Translated by Mahboube Khalvati
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.
These changes can include:
1- Changes in the region’s music due to imitation of other works of music
1 .1. imitating a variety of works of music outside the performer’s native region in order to attract non-native audience;
1.2. imitating a variety of musical pieces outside the home region of the performer in order to compete with a variety of regional music pieces which, in the view of the performer, are more technical. (In competitions the problem is even more severe);
1.3. imitating all types of official urban music in order to attract urban audiences;
2. Changes in the music of the region as a result of performing in a new environment;
1.2. Conscious changes in the music: because of the presence of new audience compared to the audience for whom regional music performers usually perform, the regional music performers often cannot play the music of that particular region with all characteristics, for the reason that its performance needs the active attention of the audience (the examples of this type of music may include a variety of ritual and religious elements along with chorus or dance);
2.2 unconscious changes in the music: due to the presence of unfamiliar audience (especially urban audience) or new stage, the performer does not mentally connect with the audience and the music consequently goes through changes (the examples of this type music may include a variety of narration and storytelling accompanying the music).
The aforementioned cases are only part of the reasons for the change in the quality of the performance of regional music in the festivals. On the other hand, as mentioned earlier, there are many reasons why these festivals cannot be held in different regions, and the organizers of these festivals have to inevitably accept the above-discussed decline in the quality of regional music.
The audience of these festivals is made up of two large groups: 1- the public, and 2- researchers.
The public: this group of fans of regional music attends regional music festivals with the aim of familiarizing themselves with the music of different ethnic groups. Therefore, the drop in quality described above has little effect on this group. Generally speaking, the public does not listen to this type of music in a detailed and scrupulous manner. Moreover, this group of the audience is not able to identify the shortcomings. Of course, the presence of these people in the festivals is not only useful for familiarizing with regional music, but their financial support can lead to the motivation and, eventually, the continuation of the activities of regional music narratives.
Cultural scholars: These audiences of regional music festivals watch the performance of regional musicians in a more sophisticated manner. Therefore, should never consider that the performances in regional music festivals are the same as performances done in regional musicians’ home regions. In conclusion, although musical festivals in large cities make the people familiar with less-known cultures and increases people’s material and spiritual support for regional musicians, a music researcher can only find clues through these festivals about cultural incidents. In order words, music researchers cannot consider these performances as a perfect example of music in the regions, the researcher must investigate for his research work in the same area where the particular regional music belongs to.
- A few steps on the “Road to Bach”
- Maestro Hassan Nahid’s Role in Promoting the Ney
- History’s Impact on Evaluating a Work of Art
- Farhad Poupel’s piece, Road to Bach, performed at Suntory Hall
- “Symphonic Poems from Persia” Released in Germany
- A Persian Nocturne for Piano
- The Role of Arts in Development of Societies
- “I Will Never Perform Just for Women!”: Golnoush Khaleghi Passes Away in Exile
- Interview with the Makers of the New Qeychak (III)
- Persian Music: “Mahour the Great” in Austria
- Interview with the Makers of the New Qeychak (II)
- Rare documents of Tehran Opera Company published in Europe
From Past Days…
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.
Mohsen Renani in the preface of his book entitled “The Political Economy of nuclear conflict; an introduction to traversing the civilizations” writes:
A part of the secrets of the masterpieces from the golden era lies in the special design of the instruments, as a result of a profound insight to and awareness of the significance of the precise calculation of the various components of the object of arts being created, such as making a violin or a bow.
UnTwelve Non-profit Organization announced the results of its 2014/2015 composition competition on January 28, 2015. Shaahin Mohajeri, an Iranian Tonbak player, microtonalist, acoustician and composer, was awarded the second prize for his piece “Castle of Babak.”
Hossein Aslani, Iranian pianist residing in the US, passed away due to cancer in late January 2020. His last musical activity was an article written for Harmony Talk entitled “Iran amidst musical struggle” in 2016, his memoir entitled “I Play You Again” in the same year and his album “Symbolic Emotion” published by Arganoun Publications in 2014. Here is a brief biography of Hossein Aslani according to his own website:
The year 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Evlin Baghcheban’s death. She played a crucial role to promote opera and choral music in Persia (Iran). Born to an Assyrian-French family in Turkey, she studied singing and piano at the Ankara State Conservatory. In 1950 Evlin married the Persian composer and fellow student Samin Baghcheban and moved to Tehran.
The life territory of the female-male relations in the Iranian cultural context is basically a domestic territory and not a social-living one in the labour and leisure domains. To prove this, it only suffices to consider the Iranian men’s viewpoints about women. For the Iranian men, there are three perspectives regarding the women: mother, sister and wife. Mother represents the emotional territory; sister represents the logical territory at home while wife represents the sexual territory.
Iranian pianist Layla Ramezan has always sought to create a connection between her Persian origin and the contemporary music which she encounters daily. Sound, phrasing, a particular sense of rhythm and a refined understanding of the “time of musical development” are the foremost qualities of her interpretations. Her musical and pianistic education began in Tehran at the age of 8 with Mostafa-Kamal Poortorab. Having moved to Paris and received a scholarship from Albert Roussel Foundation, she integrated the classes of Jean Micault and Devi Erlih at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot, where she received a Diplôme de Virtuosité in piano performance and chamber music.
Avaye Naerika Percussion Orchestra is an Iranian percussion orchestra featuring 40 lady percussionists. The Orchestra was established as Iran’s largest all-female percussion orchestra in 2008 by Ms. Minoo Rezaei under the title Naerika Percussion Orchestra and changed its name to Avaye Naerika in 2017.
Regarding the classification of a new instrument in an instrument family, one can point to a number of fundamental issues, one of the most obvious of which is the instrument’s visual features. If we look at how the new instrument has changed compared to its historical versions, the set of visual elements that link the instrument to the Qeychak family becomes apparent. But other characteristics such as the geometric dimensions of the instrument, characteristics of the instrument’s various parts and how they relate to each other, its systematic performance, its sound range (compared to modern versions), the material and color of the sound, the way it is played and the like, can be considered in order to classify the instrument in the Qeychak family.