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.
- Lilly Afshar, Iranian Guitar Legend, passed away
- Mohammad Esmaili passes away
- Inefficiency of some chords and harmonization systems in Iranian music
- The response of the fired musicians to the interview of the managing director of Rudaki Foundation
- Loss of Development in Iranian Music
- Last Year under the Light of Music
- Interview with Farhad Poupel (II)
- Interview with Farhad Poupel (I)
- About Davoud Pirnia, the founder of “Golha” radio program
- Rouhollah Khaleghi Artistic Center established in Washington DC
- Ruggero Chiesa’s Legacy
- The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (VII)
From Past Days…
The author of the “Illusion or Ingenuity” article, who is apprehensive of the future of the Music in Iran, enumerates some symptoms of the music weakening in the country for example decreasing in the quality of the music as well as lack of the innovation in creating them, a gradual decline in the music public taste and the drop in the application of layered sound and polyphony in music. He explains that one reason for this gradual weakening might be our unawareness of the fact that we are not so intelligent nation. He believes that we, Iranians, have a comprehensive “Illusion of the high national intelligence “that make us ignorant of the unfavorable realities of our music and consequently no searching for the remedy is taking place. His point of view brings to the mind a patient who thinks he is healthy, therefore delays the treatment and finally is killed by the disease. The author also refers to the national difficulties which gradually will lower the national intelligence score such as the increased rate of the immigration and brain drain, low quality of the nutrition, incompetence of the education system and etc and predicts that the condition of the music of Iran might deteriorate in the future because of the mentioned illusion of its great status.
B. applying force: the force needed for putting finger on finger board is applied through finger tips and using the rest of hand set especially wrist is not allowed. To practice this, it is possible to hold violin without the bow and throw the fingers on the finger board from 1-2cm distance; apply force only through finger tips.
At the end of the Qajar era and as Iran entered the power transition period, known as the constitutional era, the Iranian music went through a lot of changes. These changes gained momentum as the students and followers of Ali Naqi Vaziri’s entered the musical scene. These changes greatly influenced designs of instruments, playing methods, singing, composing, etc.
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.
Fantasia on One Note was my first professional work for piano, which had its world premiere by the great pianist Peter Jablonski in Sweden, and it has been performed by various pianists in the UK, Germany, France, and the Czech Republic. The recording of this work has also been broadcast on the Dutch public radio, NPR Radio 4.
With its simple physical structure and captivating sound, the Daf never belonged to a particular culture or location, and every nation had different usages for this instrument considering their dominant customs and traditions.
Ashura Opera was composed by Behzad Abdi, the Iranian composer, in 2008 based on librettos compiled by Behrouz Gharib. The main source for the libretto is poems by Mohtasham Kashani, a sixteenth century Iranian poet.
Researcher: Mohammad Tarighat Translator: Fatemeh Alimohammadi Daf Structure The Structure of Daf in different cities of Iran has a great variety in terms of dimensions, components and even appearance; some of which are as follows: – Square Daf, on which the skin was stretched either on one or both sides, with strings installed inside it…
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.
Tehran Flute Choir is a 40-member orchestra of Iran’s best flutists; Iran’s best flutists? Yes! If you write down the names of the greatest Iranian flute players who participate at concerts and contribute to academic centers in Iran, you will see that most of them are among the choir’s members.