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Persian Traditional Music

Persian Traditional Music

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Published by: pshenasa on Jul 10, 2011
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06/07/2013

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Persian Traditional Music
 Archeological evidence reveals musical instruments thatwere used in Iran during the Elamite era around800BCE. Not much is known about Persian music in theancient world, especially about the music of the Achaemenid Empire. Alexander the Great is said tohave witnessed many melodies and instruments uponhis invasion, and music played an important role inreligious affairs. Music played an important role in thecourts of Sassanid kings in the much later SassanidEmpire. Of this period, we know the names of variouscourt musicians like Barbad and the types of variousinstruments that were used like harps, lutes, flutes,bagpipes and others. Under Sassanid rule, modal musicwas developed by a highly significant court musician,Barbad, called the
khosravani 
. While today's classicalmusic tradition in Iran bears the same names of some of the modes of that era it is impossible to know if theysound the same because there is no evidence of musical notation from the Sassanid period. Today'straditional Persian music began to develop after the
 
 
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declined during the 20th century as musiceducation moved to universities and conservatories. Therepertoire consists of more than two hundred shortmelodic movements called
gu
sheh
, which are classifiedinto seven
das
h
or "modes." Two of these modeshave secondary modes branching from themcalled
. Each
gu
sheh
and
das
ah
has an individualname. This whole body is called the
Radif 
of which thereare several versions, each in accordance to theteachings of a particular master or 
os
ad 
.

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