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MUSIC OF THE MIDDLE EAST. Major Cultural Influences. Persian culture (Iran, speak Farsi, adheres to Shia interpretation of Islam; historic Persian Empire) Arabic culture (Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq Lebanon, Egypt, Kuwait; speak Arabic)

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major cultural influences
Major Cultural Influences
  • Persian culture (Iran, speak Farsi, adheres to Shia interpretation of Islam; historic Persian Empire)
  • Arabic culture (Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq Lebanon, Egypt, Kuwait; speak Arabic)
  • Turkish culture (Turkey, present day Afghanistan; speak Turkic; historic Ottoman Empire)
influence of islam
Influence of Islam

Arose in Arabia in 7th century; was unifying force among Arabic tribes. Arabic language and culture begin to absorb Persian.

islam and music
Islam and Music
  • Koranic chant. Emphasis on written word (Koran is revealed word of God). Koran is important source for poetry, literature and song texts.
    • Example of Koranic chant.
  • No tradition of instrumental religious music or religious dance (with exception of some sects).
classical music of iran
Classical Music of Iran

TAR

NEY

KAMANCHE

SANTOUR

ZARB / DONBAK

SETAR

slide9
Persian Carpets

Persian Calligraphy

Persian miniature (Tabriz School, 13th cent.)

EXAMPLES OF PERSIAN ART FORMS

khandan musiqi continuum
Khandan/Musiqi Continuum

Musiqi

Khandan

“Unacceptable”

“Acceptable”

Dance music (esp. belly dance)

Highly rhythmic

Precomposed

Professional

Ensemble

Instrumental

Chant

Unmetered

Improvised

Amateur

Solo

Vocal

persian classical music
Persian Classical Music
  • Transmitted in private concerts.
  • Role of improvisation.
  • Texture: monophonic or heterophonic.
  • Melodies usually ornamented.
  • Tense vocal quality.
  • Section of concert devoted to one dastgah
music theory
Music Theory
  • Dastgah:
      • a mode, similar to Greek modes (but not limited to half and whole steps)
      • 7 primary, 5 secondary
      • Basis for composition and improvisation
      • Includes pitches, scale patterns, melodic essence (motif). Each has descriptive name and associated character
  • Gusheh:
      • subdivision of a dastgah; “central nuclear melody”
  • Radif:
      • Repertoire of several hundred melodies or gushehs in all 12 dastgahs memorized by students and used as basis for improvisation and composition
slide13
DASTGAH = SHUR SELECTED GUSHES (melodic motifs)

http://www.dejkam.com/music/iran_traditional/about/

classical concerts
Classical Concerts
  • Section of concert explores a particular dastgah (usu. five instrumental or vocal pieces)
  • Concerts
      • Open with rhythmic introductory piece (like Pishdaramad)
      • Avaz (improvised, nonmetric) (considered high point of concert)
      • Concluding section (rhythmic dance or light vocal)
slide15
Traditional 19th century Iranian court musicians playing kamanche, dombak, dayere, tar, santour
indian and persian classical music
Indian and Persian Classical Music
  • Similarities:
      • use complex system of pitches
      • have long history of performance and theoretical writings about music
      • Monophonic or heterophinc
      • Transmitted in concerts
      • Passed on in oral tradition
      • Incorporate improvisation and composition
  • Differences:
      • Persian tradition has no equivalent of tala
      • Ambivalent attitude of Islam towards music
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