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  • 6/2/2009

A Survey on History of Innovation in Music (part2)


After the World War I (1293-1297), the players of Iranian traditional music continued their common style. Meanwhile, the modernists took on seeking new ways to create some variety in Iranian music and managed to produce a number of modern pieces.

 In that time, several musical plays were written and staged such as ‘Monarchs Resurrection’ by Seyed Mohammad Reza Mirzadeh Eshqi (1894-1924). It was staged several times. The playwright was inspired by Aziz Hajji Beikov's melody called ‘Leili & Majnoun’.

Figures Remembered for their Innovations in Iranian Music

The measures taken to this point prepared the grounds for effective modernization of Iranian music. In 1923, Colonel Ali-Naqi Vaziri returned home from Europe. Before leaving for Europe, Vaziri (1887-1979) learned playing tar, writing musical notes and basics of European music. He managed to write notes for Aqa Hossein-Qoli's musical compositions. Once he left for Europe, spent five years in France and Germany to complete his studies in music. He was intent to modernize Iranian music after returning to Iran. In February 1923, he established the Higher Institute of Music to this same end. A year later, he also founded a music club, where he arranged concerts performed by the school orchestra. They consisted of the melodies he had composed in an innovative style in line with his major objective of innovation. He also staged a number of his operettas including ‘Golrokh’ and ‘A Pessimist Husband’ as well as dramas such?as ‘The Misfortunate Girl’ and ‘Separation’ among others.

In 1925, Vaziri expressed his views and objectives by issuing four handouts, in which he said that concerts and plays are not only aimed for pleasure, but that they are meant to introduce art to the people, as a means nurturing their spirit.’ He added, ‘If we ever had access to practical ways of gaining knowledge on the major arts and know-how on developing our minds, we too could have competed with the world civilized nations in no time. ‘Japan is a developed nation which has materialized such a goal in the past 40 years (meaning 40 years before 1925, when Vaziri made such a remark).’ He concluded that music in Iran is one of the arts, which has been undermined by lack of facilities and scientific knowledge.


Vaziri was initiative in a lot of musical fields. He had written a number of expressive pieces called ‘Musical Tableaux’, which were quite unique and unprecedented in Iranian music. ‘Kerman Rug’, ‘Midnight’ based on one of the lyrics of Hafiz are two examples.


After he was appointed as the head of the state Music School, he continued to follow his modernistic objectives. He believed that as a beginner, the music trainees should be introduced to the core of European music both in playing instruments and theoretical studies. When it came to playing an instrument, he gave priority to starting with European musical styles, while using the self-instruction books he himself had compiled on playing tar and violin simultaneously.

The pieces he had written for tar and had already been played and recorded on gramophone were quite unique in composition, interval, meter and playing technique.

He was quite creative in the orchestra instrumentation, improvising new instruments such as the soprano tar, alto tar, bass tar as well as coordinating and developing contre pointe in his melodies.

He also had his own particular style in writing melodies including ‘Your Enthusiast’, ‘Forlorn’, ‘Sinister Symphony’ written on the occasion of his father's demise, ‘Caravan’ and ‘Oil Symphony’ marking the nationalization of oil industry as well as composing songs exclusively for schools, the youth and children.

The impression of Vaziri's modernist school on a number of music players and singers was unavoidable.

Ismail Mehrtash, a tar player and musician, established Jame'eh Barbod in 1926, where operettas such as ‘Leili & Majnoun’, ‘Khosrow & Shirin’ as well as ‘Khayyam’ were stages.

 Gramaphone records on some of his operettas and melodies also came out, which similar to Vaziri's works were distributed across the country.


Other links:

History of Tile in Iran

Different Stages in Development of Iranian Tile’s Works

Different Types of Tile’s Decoration in Different Period

Brief History of Islamic Art

Islamic art and architecture

Islamic Art

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