Culture - Music
History & Information
About the music of the Elamites not much is known; however, we know of a ruler of Susa who had musician at his temple gate about 2600 BC. There are also the bas-relief which shows musicians playing harps and tambourine. It is possible that there was not a lot of difference between Babylonian-Assyrian music and Iran at that time and the Persian names of tabire (drum) and karranay (trumpet) may be derived from names of the Akkadian tabbalu and qarnu.
Sassanian dynasty cherished music as shown on rock carvings of Taq-i Bustan
which are two types of harp, trumpet and drums. Also, lute (ud), guitar
(rubab) and pandore (tanbura) can be seen from other arts. One can name
Barbad, Shirin, and Azada as famous musicians of this era. We also know
that specific modes of music were used at certain hours of the day,
week, and month, each for a particular purpose as a part of governmental
Persian theorists were leaders in Arabian musical theory, for example, Al-Razi and Al-Sarakhsi. Ibn Sina mentions twelve principal modes of music:Rahawi, Husain, Rast, Busalik, Zangula, Ushshaq, Hijaz, Iraq, Ispahan, Nava, Buzurg, and Mukhalif (zirafgand). We know little about their formation. Four of modes mentioned above have Arabic names which may indicate Arabian origin. Ispahan was named as one of the ancient modes of Persia. There are also six secondary modes (avazat).
Under Safavid Dynasty, chartar (four strings) and sheshtar (six strings) musical
instruments were invented. Ud (lute) and kamancha (spiked viol) were the most
favorite instruments with addition of nay (flute) and daira (tambourine) as
can be seen in a painting of Shah Safi court. Surnay (shawm), naqqarat (kettledrums),
karna (long trumpet), duhul (side drum), and kus (kettledrum) were for military
uses. Persian theory especially in nomenclature influenced Indian, Arabian,
Turkish and Turkomanian music. Even China through Turkomans was affected by
Today as in every generation young musicians are looking for ways to express themselves.
Iranian band plans concert with Chris de Burgh in summer 2008. See more here.
M. Nejad - composer, performer, music teacher