“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 album was released by Mahoor Institute of Culture and Arts in September 2015.

In this album, Sadjad Pourgahnad has re-composed Amir Jahed’s tasnifs’ by adding phrases and by making polyphonic the already existing ones. Pourghanad has also composed an overture entitled “Trannom” in which all instruments introduce themselves through the parts they play. The album cover written by composer reads:
“The current album results from the approach to the Persian music which was founded 90 years ago by Ali Naghi Vaziri and was followed by his students and colleagues and which has survived up to this day. In this school, there are no limitations for employing non-Persian musical techniques in composing; therefore, different techniques are used as long as they do not disturb the context of the Persian music.
“Due to unrestricted use of composing techniques some of which are totally new to the Persian music, works composed by the composers who follow this school have two important characteristics: 1. More variety and expanding composing horizons 2. Persian music becomes more attracting for those who are used to the Western classical music’s polyphony and are capable of following different sound lines.
This album consists of 6 Tasnifs by Mohammad Ali Amir Jahed which I have re-composed. In re-composing these Tasnifs, vocal parts are left intact while I have re-written the instrumental parts.
“In this album, I have tried to employ harmony, counterpoint and orchestration techniques for Iranian instruments to the extent that it does not disturb the context Amir Jahed had created. Based on each piece’s ambience, various polyphony and orchestration techniques are drawn upon the understanding of which is not challenging for trained listeners and those with the ability to follow multiple lines; however, those who are less familiar with polyphonic music might find them tough. Therefore, it is recommended that they listen to the album at least three times before they judge it!
“In the past several decades, one of the obstacles on the way of composing for an orchestra of Persian instruments has been the excessive use of percussion instruments to the extent that rhythmic variety has turned into an indispensible tradition for Persian orchestras. This tradition has made composers evade writing calculated and challenging counterpoints and impose the rhythmic variety and the continuous bass line to the audience in a primitive and deficient manner. Consequently, in this album percussion instruments were deliberately avoided so that in their absence counterpoint can play its role efficiently.
“This album includes some of the undiscovered or less listened-to Tasnifs by the great master of Iranian Tasnif-writing, Mohammad Ali Amir Jahed. I hope that the new approach applied to re-composing these Tasnifs adds to their beauty – Sadjad Pourghanad.”

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Ruggero Chiesa’s Legacy

Written by Peyman Shirali Translated by Mahta Mottaghi Since many years ago, I had the intention of writing an article on the Italian maestro Ruggero Chiesa and his musical life; but his ingenuity and the immense legacy, which is impressive for not only me, but also almost everyone who knows him properly, made it hard for me…
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The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (VII)

Conclusion

“Daf” is one of type of percussion instruments that has a long history and is commonly known as circular instruments (with a rim). In some tribes, Daf was used as the main instrument in festivity and joy ceremonies; in another tribe it was used as the main instrument for war and campaign ceremonies and some others used it for ritual and religious ceremonies.

From Past Days…

A Look at Ali Tajvidi’s Manifold Musical Activities (I)

Ali Tajvidi (1920 – 2004), one of the most prominent Iranian musicians, passed away sixteen years ago. He was one of the most distinguished Iranian artists. To specify one of the fields in which he was unique, one can refer to Tasnif composition. A brief review of his manifold musical activities is presented below.

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.

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.

Simorgh Criticised

Simorgh (Simorq) Orchestra was founded by the renowned Iranian composer, Hamid Motebassem, in 2011. Simorgh Orchestra is the largest orchestra featuring Iranian national instruments. Although the orchestra established by Master Hossein Dehlavi, the great Iranian composer, in 1993 was larger than Simorgh Orchestra, it only featured the Iranian plucked string instruments unlike the latter one. The first album which was recorded by the Orchestra, conducted under Motebassem’s baton, was his Simorq based on Zal story from Shahnameh by Ferdowsi, the great Iranian poet.

History’s Impact on Evaluating a Work of Art

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Motherland Orchestra Broke the Spell of the Covid-19 Restrictions

The Motherland Orchestra staged the first concert since the outbreak of the pandemic under the baton of Nezhat Amiri. The orchestra went on stage on December 23-24, 2021 in memory of Rouhollah Khaleghi and Golnoush Khaleghi at Vahdat Hall, Tehran, Iran. Since the pandemic outbreak, concerts were held online and restrictions were imposed on in-person concerts.

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.

Interview with the Makers of the New Qeychak (III)

In this project, my specialized responsibility  was the basic drawings of the desired instrument with the help of engineering and mechanical software.  I have also the carried out phases related to engineering designs, related variables, and volume and weight calculations under Mr. Ziaei’s direct supervision from the very beginning. Regarding the challenges of this work, suffice it to say that the set of designs for the instrument lasted more than 9 months in the final stage of the project only.

The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (VI)

Researcher: Mohammad Tarighat Translator: Fatemeh Alimohammadi Hooks and attached rings: The junction of the ring to the arch is about 3 centimeters from the skin.  The ring with its side rings should be as far as the diameter of a ring (about one and a half to one and eight centimeters) to make a proper…
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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.