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Iranian music

The classical music of Iran traces its heritage to ancient Persia and, partly because of the segregation imposed by Islamic constraints on music, preserves older musical practices. This music is based on a series of melodic patterns known as "dastgah" (= system). The dastgah are based on modes that may incorporate microtonal intervals smaller than the half step. Performances emphasize improvisation on the patterns of the dastgah, primarily in free rhythm.

The vocal style of classical Iranian music is distinct from other near-eastern Islamic cultures. Vocal compositions are sung in a fixed melodic mode, but in a rhythm that is neither fixed nor free. Instead the singer follows the poetic meter, based on patterns of long and short syllables, and brings out the meter through the use of vocal ornamentation such as the "tahrir", a rapid shifting between tones above and below the primary pitch. The tahrir is used several times in this excerpt.

Ref: Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


First national anthem of Iran

Salamati-ye Shah (Persian: سلامتی شاه, Translation: Well-being of the King) has been the first national anthem of Persia (Iran) since the time of Mozzafar al-Din Shah Qajar until 1933, when it was replaced by Sorood-e Shahanshahi Iran, which praised the Pahlavis. The music was composed by French military musician Alfred Jean Baptiste Lemaire. The new lyrics are by Bijan Taraqhi who was asked by Peyman Soltani, the leader of the Nations Orchestra of Iran, to write a poem for the old national anthem. Here is the latest performance of the anthem by Darya Dadvar:

Iranian music samples