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Music of Iran

Music of Iran

Overview
The music of Iran has thousands of years of history, as seen in the archeological documents of Elam
Elam
Elam was an ancient civilization located in what is now southwest Iran. Elam was centered in the far west and the southwest of modern-day Iran, stretching from the lowlands of Khuzestan and Ilam Province, as well as a small part of southern Iraq...

, one of the earliest world cultures,which was located in southwestern Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. There is a distinction between the science of Music, or Musicology, which, as a branch of mathematics has always been held in high regards in Persia/Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

; as opposed to Music performance, (Tarab, Navakhteh, Tasneef, Taraneh or more recently Muzik), which has had an uneasy and often acrimonious relationship with the religious authorities and, in times of religious revival, with society as a whole.


In ancient Persia musicians held socially respectable positions.
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Encyclopedia
The music of Iran has thousands of years of history, as seen in the archeological documents of Elam
Elam
Elam was an ancient civilization located in what is now southwest Iran. Elam was centered in the far west and the southwest of modern-day Iran, stretching from the lowlands of Khuzestan and Ilam Province, as well as a small part of southern Iraq...

, one of the earliest world cultures,which was located in southwestern Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. There is a distinction between the science of Music, or Musicology, which, as a branch of mathematics has always been held in high regards in Persia/Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

; as opposed to Music performance, (Tarab, Navakhteh, Tasneef, Taraneh or more recently Muzik), which has had an uneasy and often acrimonious relationship with the religious authorities and, in times of religious revival, with society as a whole.

The history of music construction in Iranian culture



In ancient Persia musicians held socially respectable positions. We know that the Elamites and the Achemenians certainly made use of musicians but we do not know what that music was like. During the Parthian era, troubadours or Gosans were highly sought after as entertainers. There are theories in Academia that perhaps the early Dari
Dari (Eastern Persian)
Dari or Fārsī-ye Darī in historical terms refers to the Persian court language of the Sassanids. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the dialects of modern Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized...

 Poets of Eastern Iran like Roudaki were in fact Gosans.

The history of musical performance in Sassanid Iran
Sassanid music
Sassanid music refers to the golden age of Persian music that occurred under the reign of the Sassanid dynasty.Persian classical music dates to the sixth century BC; during the time of the Achaemenid Empire , music played an important role in prayer and in royal and national events...

 is however better documented than earlier periods. This is specially more evident in the context of Zoroastrian ritual. By the time of Xusro Parviz the Sassanid royal court was the host of prominent musicians such as Ramtin, Bamshad
Bamshad
Bamshad was one of the four most famous and skilled musicians lived in the Persian Sassanid dynasty when Xusro Parviz was in power . He used to play music with passion and full of energy in the beginning of everyday in the time of dawn, for this reason, people were always happy and pleased. That's...

, Nakisa
Nakisa
Nakisa is the Arabicized pronunciation of the word Nagisa. Both names originate from the Persian word Negin. Many Persian words have Arabic pronunciations and some have changed over time completely to the Arabic form. The Arabic alphabet is similar to that of the Persian alphabet, yet lacks certain...

, Azad, Sarkash
Sarkad
Sarkad may refer to:* Sarkad, Hungary, a town in Hungary* Sarkad·keresztúr* Sarkad·tanya, a village in Hungary...

, and Barbad
Barbad
Barbad or Barbad the Jahromi was a Persian musician of the Sassanid era, who lived during the rule of Khosrau II, 590 to 628..- Etymology :...

. Among these survived names, Barbad is remembered in much documents and has been named as remarkably high skilled. He has been credited to have given an organisation of musical system consisting of seven "Royal modes" named Xosrovani, thirty derivated modes named lahn, and 360 melodies named dastan. These numbers are in accordance with Sassanid's calendar
Iranian calendar
The Iranian calendars or sometimes called Persian calendars are a succession of calendars invented or used for over two millennia in Greater Iran...

 of number of days in a week, month, and year. The theories these modal system were based on are not known, however the writers of later period have left a list of these modes and melodies. These names include some of epic forms such as kin-e Iraj (lit. the Vengeance of Iraj), kin-e siavash (lit. the Vengeance of Siavash), and Taxt-e Ardashir (lit. the Throne of Ardashir) and some connected with the glories of Sassanid royal court such as Bagh-e shirin (lit the garden of Shirin), Bagh-e Shahryar (lit. the Sovereign's Garden), and haft Ganj (lit. the seven threasures). There are also some of a descriptive nature like roshan cheragh (lit. bright lights).

In general the period of Xosroparvis reign is regarded as an "golden age of Iranian music" and himself is shown in a large relief at Taq-e Bostan
Taq-e Bostan
Taqwasân or Taq-e Bostan or Taq-i-Bustan is a series of large rock relief from the era of Sassanid Empire of Persia, the Iranian dynasty which ruled western Asia from 226 to 650 AD. This example of Sassanid art is located 5 km from the city center of Kermanshah in western Iran...

 among his musicians and himself holding bow and arrows and while standing in a boat amidst a group of harpists. The relief depicts two boats and the whole picture shows these boats at "two successive moments within the same panel".

Barbad may have invented the lute
Lute
Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes....

 and the musical tradition that was to transform into the Maqam tradition and eventually the Dastgah music.

Even after Islam Persian Musicians did not disappear: Zaryab is often credited with being the greatest influence over Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

n and Spanish music. Farabi and Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 were not only musical theorist but adept at the lute and the Ney respectively.

Traditional Hierarchies of Authenticity and Value


The position of a particular work of music often depends on the music genre and its relationship to music theory. The academic Authentic Persian Music (Musiq-i-Asil) is strongly based on the theories of sonic aesthetics as expounded by the likes of Farabi and Shirazi in the early centuries of Islam. It also preserves melodic formula that are often attributed to the musicians of the Persian imperial court of Khosroe Parviz in the Sassanid Period. Dastgah
Dastgah
Dastgāh is a musical modal system in traditional Persian art music. Persian art music consists of twelve principal musical modal systems or dastgāhs; in spite of 50 or more extant dastgāhs, theorists generally refer to a set of twelve principal ones...

 is the music of those who have a greater share of, or affect to be in possession of, refined taste and high culture and as such, in spite of its present popularity, has always been the preserve of the elite. However, the influence of Dastgah can not be underestimated as it is seen as the reservoir of authenticity that other forms of musical genres derive melodic and performance ideas and inspiration.

Other genres of respectable music were not as soundly based in abstract theory, but from a utilitarian point of view were useful. To this group belongs the martial music of Persia (Musiqi Razmi), whose roots go back to the Parthian
Parthian Empire
The Parthian Empire , also known as the Arsacid Empire , was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Persia...

 era, as attested by Roman sources. This form of music has now been almost completely replaced by European forms ever since the modernization of the armed forces. This type of music with large drum
Drum
The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a...

s, brass
Brass
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties.In comparison, bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin...

 and reed
Reed (instrument)
A reed is a thin strip of material which vibrates to produce a sound on a musical instrument. The reeds of most Woodwind instruments are made from Arundo donax or synthetic material; tuned reeds are made of metal or synthetics.-Single reeds:Single reeds are used on the mouthpieces of clarinets...

 instruments was used not only at war but also in official and solemn occasions. The Naqareh Khaneh or the house of drum, the chief exponent of this type of music survived into the Qajar Period
Qajar dynasty
The Qajar dynasty was an Iranian royal family of Turkic descent who ruled Persia from 1785 to 1925....

 but by this time much of the expertise, fostered during the Safavid era, had disappeared. The only trace of this form of music in a much simplified form is the music of the Zurkhaneh
Zurkhaneh
Zurkhaneh, Zorkhana or Zourkhaneh is a traditional gymnasium of urban Persia and adjacent lands, including Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan etc....

, the traditional martial arts of Iran, where the exercises of champions (Pahlavan
Pahlavan
Pahlavān means "champion" and may refer to:* a title in Pahlavani * a title in Pehlwani * a title in Pehlivani - People :...

