Polyphony in Iranian Music (III)

Written by Dr. M. Taghi Massoudieh (1927-1998)
Originally published in Honarhaye Ziba (Fine Arts) 3, 1998, 95-104.

Translated by Mahboube Khalvati

 

3. Heterophonic Variant

In heterophonic variant, two performers perform a single melody simultaneously and change it. Performing and changing a single melody simultaneously by two performers leads to the coincidence of different voices.

Transcription No.3

Transcription No.3

The Ta’zieh ceremony of Imam Hussein’s martyrdom ends with the performance of two trumpets accompanied by a small and a large drum (Transcription No.3). The coincidence of different voices, resulted from the change in the single melody with first and second trumpets, especially on lines 5 and 6 (Transcription 3) is clearly obvious. The second trumpet performs the melody performed by the first trumpet with a delay and slightly changes it. Consequently, various voices resulted from heterophonic variant coincide with each other (Transcription 3, d staff 5, a2 staff 6).

Polyphonic forms exist not only in the music of Ta’zieh ceremony but also in the music of Iran’s regions: In Baluchistan, one of the songs for wedding ceremonies is called “Laroo.” The song is usually sung after the bridegroom’s bath when he is going his seat.
Additionally, “Laroo” is also sung on the sixth evening after the child delivery; hence, it is also called “sextuple”. The reason for such a title “Laroo” for the song is the refrain consisting of meaningless syllables “laroo li laroo laroo.”

Arman Gol Are (Transcription 4)

Transcription No.4

Translation of the text: laroo, laroo, Arman Gol Are take off your scarf. Kuwaiti scarf. Maybe he does not want it. Take off your scarf [5].

Arman Gol Are avaz is sung by both the soloist and the choir; that is to say that it is offered in responsorial form. In this case, two different voices coincide in the fifth and third intervals (Transcription 4, staves 2, 5, 7) because the soloist has not finished the paragraph when the choir begins singing the next paragraph. Each avaz paragraph consists of a period, which in turn, consists of four melodic figures (a+b+c+d, staff 2).
Out of these four figures, the first and the third figures are almost identical (a and c). This is while the second figure (b) seems contradictory to others. The last figure (d) only consists of the repetition of final note “la”.

Veŝ Tavaré Na (Transcription 5)

Transcription No.5

Translation of the text: Li laroo, laroo. The bridegroom’s shoes make a beautiful sound. Mr. [bridegroom]’s shoes make a beautiful sound. Mr. [bridegroom] is sitting to [start] a wonderful life. Mr. [bridegroom] is sitting [6].

 

 

__________________________

[5] Massoudieh, M. Taghi. Principles of Ethnomusicology, Comparative Musicology. Soroush, Islamic Republic of Iran Publishing House, Tehran,  1986, 139-141.

[6] Massoudieh, M. Taghi. Hochzeitslieder aus Balucestan. “Jahrbuch für musikalische Volks – und Völkerkunde, Bd. 7, 1973. S 58-69.”

Also: Massoudieh, M. Taghi. Principles of Ethnomusicology, ibid. pp 128-129.

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*
Your email is never shared.

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.

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.

From Past Days…

Principles of Violin Playing (VII)

4.3.1.3 Regarding the great linear distance and the unusual distance between the first and forth fingers, the first finger while playing the doubles of ninth and tenth interval, can be twisted in the knuckle area and the point mentioned in 3.1.2.5 paragraph in relation to the way first finger is placed indicating that the first joint of this finger in back of hand must be in line with the direction of forearm and left hand is not true here.

Ali Rahbari & Recording Iranian Symphonic Compositions

In the few days prior to the New Iranian year (March 2015), the news of the revival of Tehran Symphony Orchestra under Ali (Alexander) Rahbari’s conductorship was announced. Ali Rahbari, who served as assistant to Herbert von Karajan in Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at a very young age, was also invited to conduct Tehran Symphony Orchestra in 2005; however, the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government put an end to his collaboration with this Orchestra. Recently, it was announced that Rahbari is invited to conduct an orchestra in the U.S.

A Persian Nocturne for Piano

A Night in a Persian Garden is the name of a Nocturne composed by the Persian (Iranian) contemporary composer Behzad Ranjbaran. This Nocturne, published recently by the Theodore Presser Company in the US, was performed for the first time in 2002 in New York City by the young Persian pianist Soheil Nasseri and has enjoyed many performances by other pianists.

Maestro Hassan Nahid’s Role in Promoting the Ney

Maestro Hassan Nahid is one of the most prominent and distinctive artists who values high morals, discipline and hard work. His music activities include playing the Ney as both soloist and an accompaniment in the most important Iranian music orchestras and ensembles during the last fifty years, including the Orchestra of Iranian Instruments (Nusratullah Golpayegani), the Orchestra of National Instrumentalists of the Ministry of Culture and Arts (Payvar Orchestra), the Orchestra of Iranian Instruments (Morteza Hananeh) , Darvish Orchestra, Samaie Orchestra, Roudaki Orchestra, Maestros’ Ensemble, Aref Ensemble, as well as performances in various radio programs, many concerts in different countries, as well as a long teaching experience in the National Conservatory of Music, music universities and other music institutions to name but a few.

Principles of Violin Playing (II)

Since for playing violin, it’s necessary that the player’s palms and fingers be inclined toward the fingerboard, therefore, the player, while bringing up his hand, should turn it toward the fingerboard.

Prominent Iranian Musicologist Passes Away in Vienna

Khosrow Djafarzadeh, musicologist and architect, who was also one of the main authors of HarmonyTalk journal passed away on 15 July 2019.

Principles of Playing Violin (IV)

Principles of Playing Violin (IV)

Pattern No.3/1 Left hand finger Placement: 3/1/1: Landing Fingers on one String: In preliminary stages of training, an apprentice should pay attention to the principle of keeping fingers while placing them on the fingerboard. Professional violinists pay less attention to this principle. Novice player’s complying with this principle, in preliminary stages of training, has several…
Read More »

Three singers in one larynx

Sima Bina (b. 1945) is a unique singer among the singers of Golha radio programmes which were broadcast on Iranian National Radio for 23 years from 1956 to 1979. She received her first lessons in music from her father who was a poet, a musician and the most important supporter of Sima’s cultural activities.

A note on “Illusion or Ingenuity” article

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.

Quality Decline in Regional Music Festivals

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.