Three singers in one larynx

This article was originally published in Honare Mousighi Monthly in issue No. 175.

Translated by Mahboube Khalvati

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. Coming from this background, Sima Bina started her career in the radio as a child and became the first serious promoter of folk music in the Iranian radio. Sima Bina was so much at the centre of attention that Davoud Pirnia launched “Golhaye Sahrai” (Flowers of the Desert) radio programmes based on her solo singing (avaz). The young Sima, however, did not confine herself to this success and studied Iranian dastgah music besides re-working Iranian folk music.
In the 1970s, in terms of signing style [1] , Sima Bina showed her abilities in singing in three different styles, namely, singing with symphony or chamber orchestras, with Iranian instrument orchestra when she performed folk music and in performing folk music she showed a very different character and avaz on the stage.

audio fileListen to parts of Sima Bina’s avaz accompanied by Mohamma Reza Lotfi’s tar in Chavosh 8 album.

Sima Bina is an exceptional singer in the sense that she can change her singing style and character depending on the song she is performing. Probably Maestero Mohammad Reza Shajarian can compete with her so long as in the handful of folk songs he has performed his style and character is widely different from those he has performed with Iranian instrument orchestras and large western instrument orchestras.

Sima Bina performed the folk songaudio file “Aziz beshin be kenarom”with Culture and Arts National Instruments Orchestra directed by Maestro Faramarz Payvar before she was even 25 years old. Her understanding of the folk song and her mastery of the music made her able to song with such a unique edition. The very same song can be the basis for sociological research on the hidden aspects of a strong rural woman’s character as depicted in Sima Bina’s performance of the song.

Yet, the Sima Bina who performed songs such asaudio file “Ba bolbol sheida” composed by Hassan Yousef Zamani and Javad Maroufi with Golha Orchestra reveals the character of a modern woman raised in the context of the classical culture. The change of the environment and music also transformed her singing style and edition [2] and depicts the proper ambiance for the audience.

Performing the repertoire of Iranian dastgah music with large western and Iranian instruments, Sima Bina reveals a partially different character and style influenced by the teachings of her dastgah music masters. Moreover, her singing style is less feminine and is characterized by more tahrir.
Sima Bina’s one-of-a-kind capability in singing in three different styles and singing editions lays in the fact that she always maintains a health voice in terms of the larynx anatomy and health.
Finally, I believe that observing the above-mentioned principles and having a good demeanor are the main reasons for Sima Bina’s ever-lasting presence for the public opinion and among musicians.

Footnotes:
[1] Singing style refers to the shape of vocal chords while singing which can be changed by the singer according to the form of avaz he/she sings.

[2] Edit or edition is a concept in the western classical music which refers to the personal edit of the musician, either instrumentalists or singers, which is characterized by glissandos, vibrations, nuances and so on.

Post a Comment

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

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.

Iranian Fallacies – School of Vaziri

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…

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.

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.

Layla Ramezan, Iranian Pianist

Iranian pianist Layla Ramezan has always sought to create a connection between her Persian origin and the contemporary music which she encounters daily. Sound, phrasing, a particular sense of rhythm and a refined understanding of the “time of musical development” are the foremost qualities of her interpretations. Her musical and pianistic education began in Tehran at the age of 8 with Mostafa-Kamal Poortorab. Having moved to Paris and received a scholarship from Albert Roussel Foundation, she integrated the classes of Jean Micault and Devi Erlih at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot, where she received a Diplôme de Virtuosité in piano performance and chamber music.

A year without Mohsen Ghanebasiri

The year 1396 (21 March 2017-20 March 2018) was the most sorrowful year for HarmonyTalk journal. One month after holding HarmonyTalk’s 13th establishment anniversary in Mohsen Ghanebasiri’s house in Tehran in April 2017, he untimely passed away. Mohsen Ghanebasiri was the prominent HarmonyTalk author.

Principles of Playing Violin (IV)

Principles of Playing Violin (IV)

Pattern No.3/1 Left hand finger Placement: 3/1/1: Landing Fingers on one String: In preliminary stages of training, an apprentice should pay attention to the principle of keeping fingers while placing them on the fingerboard. Professional violinists pay less attention to this principle. Novice player’s complying with this principle, in preliminary stages of training, has several…
Read More »

Henry Cowell: “Persian Set”

Persian Set: Four Movements for chamber orchestra: Moderato; Allegretto; Lento; Rondo

Henry Cowell, one of the most innovative American composers of the 20th century, was born in 1897. Cowell and his wife visited Iran in 1956 and stayed there the whole winter, upon the invitation by the Iranian Royal Family, when he composed his album “Persian Set” in four movements for chamber orchestra. His composition is expressive of the characteristic quality of the Persian or the Iranian music.

Principles of Violin Playing (VII)

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.

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.

“Pledge of Love”

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 Mystery of Messiah

Antonio Stradivari (1644 – 18 December 1737) was an Italian luthier and is considered the most significant and greatest artisan in this field.