, literally Parthians) is regulated by a drummer / vocalist known as the Murshid
Murshid
Murshid is Arabic for "guide" or "teacher". Particularly in Sufism it refers to a Sufi teacher. The term is used by other branches of Islam as well, e.g. by the Nizaris, the main school of Ismā‘īlī Shiites....

.

Religious music
Religious music
Religious music is music performed or composed for religious use or through religious influence.A lot of music has been composed to complement religion, and many composers have derived inspiration from their own religion. Many forms of traditional music have been adapted to fit religions'...

 as a category for music is not a musicologically homogeneous genre. The Shiite passion plays depicting the martyrdom of Imam Hussein have its beginnings in the martial music of Iran. Similarly Sufi music
Sufi music
Sufi music is the devotional music of the Sufis, inspired by the works of Sufi poets, like Rumi, Hafiz, Bulleh Shah and Khwaja Ghulam Farid.Qawwali is the most well known form of Sufi music, common in India and Pakistan...

, though having set traditions of its own such as the use of the mystical instrument daf
Daf
A daf is a frame drum used as a musical instrument in popular and classical music. The term daf is used in Iran / Kurdistan for a large drum that has a series of four interlinked rings in the frame. Daf is mostly used in Middle East, Iran, Armenia, Pakistan, Turkey, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and ...

 and a set compendium of librettos in Persian mystical poetry, is nevertheless perhaps closest to Dastgah music
Dastgah music
Iranian/Persian Traditional Music is now modernly classified into the Dastgāh System. This system is a modal system, in the fact that it utilizes distinct modes of music, in this case seven...

 but enjoys a greater freedom of composition and is rhythmically more sophisticated.

The recitation of the Koran is not considered music by Muslims, but something more sublime. Similarly, religious liturgy or Noheh is a category of improvised song, but is never discussed in musical terms.

Popular music however occupies a low ebb in the rungs of respectability with the exception of folk music that plays an important role in the daily life of rural Iranians. Some of the most beautiful music composed in Iran is remembered in the folk songs in Kurdistan and Khorasan for example. Unlike other forms of music that derive from Classical Persian Music, Folk songs have greatly influenced the Dastgah system, and names such as Isfahan and Bayat e Turk attest to the regional origins of the melodic formulae that underlie Persian Art Musical Tradition.

Musical theatre in the form of Rohozi, whereby the covered pool in the middle of an inner courtyard served as a stage, is considered decadent by many Iranians. Tasneefs or popular urban compositions were often put together for the purposes of dance often in all women parties and some of the more famous compositions like Baba Karam and the accompanying dance is today the height of Persian Kitsch. (Dr Salardini - excerpt from upcoming book)

Persian Classical Music


Persian classical music goes back a long way. Musicians like Barbod were legendary in the empire of the Sassanid era.

Until the early 20th century, musiqi-e assil was heard almost entirely at the royal courts of the monarchy
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

. The Qajar dynasty ruled until 1925, with their influence declining since the turn of the century. Musiqi-e assil became a more common past-time for the next few decades, especially after cassettes were introduced in the 1960s. Before the 1979 revolution, Iran produced the Classic / Dastgahi singing stars Adib
Adib
-Given name:* Adeeb , Pakistani film actor* Adeeb Kamal Ad-Deen , Iraqi poet* Adib Domingos Jatene, Brazilian physician* Adib Khan, Australian novelist* Adib Khansari, Iranian musician* Adib Sabir, Persian poet...

, Badie zadeh, Banan
Banan
Banan may refer to:* Banan District, Chongqing, a district of Chongqing Municipality, China* Banan District, Battambang Province, a district in Battambang Province, Cambodia* Gholam Hossein Banan, an Iranian traditional music vocalist...

, Marzeyeh, Hoseyn Ghawami, Taj esfahani, and instrumentalists like Shahnazi , Abolhasan Saba
Abolhasan Saba
Abol Hasan Sabā , was a renowned Iranian musician, composer, violinist, and setar player.-Biography:He was born in Tehran to Abul Qasim Khan Kamal ol-Saltaneh, son of Mohammad Jafar Khan Sadr ol-Hekma, son of Mahmud Khan Kashi Malak ol-Shoara Sadr ol-Shoara Saba ol-Shoara, son of Mohammad Hossain...

, Asghar Bahari, Ahmad Ebadi
Ahmad Ebadi
Ahmad Ebādi was an Iranian musician and setar player. Born in Tehran, he was a member of the most extraordinary family of Iranian music. Ahmad's father, Mirza Abdollah, is arguably the most influential figure in Persian traditional music, and his paternal uncle, Mirza Hossein Gholi, is also...

, Hossein Tehrani
Hossein Tehrani
Hossein Tehrāni , was an Iranian musician and tonbak player. He is regarded as the father of the modern tonbak.-Early life:...

, Faramarz Payvar
Faramarz Payvar
Master Farāmarz Pāyvar was an Iranian composer and santur player. Payvar died on December 9, 2009 after a long struggle with brain damage.-Works:...

, Ali Tadjvidi, Jalil Shahnaz
Jalil Shahnaz
Jalil Shahnaz is an Iranian tar player born in 1921 in Isfahan.- Biography :Shahnaz studied under the supervision of Abdolhossein Shahnazi and Hossein Shahnaz and befriended ney player Hassan Kassai....

 and Hassan Kassai
Hassan Kassai
Hassan Kassai is an Iranian master musician and renowned player of Ney, the traditional reed flute of Iran.-External links:*...

.

The years after the 1979 revolution emerged Islamic Republic approved stars like Parviz Meshkatian
Parviz Meshkatian
Parviz Meshkatian was an Iranian musician, composer, researcher and university lecturer.- Biography :Born at Nishapur...

, Sodeyf Rambod, Hatam Askari Farahani, Jamshid Andalibi, Kayhan Kalhor
Kayhan Kalhor
Kayhan Kalhor , born 24 November 1963, is an Iranian kamancheh player, composer and master of classical Kurdish and Persian music.-Youth and studies:...

, Mohammad Reza Lotfi, Hossein Alizadeh
Hossein Alizadeh
Hossein Alizadeh , is an Iranian composer, radif-preserver, researcher, teacher, and tar and setar instrumentalist and improviser, described by Allmusic as a leading Iranian classical composer and musician....

, Dariush Talai
Dariush Talai
Dariush Talai plays both the Tar and Setar.Born in 1953 in Iran, he studied Persian music with masters of the Radif. His teachers include Tar player Ali Akbar Shahnazi, Nur Ali Borumand with whom he studied Musical radif and old compositions, as well as youssef Forutan and Abdollah Davami, with...

, Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, and Shahram Nazeri
Shahram Nazeri
Shahram Nazeri is a contemporary Iranian tenor of Kurdish ancestry who sings classical Persian music from Kermanshah. He is one of Iran's most respected vocalists...

. The renaissance brought popularity to the genre. Even though the revolution era coincided with the music's popularity, music and Islam have not always meshed well, and many Iranian conservatives disliked even the simple melodies and lyrics of classical music. Women were banned from singing as soloists for male audience, though they were allowed to continue performing as soloists for female audience, as instrumentalists and in chorus.

Most notable living Iranian classical vocalists are: Sodeyf, Shajarian, Shahram Nazeri . Among relatively new classical vocalists we can name: Mohsen Keramati, Ali Jahandar, Homayoun Shajarian
Homayoun Shajarian
Homayoun Shajarian is a renowned Persian classical music vocalist, as well as a Tombak and Kamancheh player.- Biography :...

, Hamid Reza Nourbakhsh and Iraj Bastami
Iraj Bastami
Iraj Bastami was a Persian classical musician and vocalist. Bastami died on December 26, 2003 in the Bam earthquake.Some of his known works are:*Vatan-e Man*Moseme Gol*Raghse Ashofteh*Fasaneh-References:...

