Polyphony in Iranian Music (II)

haj-ghorban

Written by Dr. M. Taghi Massoudieh (1927-1998)
Originally published in Honarhaye Ziba (Fine Arts) 3, 1998, 95-104.

Translated by Mahboube Khalvati

With regard to each polyphonic form, only one specific and distinguished example is analyzed. These polyphonic forms are as follows:

1. The coincidence of different voices due to an alternative performance by two singers.

The second singer starts singing avaz before the melody the first singer is singing is completed. This polyphonic form is especially observed in Ta’zieh as can be also seen in the notation.

Transcription No. 1

Transcription No.1

Transcription No. 1 is related to the Ta’zieh of the martyrdom of 72 Comrades which the author recorded on September 14, 1980 in Deh Abad in Meybod (around Yazd)[i].

Imam Hussein (PBUH)’s avaz (Transcription No. 1, b, staff 5) begins before Gabriel’s melody (a3, staff 4) is finished. Imam Hussein’s avaz then adopts a specific metre in line 6 onwards (Transcription No. 1). Specific metre of the Avaz includes irregular consequences of non-symmetrical metric-rhythmic units of 5+7+3+4/16. This consequence of non-symmetrical metric-rhythmic avaz carries relations to the howness of syllabic combination of the lyric and music. Syllabic combination of the lyric and music, has firstly facilitated the understanding of the text and strengthened its influence on the listener. The questionable or memory-evoking content of the second line of the poem (but, have you forgotten the promise of Alast Day?) obliges its melodic figures to end on E and bring about a status of uncertainty (Transcription No. 1, a2, a3, staffs 3 & 4).

Four repetitions of “Oh, Zulfiqar” in Imam Hussein’s avaz result in, firstly its belonging phrase (b1 staff 6) to consist of four changes in the brief figure (b1 staff 6) and secondly the types of this figure until the middle of phrase b1 (staff 6) to be explicitly separated by a quaver rest. As the next line begins with “legacy of Heydar” or “legacy of God”, a beginning figure is added to the two-type period b1 (staff 6) (b2 staff 7, b3 staff 8). The removal of the repeated melodic figure at the middle of period b3 (staff 8) is because “Oh, Zulfiqar” is performed only once at the last line. Consequently, the ascending movement of the melody at the beginning of Gabriel’s avaz (a staff 1) and specially the long G voice with numerous vibrations towards frequencies higher than F (a staff 1), justifies the belonging of cutting the beginning of the line to the one which includes addressing Imam Hussein (PBUH) as “apple of Zahra’s eyes”.

2. Imitation

Performing a single melody by several performers or singers alliteratively or consequently forms imitation. An example of it is well known in “Soltan Qeis” episode in Imam Hussein martyrdom Ta’zieh. Ta’zieh of Imam Hussein martyrdom was recorded in Studio No. 14 of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on March 1, 1984. Sultan Qeis of India and his Minister were hunting on Ashura day when they were attacked by a lion. They immediately ask Imam Hussein to help them. Their request for help is, nevertheless, rejected as even though the lion is a wild animal, it should not be killed. The rejection of their request by Imam Hussein leads them to convert to Islam[ii].

 

Transcription No. 2

Transcription No.2

As mentioned earlier, the delay in alternative performance of the melody by Sultan Qeis, his Minister and Imam Hussein forms imitation or canon (Transcription No. 2, staff 2).

Sultan and his Minister’s final lines solely include the repetition of “Master Imam Hussein” (staff 2). The beginning of Imam’s line with “Oh, lion” coincides with this repetition and finally forms imitation or canon. Repetition of a single voice belongs to litany or “Oh, Hussein” prayer (Transcription 2, staff 2).



[i] Massoudieh, M. Taghi. Religious Music of Iran. Volume I, Ta’zieh Music. Soroush, Islamic Republic of Iran Publishing House, Tehran. Notation 152.

[ii] Massoudieh, M. Taghi. Ibid. p 75, p 97.

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*
Your email is never shared.

Polyphony in Iranian Music (IV)

Two choirs alternatively perform Veŝ Tavaré Na avaz (Transcription 5). The second group starts the avaz before the first group finishes it; consequently, two different voices coincide (Transcription 5, staves 2 and 5).

Polyphony in Iranian Music (III)

In heterophonic variant, two performers perform a single melody simultaneously and change it. Performing and changing a single melody simultaneously by two performers leads to the coincidence of different voices.

From Past Days…

PANews_P-d3a3c0fc-2584-4a8e-af71-63547df49ba3_I1

Ennio Morricone’s music for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight

After watching Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, The Hateful Eight, everyone was excited by its novel music besides the beautiful scenes of blood and guts.
The Hateful Eight is the first collaboration between the world-famous film music composer, Ennio Morricone, and Quentin Tarantino as a famous director.

shahin-mohajeri-190

Non-profit “Microtona” Project Released

Microtona is a sixty-eight-page Booklet with personal comments by the contributing microtonal artists. The booklet also includes a DVD which consists of 8 original video tracks and 9 original audio tracks. The project is an international one featuring unpublished pieces by composers from Iran, Japan, U.S., France, Austria, Germany and Belgium.

haj-ghorban

Polyphony in Iranian Music (IV)

Two choirs alternatively perform Veŝ Tavaré Na avaz (Transcription 5). The second group starts the avaz before the first group finishes it; consequently, two different voices coincide (Transcription 5, staves 2 and 5).

mehrdad-mahdavi

“Guitar Memories” Released

The album “Guitar Memories” consists of the performance of baroque to recent era masterpieces, by Mehrdad Mahdavi, and is published by Tanin-e Honar Publication.

In this album there are pieces composed and arranged by artists such as: Sylvius Leopold Weiss, Johann Anton Logy, Fernando Sor, Yuquijiro Yocoh, Leo Brouwer.

tehran-flute-choir

Tehran Flute Choir Established

Tehran Flute Choir was established in 1394 (late 2015) by Firouzeh Navai. Tehran Flute Choir, Iran’s first largest flute choir, recruited its members mostly from young talented flutists of Iranian Flute Association. Featuring piccolo, flute, alto flute and bass flute, Tehran Flute Choir, directed by Firouzeh Navai, premiered under the batons of Saeed Taghadosi on January 7-8, 2016 at Roudaki Hall in Tehran.

shahin-mohajeri

“The Art of Silence” Project Will be Released

Shaahin Mohajeri, the award-winning Iranian microtonal compose, has contributed to The Art of Silence is an international project which features unpublished pieces by microtonal composers from Iran, Japan, the United States, and other countries.

novin-orchestra-rooholah-khaleghi-l

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.

shahin-mohajeri-mohajery

Shaahin Mohajeri Wins UnTwelve Composition Competition

UnTwelve Non-profit Organization announced the results of its 2014/2015 composition competition on January 28, 2015. Shaahin Mohajeri, an Iranian Tonbak player, microtonalist, acoustician and composer, was awarded the second prize for his piece “Castle of Babak.”

s2

Principles of Playing Violin (VI)

B. applying force: the force needed for putting finger on finger board is applied through finger tips and using the rest of hand set especially wrist is not allowed. To practice this, it is possible to hold violin without the bow and throw the fingers on the finger board from 1-2cm distance; apply force only through finger tips.

logo-jashnvareie-paigah-haie-mousighi-dar-internet

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.