Musical Sense or Technique?

Translated by Mahboube Khalvati
One of the most popular terms used by Iranian instrumentalists is the existence or a lack of musical “sense”. Both musicians and fans of music consider having “sense” while playing music as an important principle to the extent that they use it vis-a-vis having technique.
Firstly, this question should be addressed: why is the term “having or not having sense” for an instrumentalist wrong?
When a virtuous musician performs a piece, he/she uses tricks to beautify his/her performance; however, if another musician performs the same piece the ambience and the sense differ compared to the first performance.
In Western classical music, the corresponding term is “edition”.
When a piece is edited by another musician the melodies are performed intact as they were originally composed; however, nuances, sequence tone and sonority differ.
As a matter of fact what we consider as sense is the musician’s mental status which leads to a unique interpretation of the piece.
The process involves moving from a musical sense to musical and performance techniques. This might seem as a trivial mistake but has led to this illusion in the society of musicians that “only the existence of sense makes a musician prominent.” This is while in the western countries, musical edition is academically taught. In west, musical sense includes stylistics, aesthetics and interpretation which guide musicians’ mentality for the final edition.
Virtuous musicians’ editions are sold for high prices in western countries so that other musicians can demystify editions of prominent musical performances.

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Is the Iranian National Anthem a Copy? (II)

In response, it should be said that it is better for the national anthem of a country to use the musical material exclusive to that country; however, some problems might come up in doing so the most important of which include: lack of familiarity of other countries’ music performer with the concerned country’s specific music intervals and special musical technique; and secondly, the strangeness of that music to the foreign listener.

Is the Iranian National Anthem a Copy? (I)

The alleged similarity between the Iranian and South Korean National Anthems has been a matter of discussion among musicians in Iran for several years. Earlier in 2021, the issue was taken to the media again with not only claims that the anthem is very similar to another song but also the suggestion that its musical content should draw more on the Iranian national music. Some even went to the extent to suggest replacing it with the song “O, Iran” composed by the late Rouhollah Khaleghi. Before delving more into the main issue, it would not go amiss to consider some technical characteristics of the song “O, Iran” composed in 1944.

From Past Days…

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Henry Cowell: “Persian Set”

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Henry Cowell, one of the most innovative American composers of the 20th century, was born in 1897. Cowell and his wife visited Iran in 1956 and stayed there the whole winter, upon the invitation by the Iranian Royal Family, when he composed his album “Persian Set” in four movements for chamber orchestra. His composition is expressive of the characteristic quality of the Persian or the Iranian music.

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The world of music has unparalleled respect for Bach. Bach is considered the spiritual father of classical music; Bach’s great position is due not only to his great achievements in the fields of harmony, counterpoint, and compositional sciences but also to his respect for and adherence to the artistic principles of classical music. In the history of classical music, it is recorded that Bach walked about fifty kilometers to listen to the music played by the great German organist Dieterich Buxtehude, and this is the path that every idealistic classical music student should walk.