.

More notable Iranian progressive musicians whom at their own time have created modern and contemporary Persian classical based theories and styles include the late Ostad Parviz Yahaghi
Parviz Yahaghi
Parviz Yahaghi was a distinguished Iranian composer and violinist. He was born in Tehran in 1936 and died in Tehran in 2007....

, the late Ostad Asadollah Malek, the late Ostad Mohammad Baharloo
Ostad Mohammad Baharloo
Mohammad Baharloo , was a renowned Iranian musician, violinist, composer and conductor.-Biography:...

, the late Ostad Alinaghi Vaziri, the late Ostad Varzandeh, the late Ostad Hossein Tehrani, Ostad Faramarz Payvar and Ostad Bahman Rajabi whom have impacted and influenced the classical Iranian traditions with their respective innovative musical approaches.

Notable bands:
  • Hamavayan Ensemble
    Hamavayan ensemble
    Hamāvāyān Ensemble is a renowned Persian music group.- History :Led by Iranian master instrumentalist and composer Hossein Alizadeh, the Hamavayan Ensemble performs new interpretations of classical Persian music....

  • Manoochehr Sadeghi
    Manoochehr Sadeghi
    Manoochehr Sadeghi is Persian American naturalized citizen, born in Tehran, Iran. He is considered a Grandmaster or Ostad of the santur a Persian hammered dulcimer. Recipient of the 2003 National Heritage Fellowship Award by the Library of Congress and in 2002 Durfee Foundation: Recipient of the...

    : Santur
    Santur
    The santur is a Persian hammered dulcimerIt is a trapezoid-shaped box often made of walnut or different exotic woods. The Persian classical santur has 72 strings. The name santur was first referenced in ancient Persian poetry...

  • Aref Ensemble
    Aref Ensemble
    The Aref Ensemble was a Persian classical music ensemble. It was founded by maestro Parviz Meshkatian, Hossein Alizadeh, and Mohammad Reza Lotfi in 1977. The group was named after Aref Ghazvini, the 18th century Iranian poet and composer. Aref was dedicated to the promotion and advancement of...

  • Masters of Persian Music
  • Zoufonoun Ensemble
    Zoufonoun Ensemble
    The Zoufonoun Ensemble is a notable Persian classical music group consisting of Mahmoud Zoufonoun and his four sons Amir Zoufonoun , Ramin Zoufonoun , Amin Zoufonoun , and Omid Zoufonoun...

  • National music ensemble (Shahram Nazeri
    Shahram Nazeri
    Shahram Nazeri is a contemporary Iranian tenor of Kurdish ancestry who sings classical Persian music from Kermanshah. He is one of Iran's most respected vocalists...

    's group)


  • Dastan ensemble
    Dastan ensemble
    Dastan ensemble is a Persian classical music ensemble. Founded in 1991 by Hamid Motabassem, Dastan has performed concerts throughout the world.-Members:*Hossein Behroozinia *Hamid Motebassem *Pejman Hadadi...

    : winner of Grand Prix du Disque for World Music
    Grand Prix du Disque for World Music
    The Grand Prix du Disque for World Music is one of a number of prizes awarded by L'Académie Charles Cros as part of the yearly Grand Prix du Disque. The following is a partial list of winners :-2003:...

  • Shams ensemble
    Shams ensemble
    The Shams Ensemble is a musical group that performs traditional Sufi and classical Iranian music with the tanboor, Daf , Ney and various other percussion instruments...

  • Kamkars ensemble
  • Shakila's group: winner of Persian Academy Awards International
  • Chemirani ensemble
    Chemirani ensemble
    Chemirani ensemble is a notable Persian classical music ensemble.The group is made of Chemirani family:*Bijan Chemirani*Djamchid Chemirani*Keyvan Chemirani*Maryam Chemirani...

  • Lian ensemble
    Lian Ensemble
    Lian Ensemble is a Persian classical music ensemble based in Los Angeles, California, USA.- History :The Lian Ensemble was established in 1997 by Pirayeh Pourafar, Houman Pourmehdi and Mahshid Mirzadeh. The group has performed throughout the U.S. and internationally...

  • Axiom of Choice band
    Axiom of Choice (band)
    Axiom of Choice is a southern California based world music group of Iranian émigrés who perform a fusion style incorporating Persian classical music and Western classical music.- History :...

  • Chakavak Ensemble
  • Bijan Vakili and Mehrbanou Goudarzi group
  • Radif ensemble
  • Nour ensemble
    Nour ensemble
    Nour ensemble is an Iranian music ensemble under the leadership of renowned Iranian composer Christophe Rezai.The ensemble was founded in 2000 and is composed of nine artists, French and Persian, singers and instrumentalists...

  • Afsaneh music and dance group

Persian Symphonic Music



Sound file samples of classical Iranian music:

Persian Symphonic Music has a long history. In fact Opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 originated from Persia much before its emergence in Europe. Iranians traditionally performed Tazeeieh, which in many respects resembles the European Opera. The first serious pieces of Persian symphonic music have been composed by Gholma-Reza Minbashian, Gholam-Hossein Minbashian, Aminollah Hossein
Aminollah Hossein
André Hossein, born Aminoullah Husseinoff was a celebrated Iranian composer of Neo-Romantic music and a tar soloist residing in France....

, Parviz Mahmoud
Parviz Mahmoud
Parviz Mahmoud was a Persian composer and conductor. He was the founder of the Tehran Symphony Orchestra in its modern form. His father Mahmoud Mahmoud was a famous Persian writer, researcher and politician.- Education :...

 and then Houshang Ostovar, Samin Baghtcheban
Samin Baghtcheban
Samin Baghtcheban , was an Iranian musician, composer, author and translator.-Biography:Samin Baghtcheban was born in 1925 in Tabriz, and grew up in Shiraz and Tehran, where his father established the first modern kindergartens and schools for the deaf in Iran...

, Emanuel Melik-Aslanian, Morteza Hannaneh
Morteza Hannaneh
Morteza Hannaneh ‎ was a well-known Persian composer and horn player.- Musical career :...

, Hossein Nassehi
Hossein Nassehi
Hossein Nassehi was a Persian composer and trombone player.Hossein Nassehi was born in Tehran and studied Trombone at the Tehran Conservatory and composition at the Ankara State Conservatory...

, Hossein Dehlavi
Hossein Dehlavi
- Biography :He was born in 1927 in Tehran and studied composition at the Tehran Conservatory of Music with Hossein Nassehi. He studied Persian music with Abolhassan Saba and, from 1957 to 1967, was the principal conductor of the Persian Fine Arts Administration Orchestra.For ten years, Dehlavi was...

, Ahmad Pejman
Ahmad Pejman
Ahmad Pejman , also spelled as Ahmad Pezhman, is an Iranian classical composer who resides in the United States.-Biography:Born in 1937 in Lar, Iran, Pejman was exposed to the sounds and rhythms of southern Iran from early childhood...

, Mohammad Taghi Massoudieh, etc.

There are also some growing attempts to combine Persian classical music and western classical music. Davood Azad
Davood Azad
' is an Iranian singer and a prominent master of Iranian classical music and Azeri folk music.He is an ethnic Iranian Azeri and has accomplished multi-instrumentalist and vocalist...

, a renowned Iranian musician and vocalist, melded Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

's music style and Iranian classical music.

Iran's main orchestra include: National Orchestra
Iran's National Orchestra
National Iranian Orchestra was founded in 1998 under the conduction of maestro Farhad Fakhreddini. Among its vocalists is Mohammad Reza Shajarian.-See also:*Tehran Symphony Orchestra*Iranian Orchestra for New Music...

, Tehran Symphony Orchestra
Tehran Symphony Orchestra
Tehran Symphony Orchestra was founded originally as "Municipality Symphony Orchestra" in 1933 by Gholamhossein Minbashian.The Orchestra in its modern form was founded by Parviz Mahmoud...

and Melal Orchestra (Nations Orchestra).

