An introduction to Iranian Classical Music
The following characteristics are shared between Iranian and other Central Asian music:
- The music is mainly monophonic, with each instrument in an ensemble following one melodic scheme.
- The music is based upon a modal system; with each mode engendering different melodic types, called gushehs in Farsi. The execution of the melodic types are left up to the musician.
- The use of microtones divides the scales into more than twelve semi-tones.
- A priority is given to ornamentation.
- There are a number of substantial pauses in each piece.
The following are characteristics which distinguish Persian music from other Central Asian music:
- Melodies are concentrated on a relatively narrow register.
- Melodic movement occurs by conjunct steps.
- Emphasis is on cadence, symmetry, and motivic repetition at different pitches.
- Rhythmic patterns are kept simple.
- The tempo is often rapid, and the ornamentation is dense.
- Vocal parts are often decorated with Tahrir, a vocal ornamentation similar to yodeling.
- Also, Iranian music is unique in the Middle Eastern tradition in that the different melodic phrases, or gushes are supposed to model the rhythmic stamp and melodic pattern of poetry.
There are three instrumental forms and one vocal form in Persian music. The instrumental forms are pishdaramad, cheharmezrab, and reng. Pishdaramad was invented by a great master of the tar, Darvish Khan, and was inteded as a prelude to the daramad of a dastgah. It may be in duple, triple, or quadruple time, and it draws its melody from some of the important gushehs of the piece. Cheharmezrab is a solo piece, mostly with a fast tempo, and is usually based on the melody immediately preceding it. The third instrumental form is the reng, which is a simple dance piece that is usually played at the conclusion of the dastgah.
The vocal form is called tasnif. It has a design similar to the pishdaramad, and is usually placed immediately before the reng.
Iranian classical music is usually performed...
Note that the scale does not span an octave per se, as it is bound by a b semi-flat on its lower end and by a b-flat on the upper end . Also, the 5th above finalis is played as an A during ascending melodic movement, while it is lowerred by a microtone in descending melodies. The bracketted whole notes show the tetrachord within which the main melodic activity takes place. Melodic movement is strictly diatonic, and leaps larger than a perfect 4th are not made within a phrase. The 2nd below finalis is the aqaz, or the point from which improvisation is initiated.
Middle Eastern Arts
A few nights ago, some of us went out to a really nice Persian restaurant and had fantastic food. The cover of each menu had classical persian art on it-which was really beautiful, and we listened to persian music (also really beautiful). This got me to thinking about middle eastern arts...
The first person I thought of was Zaha Hadid, who is an architect/artist/jewelry designer from Iraq and based in London. I actually got to meet her a few years back in Cincinnati (she is *really* cool).
And looking for middle eastern artists, I found Laila Shawa (which reminded me of Lynnette's work with all of the pattern and color)
How an Iranian musician took ancient Persian poetry to the top of the US charts — CNN
He broke a lot of Persian classical singing rules and he created his own style by incorporating Rumi's poetry in Persian classical music for the first time 40 years ago." Rumi, is Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, the 13th century Sufi mystic, poet and ..