Hossein Dehlavi: the Composer

With Dehlavi it is not all about fame but recognition. Hossein Dehlavi is not a popular musician (like pop singers) whom everybody might know when he is walking on streets of Tehran; however, he is recognized by both amateur and distinguished musicians of the country.

Hossein Dehlavi was born on September 30, 1927 to a musically informed family. He started lessons in music with his father, himself a pupil to Ali Akbar Shahnazi (1897 –1985), the prominent Iranian musician and Tar player. His mother was a great source of encouragement for his studies in music, especially violin, as early as 9.

At Tehran Higher Conservatory of Music, Dehlavi studied principles of harmony, counterpoint and composition with Hossein Nasehi (1925-1977) and Persian Music with Abolhassan Saba (1902-1957). He graduated in Composing from the Conservatory in 1960.

He was appointed as the Principal and a teacher at Tehran National Conservatory of Music, a position which he maintained for ten years. One of his most well-known pupils is Alexander (Ali) Rahbari, the internationally acclaimed Conductor. His contributions to the standardization of teaching Persian Music at Tehran National Conservatory of Music were enormous. He paved the way for technical improvement of musicians and promoted standard teaching methods for Persian Music.

Dehlavi has so far published two albums, Bizhan and Manizheh (Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra) conducted by Tomas Christian David and also conducted by Alexander (Ali) Rahbari. The second album is Anthology of Hossein Dehlavi’s Music which includes his Persian Music pieces features Persian instruments.

After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, women vocalists were banned from solo performances; therefore, the vocal parts of Mana and Mani Opera by Hossein Dehlavi remains unrecorded to this day although composed in 1979.

His Marriage of Poetry and Persian Vocal Music (2011) is a result of 43 years of research and studies in Persian vocal music. Persian poetry consists an indispensable part of the Persian vocal music; hence, the significance of the marriage between the two.

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Interview with the Makers of the New Qeychak

On occasion of the 8th anniversary of launching HarmonyTalk Online Journal on 6 April 2012, Reza Ziaei, master luthier and researcher on classical music instruments (violin family), announced that the first phase of the project to improve Qeychak has borne fruit. The new instrument would feature a bowl of ribs and the material used for the surface would be wooden. Carrying out the second phase of the project took more than 7 years engaging the new members of Reza Ziaei’s Workshop. In this phase, new researches were conducted from different aspects on the Qeychak and the modern versions of the instrument which were introduced previously by other instrument makers. The available versions of the instrument were studied in terms of their weak and strong technical features.

Iranian Fallacies – Composition and Arrangement

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.

From Past Days…

From the Last Instrumentalist to the First Composer (I)

Music as an art has its own special history; emergence of a singer, of an instrumentalist and then the emergence of the strong character of a composer covers three significant phases of the art of music. With the emergence of composer which was simultaneous with the emergence of the language of music, this art managed to offer a domain for criticism for its composer; a procedure which led to a magnificent variety and evolution in musical production. Even though the conflicts between singers and instrumentalists have not met their end in the Iranian society and while singers can achieve high, instrumentalists have yet to play behind curtains . In a special era, with the efforts of musicians such as Ali Naghi Vaziri (1887-1979) and Rouhollah Khaleghi (1906-1965), glimmers of a composing era started to glow bearing fruit in Khaleghi’s achievement as Iran’s first professional composer. Khaleghi made his reputation as a composer while Vaziri deserved to pioneer this path. By then Vaziri was well-known as a Tar player.

Polyphony in Iranian Music (VI)

Torqeh or jal is the same bird (Bimaculated lark) and is the name of a muqam which is well-known in Torbate Jam and those areas. Jal muqam is called Torqeh in Esfarayen and Bojnourd. This muqam which was used to be played by Bakhshis/Bagşies (dutar-players) in the past is seldom performed today.

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

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).

Illusion or Ingenuity?

Mohsen Renani in the preface of his book entitled “The Political Economy of nuclear conflict; an introduction to traversing the civilizations” writes:

Polyphony in Iranian Music (I)

Despite the fact that Iranian folk music (regional music of Iran), like the Radif of Iranian traditional music, is monophonic and follows heterophony in principal, we experience polyphonic forms, albeit, majorly unconscious.

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.

Hossein Dehlavi: the Composer

With Dehlavi it is not all about fame but recognition. Hossein Dehlavi is not a popular musician (like pop singers) whom everybody might know when he is walking on streets of Tehran; however, he is recognized by both amateur and distinguished musicians of the country.

From the Last Instrumentalist to the First Composer (II)

Rouhollah Khaleghi was the master of composing beautiful melodies. He was the premier of the course of history which was first established by Ali Naghi Vaziri and which improved the Iranian music from simply a gathering music to the classical music of the country. First efforts to compose independent and instrumental music can be also traced in Khaleghi’s works.

Principles of Violin Playing (III)

Violin players should always pay attention to the proper position of the left thumb and other points related to it and to its joining point to the palm.

Harmony in the Iranian Music (I)

Translated by Mahboube Khalvati The article you are about to read was written by Rouhollah Khaleqi (1906-1965), composer, and conductor of Golha Orchestra (established in 1956). Khaleqi was one of the most prominent promoters of polyphony for the Iranian music and is one of the best representatives of the school of Ali Naghi Vaziri. In…
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