Iran is not alien to western classical music either. Many radio stations in Tehran play Mozart's concertos on a daily basis, and many Iranians even make it to world fame and fortune. The 20th century classical composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji
Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji
Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji was an English composer, music critic, pianist, and writer.-Biography:...

 was of Iranian descent. The best examples of these Iranians are perhaps Shardad Rohani
Shardad Rohani
Shahrdad Rohani is an Iranian composer, violinist/pianist, and conductor.- Musical career :His style is contemporary and he is well known for composing and conducting classical, film as well as pop music...

 (LA Symphony Orchestra conductor), Lily Afshar
Lily Afshar
- Awards and recognition :Afshar has been praised for her performances.She won the 2000 Orville H. Gibson Award for Best Female Classical Guitarist. as well as the Tenth, Eleventh, and the Twelfth Annual "Premier Guitarist" awards by the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts &...

 (world class classical guitarist and student of Andrés Segovia
Andrés Segovia
Andrés Torres Segovia, 1st Marquis of Salobreña , known as Andrés Segovia, was a virtuoso Spanish classical guitarist from Linares, Jaén, Andalucia, Spain...

), Loris Tjeknavorian
Loris Tjeknavorian
Loris Tjeknavorian is a contemporary Iranian-Armenian composer and conductor...

(principal conductor to the Rudaki Opera House Orchestra in Tehran), and Hormoz Farhat
Hormoz Farhat
Hormoz Farhat Born 1929 Tehran, is a significant Iranian composer, ethnomusicologist and University lecturer.- Musical career :...

 (Composer, Ethnomusicologist, Music Professor).
In 2005, Ali Rahbari
Ali Rahbari
Ali Rahbari is a Persian composer and conductor, who played with more than 120 European orchestras including Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.-Biography:...

, the head of Tehran Symphony Orchestra
Tehran Symphony Orchestra
Tehran Symphony Orchestra was founded originally as "Municipality Symphony Orchestra" in 1933 by Gholamhossein Minbashian.The Orchestra in its modern form was founded by Parviz Mahmoud...

, performed Beethoven's
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...

 9th Symphony in Tehran Vahdat Hall.

Also in 2005, Perspolis Orchestra (Melal Orchestra) played a piece that dates back 3000 years. The notes of this piece of music, which is believed to have belonged to Sumer
Sumer
Sumer was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age....

ians and ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

s, were discovered among some ancient inscriptions and after being deciphered by archaeologists, was orchestrated by Siavosh Beizaee for Perspolis Orchestra Symphony. However, as it is demonstrated on ancient reliefs of that era, the instrumentations of such pieces probably comprised wind instruments like horn and pipe. Renowned Iranian musician, Peyman Soltani
Peyman Soltani
Peyman Soltani is a notable Persian musician and conductor of the Melal Orchestra.-External links:* ***...

, conducted the Perspolis orchestra.

Folk music



Main article: Iranian folk music
Iranian folk music
Despite all common roots the folk music in each different part of Iran has certain characteristics in correlation with its native myths, dialects, geographical and social situation...



The modal concepts in Persian folk music are directly linked with that of the classical music. However, improvisation plays a minor role as folk tunes are characterized by relatively clear-cut melodic and rhythmic properties. The function of each folk melody determines its mood. The varying aesthetic requirements of wedding songs, lullabies, love songs, harvest songs, dance pieces, etc., are met with transparent and appropriate simplicity. The majority of the classical instruments are too elaborate and difficult for the folk musicians. Instead, there are literally dozens of musical instruments of various sorts found among the rural people. In fact, each region of the country can boast instruments peculiar to itself. Three types of instruments, however, are common to all parts of the country. They are, a kind of shawm called Surnay (or Sorna ~ Zorna), the various types of Ney (flute), and the Dohol, a doubleheader drum.

Persian music includes a mixed Persian-Western music that functions as popular commercial music. The use of western popular rhythms, an elementary harmonic superimposition, and relatively large ensembles composed of mostly western instruments, characterize this music. The melodic and modal aspects of these compositions maintain basically Persian elements. On the whole, it would be something of an understatement to say that the artistic merit of such a melange as this is rather questionable.

Iran is home to several ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

s, including Kurd
Kürd
Kürd or Kyurd or Kyurt may refer to:*Kürd Eldarbəyli, Azerbaijan*Kürd Mahrızlı, Azerbaijan*Kürd, Goychay, Azerbaijan*Kürd, Jalilabad, Azerbaijan*Kürd, Qabala, Azerbaijan*Qurdbayram, Azerbaijan...

s, Azerbaijanis, Bakhtiari and Baluchi
Baloch people
The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

 peoples. Turkmen
Turkmen people
The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai,...

 epic poets similar to Central Asian musicians are common in Khorasan, while Kurdish music
Kurdish music
Kurdish music refers to music performed in Kurdish language.Traditionally, there are three types of Kurdish Classical performers - storytellers , minstrels and bards . There was no specific music related to the Kurdish princely courts, and instead, music performed in night gatherings is...

 is known for its double-reed duduk
Duduk
The duduk , traditionally known since antiquity as a Ծիրանափող is a traditional woodwind instrument indigenous to Armenia. Variations of it are popular in the Middle East and Central Asia...

 and an earthy, dance-oriented sound. The most famous personalities in Iranian folk music are Pari Zangeneh and Sima Bina
Sima Bina
Simā Binā is notable Persian classical musician and Iran's researcher, composer, singer and song-writer of Iranian folk music...

.

Music of Azarbaijan (Azerbaycan, Iran)


This is the music of provinces of Zanjan, East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan and Ardabil in Iran. Azerbaijan like other parts of Iran has a distinct music. On February 21, 1828, under the Treaty of Turkmenchay, Russia seized the control of Iranian territory to the North of the River Aras, which is now called the Republic of Azerbaijan where they share very similar music as Azarbijanis in Iran. The number of Azerbaijnis in Iran is about three times larger than population of Republic of Azerbaijan.

Kurdistan


The forms of music found in various parts of Kurdistan, all known as Kurdish music
Kurdish music
Kurdish music refers to music performed in Kurdish language.Traditionally, there are three types of Kurdish Classical performers - storytellers , minstrels and bards . There was no specific music related to the Kurdish princely courts, and instead, music performed in night gatherings is...

, vary depending on the climate and geography of the regions as well as their contact with the neighboring cultures. For example, the melodies found among the people living in the mountains are different from those found among the people living in the meadows. However, the poetry and the rhythms are common to both areas.

Kurdish music, similar to other Eastern music, is monophonic and modal (more specifically, based on the maqam system, which is loosely translated as modal). However, because multiple instruments with varying pitch range, color, and ornamentation capabilities are used to play the same melody, it is also heterophonic. In addition to` specifically Kurdish modes (maqams), Kurdish music also utilizes all the modes and dastgahs found in the traditional music of Iran.

There are two forms of Kurdish music. The first is based on the maqam system. Similar to traditional music of Iran, improvisation plays an important role in Kurdish music. While a maqam is used to designate a certain melodic structure, a musician may improvise within this structure by employing variations on ornamental figures, rhythms, and melodic forms. The maqams of Kurdistan, preserved by oral tradition throughout generations, are based on
microtonal tuning systems where one can find intervals of half step, full step, three quarter step, and one and a quarter step. [These intervals are not necessarily in an equal-tempered 24 tone scale.]

The second form of Kurdish music is based on a set of melodies, known as gourani or closed, which have distinct and structured rhythms. The word gourani is derived from gabaran, which literally means "one who worships fire." This word is related to the ancient rituals of fire worship among the Zoroastrians. Through the passage of time gabaran was changed to gouran. Gourani is also the name of a tribe whose members speak Kurdish and are known for their poetry. The members of certain groups of dervishes (Ahle Hagh) in Kermanshah and certain regions of Sanandaj, use this word to refer to the songs performed during their spiritual ceremonies. Because of its distinct rhythm, gourani is often accompanied by other instruments, and in some cases by clapping.

