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

Translated by Mahboube Khalvati

Gholamreza Khan Minbashian taught courses such as organology, orchestration of military music and harmony based on the books which were translated from French into Persian with the help of Aliakbar Mozayyan-o-Dolleh (1846-1932). Some pamphlets were also prepared based on Minbashian’s teachings on solfège and on wind instruments which were never published.
In 1914 (or 1917 as mentioned in some references), Gholamreza Khan founded a school for military music entitled “Music Class” and started teaching there. The courses taught at this school were four years long and civilians along with military personnel could take part in the courses and be trained on classical (non-military) music.
Ranking Brigadier General, Gholamreza Khan established the Army’s Music Department and became its director in 1921. Seven years later, when it was banned to simultaneously work for and receive salaries from two public organizations, he resigned as the head of the music school and handed over the responsibility to Colonel Ali Naqi Vaziri. Vaziri immediately removed military music courses from the curriculum of the school as there was an independent school for teaching military music, that is, Army’ Music Department run by Gholamreza Khan and his son Nasrallah.
Gholam Reza Khan Minbashian retired in 1930 and his son Nasrallah replaced him. Gholam Reza Khan passed away in 1935 and was buried in Qom, Iran.
Gholamreza Khan’s sons, Nasrallah and Gholamhossein Min Bashian, both studied music in Europe and rendered a lot of services in the scene of the Iranian classical music (Nasrallah Min Bashian’s sons, Fathollah Min Bashian and Mehrdad Pahlbod, both of whom were musicians assumed high ranking positions in the second Pahlavi dynasty. Fathallah became the Commander of the Army’s Ground Force and Mehrdad became the Minister of Culture and Arts).
Gholamreza Khan also played the Iranian instrument Tar and had learned to play the instrument under the supervision of maestros at the time. Therefore, he was keenly interested in Iranian Dastgah music and, unlike his son Gholam Hossein, who strongly opposed Iranian music, considered teaching Persian music necessary. Gholamreza Khan had consequently made Hossein Hang Afrin responsible for teaching Iranian music. For the first time, Gholamreza Khan prepared and published the score relating to a part of Mahour Radif which was performed by Hossein Khan Hang Afrin, in Tehran and in Leipzig, Germany. In the Radif which was notated by Gholamreza Khan, Arabic notation symbols were used to indicate quarter tones.
Gholamreza Khan also mailed the afore-mentioned Radif for Alexandre Jean Albert Lavignac (21 January 1846 – 28 May 1916), the editor of the French Encyclopedia of Music, with whom he has been corresponding about the Iranian music.
Gholam Reza Khan also played Iranian music with the piano and changed the tunes to play quarter tones, but before him, Sarvar-ol Molk also used to play Iranian Dastgahs on the piano using a different hand position compared to the standard hand position which Gholamreza Khan used.
In addition to teaching piano, Gholamreza Khan also taught several wind and brass instruments and had founded some orchestras with his students, most notably among his students and except his children are, Zia Mokhtari, Hassan Radmard, Mohammad Najmi, Mosayeb Rezvani, and Hossein Ali Vaziri.
During the time of Qajar and Pahlavi, Gholamreza Khan’s pieces including hymns and marches were performed; however, their scores are hard to find. In his biography, pieces for piano entitled “Piano Fantasy”, Daramad-e Avaz-e Esfahan, Pish Daramad and Tasnif” and also the arrangement of pieces by Roknoddin Mokhtari for piano are mentioned which were published then.

Post a Comment

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

Jamshid Andalibi passed away!

Jamshid Andalibi, one of the most famous ney players in Iran, passed away on the fifteenth of Esfand, 1402, at the age of 66 due to a heart attack at his private residence. Andalibi was a member of a family that had a significant presence in the field of Iranian music in the sixties and…
Read More »

Homayoun Rahimian & Iran’s National Orchestra

The Roudaki Foundation presented the permanent conductor of the National Orchestra (Orchestr Melli), Homayoun Rahimian, in a ceremony, and finally, after four years, the national orchestra found a permanent conductor. Homayoun Rahimian is the fourth permanent conductor of this orchestra after Farhad Fakhreddini, Bardia Kiaras, and Fereidoun Shahbaziyan. He, who has previously had experience of conducting concerts besides being Meister’s concert of this orchestra, performed the concert “Autumns” on the 20th of Tir, performing works by Rouhollah Khaleqi, Javad Ma’roufi, and Hossein Dehlavi.

From Past Days…

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.

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.

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.”

Iranian Fallacies – School of Vaziri

Iranian Fallacies – School of Vaziri

The term “School of Vaziri” is often used in writings on Iranian music, but the exact meaning of the term is not clear; some of the authors have used the term to only refer to the group of Vaziri’s students, including a large group of his conservatory students and his Tar students such as Abolhassan Saba, Rouhollah Khaleghi, Ahmad Foroutan Rad, Hossein Sanjari, Heshmat Sanjari and others. But can we consider all Vaziri’s students as followers of his school of thought? This is definitely a mistake, because we know that some of Vaziri’s students have chosen a completely different path than that of Vaziri.

Principles of Playing Violin (VI)

B. applying force: the force needed for putting finger on finger board is applied through finger tips and using the rest of hand set especially wrist is not allowed. To practice this, it is possible to hold violin without the bow and throw the fingers on the finger board from 1-2cm distance; apply force only through finger tips.

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.

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.

A brief examination of Ardavan Kamkar’s Santour playing style

I still think of those fish in a crystal bowl for the Haft sin table and those disappointed old men who went out to sell blackfish.

Polyphony in Iranian Music (I)

Despite the fact that Iranian folk music (regional music of Iran), like the Radif of Iranian traditional music, is monophonic and follows heterophony in principal, we experience polyphonic forms, albeit, majorly unconscious.

Hossein Aslani passed away!

Hossein Aslani, Iranian pianist residing in the US, passed away due to cancer in late January 2020. His last musical activity was an article written for Harmony Talk entitled “Iran amidst musical struggle” in 2016, his memoir entitled “I Play You Again” in the same year and his album “Symbolic Emotion” published by Arganoun Publications in 2014. Here is a brief biography of Hossein Aslani according to his own website: