“Pledge of Love”

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The “Pledge of Love” is the first album in a series composed based on the tasnifs by the renowned Iranian tasnif-maker Mohammad Ali Amir Jahed and recorded by Sahba Kohan Ensemble with Ramin Bahiraie as signer. The album was released by Mahoor Institute of Culture and Arts in September 2015.

In this album, Sadjad Pourgahnad has re-composed Amir Jahed’s tasnifs’ by adding phrases and by making polyphonic the already existing ones. Pourghanad has also composed an overture entitled “Trannom” in which all instruments introduce themselves through the parts they play. The album cover written by composer reads:
“The current album results from the approach to the Persian music which was founded 90 years ago by Ali Naghi Vaziri and was followed by his students and colleagues and which has survived up to this day. In this school, there are no limitations for employing non-Persian musical techniques in composing; therefore, different techniques are used as long as they do not disturb the context of the Persian music.
“Due to unrestricted use of composing techniques some of which are totally new to the Persian music, works composed by the composers who follow this school have two important characteristics: 1. More variety and expanding composing horizons 2. Persian music becomes more attracting for those who are used to the Western classical music’s polyphony and are capable of following different sound lines.
This album consists of 6 Tasnifs by Mohammad Ali Amir Jahed which I have re-composed. In re-composing these Tasnifs, vocal parts are left intact while I have re-written the instrumental parts.
“In this album, I have tried to employ harmony, counterpoint and orchestration techniques for Iranian instruments to the extent that it does not disturb the context Amir Jahed had created. Based on each piece’s ambience, various polyphony and orchestration techniques are drawn upon the understanding of which is not challenging for trained listeners and those with the ability to follow multiple lines; however, those who are less familiar with polyphonic music might find them tough. Therefore, it is recommended that they listen to the album at least three times before they judge it!
“In the past several decades, one of the obstacles on the way of composing for an orchestra of Persian instruments has been the excessive use of percussion instruments to the extent that rhythmic variety has turned into an indispensible tradition for Persian orchestras. This tradition has made composers evade writing calculated and challenging counterpoints and impose the rhythmic variety and the continuous bass line to the audience in a primitive and deficient manner. Consequently, in this album percussion instruments were deliberately avoided so that in their absence counterpoint can play its role efficiently.
“This album includes some of the undiscovered or less listened-to Tasnifs by the great master of Iranian Tasnif-writing, Mohammad Ali Amir Jahed. I hope that the new approach applied to re-composing these Tasnifs adds to their beauty – Sadjad Pourghanad.”

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Developments in Iranian Music Since Qajar Era

At the end of the Qajar era and as Iran entered the power transition period, known as the constitutional era, the Iranian music went through a lot of changes. These changes gained momentum as the students and followers of Ali Naqi Vaziri’s entered the musical scene. These changes greatly influenced designs of instruments, playing methods, singing, composing, etc.

Harmony in the Iranian Music (II)

One of his works was the translation of Harmony, which was carried out with the help of Mozayyan al-Dowleh, and included a pamphlet based on which he used to teach the subject to the students of the school of music; the pamphlet was never published. It was, in fact, a kind of simple harmony for the piano with no quadriads, it rather featured the engagement of both the right hand and the left hand which was being taught at the music school for the first time. Salar-Mo’azez also composed military marches and hymns for schools, which he harmonized to be performed and piano. Likewise, he used to compose for military orchestras.

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4.3.1.3 Regarding the great linear distance and the unusual distance between the first and forth fingers, the first finger while playing the doubles of ninth and tenth interval, can be twisted in the knuckle area and the point mentioned in 3.1.2.5 paragraph in relation to the way first finger is placed indicating that the first joint of this finger in back of hand must be in line with the direction of forearm and left hand is not true here.

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Principles of Violin Playing (I)

The present series of training articles, “Principles of Violin Playing”, seek to help students, to appropriately understand this field, by gradually introducing, categorizing, and teaching the myriad relevant points. One of the principles of playing violin, which must be always kept in mind, is that the selection of the most natural position for the body parts while playing is the best and most appropriate solution. As a matter of fact, any unnatural body part position which requires lots of energy or unusual stretching to maintain, is wrong.

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