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

Translated by Mahboube Khalvati

Gholamreza Khan Minbashian taught courses such as organology, orchestration of military music and harmony based on the books which were translated from French into Persian with the help of Aliakbar Mozayyan-o-Dolleh (1846-1932). Some pamphlets were also prepared based on Minbashian’s teachings on solfège and on wind instruments which were never published.
In 1914 (or 1917 as mentioned in some references), Gholamreza Khan founded a school for military music entitled “Music Class” and started teaching there. The courses taught at this school were four years long and civilians along with military personnel could take part in the courses and be trained on classical (non-military) music.
Ranking Brigadier General, Gholamreza Khan established the Army’s Music Department and became its director in 1921. Seven years later, when it was banned to simultaneously work for and receive salaries from two public organizations, he resigned as the head of the music school and handed over the responsibility to Colonel Ali Naqi Vaziri. Vaziri immediately removed military music courses from the curriculum of the school as there was an independent school for teaching military music, that is, Army’ Music Department run by Gholamreza Khan and his son Nasrallah.
Gholam Reza Khan Minbashian retired in 1930 and his son Nasrallah replaced him. Gholam Reza Khan passed away in 1935 and was buried in Qom, Iran.
Gholamreza Khan’s sons, Nasrallah and Gholamhossein Min Bashian, both studied music in Europe and rendered a lot of services in the scene of the Iranian classical music (Nasrallah Min Bashian’s sons, Fathollah Min Bashian and Mehrdad Pahlbod, both of whom were musicians assumed high ranking positions in the second Pahlavi dynasty. Fathallah became the Commander of the Army’s Ground Force and Mehrdad became the Minister of Culture and Arts).
Gholamreza Khan also played the Iranian instrument Tar and had learned to play the instrument under the supervision of maestros at the time. Therefore, he was keenly interested in Iranian Dastgah music and, unlike his son Gholam Hossein, who strongly opposed Iranian music, considered teaching Persian music necessary. Gholamreza Khan had consequently made Hossein Hang Afrin responsible for teaching Iranian music. For the first time, Gholamreza Khan prepared and published the score relating to a part of Mahour Radif which was performed by Hossein Khan Hang Afrin, in Tehran and in Leipzig, Germany. In the Radif which was notated by Gholamreza Khan, Arabic notation symbols were used to indicate quarter tones.
Gholamreza Khan also mailed the afore-mentioned Radif for Alexandre Jean Albert Lavignac (21 January 1846 – 28 May 1916), the editor of the French Encyclopedia of Music, with whom he has been corresponding about the Iranian music.
Gholam Reza Khan also played Iranian music with the piano and changed the tunes to play quarter tones, but before him, Sarvar-ol Molk also used to play Iranian Dastgahs on the piano using a different hand position compared to the standard hand position which Gholamreza Khan used.
In addition to teaching piano, Gholamreza Khan also taught several wind and brass instruments and had founded some orchestras with his students, most notably among his students and except his children are, Zia Mokhtari, Hassan Radmard, Mohammad Najmi, Mosayeb Rezvani, and Hossein Ali Vaziri.
During the time of Qajar and Pahlavi, Gholamreza Khan’s pieces including hymns and marches were performed; however, their scores are hard to find. In his biography, pieces for piano entitled “Piano Fantasy”, Daramad-e Avaz-e Esfahan, Pish Daramad and Tasnif” and also the arrangement of pieces by Roknoddin Mokhtari for piano are mentioned which were published then.

Post a Comment

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

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…

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.

Women Musicians in Large Iranian Orchestras

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.

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.

“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 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.

New Technique for Playing Classical Guitar (I)

Joint application of the two techniques of “Lip” and “Nose” could be effectively applied for hearing and playing far-away intervals, by the Classical Guitar. Before this, a Classical Guitar player had to waive playing intervals not possible with the left hand, and had to replace or eliminate some notes, making it possible to play such intervals; specifically the capability of the left hand of the musician, was also a factor in such a selection. These methods are hereby illustrated by photographs and a video-file, in order to provide optimum comprehension of applying these methods, invented by the author; specifically the “Lip” technique, which is considered to be a more significant technique, emphasized by the author.

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.

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 »

Musical Sense or Technique?

One of the most popular terms used by Iranian instrumentalists is the existence or a lack of musical “sense”. Both musicians and fans of music consider having “sense” while playing music as an important principle to the extent that they use it vis-a-vis having technique.

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.