Translated by Mahboube Khalvati
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.
However, high morals and piety are the characteristics which distinguish Maestro Hassan Nahid from all Iranian artists and music maestros; characteristics which are confirmed by all those who have collaborated with Maestro Nahid during these years. Having discipline and seriousness in work, humility, kindness and patience along with great skills and virtuosity, both playing in an orchestra and as a soloist, has made Maestro Nahid a unique person with a fully-developed personality which is rare to find among musicians. Among the Iranian classical instruments, Ney was the last instrument that was able to show its ability in accompaniment with the orchestra; a measure which was made possible through Maestro Nahid’s great efforts and abilities.
Although Maestro Nahid was not able to communicate directly with Maestro Hassan Kasaei at the beginning of his youth due to living in Shiraz while Kasaei lived in Esfahan, his great interest in learning to play the Ney made it possible for him to learn the basics of playing the instrument through radio programmes. When he moved to Tehran, he was able to introduce himself in the music community as the first Ney player who could read musical scores. However, at early stages of his work, Maestro Nahid played the Ney using the lip-positioning. Even while in Tehran and working with various orchestras, he used a combination of lip-and-tooth positioning for playing the instrument.
It is especially understandable for Ney players to what extent it is difficult to use these two methods and create balance in both sounds in terms of maintaining the tune; it does require high virtuosity in playing. Because the sound produced by the lip is naturally about a half-tone higher than the sound produced by the dental method. But later, upon receiving advice from Maestro Kasaei, Maestro Nahid completely replaced his traditional style of playing (putting the Ney on his lips) with the dental style.
It is worth explaining that using the lip positioning means that the sound of the Ney is produced by placing the Ney headpiece on the lips, a method that is still common among local musicians today. But in the dental method, the headpiece of the Ney is placed between the upper front teeth; therefore, the air enters the Ney through the tongue and the sound of the Ney is produced. This method became common among Isfahan school of musicians and today Iranian Ney players use this method.
In any case, the status and role of Maestro Nahid in the promotion and development of playing the Ney is not to be denied, and many musicians of today’s generation have been directly or indirectly influenced by the teachings of this precious Maestro.
- Interview with Farhad Poupel (II)
- Interview with Farhad Poupel (I)
- About Davoud Pirnia, the founder of “Golha” radio program
- Rouhollah Khaleghi Artistic Center established in Washington DC
- Ruggero Chiesa’s Legacy
- The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (VII)
- The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (VI)
- The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (V)
- A Miracle in the Iranian Music: About Tehran Flute Choir’s Eight-year Tenacity
- The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (IV)
- The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (III)
- The Structure of Kurdistan Daf (II)
From Past Days…
Hassan Kassai, Ney Virtuoso
The name of Maestro Hassan Kassai is so vehemently intertwined with Ney (Persian reed flute) that one cannot imagine one without the other immediately coming into mind. Ney is one of the instruments which went through a lot of ups and downs in the history of the Iranian music since the time of Sassanid kings to the time when shepherds found playing it consoling when they took their cattle for grazing. However, Nay could never demonstrate its main capacities to gain a stable position among the musicians and the people like other instruments including Oud, Tar, Santour, all sorts of bowed string instruments and plucked string instruments.
Interview with the Makers of the New Qeychak (III)
In this project, my specialized responsibility was the basic drawings of the desired instrument with the help of engineering and mechanical software. I have also the carried out phases related to engineering designs, related variables, and volume and weight calculations under Mr. Ziaei’s direct supervision from the very beginning. Regarding the challenges of this work, suffice it to say that the set of designs for the instrument lasted more than 9 months in the final stage of the project only.
From the Last Instrumentalist to the First Composer (I)
Music as an art has its own special history; emergence of a singer, of an instrumentalist and then the emergence of the strong character of a composer covers three significant phases of the art of music. With the emergence of composer which was simultaneous with the emergence of the language of music, this art managed to offer a domain for criticism for its composer; a procedure which led to a magnificent variety and evolution in musical production. Even though the conflicts between singers and instrumentalists have not met their end in the Iranian society and while singers can achieve high, instrumentalists have yet to play behind curtains . In a special era, with the efforts of musicians such as Ali Naghi Vaziri (1887-1979) and Rouhollah Khaleghi (1906-1965), glimmers of a composing era started to glow bearing fruit in Khaleghi’s achievement as Iran’s first professional composer. Khaleghi made his reputation as a composer while Vaziri deserved to pioneer this path. By then Vaziri was well-known as a Tar player.
Interview with Farhad Poupel (II)
Fantasia on One Note was my first professional work for piano, which had its world premiere by the great pianist Peter Jablonski in Sweden, and it has been performed by various pianists in the UK, Germany, France, and the Czech Republic. The recording of this work has also been broadcast on the Dutch public radio, NPR Radio 4.
The First Saba Student Music Festival Concluded in Tehran
Preparations for Saba Student Music Festival started in the summer of 2016; the Student Music Festival will be held annually by the students of music at Arts University. The first part of the closing ceremony of the Festival was dedicated to the celebration of the life, work and strives by Maestro Hossein Dehlavi to upgrade the level of music as an academic discipline. The name of the award-winning students and ensembles were announced at the second part of the ceremony.
Iannis Xenakis’ Persephassa
Shiraz Arts Festival which was held in Shiraz from 1967 to 1977 featured many contemporary renowned artists who were commissioned by the Iranian royalty to compose or create works of art for performance in the arts festival. Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) participated in Shiraz Arts Festival three times in 1968, 1969 and 1971. The Greek-French composer,…
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.
Principles of Violin Playing (III)
Violin players should always pay attention to the proper position of the left thumb and other points related to it and to its joining point to the palm.
Polyphony in Iranian Music (VI)
Torqeh or jal is the same bird (Bimaculated lark) and is the name of a muqam which is well-known in Torbate Jam and those areas. Jal muqam is called Torqeh in Esfarayen and Bojnourd. This muqam which was used to be played by Bakhshis/Bagşies (dutar-players) in the past is seldom performed today.
Tehran Flute Choir Established
Tehran Flute Choir was established in 1394 (late 2015) by Firouzeh Navai. Tehran Flute Choir, Iran’s first largest flute choir, recruited its members mostly from young talented flutists of Iranian Flute Association. Featuring piccolo, flute, alto flute and bass flute, Tehran Flute Choir, directed by Firouzeh Navai, premiered under the batons of Saeed Taghadosi on January 7-8, 2016 at Roudaki Hall in Tehran.