Three singers in one larynx

This article was originally published in Honare Mousighi Monthly in issue No. 175.

Translated by Mahboube Khalvati

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. Coming from this background, Sima Bina started her career in the radio as a child and became the first serious promoter of folk music in the Iranian radio. Sima Bina was so much at the centre of attention that Davoud Pirnia launched “Golhaye Sahrai” (Flowers of the Desert) radio programmes based on her solo singing (avaz). The young Sima, however, did not confine herself to this success and studied Iranian dastgah music besides re-working Iranian folk music.
In the 1970s, in terms of signing style [1] , Sima Bina showed her abilities in singing in three different styles, namely, singing with symphony or chamber orchestras, with Iranian instrument orchestra when she performed folk music and in performing folk music she showed a very different character and avaz on the stage.

audio fileListen to parts of Sima Bina’s avaz accompanied by Mohamma Reza Lotfi’s tar in Chavosh 8 album.

Sima Bina is an exceptional singer in the sense that she can change her singing style and character depending on the song she is performing. Probably Maestero Mohammad Reza Shajarian can compete with her so long as in the handful of folk songs he has performed his style and character is widely different from those he has performed with Iranian instrument orchestras and large western instrument orchestras.

Sima Bina performed the folk songaudio file “Aziz beshin be kenarom”with Culture and Arts National Instruments Orchestra directed by Maestro Faramarz Payvar before she was even 25 years old. Her understanding of the folk song and her mastery of the music made her able to song with such a unique edition. The very same song can be the basis for sociological research on the hidden aspects of a strong rural woman’s character as depicted in Sima Bina’s performance of the song.

Yet, the Sima Bina who performed songs such asaudio file “Ba bolbol sheida” composed by Hassan Yousef Zamani and Javad Maroufi with Golha Orchestra reveals the character of a modern woman raised in the context of the classical culture. The change of the environment and music also transformed her singing style and edition [2] and depicts the proper ambiance for the audience.

Performing the repertoire of Iranian dastgah music with large western and Iranian instruments, Sima Bina reveals a partially different character and style influenced by the teachings of her dastgah music masters. Moreover, her singing style is less feminine and is characterized by more tahrir.
Sima Bina’s one-of-a-kind capability in singing in three different styles and singing editions lays in the fact that she always maintains a health voice in terms of the larynx anatomy and health.
Finally, I believe that observing the above-mentioned principles and having a good demeanor are the main reasons for Sima Bina’s ever-lasting presence for the public opinion and among musicians.

Footnotes:
[1] Singing style refers to the shape of vocal chords while singing which can be changed by the singer according to the form of avaz he/she sings.

[2] Edit or edition is a concept in the western classical music which refers to the personal edit of the musician, either instrumentalists or singers, which is characterized by glissandos, vibrations, nuances and so on.

Post a Comment

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

About Davoud Pirnia, the founder of “Golha” radio program

Davoud Pirnia, writer and musicologist was the founder of “Golha” (Flowers of Persian Song and Music) programs on Tehran Radio (1956-1966). He received his early education from his father, Hassan Pirnia (Moshir al-Douleh), and several tutors of the time (Taraghi, interview, July 1989) and continued his studies at Saint Louis School in Tehran and then in Switzerland and graduated in law. While studying law, Pirnia got acquainted with European classical music. Upon returning to Iran, he was employed by the Ministry of Justice and founded the Lawyers’ Guild. Then he was transferred to the Ministry of Finance and established the Department of Statistics in this ministry. Later, he became the head of the state inspection office at the Prime Ministry; he was, then, promoted to the position of the Deputy Prime Minister (Navab Safa, interview, August 1999)

Rouhollah Khaleghi Artistic Center established in Washington DC

Golnoush Khaleghi (1941-2021), a Washington-based Persian musician and the daughter of the contemporary Persian (Iranian) composer and theoretician Rouhollah Khaleghi (1906-1965) founded a musical center called RKAC to keep the name and the work of her father alive.

From Past Days…

Women Musicians in Large Iranian Orchestras

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.

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.

Behzad Abdi’s opera Rumi was physically released by Naxos

Composing a traditional Iranian opera using the Iranian modal system, dastgāh, has always been my dream. I first approached this by composing an opera called Ashura followed by the operas Rumi and Hafez. I believe that in order to attract an international audience for Iranian opera, it is essential to fuse dastgāh with Western classical forms.

Rouhollah Khaleghi Artistic Center established in Washington DC

Golnoush Khaleghi (1941-2021), a Washington-based Persian musician and the daughter of the contemporary Persian (Iranian) composer and theoretician Rouhollah Khaleghi (1906-1965) founded a musical center called RKAC to keep the name and the work of her father alive.

From the Last Instrumentalist to the First Composer (II)

Rouhollah Khaleghi was the master of composing beautiful melodies. He was the premier of the course of history which was first established by Ali Naghi Vaziri and which improved the Iranian music from simply a gathering music to the classical music of the country. First efforts to compose independent and instrumental music can be also traced in Khaleghi’s works.

Farshad Sanjari, Forgotten Iranian Conductor Met His Tragic End

Farshad Sanjari, one of the most renowned Iranian conductors in the 1970s in Iran died after fire broke in his apartment in Vienna on November 22, 2019. Farshad Sanjari was not involved in politics; however, he was one of the victims of the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, his name was never seen as the conductor of any programmes.

Rare documents of Tehran Opera Company published in Europe

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.

Polyphony in Iranian Music (III)

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.

Principles of Violin Playing (VIII)

1.5.1.3.sometimes, a player, due to different reasons, may decisively want to play continuously two notes with a half-step by means of the same finger, in such a case, it’s necessary to open the interior curve of the finger like a spring. Naturally coming back, the curve of finger should be closed and the finger should become curved shape again (see paragraph 3.1.2.1).

Layla Ramezan, Iranian Pianist

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.