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, and was performed by priests in major tone without instruments. Courtly music involved musicians, singers, and dancers. Musicians, known as gosân and khonyâgarân , most often performed and sang at the same time. A bereavement song called sug-e Siâvoshân , which had developed to mourn the death of soldiers in this period, is believed to be a predecessor to the Shi‘ite mourning in commemoration for Imam Hosayn during the month of Moharram. Music fl ourished under the Sasanids because many of their rulers were patrons of the arts and some were even artists themselves. Ardashir, Bahrâm Gur, Khosrow Anushirvân, and Khosrow Parviz established measures protecting musicians and promoting their works. Foreign musicians were recruited to teach and perform music. Minstrels, or popular entertainers singing and reciting poetry, traveled from one community to another. Several musicians, like Râmtin, Bâmshâd, Bârbad, and Nagisâ became so masterful and popular that their popularity and influence surpassed their own time and place. Both Bârbad and Nagisâ contributed to the development of a musical system known as khosravâni . There were many instrumentalists and players at the court of Khosrow Parviz. Viewing music as a source of entertainment rather than art, Bahrâm Gur was skillful in offering elegies ( chekâmesarâi ) and encouraged a series of changes in tones and scales similar to today’s “ shirin-navâzi ” (rhythmic and happy tones) in party music. As noted earlier, the Arab invasion of Iran and spread of Islam posed a new challenge for musicians as some conservative Muslims challenged the propriety of music on religious grounds. Yet music continued to to be patronized at the courts of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs. Mutually enriching exchanges gradually developed between Iranian and Arab musicians, contributing to the development of a more systematic approach to music during the Abbasid period. Hârun-or-Rashid’s court hosted so many musicians that they had to be grouped into competing camps. Ebrâhim Mowseli (742–804), whose family was Persian by origin, was one of the favorite musicians of the time and helped develop what became known as the “classical” style of music; he is known to have tried to imitate Bârbad. A young and innovative musician named Ebrâhim, son of an the Abbasid caliph Mahdi, played a crucial role in introducing Persian instruments to Arabic music. The interaction of Persian, Arab, and Byzantine music in this period laid the foundation for changes that took place in musical schools in the thirteenth century. Music continued to fl ourish under the various regional dynasties in Iran, though at different paces and to varying degrees. Taherid rulers, like both Tâher b. Hosayn and his son ‘Abdollâh, were musicians and strong patrons of this art. The rise of the Buyids changed the restrictive environment towards music that the increasing influence of the conservative Hanbali religious tradition had created. The Samanids returned Iranian music to its pre- Islamic roots, revived many of the old traditions, and in some regions made music a special fi eld in the school curriculum. Greek, Indian, and Arab musical traditions were fused into Iranian compositions. A new musical pardeh (“mode,” “interval,” or “fret”) system, known as the Khorâsâni school and connected to a literary school with the same name, emerged in Khorâsân and central Asia. Daqiqi, a poet and harpist of the Samanid period, is believed to have invented an instrument known as “ shahruz. ” Most Saljuq rulers were also supportive of the arts. Sultan Sanjar (d. 1157) loved music, and his court musician Kamâl-oz-Zamân was very well known. There were also efforts to establish music and music theory as formal fields of scholarship and philosophy. This tradition was pioneered by the famous philosopher Kendi (ca. 801–866) and continued by others such as Fârâbi (d. 950), Ebn Sinâ (known in the West as Avicenna; d. 1037), and Safi -od-Din Ormavi (1294). The famous astronomer Nâser-od-Din Tusi (d. 1274) also wrote on music theory and is said to have even invented a kind of fl ute. His student Qutb-od-Din Shirâzi (d. 1311), in addition to being a distinguished astronomer, was also an instrumentalist and wrote an important treatise on modes and rhythms in a chapter of an encyclopedia he authored. In the Mongol and post-Mongol period, Iranians submerged themselves deeper in Islamic devotion and Sufism—a trend replicated in the growth of ghazal-kh v âni in the fourteenth century. Earlier happy themes of the Persian music were replaced by sorrowful themes of foreign domination. This development increased the role of the ghazal (a poetic form generally romantic in nature, with limited stanzas and recurring rhymes) in Persian vocals (âvâz) —a development signaling the decline of the Khorâsâni musical school. Under the Safavids, the increasing influence of conservative Shi‘ite religious thought affected music as well as other areas of Iranian cultural life. New restrictions were placed on musical performances and musicians; Shah Tahmâsp even banned music at the court and ordered punishment for practicing instrumentalists and vocalists. This generally negative environment, however, did not prevent some musicians from working on their skills