Translated by Mahboube Khalvati
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.
For example, the first book on harmony which was translated by Salar Mo’azzez in Iran was entitled “Tanasob” (meaning relation) and some of its terms such as “harmony” and “keys” were translated into Farsi as “Tanasob” and “Mezrab”. However, through time, Western terms found their place in the terminology of the Iranian music.
Therefore, in the tradition of classical music, similar to scientific matters, imitating from a non-native term is considered as a conventional issue. Classical music terms has been studied and investigated by the scientific society of classical music and rarely suffers from basic shortfalls. However, in the countries with old musical traditions, sometimes some terms enter the mainstream classical music which have their own specific meaning and their addition to the classical music terminologies leads to ambiguities. An example of this situation consists of the terms such as composition and arrangement.
“Tanzim” (arrangement) is one of the most frequently used terms in the Iranian classical music. The term has been inspired by the word “arrangement”. This term became very popular in the classical Iranian music when polyphonic rules of Western music were introduced in the Iranian music academies. During this period, many of the pieces by demised composers which have been composed in a monophonic manner were made polyphonic by composers who were familiar with polyphonic rules. Under these circumstances, in order to make the name of the melodist immortal, he/she was called Ahangsaz (composer) consisting of two words: ahang meaning melody and saz meaning maker. The person who made the work polyphonic was designated as the arranger.
In the tradition of pop music, the terms composer and arranger are used in the senses explained above; however, this is not the case in the tradition of classical music. In this tradition, the word arranger is used to refer to a person who reimaines a polyphonic piece and adapts a new orchestration (In an essay series entitled “One Theme; Several Arrangements” by the same author many such instances can be found).
In classical music, the term composer is used to describe a person who uses a composition of different technique including melody, harmony, counterpoint, orchestration and form. However, in monophonic pieces (especially in pieces composed for wind instruments) the title composer has been used.
Therefore, the person who finally works on a melody and employs a variety of composing techniques wins the title of a composer. Even in some instances, the person who harmonises a melody is called the composer. One can refer to Romanian Folk Dances by Béla Bartók and some pieces of the Hungarian Dances by Brahms.
As with regard to the pop music, these titles are used in another manner and the melodist is sometimes called the composer. Consequently, the person who employs expansion and polyphonic techniques is called the arranger. Interestingly, a term has been used in the pop music culture by using the titles “composer and arranger” together!
In the Iranian classical music, the pop music terminology has been used for a long while instead of using the tradition of the classical music (the area to which this music actually belongs), which is really thought-provoking.
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- Interview with the Makers of the New Qeychak (I)
From Past Days…
When the author was working on the piece “Playing Love” by Ennio Morricone (from the legend of 1900), he realized a failure of the Lip Technique. Needing to play a chord in the 14th position of the guitar and in order to complete the harmony, it is necessary to play a harmonic note on the 7th or 5th position; it was not possible to touch the string to play this harmonic note, because the Lip Technique is used for getting the notes and not to touch the string and producing harmonic notes. Naturally, the only possible way to touch the string was to use the nose at the required position and playing the note with the right hand, and this was the best option the author found to how to play such harmonic notes, and where the Nose Technique was generated.
The Association of Iranian Contemporary Music Composers (ACIMC) and SHAHREAFTAB Art & Cultural Association are pleased to announce a call for papers for SIMF 1396.
Establishing O.R.P. Quartet is Kayvan Mirhadi’s latest activity as a guitarist, composer and conductor of Kamerata Orchestra. Besides working with this Quartet, Mirhadi is busy these days recording and mixing some of his own works as well as some pieces by 20th century composers. O.R.P Quartet performed a concert in Rasht, Gilan Province in late May 2016 and offered a master class.
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.
Regional music festivals are organized to, firstly, introduce the music of different regions and, secondly, to support its performers. Regional music festivals are held in large cities for various reasons, including the availability of financial and executive facilities and the presence of an audience. However, the organization of these festivals has always been one of the challenging issues of ethnomusicology. The reason is that the presence of regional music performers in large cities places them in a context other than the context they would normally perform in their homes; consequently this change in situation leads to changes in the quality of their performance.
Preparations for Saba Student Music Festival started in the summer of 2016; the Student Music Festival will be held annually by the students of music at Arts University. The first part of the closing ceremony of the Festival was dedicated to the celebration of the life, work and strives by Maestro Hossein Dehlavi to upgrade the level of music as an academic discipline. The name of the award-winning students and ensembles were announced at the second part of the ceremony.
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.
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.
Payam Taghadossi (born in 1989) started his musical education at the age of 4 years with Monika Scherbaum in Bregenz (Austria). At the Conservatory Feldkirch he joined the class of Imke Frank and Martin Merker. Later he studied in Zurich (Switzerland) with Thomas Grossenbacher and Christian Proske, where he 2011 graduated as a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance. Two years later as the student of Rafael Rosenfeld he received his Master of Arts in Music Performance diploma and later graduated as a Master of Arts in spezialized Music Performance in 2016 from the Hochschule für Musik Basel FHNW.
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.