The poems used in most Kurdish music are filled with stories of romance and unrequited love. These poems have often two verses, which are divided in ten, eleven, or twelve syllables, and are based on the Gathas
Gathas
The Gathas are 17 hymns believed to have been composed by Zarathusthra himself. They are the most sacred texts of the Zoroastrian faith.-Structure and organization:...

 of the Zoroastrians. Kurdish melodies are very simple; their range is usually confined to a few notes. The form of the music is often strophic, and every gourani has a particular melody that is sung with various stanzas. At the end of every stanza the strophe is repeated unchanged throughout the song. Every gourani is characterized by a specific strophe. Similar to a lied or a chanson, gouranis may be accompanied by instrumental sections, which have three parts: prelude, middle section, and the ending. The prelude and the ending are performed by the group, and the middle section is performed in the form of call and response.

Gouranis fall into several categories, each performed with specific melodies for specific occasions. Some examples are work gouranis, shepherd gouranis, romantic gouranis, religious and spiritual gouranis, festive gouranis, Chemari (mourning) gouranis, war gouranis, children gouranis, women gouranis, and Ramadan gouranis.

Before Islam, the "religious and spiritual gouranis" were used by the Kurds in their worship rituals of Ahura Mazda (the wise and supreme god of Zoroastrianism), fire, the sun, and the moon. Within Islam, new gouranis were developed for worship of God and paying tribute to sacred figures. The dervish houre, Azan (special forms of reciting of the Koran), and zekr [also a ritualistic dance performed by the dervishes during devotional ceremonies] are among these types of gouranis. The "festive gouranis," which have strong and exciting rhythms, are used for marriage, circumcision, or holiday celebrations, and are often accompanied by dancing and clapping. The "war gouranis" have moving rhythms, and are often used with poems that induce feelings of nationalism and protection of freedom. "Children gouranis" have simple rhythms and accompany children's poems. "Women gouranis" are sung by women during their everyday chores, such as milking the cows, carrying water from the springs, or picking flowers. "Chemari gouranis," which are sung in the funerals while carrying the dead (especially a young deceased), are accompanied by sorna (a wind instrument) and dohol (a large percussion instrument), and have very sad poems. "Ramadan gouranis" are mostly used during the month of Ramadan to declare the coming of dawn [when people have food before fasting during the day]. Accompanied by sorna and dohol, they are played in elevated regions of cities and villages. (H. Kamkar - master musician www.kereshmeh.com)

Khorasan


Due to its ethnic diversity and the existence of different languages and religious observations (Sunni and Shi'a), the musical tradition of Khorasan is very rich. From the north
North Khorasan Province
North Khorasan Province is a province located in northeastern Iran. Bojnord is the centre of the province.Other counties are Shirvan, Esfarayen, Maneh-o-Samalqan, Jajarm, Faroj and Germeh....

 to the south
South Khorasan Province
South Khorasan Province is a province located in eastern Iran. Birjand is the centre of the province. The other major cities are Ferdows and Qaen....

, the music scene varies greatly. In the north of Khorasan, one can find the bakhshi narrating and singing, among other things, "daastans" (stories in old Persian), although they can also sing in Kurdish about the historical deeds of local figures. They accompany themselves on the dotar
Dutar
The dutar is a traditional long-necked two-stringed lute found in Iran, Central Asia and South Asia...

. A leading exponent of this type is the late Haj Ghorban Soleimani
Haj Ghorban Soleimani
Haj Ghorban Soleimani was a celebrated dotar player and vocalist from Iran. Dotar or Dutar is a form of Central Asian lute. He was also the pioneer of a new model of the ancient stringed Azeri instrument the gopuz.-Biography:...

. One can also find in the north, the Asheq who play "dohol" (double-faced drum), the "sorna" (a kind of oboe-like reed instrument) and the "qoshme" (double clarinet made of the central nervure of the plumage of birds tied together). The Asheq are specifically associated with the Kurds and play at wedding dances and village feasts. In the East of Khorasan, near Torbat Jam
Torbat-e-Jam County
Torbat-e-Jam County is a county in Razavi Khorasan Province in Iran. The capital of the county is Torbat-e-Jam. At the 2006 census, the county's population was 239,395, in 53,510 families. The county has five districts: Central District, Salehabad District, Nasrabad District, Bujgan District,...

, the main instrument is the dotar with some modifications, but there are no Bakhshi and the music is different. Here, the music takes the form of "ghazal khani'" and is performed by singers of quatrains and "ghazals" - lyric poems based on the invocations of mystic poets like Rumi, Attar and Sheikh Ahmad Jami
Jami
Nur ad-Dīn Abd ar-Rahmān Jāmī also known as DJāmī, Mawlanā Nūr al-Dīn 'Abd al-Rahmān or Abd-Al-Rahmān Nur-Al-Din Muhammad Dashti who is commonly known as Jami , is known for his achievements as a scholar, mystic, writer, composer of numerous lyrics and idylls, historian, and one of the greatest...

. Purely instrumental pieces also figure in the repertoire.

More towards the south, in the regions of Birjand and Qa'in, the musical culture changes again: the dotar is no longer present (although it seems that in the past, it was played). The songs are called "sotak" and are accompanied on the "dayereh" (tambourine). (Ameneh Yousefzadeh - Musicologist)

Turkmen Music


In Golestan and Khorasan in Iran as in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the word bakhshi
Ashik
An Ashik is a mystic troubadour or traveling bard, in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, and Iran who sings and plays the saz, a form of lute. Ashiks' songs are semi-improvised around common bases....

 means instrumentalist, singer, and storyteller. The word bakhshi comes from Turkish, and in turn from a Chinese word, po-shih, meaning erudite. Through the Turkish Ouigours, certain Chinese language elements infiltrated 13th and 14th century Mongol literature. The word bakhshi appeared in Turkmen, Iranian and Turkish literature with the advent of the Mongols. At the time, the role of the bakhshi seems to have been sometimes that of the healing shaman, and at other times that of a Buddhist priest.

As for the bakhshi of Khorasan, they claim that the origin of their name can be found in the word bakhshande (donor, bestower of gifts) because of the musical gift that God has bestowed upon them. This is a title of respect in northern Khorasan and among the Turkmen of Torkaman-Sahra.

The bakhshi can also be found in almost all of Central Asia, among the Kazakh, Kirghiz, Uzbek, and Turkmen people as well as in Afghanistan, Tajik-Arab and in Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

. Among other ethnicities, on the other hand, the term bakhshi, throughout centuries has designated a bard, a story-teller, and singer of legends and epics.

As a singer, the bakhshi is more precisely a narrator of dastan (story) and an instrumentalist who plays the dotar (long-necked two-stringed instrument) and who, in most cases, fabricates his own musical instrument. The majority of the great bards of Khorasan, regardless of their ethnic origin, sing in three languages (Turkish, Persian, and Kurdish). Whether professional or semi-professional, nowadays the bard doesn't usually earn his living solely through playing music. Most often, he is also, for example, a farmer, a barber, or a teacher. With his instrument, the dotar, he usually sings and plays by himself. However, the Turkmen bards prefer to play in groups of two or three. In this case, the bard is accompanied by another dotar player and a person playing the kamanche.

The right to assume the title of bakhshi is subject to specific conditions. A bakhshi should not only be a good musician and have a good voice, he also needs excellent diction for telling stories. Ideally, he learns his art from his father or his uncle while living under the family roof. Some acquire their apprenticeship under the tutelage of a master (ostad). The learning process evolves in three stages: 1) learning the dotar technique, 2) learning vocal techniques, 3) memorizing the stories. In the last stage, the master teaches his student a fragment of a dastan on a daily basis, so that he can memorize and recite it the next day. The bakhshi is renowned for his prodigious memory.

