.

- The barbat (a harp-like Iranian instrument): this is an instrument from the family of limited string instruments. It is also called AI-e-Oud or Lout. Its body Is like a pear divided lengthwise into two parts. It has a big body and a short necI~ which, in earlier times, used to have three strings. The rabab: This instrument has four parts: a melon-shaped body, middle, neck, and head. The strings of the rabab used to be made of the she-bowel, but now they are made of nylon threads. Its plectrum is made of chicken feather. This instrument is mainly rural and is mostly played in Khorasan and also in some parts of Baluchistan and Sistan.

The tar: it is one of the original Iranian string instruments, It has a multi-part body and six strings. Other musical instruments of the tar family are the Doter and the Setar. The doter is usually played in Turkmen Sahra anKhorasan.

Musical Percussion Instruments

The famous Iranian percussion instruments are the dohol, the dayereh, the drum and the Tonbak.

Dohol: It is a musical percussion instrument consisting of a hollow cylindrical body with a diameter of around one meter and a height of 25 to 30 centimeters. Both ends of the cylinder are covered with a tightly stretched skin, the dohol is played with two sticks, one of which is like a walking stick and the other one isa thin twig. The dohol isa rural instrumentwhich usually accompanies the sorna and is mostly playedFars. Baluchistan andKordestan provinci.

Dayereh(Tambourine): This percussion instrument consists of a wooden circle on one side of which, there is a tightly strectched skin, it is struck with fingers of the two hands. The Dayereh Is commonly used in urban areas rather than rural and usually accompanies another musical instrument Presently, the Dayereh is mostly played in Azarbaijan.

Drum: It is another percussion instrument which is smaller than the dohol and is played with two sticks. Inmost parts Iran, it is usually used in mourning ceremonies.

Tonbak: The tonbak isa percussion instrument made of wood (usually wainutwood). It consists of two parts: the upper part is acylindercovered by skin and the lower part is the neck of the tonbak which has a wide, open mouth. It is played by the fingers and the skillful player performs artistic subtleties on it.

String Percussion Instruments

The unique Iranian musical instrument in this group is the santir. It consists of a trapezoid wooden box over which 72 white (high) and yellow (bass) strings have been stretched. It has two wooden plectrums. The santir is an instrument which can be played both solo and in group and it ii played in all parts oflran.
#7August 25th, 2005 · 02:04 PM
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10 posts
what is RADIF?
The classical music of Iran is based on the Radif, which is a collection of old melodies that have been handed down by the masters to the students through the generations. Over time, each master's own interpretation has shaped and added new melodies to this collection, which may bear the master's name. The preservation of these melodies greatly depended on each successive generations' memory and mastery, since the interpretive origin of this music was expressed only through the oral tradition. To truly learn and absorb the essence of the Radif, many years of repetition and practice are required. A master of the Radif must internalize the Radif so completely to be able to perform any part of it at any given time. 

The Radif contains several different maqam's which are distinguished from each other by their relationship of note intervals and the form of the movement of the melodies within them. A maqam portrays a specific sonic space. A dastgah may contain approximately from 10 to 30 gousheh's (melodies). The principle gousheh's of the dastgah specify the different maqams within that dastgah. The note, upon which the gousheh is based and often is the center of the gousheh, is called the shahead. The shahead moves when we modulate between principle gousheh's, and this movement creates a new sonic space. Rhythm in these melodies takes three different forms: symmetric, asymmetric(lang), and free form. The rhythm is greatly influenced by the rhythm and meter of the Persian poetry. The instrumental and vocal Radif are different from the rhythmical point of view; however, their melodic structures are the same. The name of the different dastgah's in the Radif are: 

Dastgah Shur, 
Avaz Abuata, 
Avaz Bayat Tork, 
Avaz Afshari, 
Avaz Dashti, 
Dastgah Segah, 
Dastgah Chahargah, 
Dastgah Homayoun, 
Avaz Esfahan, 
Dastgah Nava, 
Dastgah Mahur, 
Dastgah Rastpanjgah.
#8August 28th, 2005 · 02:23 PM
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10 posts
The Dastgah Shur
The Dastgah Shur

That this dastgah heads the list of the twelve systems in most writings is indeed appropriate. Not only is  Shur the dastgah with by far the greatest number of gusheh-ha,but it is also the most popular one. Shur Might even by considered as a kind of basic mode since it is parent to four secondary dastgah and is related through modulatory gusheh-ha to several more. The name Shur reflects its popularity ,for it means"Spicy" or"Clever". The scale of shur is similar either to the western natural minor scale with the second degree raised by a quarter tone: C Dp Eb F G Ab Bb C. Both the shahed and ist are the first note,C. The moteghayer is the fifth note,which is lowered to G-koron for the gusheh of Shahnaz. The note on which the daramad starts is frequently the seventh scale step,B-flat. because Shur is so popular, there are several acceptable versions of the daramad.  The  rast kuk for Shur is : G or A for tar and settar,G for the santur ,and A for the kamanchay.

