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MUSIC OF THE MIDDLE EAST. Major Cultural Influences Persian culture (Iran, speak Farsi, adheres to Shia interpretation of Islam; historic Persian Empire)

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Presentation on theme: "MUSIC OF THE MIDDLE EAST. Major Cultural Influences Persian culture (Iran, speak Farsi, adheres to Shia interpretation of Islam; historic Persian Empire)"— Presentation transcript:

1 MUSIC OF THE MIDDLE EAST

2 Major Cultural Influences Persian culture (Iran, speak Farsi, adheres to Shia interpretation of Islam; historic Persian Empire) Arabic culture (Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq Lebanon, Egypt, Kuwait; speak Arabic) Turkish culture (Turkey, present day Afghanistan; speak Turkic; historic Ottoman Empire)

3 Major Religions

4 The Ottoman Empire ( )

5 Persian Empire (550 BC – 651 AD)

6 Influence of Islam Arose in Arabia in 7 th century; was unifying force among Arabic tribes. Arabic language and culture begin to absorb Persian.

7 Islam and Music Koranic chant. Emphasis on written word (Koran is revealed word of God). Koran is important source for poetry, literature and song texts. –Example of Koranic chant. No tradition of instrumental religious music or religious dance (with exception of some sects).

8 Classical Music of Iran TAR SETAR KAMANCHE ZARB / DONBAK NEY SANTOUR

9 Music Theory Dastgah: a mode, similar to Greek modes (but not limited to half and whole steps) 7 primary, 5 secondary Basis for composition and improvisation Includes pitches, scale patterns, melodic essence (motif). Each has descriptive name and associated character Gusheh: subdivision of a dastgah; “central nuclear melody” Radif: Repertoire of several hundred melodies or gushehs in all 12 dastgahs memorized by students and used as basis for improvisation and composition

10 Khandan/Musiqi Continuum Khandan Musiqi Chant Unmetered Improvised Amateur Solo Vocal Dance music (esp. belly dance) Highly rhythmic Precomposed Professional Ensemble Instrumental “Acceptable” “Unacceptable”

11 Persian Classical Music Transmitted in private concerts. Role of improvisation. Texture: monophonic or heterophonic. Melodies usually ornamented. Tense vocal quality. Section of concert devoted to one dastgah

12 Classical Concerts Section of concert explores a particular dastgah (usu. five instrumental or vocal pieces) Concerts Open with rhythmic introductory piece (like Pishdaramad) Avaz (improvised, nonmetric) (considered high point of concert) Concluding section (rhythmic dance or light vocal)

13 Traditional 19 th century Iranian court musicians playing kamanche, dombak, dayere, tar, santour

14 Indian and Persian Classical Music Similarities: use complex system of pitches have long history of performance and theoretical writings about music Monophonic or heterophinc Transmitted in concerts Passed on in oral tradition Incorporate improvisation and composition Differences: Persian tradition has no equivalent of tala Ambivalent attitude of Islam towards music

15 Persian miniature (Tabriz School, 13 th cent.) Persian Carpets Persian Calligraphy EXAMPLES OF PERSIAN ART FORMS


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