Saturday, 18 July 2015
30 March 2023
Koocheا Mahtabi- ''Modal Structures'' of Iranian music,

«A thesis by Mehrdad Pakbaz»

2010 June 30

Ardavan Taheri / Radio Koocheh

Translated from Persian by Avideh Motmaen-Far

“Mehrdad Pakbaz, guitarist and composer living in Austria, successfully defended his doctoral dissertation “Iranian Modal Structures and early Islamic Sources ” on Monday, June 21/2010 at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, and received his Ph,D in Music theory with honors.”

“Mehrdad Pakbaz who graduated string guitar playing at the music faculty of University of Vienna,  was born in Tehran in 1973. He started playing classical guitar at age 13 and from 1991 to 1994 studied music theory with “Mehran Rohany”.”Mehrdad Pakbaz in the years 1997 to 2004 was a guitar playing student at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna where he obtained a Master degree.

Dr.Mehrdad Pakbaz

That same year he entered the Ph.D. in Music Theory program, supervised by Professor Doctor  ”Werner Schulze” from the University of Music and Professor Doctor ”Rüdiger Lohlker ” from the University of Vienna, Department of Near Eastern Studies. He began his research in analysis of Modal Structures in Iranian Music in connection with the modes remaining from ancient treatises.

“Mehrdad Pakbaz says:

“In this thesis, during these four years, I tried in a new theoretical perspective, to put the analysis of modal structures of Iranian music in connection with the modes remaining from ancient treatises.”

Noting that “Modal structure” in Iranian Music was already considered in a book entitled “An outlook at Iranian Music” by ”Darioush Talaii ” Tar and Setar professor and ”Radif” master, and in 1992 and I have been personaly present, when I was a student, at his class ”Oriental Music” at the University of Tehran, I asked Mehrdad Pakbaz the question about the similarities I found between his thesis and Darioush Talaii’s theory. He answered:

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Lohlker & Dr. Mehrdad Pakbaz

“This is a continuation – in fact – that this kind of consideration that people like Mr” [Darius] Talaii”  Persische Modalstrukturen und ihre frühislamischen Quellenand even earlier ” [Majid] Kiani “started and actually when I was talking about new theoretical perspectives, I was talking about a group of researchers who find that searching in ancient treaties is not only a way to retrieve the hidden identity of the Iranian Music but also a way of being inspired by theoretical methods that can be extracted from these treatises, so we find materials required for the analysis of Modal structures.”

Composer of the Music Album “dialogue” in his theory of “Iranian attribute” talks about ”Shafa” (Healing) from ”Ebn Sina” (Avicenne). I asked him to give more explanation about it for the listeners of radio Kooche:

“It might be interesting for the audience to know that “Ebrahim” and “Ashagh Mossaly” who were Iranians had lived in the Court of “Haroonv -al-rashid ” in the ninth century. They are related to the Arab old school. Although Iranian, the playing style and estetic in their [instrument] playing have been of a special kind that can be considered as the old Arab music. In contrast there is another branch the “Scholastic”; the works of “Alkndy” and “Farabi” can be its examples.

Prof. Dr. Werner Schulze & Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Lohlker

The comparison made, a series of common parts is found that the music in Iran perhaps in the past, have had similarities with Arabic music. Which one and where has influence the other is not clearly possible to say, but in the book, “Shafa”(Healing) very special parts can be found and it is difficult to find the similarities but it is maybe the same thing that ”Owen Wright” wants to call with precaution ”Iranian particularities”. For example in the concept of ”Jenss” or ”Ajnass” which is the same thing as ”Dang”(tone) or ”Tetrachord”, ”Owen Wright” finds the similarities and differences but also finds that these works have not existed in the past. Maybe one can call these findings ”Iranian particularities”.

”Mehrdad Pakbaz”, for more clarity on these particularities in Iranian music talks about examples of old concepts of music in Iran:

“Iranian particularities in [music] are related to something more than just music. I mean for example the meaning of numbers in relation to the concept of “Magham”.

This existed in these eight “Rah”(path) which is the school of  “Ebrahim” and “Ashagh Mossaly”. “Khoradazbeh,” one of the authors of the tenth century, has named it for the first time; that the seven “Rah” or “Rah Molouki” (Rah related to Kings), that he meant is the same style as “Sassani” [existed]. Some believes that the term “Rah” comes from the old system in “Sassanian” Court music and found its place in the next system that is the Arab old school. The Iranian particularity is the number seven, we can find its continuity in the system of actual ”Radif'”)dastgah).”

«نوشته فوق می تواند نظر نویسنده باشد و الزامن نظر رادیو کوچه نیست»


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