Traditionally, the bakhshi plays at village ceremonies such as weddings and circumcisions, but he also performs at private gatherings and in ghahve-khanes (coffee houses) of the bazars. Unfortunately, nowadays, television has taken the place of the traditional bard in the Ghahve-khane. Fortunately, today we can also hear the bakhshi performing in concerts often within the context of festivals (Ameneh Yousefzadeh).

Mazandaran


Mazandaran has a diverse folk music culture that includes songs and instrumental and ritual music. Rhythm is usually simple in songs, which include katuli
Katuli
Katuli is one of the most important tunes in Mazandaran music. It is a part of vocal music. Literally it means "high", "height", "big and also "long" in Tabari. Its form is tripartite. The first part is in free meter and the third part is totally metric. The second part stands metrically in between....

, which is most common around the town of Aliabad-e Katul
Aliabad-e Katul
Aliabad-e Katul The city is sited on a hillside of the Alborz Mountains between Gorgan and Azad Shahr. The Kaboud-val waterfall is near the city. Nearby are the villages of Kholin Darreh , Chinou, Alestan, and Mayan....

; the song is sometimes said to be sung when people take a
catouli cow out to graze. Because the song was originally sung while walking and working, it often has syllables like jana, hey or aye added, to allow the singer to breath while working (a work song
Work song
A work song is a piece of music closely connected to a specific form of work, either sung while conducting a task or a song linked to a task or trade which might be a connected narrative, description, or protest song....

). Another kind of song is called kaleh haal (or
kal kaal or Leili's lover). The term kaleh haal may refer to its shortness of length (kale haal means short present) or to its common wingers, housewives who sang it while cooking with a kaleh, a type of oven. Amiri songs usually use long poems written by Amir Pazevari
Amir Pazevari
Amir Pazevari was a Mazandarani Iranian poet with numerous works written in the Mazandarani language . He probably lived in the 17th century in the province of Mazandaran , Iran.-Further reading:...

, a legendary poet from Mazandaran.

A type of song called
najma
Najma
Najma is a given name in Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia. Najma is the female version of the name and Najm is male version of the name. Najm is also Pleiades in Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages....

describes the love between Prince Najmedin of the Fars area and a girl named Ranaa. The najma is popular throughout Iran, adapted for the local cultures. The Charvadars are an ancient class of merchants who sold commodities abroad for a local village; their songs are called charvadari. In contrast to most Mazandarani music, charvadari has a prominent rhythm, which may be because it was often sung on horseback.

Traditional music of women


This music is a special type of folk music. Maryam Akhondy
Maryam Akhondy
Maryam Akhondy is a classical trained singer from Tehran, Iran. She was student of Ostad Esmail Mehrtasch and Ostad Nassrollah Nassehpour, two masters of classical Iranian music...

, a classical singer, collected such songs and published them on her album "Banu - Songs of Persian Women". It had been sung at the cradle, at the housework and work in the fields or on women's celebrations.

Pop music



Iran developed its own pop music by the 1950s,when Vigen
Vigen
Vigen is a moderately popular Armenian name from the Persian Bijan....

 introduced the Guitar for the first time and later on using indigenous instruments and forms and adding electric guitar
Electric guitar
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction to convert vibrations of its metal strings into electric audio signals. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker...

 and other imported characteristics. He became the most popular pop singer of this period for his unique voice. Later on in 1970's, Googoosh
Googoosh
Faegheh Atashin also known by her stage name Googoosh is an Iranian singer and actress. She is known for her contributions to Iranian pop music, but also starred in a variety of movies from the 1950s to the 1970s. She achieved the pinnacle of her fame and success towards the end of the 1970s...

 who was Vigen's student became popular. After the Iranian Revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

 in 1979, pop music's future seemed dark because of the new Islamic laws and restrictions. Many Iranians migrated to foreign countries, especially Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and Iranian-in-exile pop stars include:
Dariush Eghbali
Dariush Eghbali
Dariush Eghbali better known by his stage name Dariush is a famous Iranian pop singer best known for his warm and plaintive bass voice heard in both ballads and political songs. He is also a social activist who directs a recovery center.-Early life:...

,
Ebi
Ebi
Ebi is a Persian Singer-songwriter and performer currently living in Marbella, Spain. He has combined musical influences from traditional Persian music, western pop and sometimes Latino style rhythms and is a major name in Persian music...

,
Siavash Shams
Siavash Shams
Siavash Shams is a popular and famous Persian and World music singer, songwriter, composer and record producer who has released 7 successful albums.-Early life:...

,
Siavash Ghomeyshi
Siavash Ghomeyshi
Siavash Ghomayshi is an Iranian musician, singer and song writer.Siavash studied music in London where he got his Master's degree. He left Iran after 1979 and now lives in Los Angeles.-Biography:...

,
Hayedeh
Hayedeh
Hayedeh born Ma'soumeh Dadehbala , was a Persian classical and Pop singer with a contralto vocal range. In a career spanning more than 20 years, she had many hits...

,
Homeira,
Mahasti
Mahasti
Mahasti bornEftekhar Dadehbala was a legendary Persian Pop and classical singer and diva and the younger sister of singer Hayedeh.- Background :...

,
Hassan Sattar,
Shohreh Solati
Shohreh Solati
Shohreh Solati is a popular Iranian singer. She has had one of the most consistently active and prolific careers among contemporary, women Iranian singers...

,
Shahram Solati,
Noshafarin,
Aref,
Shahram Shabpareh
Shahram Shabpareh
Shahram Shabpareh , is a famous Iranian pop singer, songwriter. His career spans more than 4 decades, he has had countless hits and sold many albums worldwide. -Career:...

,
Layla Forouhar,
Faramarz Asef,
Andy,
Koros
Körös
Körös is a Hungarian toponym with several meanings:* Körös or Criş, a river that flows into Tisza, was used for an archeological site of the Starcevo-Körös culture* Hungarian name for Križevci, Croatia, was used for the historic Belovár-Körös county...

,
Martik,
Morteza,
Farzaneh
Ahmad Azad,
Mansour,
Shahram K,
Fattaneh,
Moein
Moein
Nasrollah Moein known as Moein is an Iranian singer known for his love songs. Born in 1951 in Najaf Abad in Esfahan, he has played lots of concerts across the world...

,
Hasan Shamaeezadeh,
Nazi Afshar,
Bijan Mortazavi
Bijan Mortazavi
Bijan Mortazavi , born on November 16, 1957 in Babol, is a popular Iranian violinist, singer and songwriter. Although his albums are banned in Iran his instrumental pieces aired many times in Iran TV.- Background :...

,

Iranian rock and Metal music



Rock music
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 in Iran has been influenced by many traditional forms of Iranian music and popular Western rock bands such as Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

, The Doors
The Doors
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, California, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore, and guitarist Robby Krieger...

, Dire Straits
Dire Straits
Dire Straits were a British rock band active from 1977 to 1995, composed of Mark Knopfler , his younger brother David Knopfler , John Illsley , and Pick Withers .Dire Straits' sound drew from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, blues, and came closest...

, AC/DC
AC/DC
AC/DC are an Australian rock band, formed in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Commonly classified as hard rock, they are considered pioneers of heavy metal, though they themselves have always classified their music as simply "rock and roll"...

, Metallica
Metallica
Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. The current line-up features long-time lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo ...

 and Pantera
Pantera
Pantera was an American heavy metal band from Arlington, Texas. Formed by the Abbott brothers, Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell in 1981, bassist Rex Brown would join in late 1981 with vocalist Terry Glaze. Looking for a new and heavier sound, Pantera had Terry replaced in 1987 with Phil Anselmo as...

