The latter part of Mohammad-Rezâ Shah’s reign had a disastrous impact on Persian classical music, one with significant political implications for the Pahlavi regime itself. With the shah’s fast pace of modernization and importation of everything Western, classical Persian music became a victim of Western and Western-style pop music. As Westernized pop music became dominant, […]

In some archeological remains from ancient Iran, one can sometimes see depictions of singers, accompanied by musicians playing harps, large tambourines, and long necked lutes and double-flutes. Music was an important aspect of court life, cultural celebrations, religious rituals, and military operation. Religious music consisted of vocals drawn from Zoroastrian scriptures, the Gathas and Yashts, […]

Folk music (known as “regional music” in Iran) has probably existed as long as people have lived on the Iranian plateau. It has resisted formalization and, until recent times, its lyrics were preserved by the word of mouth and collective memories. Folk musicians were generally amateurs within rural areas. There are many distinct traditions and […]

Classical Persian music is generally modal and is not always based on the traditional major and minor scales of music. It is also generally monophonic, (mostly consisting of a single vocal part). Musical pieces consist of melody and rhythm, and, when a singer is involved, the melody is repeated with some variation. Melodic patterns are […]

Throughout the centuries, Persian music would periodically flourish and decline as different religious and governmental restrictions were imposed on it, especially after the adoption of Islam as a religion in Iran. Since music was an important part of religious rituals prior to the arrival of Islam in Iran, Persian music has been influenced by pre-Islamic […]

Music is a cultural expression reflecting national feelings, social moods, and state of mind. These elements are inevitably tied to a nation’s values, historical experiences, and politico-social conditions. In Iran, music and poetry are very closely linked, both in form and in structure. There is a close relationship between the rhythmic patterns in poetry and […]


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