Hossein Dehlavi: the Composer

With Dehlavi it is not all about fame but recognition. Hossein Dehlavi is not a popular musician (like pop singers) whom everybody might know when he is walking on streets of Tehran; however, he is recognized by both amateur and distinguished musicians of the country.

Hossein Dehlavi was born on September 30, 1927 to a musically informed family. He started lessons in music with his father, himself a pupil to Ali Akbar Shahnazi (1897 –1985), the prominent Iranian musician and Tar player. His mother was a great source of encouragement for his studies in music, especially violin, as early as 9.

At Tehran Higher Conservatory of Music, Dehlavi studied principles of harmony, counterpoint and composition with Hossein Nasehi (1925-1977) and Persian Music with Abolhassan Saba (1902-1957). He graduated in Composing from the Conservatory in 1960.

He was appointed as the Principal and a teacher at Tehran National Conservatory of Music, a position which he maintained for ten years. One of his most well-known pupils is Alexander (Ali) Rahbari, the internationally acclaimed Conductor. His contributions to the standardization of teaching Persian Music at Tehran National Conservatory of Music were enormous. He paved the way for technical improvement of musicians and promoted standard teaching methods for Persian Music.

Dehlavi has so far published two albums, Bizhan and Manizheh (Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra) conducted by Tomas Christian David and also conducted by Alexander (Ali) Rahbari. The second album is Anthology of Hossein Dehlavi’s Music which includes his Persian Music pieces features Persian instruments.

After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, women vocalists were banned from solo performances; therefore, the vocal parts of Mana and Mani Opera by Hossein Dehlavi remains unrecorded to this day although composed in 1979.

His Marriage of Poetry and Persian Vocal Music (2011) is a result of 43 years of research and studies in Persian vocal music. Persian poetry consists an indispensable part of the Persian vocal music; hence, the significance of the marriage between the two.

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Iranian Fallacies – Global Performance

One of the most important criteria for measuring the quality of a piece of classical music is number of times the piece has been performance by different ensembles and orchestras in different eras. This belief has become so pervasive in some societies, such as Iranian society, that it is considered the only criterion for measuring the quality of a piece of classical music.

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The term “School of Vaziri” is often used in writings on Iranian music, but the exact meaning of the term is not clear; some of the authors have used the term to only refer to the group of Vaziri’s students, including a large group of his conservatory students and his Tar students such as Abolhassan Saba, Rouhollah Khaleghi, Ahmad Foroutan Rad, Hossein Sanjari, Heshmat Sanjari and others. But can we consider all Vaziri’s students as followers of his school of thought? This is definitely a mistake, because we know that some of Vaziri’s students have chosen a completely different path than that of Vaziri.

From Past Days…

Harmony in the Iranian Music (I)

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Iannis Xenakis’ Persephassa

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Hossein Dehlavi: the Composer

With Dehlavi it is not all about fame but recognition. Hossein Dehlavi is not a popular musician (like pop singers) whom everybody might know when he is walking on streets of Tehran; however, he is recognized by both amateur and distinguished musicians of the country.

Iranian Fallacies: Iranian Chords

Finding a way to harmonize the Iranian music has been the subject of controversy among Iranian musicians for a long time. Some believe in the creation of harmonies for Iranian music based on a method which is similar to the tierce harmony; while others have either selected or invented some other methods. There are also some musicians who do not basically agree with the harmonization of the Iranian music.

Developments in Iranian Music Since Qajar Era (III)

Developments in Composing

Along with developments in the Iranian instruments, composition of the Iranian pieces developed as well. As a matter of fact, the developments of the two, mutually affected each other. In other words, instrumental developments led to developments in composition and vice versa.

Qanun, a feminized instrument?

In the world music culture, there are instruments which were traditionally associated with a certain gender. It remains disputable to what extent these gender-based perceptions have been logical and scientific. For example, as playing wind instruments need more breath strength and the public opinion believe that men have stronger breath compared to women, these instruments are predominantly a male domain. Harp is also considered a female instrument as the public opinion believe that women have finer fingers and can therefore better perform nuances and delicate techniques on the instrument.

Behzad Abdi’s opera Rumi was physically released by Naxos

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Principles of Playing Violin (V)

3/1/2/5: When the first finger lands next to the nut, continuation of first phalange of this finger, on back of the hand, should be in line with continuation of the back of the wrist and the left hand; moreover, it should not pass them and bend at knuckles. Otherwise, an uncommon stretch is created in first finger’s knuckle also reducing the freedom of other fingers (especially the fourth finger) in finger placement.