. Iranian rock music first developed in the 1970s, but was largely silent during the 1980s, only to witness a recurrence in the 1990s. One of the notable Heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 bands is Angband
Angband (band)
Angband is a Persian power metal/ progressive musical group, formed in 2004 in Tehran.-Band history:Angband was formed in 2004 in Tehran by Mahyar Dean, a classically trained musician and author who is known for writing books about the bands Death and Testament...

 which is believed to be the first Iranian metal act to release its work internationally through a European label.

Renowned personalities

  • 127
    127 (band)
    127 is an Iranian five piece band — guitar, piano, trombone, bass and drums — with roots in Iranian melodies and jazz with an alternative sound....


  • Agah Bahari
    Agah Bahari
    Agah Bahari , born July 3, 1983, is an Iranian Rock musician.Agah's works are Instrumental Progressive metal/Rock. He has been deemed one of "Iran's guitar monsters" according to Iranian Rock magazine "Zirzamin"....

  • Angband
    Angband (band)
    Angband is a Persian power metal/ progressive musical group, formed in 2004 in Tehran.-Band history:Angband was formed in 2004 in Tehran by Mahyar Dean, a classically trained musician and author who is known for writing books about the bands Death and Testament...


  • Kiosk
    Kiosk
    Kiosk is a small, separated garden pavilion open on some or all sides. Kiosks were common in Persia, India, Pakistan, and in the Ottoman Empire from the 13th century onward...

  • Hypernova
    Hypernova (band)
    Hypernova is a New York based Iranian rock band from Tehran. The band is made up of Raam, Kami, Kodi & Jam . Raam is the lead vocalist, Kodi is the lead guitarist, Kami is the drummer , Jam plays bass...

  • Mohsen Namjoo
    Mohsen Namjoo
    Mohsen Namjoo, , is an Iranian musician, singer-songwriter. born in 1976 in Torbat-e Jam, a small town in northeastern Iran. The New York Times called Namjoo "Iran's Bob Dylan".-Career:...

  • The Yellow Dogs Band
    The Yellow Dogs Band
    The Yellow Dogs are an Iranian Indie Rock band. Members include Obash , Looloosh , Koory and Zina .-Biography:...


Iranian hip hop and Rap music



The term hip hop
Hip hop
Hip hop is a form of musical expression and artistic culture that originated in African-American and Latino communities during the 1970s in New York City, specifically the Bronx. DJ Afrika Bambaataa outlined the four pillars of hip hop culture: MCing, DJing, breaking and graffiti writing...

 refers to a musical and political movement that has developed predominantly over the last quarter-century. Since first emerging in New York City in the seventies, hip-hop has grown to encompass not just music, but an entire lifestyle that consistently incorporates diverse elements of ethnicity, technology and urban life. Iranians gen Xr's have mixed elements of the new and the old to create a new chapter in the "Music of Iran".
  • Shahin Najafi
    Shahin Najafi
    Shahin Najafi is an Iranian musician, poet and singer currently residing in Germany. He began his music career in Iran before emigrating to Germany in 2005....

  • Hichkas
    Hichkas
    Soroush Lashkary better known by his stage name Hichkas is an Iranian rapper based in Tehran....

  • Erfan
    Erfan
    Erfan Hajrasuliha, better known as Erfan , is an Iranian rapper and producer. His views are a result of his personal experiences and that is reflected in his poems. His songs provide a mixture of commentary on daily life as well politics, poetry and social issues.-Life and career:Erfan was born in...

  • Salome
    Salome (rapper)
    Salome , is a woman rap artist from Iran. She is known for being Iran's first female rapper, and today is one of very few...


Electronic music



Inspired by some of the most significant artists of the genre Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Another critic calls him "one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music"...

, John Cage
John Cage
John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist, writer, philosopher and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde...

, David Tudor
David Tudor
David Eugene Tudor was an American pianist and composer of experimental music.- Biography :Tudor was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied piano with Irma Wolpe and composition with Stefan Wolpe and became known as one of the leading performers of avant garde piano music. He gave the...

, Gordon Mumma
Gordon Mumma
Gordon Mumma is an American composer. He cofounded Ann Arbor's Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music with Robert Ashley, was a musician with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and was a member of the Sonic Arts Union with Ashley, Alvin Lucier, and David Behrman...

 and Iannis Xenakis
Iannis Xenakis
Iannis Xenakis was a Romanian-born Greek ethnic, naturalized French composer, music theorist, and architect-engineer. He is commonly recognized as one of the most important post-war avant-garde composers...

  who performed in Shiraz Arts Festival
Shiraz Arts Festival
The Shiraz Arts Festival was an arts festival held annually from 1967 to 1977 in the Iranian city Shiraz. Its creation was suggested by Farah Pahlavi and sponsored by National Iranian Radio & Television...

, but after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, faced dark future like most of the other genres.
Many of the expatriate Iranians in North America and Europe are involved in electronic music
Electronic music
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound...

. The best known group is the Washington, D.C.-based Deep Dish
Deep Dish
Deep Dish is a duo of DJs and house-music producers consisting of Iranian-American members Ali "Dubfire" Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi. Based in Washington, D.C., Shirazinia and Tayebi are well known for providing house or dance remixes of tracks of famous stars such as Madonna, Cher and Gabrielle,...

, which consists of Ali "Dubfire" and Shahram.

Renowned personalities

  • Deep Dish
    Deep Dish
    Deep Dish is a duo of DJs and house-music producers consisting of Iranian-American members Ali "Dubfire" Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi. Based in Washington, D.C., Shirazinia and Tayebi are well known for providing house or dance remixes of tracks of famous stars such as Madonna, Cher and Gabrielle,...

    : (Ali "Dubfire" Shirazi and Shahram Tayebi) Washington DC, USA
  • Low End Specialists (New York City) -The Low End Specialists are NYC based duo Mac Clark and Ali Geramian.
  • Omid 16b
    Omid 16B
    16B or Omid 16B is a British-Iranian electronic music "producer/composer" and "DJ" based in London.He has performed remixes for artists including Gus Gus, The Cure, Steve Lawler, Francois Kevorkian, and John Creamer & Stephane K. He has also released several singles of his own on his Alola,...

     (Omid Nourizadeh), London, UK
  • DJ Aligator, Denmark
    Denmark
    Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...


Iranian children's music


Iranian children's music has simple melodies and lyrics.

Iranian music in other countries


Iranian music style has influenced the music of the Caucasus and Central Asia.
  • Music of Armenia
    Music of Armenia
    Armenia is situated close to the Caucasus Mountains, and its music is a mix of indigenous folk music, perhaps best-represented by Djivan Gasparyan's well-known duduk music, as well as light pop, and extensive Christian music, due to Armenia's status as the oldest Christian nation in the...

  • Music of Azerbaijan
    Music of Azerbaijan
    Music of Azerbaijan builds on folk traditions that reach back nearly 1,000 years. For centuries Azerbaijani music has evolved under the badge of monody, producing rhythmically diverse melodies. Azerbaijani music has a branchy mode system, where chromatisation of major and minor scales is of great...

  • Music of Tajikistan
    Music of Tajikistan
    Tajik music is closely related to Central Asian forms. The classical music is shashmaqam, which Uzbeks also developed classical music of Tajiks and made their distinctive own....

  • Music of Turkey
    Music of Turkey
    The music of Turkey includes diverse elements ranging from Central Asian folk music and has many copies and references of Byzantine music, Greek music, Ottoman music, Persian music, Balkan music, as well as more modern European and American popular music influences...


International recognition of Iranian music


Music of Iran and Iranian musicians have received countless awards in the course of history. Here are some:

2008
  • Loris Tjeknavorian
    Loris Tjeknavorian
    Loris Tjeknavorian is a contemporary Iranian-Armenian composer and conductor...