The Scale
C# two microtone Above C
Dp three microtones above C (p koron)

The start on C for each dastgah ( p koron and b flat)
Shure,Dashti,Abu-Ata         C  Dp Eb  F  G  Ab  Bb  C

1. Daramad 1 2. Daramad 2 3. Daramad 3 4. Daramad 4 5. daramad 5 6. Daramad 6
7. Naghme 1 8. Naghmeh 2 9. Zirkesh Salmak 10. Molla Nazi 11. Salmak 12. Golriz 13.Majles,Afruz 14. Ozzal 15. Safa 16. Bozorg 17. Kuchek 18. Dobryti 19. Khara 20. Qajar 21. Hazin 22. Shur 23. Gushe robab 24. Chahar gushe 25. Mogaddame Gereyli 26. Razavi 27. Shahnaz 28. Qarache 29. Shahnaz kt 30. Rango asol 31. Gereyli 32. Reng shar ashob
#9August 31st, 2005 · 01:50 PM
1 threads
10 posts
THE Naghmeh Dashti

This naghmeh ,clearly the most important of the auxiliary dastgah-ha
beloning to shur,is also more closely related to folk music than any
other dastgah or nagmeh of art music. Many folk melodies are included
among the gusheh of Dashti: Gilaki, Dashtestani, Bayat kord and Chupani
to name a few. Moreover ,it is generally felt that a large percentage
of the folk music has the same feeling as Dashti and may even have a
similar scale and melodic shape. In fact, Barkechli stete that Dashti
is the basis of musical folkore. Theorist usually write the shur scale
for Dashti with the third degree as ist and the fifth as shahed.
Transponed to C,the Dashti scale is the same as that of Bayat tork:
C D E F G A Bp C. For daramad of Dashti there is unusaual consensus
in the sources. All transposed versions start on C,the ist,and rise
to stress the shahed E.  Rast kuk for Dashti is F for tar and settar
B-flat for santur,and C for kamanchy.
#10September 1st, 2005 · 02:37 PM
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10 posts
The Ney, which is probably the oldest pitched instrument known to man, is an oblique rim blown reed flute with five finger holes in front and one thumb hole in the back. One of the principle instruments of Traditional Persian Music, the ney has a range of two and a half octaves. The upper end is covered by a short brass cylinder which is anchored in the tiny space between the upper incisives of the player. Sound is produced when a stream of air is directed by the tongue toward the opening of the instrument. In this way, sound is produced behind the upper teeth, inside the mouth, which gives the ney a distinct timbre than that of the sound produced by the lips on the outside of the mouth.

#11September 2nd, 2005 · 02:08 PM
1 threads
10 posts

Mohammad Reza Shajarian is the undisputed master of Persian traditional (classical) singing. He is regarded as a national treasure by both musicians and music lovers. His singing is technically flawless, powerful, and strongly emotional. In music of Iran, traditional singing is the most difficult art to master. Shajarian is the embodiment of the perfect singer and a major source of inspiration. 

Born in 1940 in the city of Mash'had in northeastern Iran, Mohammad Reza Shajarian studied singing at the early age of five under the supervision of his father. His focus at first was on the local folk music of his native province, Khorasan, but later at the age of twelve he studied the traditional repertoire, the Radif. 

He has studied with great masters such as Ahmad Ebadi, Esmaeel Mehrtash, Reza-Gholi Mirza Zelli, Ghamar-ol Molouk Vaziri, Eghbal-Soltan Azar, and Taj Esfahani. He started playing the santur under the instructions of Jalal Akhbari to better understand and perform the traditional repertoire, and in 1960, became the pupil of Faramarz Payvar. 

Shajarian was deeply inspired by the late master vocalist Gholam Hossein Banan. He studied under the guidance of master Abdollah Davami, from whom he learned the most ancient tasnifs (songs). Davami also passed on to Shajarian his own interpretation of the Radif. 

Shajarian started his singing career in 1959 at Radio Khorasan. He rose to prominence in the 1960s with his distinct style of singing. Since then, he has led an illustrious career that includes teaching at Tehran University's department of Fine Arts (among other places), researching the musical arts of Iran, and working at the National Radio and Television. He has been performing regularly in Iran and throughout the world. His performances have brought him universal acclaim and an eminent position among his compatriots. 

Besides his tremendous musical talent, Shajarian has had a life-long passion for Persian Calligraphy. Since 1967, he has practiced this art under the instructions of two Iranian master calligraphers, Ebrahim Buzari, and Hossein Mirkhani. At present, he is considered an accomplished calligrapher with his own distinct style.

#12September 3rd, 2005 · 02:47 PM
1 threads
10 posts
Tar -
Belonging to the lute family, the tar appeared in its present form in the middle of the eighteenth century. The body is a double-bowl shape carved from mulberry wood, with a thin membrane of stretched lamb-skin covering the top. The long fingerboard has twenty-six to twenty-eight adjustable gut frets, and there are three double courses of strings. Its range is about two and one- half octaves, and is played with a small brass plectrum.
#13September 7th, 2005 · 05:12 AM
31 threads / 1 songs
434 posts
United States of America
what is that guy wearing on his head!? a raccoon!? lol... no but seriously... this is cool stuff... I just wish I knew more of the names of these people - they're all the same to me because I'm a stupid american.

also, some of the explanations here are two simple... there are many words that you use but don't define - that's a pain because then I can't understand what you're trying to say. English appears not to be your native language and for the most part that's fine, but I think you end up assuming that some things are obvious when they are not. It's always hard when we explain things to other people to figure out what the other person doesn't know. Some things, like the exact history part, could take years and many books to truly do well and complete, however some of the parts like the part about the Dagstahs or whatever they are, need a good deal more depth before they are really understandable and usable as musical knowlege.

thanks for the attempt anyway, hopefully you'll come back and flesh this out a little more fully in the future.
#14September 8th, 2005 · 02:30 PM
1 threads
10 posts
about radif for entheon
hopefully you'll come back and flesh this out a little more fully in the future
this page contains some information about what you want
anything else entheon?
#15March 5th, 2006 · 01:24 PM
1 posts
encyclopedia of persian music instruments


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