Music is an aspect of life that is connected with human soul and feelings and in each part of the world, people use music to express feelings and interact with each other as a bridge language. With its global reputation, Iranian music is a great world with rich history and such a diversity that will amaze you. So when you travel to Iran this autumn before or after Qatar World Cup 2022, do not forget to explore the world of Iranian music, great Persian musicians, folklore music, and Dastgah (the Iranian musical modal system).
The antiquity of music in Iran dates back to thousands of years ago. The inscriptions, and paintings discovered in caves shows the passion and skill of Iranians in art of music since ancient and pre-historic times. A stamp seal excavated in Khuzestan, which dates back to 3400 years ago, shows a group of musicians playing different instruments. As mentioned in history books about music, traditional Iranian music has impacted world’s music in many ways. The music notation which is a system of representing music visually (instrumental or vocal), is based on standards and principals that was invented by Farabi, the great Iranian scientist and musician centuries ago.
National music of Iran consists of tunes and songs that were created throughout history by great artists from their soul, culture, and heart and reflects the moral and spiritual characteristics of Iran from ancient era until today. Iranian music resembles the decency of life and an immaterial world.
Iranian Music performance
UNESCO Listed Radif of Iranian Music
Inscribed in 2009 as a UNESCO Intangible Human Heritage, the Radif of Iranian music is the traditional repertoire of Iranian music that is the core of Iranian music culture. The Radif of Iranian Music includes 250 melodic tunes, named Goosheh in Farsi, and has passed from master to master throughout history and is a priceless heritage for the world of music. Iranian music can be vocal or instrumental, and can be played by different music instruments including string instruments like Setar, and Dotar (an Iranian music instrument inscribed as UNESCO WOrld Heritage), percussion instruments like Tonbak, and wind instruments like Ney.
Isfahan Music Museum
Iranian Folk Music
The songs and folklore music is a precious heritage in each country that can be found in villages and among the ethnic groups and tribes as an untouched and pure music. The folklore music in each country can be a scale for understanding the culture and way of thinking in that specific region. As a result of diversity of cultures and ethnic groups in Iran we have a very rich folklore music from the north to the south of Iran.
Bakhshis Music of Khorasan
The Bakhshis of Khorasan Province (Northeast of Iran) are known for their musical skills including playing their local string instrument named Dotar and singing epic and mythological Iranian poems. The Dotar instrument has two strings. One string is considered as female and the other one is titled as male string. Their music is titled as Maghami Music and is performed in Turkish, Kurdish, Turkmen, and Persian languages. The music of the Bakhshis of Khorasan got inscribed as a UNESCO Human Heritage in 2010.
Bakhshis Music of Khurasan - Iran
Music of Azerbaijan
A big population of Azeri Turks live in the northwest of Iran and their music is a very rich Folklore music in Iran. Azeri musicians create an amazing music and sing wonderful songs in Turki which is called Ashigh. Ashigh songs are originally stories and myths about legends and heroes which are sang in different ceremonies. Azeri dancing is also an amazing performance which is a part of Azeri Music.
Azeri dance and music - Iran
Baluchistan is an area in southeast of Iran in Sistan o Baluchistan Province, and the folklore music of this region which is originated from Iranshahr city, is significant among folklore music of different parts of Iran, because of the diversity of melodies, and rhythms, and legendary local musicians. Baluchi music is played with local and traditional music instruments like Ghichak, Rabab, Sorna, Tanburak, and Donali.
Where to listen to Iranian Music in Iran
Isfahan Music Museum
Isfahan Music Museum is one of the most significant museums in whole Iran and one of the best places to explore the world of Iranian Music. Located in Julfa district of Isfahan, this museum contains a big hall where you can see a collection of instruments from different parts of the world, and another hall where instruments from different cities and ethnic groups of Iran are exhibited. After visiting these two halls you will visit a traditional workshop where artists produce Iranian instruments like Setar and Dotar, an instrument that is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage. Then, you will enjoy a live Iranian music performance played by musicians and experience the magic of Iranian melodies and songs.
Isafahan Music Museum
Tehran Concert Halls
Known as the city of art galleries, and museums, Tehran is the city where you can get familiar with Iranian modern art and music. You can attend Iran’s National Orchestra’s performances in Tehran Vahdat Hall and Roudaki Hall to enjoy Iranian Classic Music, or listen to modern music performances played by young Iranian music band, and also meet local musicians playing different styles of music from traditional Iranian music to Jazz and rock on streets of Tehran.
Makan Ashgvari - Iranian singer