    : Austria's Cross of Honor for Science and Art First Class (2008)

2007
  • Asia Society has awarded Shahram Nazeri
    Shahram Nazeri
    Shahram Nazeri is a contemporary Iranian tenor of Kurdish ancestry who sings classical Persian music from Kermanshah. He is one of Iran's most respected vocalists...

     by the prestigious Lifetime Cultural Heritage Award along with Secretary General of United Nations on Nov 2007
  • Mozart Medal, Mohammad Reza Shajarian.
  • Légion d'honneur
    Légion d'honneur
    The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

    , Shahram Nazeri
    Shahram Nazeri
    Shahram Nazeri is a contemporary Iranian tenor of Kurdish ancestry who sings classical Persian music from Kermanshah. He is one of Iran's most respected vocalists...

    .
  • Grammy Award (nomination), Endless Vision, and Hossein Alizadeh
    Hossein Alizadeh
    Hossein Alizadeh , is an Iranian composer, radif-preserver, researcher, teacher, and tar and setar instrumentalist and improviser, described by Allmusic as a leading Iranian classical composer and musician....

    .

2006
  • Grammy Award (nomination), Faryad album, Masters of Persian Music.
  • Grammy Award, Ali Shirazinia, Shahram Tayyebi and Deep Dish
    Deep Dish
    Deep Dish is a duo of DJs and house-music producers consisting of Iranian-American members Ali "Dubfire" Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi. Based in Washington, D.C., Shirazinia and Tayebi are well known for providing house or dance remixes of tracks of famous stars such as Madonna, Cher and Gabrielle,...

    .
  • Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance (nomination), Persian Trilogy by Behzad Ranjbaran
    Behzad Ranjbaran
    Behzad Ranjbaran is a leading Persian composer.Ranjbaran was born and raised in Iran. He entered the Tehran Conservatory at the age of 9. Ranjbaran continued his study of composition at Indiana University...

    .
  • "Best Middle Eastern Song" & "Best Middle Eastern Album", 2006 JPF Awards: Andy Madadian
    Andy Madadian
    Andranik Madadian , better known by his stage name, Andy , is a famous Iranian-Armenian singer-songwriter. He is a naturalized American and currently lives in Los Angeles, California.-Early life:...

    .
  • "2006 Best International Armenian Album Award" for the 2006 Armenian Music Awards: City of Angels by Andy Madadian
    Andy Madadian
    Andranik Madadian , better known by his stage name, Andy , is a famous Iranian-Armenian singer-songwriter. He is a naturalized American and currently lives in Los Angeles, California.-Early life:...

    .
  • 3 tan band. J.F.K Awards 2006 For Best eastern rock song "A Drop Of Alcohol"
  • Golden Lioness Award for Best Conductor, The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media: Ali Rahbari
    Ali Rahbari
    Ali Rahbari is a Persian composer and conductor, who played with more than 120 European orchestras including Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.-Biography:...

    .
  • Golden Lioness Award for Classic Music Best Soprano Performer, The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media: Monika Jalili
    Monika Jalili
    Monika Jalili is a vocalist singing songs of Iran, mostly in Persian.Born in the United States, Monika is of Dutch, German and Iranian descent. She studied music at The Manhattan School of Music. She was a student of Beverley Peck Johnson...

    .

2005
  • Golden Lioness Award for Classical-Best Vocal Ability, The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media:

Akbar Golpa
  • Golden Lioness Award for Classical-Arrange & Pop, The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media:

Hassan Sattar
  • Golden Lioness Award for Best Instrumentalist, The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media:

Muhammad Heidari
  • Golden Lioness Award for Classic-pop, The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media:

Mahasti
  • Golden Lioness Award for Classical Performance, The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media:

Hooshmand Aghili
  • Golden Lioness Award for Classical Performance, The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media: Shakila.
  • UNESCO music award (Picasso award), nominee: Mohammad Reza Darvishi.
  • "Best Unsigned U.K. Hip Hop Artist, Riddla:

2003
  • Grand Prix du Disque for World Music
    Grand Prix du Disque for World Music
    The Grand Prix du Disque for World Music is one of a number of prizes awarded by L'Académie Charles Cros as part of the yearly Grand Prix du Disque. The following is a partial list of winners :-2003:...

    , Dastan ensemble
    Dastan ensemble
    Dastan ensemble is a Persian classical music ensemble. Founded in 1991 by Hamid Motabassem, Dastan has performed concerts throughout the world.-Members:*Hossein Behroozinia *Hamid Motebassem *Pejman Hadadi...

     and Parisa
    Parisa
    Fātemeh Vā'ezi , commonly known by her stage name Parīsā , is a Persian Classical vocalist and musician.----...

    .
  • BBC Awards for World Music, Kayhan Kalhor
    Kayhan Kalhor
    Kayhan Kalhor , born 24 November 1963, is an Iranian kamancheh player, composer and master of classical Kurdish and Persian music.-Youth and studies:...

    .

2001
  • NAV’s best contemporary world music album: Axiom of Choice (band)
    Axiom of Choice (band)
    Axiom of Choice is a southern California based world music group of Iranian émigrés who perform a fusion style incorporating Persian classical music and Western classical music.- History :...

    .
  • Best Recombinant World Music Ensemble in 2001 by the LA Weekly Music Awards. (nomination): Axiom of choice band.

2000
  • Orville H. Gibson Award, Lily Afshar
    Lily Afshar
    - Awards and recognition :Afshar has been praised for her performances.She won the 2000 Orville H. Gibson Award for Best Female Classical Guitarist. as well as the Tenth, Eleventh, and the Twelfth Annual "Premier Guitarist" awards by the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts &...

    .

1999
  • Picasso Medal, Mohammad Reza Shajarian.
  • Pikanes award, Thailand's most prestigious music award for an outstanding orchestral performance: Shahrdad Rohani.

1977
  • Prestigious Gold Medal at the Besançon International Conductors' Competition, Ali Rahbari.
  • Silver medal in Geneva International Conducting Competition, Ali Rahbari.

Others
  • Rudolf Nissim Award, Behzad Ranjbaran
    Behzad Ranjbaran
    Behzad Ranjbaran is a leading Persian composer.Ranjbaran was born and raised in Iran. He entered the Tehran Conservatory at the age of 9. Ranjbaran continued his study of composition at Indiana University...

    .
  • Grand Prize in the Aspen Music Festival Guitar Competition, Lily Afshar.
  • Top Prize in the Guitar Foundation of America Competition, Lily Afshar.
  • Loris Tjeknavorian
    Loris Tjeknavorian
    Loris Tjeknavorian is a contemporary Iranian-Armenian composer and conductor...

    , Homayoon Order and Medal for the composition of "Son et Lumiere Persepolis 2500"

Sources and Further reading

  • Akbarzadeh, Pejman. Persian Musicians, Navid Publications, Shiraz, 1998, ISBN 964-6810-20-9.
  • Akbarzadeh, Pejman. Persian Musicianof the people Roshanak Publications, Tehran, 2002, ISBN 964-93867-3-4.
  • During, Jean and Mirabdolbaghi, Zia, "The Art of Persian Music", Mage Pub; 1st edition (Book & CD) June 1, 1991, ISBN 978-0-934211-22-2
  • Nelly Caron and Dariush Safvate, "Iran: Traditions Musicales" (Paris, 1966).
  • Nooshin, Laudan. "The Art of Ornament". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 355–362. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0.
  • Nettl, Bruno (1989). Blackfoot Musical Thought: Comparative Perspectives. Ohio: The Kent State University Press. ISBN 0-87338-370-2.
  • Ameneh Youssefzadeh, "Iran’s Regional Musical Traditions in the Twentieth Century: A Historical Overview." Iranian Studies, volume 38, number 3, September 2005. Metapress.com.
  • DVD of TOMBAK / Madjid Khaladj - Coproduction: Le Salon de Musique & Ecole de Tombak | Language : français, anglais, espagnol | 172 minutes | Booklet of 80 pages (French/English.)| EDV 937 CV. CD Infinite Breath / Madjid Khaladj, NAFAS / Bâ Music Records.

External links