The 4th Iranian Festival of Music Websites and Weblogs

The 4th Iranian Festival of Music Websites and Weblogs was held in Niavaran Cultural Center, in Tehran, Iran on Feb. 28th, 2015. The initiator of the festival was Sajjad Pourghanad, Iranian music writer, researcher, founder of the festival and Persian setar and tar player.

At the begenning of the program, the presenter of the last day of the festival, Younes Mahmoudi, came on the stage to invite Saeed Yaghoobian (Persian tar), Dr. Peyman Nasehpour (Azerbaijani dayereh), and Shayan Yazdizadeh (tonbak) to perform the Azerbaijani art music pieces on the stage. After this music performance, the clip specially made for the 4th Festival was presented. Then Mahmoudi invited Seyyed Abbas Sajjadi, the CEO of Niavaran Cultural Center to deliver his speech on the Center’s activities and the 4th Festival.

After Sajjadi’s speech, the Choir of Arasbaran Culture-House came on the stage to perform some pieces of Handel, conducted by Serjik Mirzaeian. After the performance of the Choir, Dr. Mohammad Reza Azadehfar came on the stage to give a speech as an agent of the Juries of 4th Festival.

After Azadehfar’s speech, Peyman Soltani (Persian tar), Mehdi Emami (vocals), and Shaahin Mohajeri (tonbak) gave a Persian art music performance. Then Shahram Saremi (Iranian kamancheh player and artistic director of Arasbaran Culture-House) was invited to come on the stage to be appreciated for his help to the previous annuals of Iranian Festivals of Music Websites and Weblogs by dedicating to him the Statue and Letter of Recognition of the Festival.

Then a couple of musicians and music researchers were invited to come on the stage to deliver the awards of winners listed as follows:

1. Music website winner: MusiceIranian.ir run by Ebrahim Molaie
2. Music weblog winner: Neyrizmusic.blogfa.com by Saeed Mostafizi

Winners of Research Articles: 1. Nasim Ahmadian 2. Jafar Goudarzi 3. Shaahin Mohajeri – Soudeh Mofidi

Winners of Journalistic Articles: 1. Vahid Eftekhar Hosseini 2. Hossein Salimi

Winners of Notes on Music: 1. Babak Valipour 2. Ali Najafi Maleki 3. Ali Sharifi

Winners of Music Critiques: 1. Saeed Yaghoobian 2. Farhoud Safarzadeh 3. Mohammad Javad Sahafi – Meysam Pourtajrishi

Other Winners of Festival include: Kamyar Salavati, Farshad Tavakoli, Mehdi Forouzian, Mohammad Khalilian, and Bita Yari.

The final part of the 4th Festival was the performance of Arghanoun Flute Ensemble conducted by Ebrahim Nazari. The Arghanoun Flute Ensemble performed some pieces such as “Ninay-va-Bi Nay”, a Lorestani folk song and “Raghs-e-Dayereh” composed by Heshmat Sanjari.

The website of this Iranian Festival for Music Websites and Weblogs is: MusicFestival.ir. This time, the juries for this competitive festival were Mohsen Ghanebasiri (Iranian an epistemologist, chemist, author and theorist on economy, culture, arts (cybernetics) and management), Shahram Saremi (Iranian kamancheh player), Dr. Mohammad Reza Azadehfar, Dr. Pirooz Arjmand, and Dr. Narges Zaker Jafari. Beside the helps of Shahram Saremi, one of the other musicians who also supported this festival was Dr. Mohammad Sarir, Iranian composer and pianist.

A Note on the Occasion of Houshang Zarif’s Demise

No introduction is needed when talking about the position of the late Houshang Zarif (1938-2020) in the Iranian music. His character and personality are so well-known among musicians that his name per se is a symbol and role model for the Iranian youth. “Becoming Houshang Zarif” is the dream of many young people who enter the world of music in Iran and many of whom retire regretting the realisation of this dream.

Hassan Kassai, Ney Virtuoso

The name of Maestro Hassan Kassai is so vehemently intertwined with Ney (Persian reed flute) that one cannot imagine one without the other immediately coming into mind. Ney is one of the instruments which went through a lot of ups and downs in the history of the Iranian music since the time of Sassanid kings to the time when shepherds found playing it consoling when they took their cattle for grazing. However, Nay could never demonstrate its main capacities to gain a stable position among the musicians and the people like other instruments including Oud, Tar, Santour, all sorts of bowed string instruments and plucked string instruments.

