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

Translated by Mahboube Khalvati

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.
Minbashian is undoubtedly the father of classical music as well as military music in Iran. Gholamreza Minbashian, son of Nasrallah, was born in 1862 in Tehran. His mother, Qamar al-Zaman, was the first Iranian woman to play the piano. Minbashian studied at Dar al-Funun School. He had shown a talent for painting and language before starting to learn music and had even ranked second at school and had received a medal from Nasser al-Din Shah Qa’jar.
Because of Minbashian’s interest in music, his father, Nasrallah Khan, enrolled him at Dar al-Funun’s music branch where he spent eight years under the supervision of Alfred Jean-Baptiste Lemaire. He graduated as the first Dar al-Funun music student. It is worth mentioning that Lemaire’s system of teaching at Dar al-Funun was based on military music rather than classical music.
After graduation as a military officer, Gholamreza Minbashian started teaching music as an assistant to Lemaire in Dar al-Funun. In 1882, he was promoted to Sultanate rank in the Persian Cossack Brigade and became commander of music of the Cossack Cavalry. In four years’ time he was promoted to the rank of commander of musicians.
After eleven years of service, he reached the Mirpanj rank, and in the same year he went to the Soviet Union to study music at St. Petersburg Conservatory (Petrograd at the time) under the renowned musician of that time, Rimsky Korsakov. He took his eldest son, Nasrallah Minbashian (who was named after his grandfather and played piano and partly violin, cello and clarinet), with him. Gholamreza Minbashian’s education under the supervision of Korsakov was brief as he returned to Iran; however, Nasrallah studied there for seven years.
Upon his return to Iran, Gholamreza Minbashian re-assumed his former position. His return coincided with the Constitutional Revolution, so he resigned from his position because of his interest in the Constitutional fighters and left for France to study music. At the same time, he began composing the official Iranian anthem entitled “Hello Iran’s Majestic Government” the score for which he published, for the piano, in Europe.
Early in the reign of Ahmad Shah, he returned to Iran and was appointed director general of the music branch of the system.
In 1920, he was commissioned by the Ministry of Education (later renamed the Ministry of Culture and Art, today known as the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance) to form the Royal String Orchestra, the first string orchestra in Iran. It was at this time that he was promoted to the rank of Amir Touman, and was awarded the diamond-decorated badge.
In 1916, Alfred Jean-Baptiste Lemaire passed away and after a year, Gholamreza Khan was appointed as the Head of the music branch of Dar al-Funun. Two years later, Gholamreza Khan was honored with the title of Salar-Mo’azez.

Post a Comment

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

HarmonyTalk Journal’s Twentieth Anniversary Celebration

On the 10th of Khordad, 1403 (equivalent to May 30, 2024), the twentieth anniversary celebration of the online journal “HarmonyTalk” took place at the Ersbārān Cultural Center. The event garnered such interest from enthusiasts that the venue was completely filled.

A combination of technique and musicality in the fingers of a pianist

In the world of classical music, the position of soloist has always been exceptional. Apart from the technical ability that many orchestral musicians also have, the soloist must also have a special power to be able to present a different and unique perspective of a piece. The soloist must maintain its special power of expression not only in solo roles but also when interacting with the orchestra.

From Past Days…

The 4th Iranian Festival of Music Websites and Weblogs

The 4th Iranian Festival of Music Websites and Weblogs was held in Niavaran Cultural Center, in Tehran, Iran on Feb. 28th, 2015. The initiator of the festival was Sajjad Pourghanad, Iranian music writer, researcher, founder of the festival and Persian setar and tar player.

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.

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.

A Promising Concert by National Instruments Orchestra

The National Instruments Orchestra of Iran performed its first concert amid much hope and anxiety on July 18, 2015. The Orchestra is founded by Roudaki Cultural and Arts Foundation which is a semi-private foundation in Iran. The Arts Director for the National Instruments Orchestra of Iran is cand the Orchestra Executive Director is Sadjad Pourghand.

The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (I)

Today, percussion instruments have such a high place in music that are an essential element of orchestras. This has attracted many people to this type of instrument with roots as old as the first humans. A historical study of music, shows that humans used the sound of these instruments to defend themselves against wild animals and, over time, for alerting each other, signaling their readiness and encouraging people for war, ritual ceremonies, dances, etc. in a manner that is still clearly visible in music and some ritual ceremonies.

Harmony in the Iranian Music (II)

One of his works was the translation of Harmony, which was carried out with the help of Mozayyan al-Dowleh, and included a pamphlet based on which he used to teach the subject to the students of the school of music; the pamphlet was never published. It was, in fact, a kind of simple harmony for the piano with no quadriads, it rather featured the engagement of both the right hand and the left hand which was being taught at the music school for the first time. Salar-Mo’azez also composed military marches and hymns for schools, which he harmonized to be performed and piano. Likewise, he used to compose for military orchestras.

Music education in third-world countries

Music education in third-world countries is facing many problems that limit access to it and it’s full of challenges. These rising and falling obstacles are made of the socioeconomic, cultural educational systems, etc.

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.

Iranian Fallacies – Composition and Arrangement

In the tradition of classical music, it is generally tried to use the same technical terms related to music in all countries. Even in the cultures in which native terms exist to refer to musical terms, usually the better known universal terms are employed.

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.