Translated by Mahboube Khalvati
In the tradition of classical music, it is generally tried to use the same technical terms related to music in all countries. Even in the cultures in which native terms exist to refer to musical terms, usually the better known universal terms are employed.
For example, the first book on harmony which was translated by Salar Mo’azzez in Iran was entitled “Tanasob” (meaning relation) and some of its terms such as “harmony” and “keys” were translated into Farsi as “Tanasob” and “Mezrab”. However, through time, Western terms found their place in the terminology of the Iranian music.
Therefore, in the tradition of classical music, similar to scientific matters, imitating from a non-native term is considered as a conventional issue. Classical music terms has been studied and investigated by the scientific society of classical music and rarely suffers from basic shortfalls. However, in the countries with old musical traditions, sometimes some terms enter the mainstream classical music which have their own specific meaning and their addition to the classical music terminologies leads to ambiguities. An example of this situation consists of the terms such as composition and arrangement.
“Tanzim” (arrangement) is one of the most frequently used terms in the Iranian classical music. The term has been inspired by the word “arrangement”. This term became very popular in the classical Iranian music when polyphonic rules of Western music were introduced in the Iranian music academies. During this period, many of the pieces by demised composers which have been composed in a monophonic manner were made polyphonic by composers who were familiar with polyphonic rules. Under these circumstances, in order to make the name of the melodist immortal, he/she was called Ahangsaz (composer) consisting of two words: ahang meaning melody and saz meaning maker. The person who made the work polyphonic was designated as the arranger.
In the tradition of pop music, the terms composer and arranger are used in the senses explained above; however, this is not the case in the tradition of classical music. In this tradition, the word arranger is used to refer to a person who reimaines a polyphonic piece and adapts a new orchestration (In an essay series entitled “One Theme; Several Arrangements” by the same author many such instances can be found).
In classical music, the term composer is used to describe a person who uses a composition of different technique including melody, harmony, counterpoint, orchestration and form. However, in monophonic pieces (especially in pieces composed for wind instruments) the title composer has been used.
Therefore, the person who finally works on a melody and employs a variety of composing techniques wins the title of a composer. Even in some instances, the person who harmonises a melody is called the composer. One can refer to Romanian Folk Dances by Béla Bartók and some pieces of the Hungarian Dances by Brahms.
As with regard to the pop music, these titles are used in another manner and the melodist is sometimes called the composer. Consequently, the person who employs expansion and polyphonic techniques is called the arranger. Interestingly, a term has been used in the pop music culture by using the titles “composer and arranger” together!
In the Iranian classical music, the pop music terminology has been used for a long while instead of using the tradition of the classical music (the area to which this music actually belongs), which is really thought-provoking.
- Iranian Fallacies – Composition and Arrangement
- A Note on the Occasion of Houshang Zarif’s Demise
- Hassan Kassai, Ney Virtuoso
- Iranian Fallacies – Global Performance
- Iranian Fallacies – School of Vaziri
- Women and the Music Environment in Iran
- Parviz Meshkatian’s Heart Beat for People (II)
- Ali Rahbari’s collaboration with Naxos as a Composer
- Hossein Aslani passed away!
- Parviz Meshkatian’s Heart Beat for People (I)
- Farshad Sanjari, Forgotten Iranian Conductor Met His Tragic End
- Gholam Reza Khan Minbashian: a pioneer in Iranian music (II)
From Past Days…
It is more than a century now that the sociologists consider the presence of women in different social domains as a benchmark for a society’s progress. They analyze the presence of women in society by the means of available statistics. Unfortunately, as with regard to the Iranian society, statistics related to women’s engagement, has not been available to the researchers, if they existed at all.
The Association of Iranian Contemporary Music Composers (ACIMC) and SHAHREAFTAB Art & Cultural Association are pleased to announce a call for papers for SIMF 1396.
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Shiraz Arts Festival which was held in Shiraz from 1967 to 1977 featured many contemporary renowned artists who were commissioned by the Iranian royalty to compose or create works of art for performance in the arts festival. Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) participated in Shiraz Arts Festival three times in 1968, 1969 and 1971. The Greek-French composer,…
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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 Hossein Banan was born in 1911 in Tehran. He was born in an affluent art-loving family who were Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (1848-1896)’s relative. The Qajar King was his mother’s uncle on her father’s side. He learnt his first lessons in music while his father sang Iranian avaz (improvised rhythmic-free singing), he then attended classes by the renowned Iranian composer, Morteza Neydavoud (1900-1990) along with his sisters; the composer is, therefore, considered as his first teacher. He then learnt Iranian avaz under the supervision of Mirza Taher Zia Resaee (Zia-o Zakerin) and Naser Seif in an oral manner.