From Past Days…

Call for papers SIMF 1396

The Association of Iranian Contemporary Music Composers (ACIMC) and SHAHREAFTAB Art & Cultural Association are pleased to announce a call for papers for SIMF 1396.

Hassan Kassai, Ney Virtuoso

The name of Maestro Hassan Kassai is so vehemently intertwined with Ney (Persian reed flute) that one cannot imagine one without the other immediately coming into mind. Ney is one of the instruments which went through a lot of ups and downs in the history of the Iranian music since the time of Sassanid kings to the time when shepherds found playing it consoling when they took their cattle for grazing. However, Nay could never demonstrate its main capacities to gain a stable position among the musicians and the people like other instruments including Oud, Tar, Santour, all sorts of bowed string instruments and plucked string instruments.

New Technique for Playing Classical Guitar (II)

When the author was working on the piece “Playing Love” by Ennio Morricone (from the legend of 1900), he realized a failure of the Lip Technique. Needing to play a chord in the 14th position of the guitar and in order to complete the harmony, it is necessary to play a harmonic note on the 7th or 5th position; it was not possible to touch the string to play this harmonic note, because the Lip Technique is used for getting the notes and not to touch the string and producing harmonic notes. Naturally, the only possible way to touch the string was to use the nose at the required position and playing the note with the right hand, and this was the best option the author found to how to play such harmonic notes, and where the Nose Technique was generated.

A note on “Illusion or Ingenuity” article

The author of the “Illusion or Ingenuity” article, who is apprehensive of the future of the Music in Iran, enumerates some symptoms of the music weakening in the country for example decreasing in the quality of the music as well as lack of the innovation in creating them, a gradual decline in the music public taste and the drop in the application of layered sound and polyphony in music. He explains that one reason for this gradual weakening might be our unawareness of the fact that we are not so intelligent nation. He believes that we, Iranians, have a comprehensive “Illusion of the high national intelligence “that make us ignorant of the unfavorable realities of our music and consequently no searching for the remedy is taking place. His point of view brings to the mind a patient who thinks he is healthy, therefore delays the treatment and finally is killed by the disease. The author also refers to the national difficulties which gradually will lower the national intelligence score such as the increased rate of the immigration and brain drain, low quality of the nutrition, incompetence of the education system and etc and predicts that the condition of the music of Iran might deteriorate in the future because of the mentioned illusion of its great status.

Principles of Violin Playing (VIII)

1.5.1.3.sometimes, a player, due to different reasons, may decisively want to play continuously two notes with a half-step by means of the same finger, in such a case, it’s necessary to open the interior curve of the finger like a spring. Naturally coming back, the curve of finger should be closed and the finger should become curved shape again (see paragraph 3.1.2.1).

Behzad Abdi’s opera Rumi was physically released by Naxos

Composing a traditional Iranian opera using the Iranian modal system, dastgāh, has always been my dream. I first approached this by composing an opera called Ashura followed by the operas Rumi and Hafez. I believe that in order to attract an international audience for Iranian opera, it is essential to fuse dastgāh with Western classical forms.

Polyphony in Iranian Music (VI)

Torqeh or jal is the same bird (Bimaculated lark) and is the name of a muqam which is well-known in Torbate Jam and those areas. Jal muqam is called Torqeh in Esfarayen and Bojnourd. This muqam which was used to be played by Bakhshis/Bagşies (dutar-players) in the past is seldom performed today.

Principles of Violin Playing (X)

Creating sound continuity between two notes in the source and destination positions when left hand position changes and “two different finger numbers” are involved is called portamento. Portamento can be performed on single string or two neighboring strings and with hand moving on fingerboard either upward or downward.

Gholam Reza Khan Minbashian: a pioneer in Iranian music (I)

Gholam Reza Khan Minbashian, a.k.a Salar-Mo’azez, was a pioneer in several domains in the history of the Iranian music. He is recognized as the first Iranian musician who was educated in classical music. He is also the first Iranian the score of whose works were published in Europe. He is the first Iranian to have launched courses on Western classical music and was also the first Iranian teacher of classical music. Moreover, he is the first founder of a string orchestra in Iran, the first author of the Iranian Radif which was available in oral form. Minbashian is also the first Iranian who studied music in Europe.

Three singers in one larynx

Sima Bina (b. 1945) is a unique singer among the singers of Golha radio programmes which were broadcast on Iranian National Radio for 23 years from 1956 to 1979. She received her first lessons in music from her father who was a poet, a musician and the most important supporter of Sima’s cultural activities.