in private and passing it to a new generation. Two new musical instruments, shish târ and chahâr târ are reported to be invented during this period. After the fall of the Safavids, the tolerant Zand rulers accorded new respect to music; Iranian musicians who had left the country previously were invited back, and foreign musicians were invited to perform in Iran. Karim Khân’s support helped veteran musicians to pass along their skills to a new generation and promote a form of popular music known as bâzâri —music that was good for dancing, with a happy tone and rhythmic lyrics. During this period, many Jews in Iran were attracted to music as a profession. Despite the generally negative economic and political developments during the Qâjâr era, Persian music gained new life, especially during the reigns of Mohammad Shah and Nâser-od-Din Shah. Demand for musical performance in aristocratic private parties increased, and a form of music known as majlesi (private party) became very popular. Qâjâr shahs surrounded themselves with musicians, many of Turkish origin. As has been mentioned earlier in this book, upon his return from a foreign trip Nâser-od-Din Shah attempted to introduce some cultural developments he had seen in Europe. In 1873, he founded the Takiyeh Dowlat, a kind of state theater, in which ta‘ziyeh was regularly performed. Later, during the Constitutional Revolution new opportunities for artistic developments arose. A public concert was organized and the performances were recorded in the first gramophone imported to the country. What is known today as “classical Persian music” is rooted in the developments of the Qâjâr period. Classical music was distinguished from light music ( motrebi ) by adding new melodies and modal patterns to existing radifs (repertoire). The old modes were restructured and the dastgâh system practiced today was developed. New nomenclature and designations to songs were created. While târ and setâr became prestigious instruments, several others like ‘ud (lute), robâb (a string melodic instrument like violin played on the ground), and chang (harp) became popular. The man behind many of these developments was Mirzâ ‘Abdollâh —a virtuoso artist whose radif is the source of much of modern music in Iran. Ethnic minorities made distinct contributions to Iranian music, especially Armenians who were famous and masterful in making most musical instruments. Persian melodies absorbed many popular melodies from ethnic stock, especially those from Fârs, Bushehr, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, and Lorestân. As more Western instruments were imported and more Iranians became familiar with the Western music, Persian music came under Western influence. A Frenchman, Alfred Jean-Baptiste Lemaire, was invited to Iran to help teach music at the Dâr-ol-Fonun. Mirzâ ‘Ali-Akbar Khân Naqqâshbâshi translated Lemaire’s lessons into Persian as the first introduction to European music. Later, the music department at Dâr- ol-Fonun was transformed into an independent music college whose graduates were trained in Western martial music, rather than in Persian classical music. In early years of Rezâ Shah’s reign, music teaching became institutionalized, and Persian music was modernized by efforts of ‘Ali-Naqi Vaziri. Having traveled to European countries and studied at numerous schools, Vaziri was the first person to write an instruction book for Iranian music in the form of notes. In the course of his career, Vaziri directed the Music College, established a music club, organized large orchestras and regular concerts, published a music magazine, and recorded music albums. Vaziri’s efforts were followed by Parviz Mahmud, who founded the Tehran Symphony Orchestra in 1937. Later, the National Music Department and the National Academy of Music were founded. The establishment of Iranian Radio gave a boost to music industry and the need for training, promoting, and helping musicians became a national concern for the government. During the Pahlavi period, exposure to a broader range of music encouraged musicians to debate the modernization of the classical music system. In order to facilitate the composition of polyphonic pieces within traditionally monophonic Persian music, Vaziri proposed a 24 quarter tone scale while Mahdi Barkeshli suggested a 22 tone scale. Hormoz Farhat regarded octaves and scales as foreign to Persian music and suggested going back to the earlier system of mâyeh or melodic type. He believed that melodic formulas were more articulate for imparting improvisation. The establishment of the Iranian Television in 1958 and the expansion of the movie industry helped the growth of music industry. As the coverage of radio spread throughout the country and the number of cinemas increased, music became more accessible and in high demand. The establishment of a music department in the University of Tehran in 1965, the Iranian Center for Preservation and Dissemination of National Music (ICPDNM) in 1968, and the Institute of Musicology in 1973 boosted the demand for better and more qualified musicians in schools, radio and television, cultural centers, national ceremonies, and even private parties of affl uent classes. The ICPDNM soon became a power house bringing together some of the masters of Persian music in the twentieth century.