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.
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, percussion instruments like Tonbak, and wind instruments like Ney.
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.
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.
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.