Polyphony in Iranian Music (V)

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

Translated by Mahboube Khalvati

In addition to the above-mentioned, polyphony can be also formed when a melody is performed by several singers in different ambiances or different sound registers according to their physiologic abilities. An example of this has been performed in rituals of Khanqah of Ghaderi darawish of Mahabad [i]. Khanqah ritual of Ghaderi darwaish is constantly accompanied by dance and avaz. Constant repetition of a melody or motif leads to the monotony of dance movements and consequently leads to ecstasy or comma. This constant monotonous repetition can be compared to hypnosis. Ecstasy and comma based on this are metaphysical status and are considered as a border between life and death [ii]. Probably for the same reason, in Ghaderieh Khanqah in Sanandaj, extraordinary and agonizing acts such as thrusting a blade or dirk inside body organs is considered a joyful act. Therefore, ecstasy happens with anesthesia in a way that the dancer passes out on the floor at the end of the dance; and, consequently, his return to the material world features a scream [iii].

The polyphonic forms which were introduced occur unconsciously. On the contrary, there are some polyphonic forms in Iranian music that happen intentionally. These examples are mostly instrumental and are usually performed by dutar. Below an excerpt of these polyphonic forms are presented:

 

Farangi Rezagholi (Transcription No.7)

Transcription No.7

One of the popular muqams in Lorestan music is Farangi Rezagholi (Transcription No.7). The reason it is called farangi is that the melody is adopted from foreign music and “Rezagholi” is the name of the narrator of the muqam or an individual after whose name the muqah’s name is adopted [iv]. In Lorestan, dutar is called Tamireh. Imam Gholi Imami, Lorestan’s well-known tamireh player, performed Farangi Rezagholi (Transcription No.7).

Melodic figures of Farangi Rezagholi muqam is accompanied by a second voice like the voice of drone. The drone constantly follows the ascending and descending movement of the melody. Relocation of drone in this manner shapes a type of parallelism or a duet sequence. Farangi Rezagholi muqam consists of three melodic figures (Transcription No. 7, a + b + c staffs 1, 6, 14). Out these three figures, only the first one (a) experiences the most drastic change. Sequence of two voices due to sequence or relocation of drone exists in all Lorestan’s musical muqams including “Farangikhan-e Mirza”, “Male Jiri” and also “Avazen Be Poova Mouri”. Here only one example is introduced.

A parallel coincidence of two voices as a result of the relocation of drone also exists in instrumental pieces in Khorasan and Torkaman music. Here two examples are introduced; one is “Torqeh” belonging to North and Northwestern Khorasan and the other one is “Kach Falak” belonging to Turkmen music.

 



[i] Recorded from Iranian Culture TV on 15/12/1975.

[ii] Bose, Fritz; Musik und Musiker in auBereuropäischen Kulturen: “Humanismus un Technik 14, Heft 1, 1970, S. 1-8.

[iii] Recorded by the author in rituals of Ghaderieh Daravish Khanqah in Sanandaj conducted by Tofiq Moghadam.

[iv] As mentioned by Hamid Izadpanah.

Post a Comment

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

Ruggero Chiesa’s Legacy

Written by Peyman Shirali Translated by Mahta Mottaghi Since many years ago, I had the intention of writing an article on the Italian maestro Ruggero Chiesa and his musical life; but his ingenuity and the immense legacy, which is impressive for not only me, but also almost everyone who knows him properly, made it hard for me…
Read More »

The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (VII)

Conclusion

“Daf” is one of type of percussion instruments that has a long history and is commonly known as circular instruments (with a rim). In some tribes, Daf was used as the main instrument in festivity and joy ceremonies; in another tribe it was used as the main instrument for war and campaign ceremonies and some others used it for ritual and religious ceremonies.

From Past Days…

Gholam Reza Khan Minbashian: a pioneer in Iranian music (I)

Gholam Reza Khan Minbashian, a.k.a Salar-Mo’azez, was a pioneer in several domains in the history of the Iranian music. He is recognized as the first Iranian musician who was educated in classical music. He is also the first Iranian the score of whose works were published in Europe. He is the first Iranian to have launched courses on Western classical music and was also the first Iranian teacher of classical music. Moreover, he is the first founder of a string orchestra in Iran, the first author of the Iranian Radif which was available in oral form. Minbashian is also the first Iranian who studied music in Europe.

Musical Sense or Technique?

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.

Shaahin Mohajeri Wins UnTwelve Composition Competition

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.”

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.

Kayvan Mirhadi and O.R.P Qaurtet

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 Mystery of Messiah

Antonio Stradivari (1644 – 18 December 1737) was an Italian luthier and is considered the most significant and greatest artisan in this field.

“Pledge of Love”

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.

Principles of Violin Playing (IX)

4.3.1. To practice playing of doubles of notes involving two different fingers, each note is played at separate bows with slow tempo, each note is played perfectly regarding its bass and tenor sounds and then the considered double is played at another bow while considering the resulted sound of the double.

Polyphony in Iranian Music (V)

In addition to the above-mentioned, polyphony can be also formed when a melody is performed by several singers in different ambiances or different sound registers according to their physiologic abilities. An example of this has been performed in rituals of Khanqah of Ghaderi darawish of Mahabad[i].

Call for papers SIMF 1396

The Association of Iranian Contemporary Music Composers (ACIMC) and SHAHREAFTAB Art & Cultural Association are pleased to announce a call for papers for SIMF 1396.