Ali-Naqi Vaziri

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ali-Naqi Vaziri
علینقی وزيری
Background information
Birth nameAli Naqi Vaziri
Also known asColonel
Born(1886-10-01)October 1, 1886
Tehran, Persia
DiedSeptember 9, 1979(1979-09-09) (aged 92)
Tehran, Persia/Iran
GenresPersian music
Occupation(s)player of the tar
Years active1925–1979

Ali-Naqi Vaziri, also transcribed as Ali Naghi Vaziri (Persian: علی نقی وزیری) (October 1, 1886[1] in Tehran, Persia – September 9, 1979) was a composer, thinker and a celebrated player of the tar. He is considered a revolutionary icon in the history of 20th-century Persian music.

Ali-Naqi Vaziri (also known as Colonel Vaziri) is one of the seven children of Musa Khan Vaziri (a prominent official in the Persian Cossack Brigade) and Bibi Khatoon Astarabadi, a notable Iranian writer, satirist and one of the pioneering figures in the women's movement of Iran; her book Ma'ayeb al-Rejal (Failings of Men, also translated as Vices of Men) is considered by some as the first declaration of women's rights in the modern history of Iran. The celebrated artistic painter Hassan Ali Khan Vaziri is Ali-Naqi's brother.

Ali-Naqi Vaziri was a master of Persian classical music, so he was able to play the tar in a style very reminiscent of that of Mirza Abdollah. He always looked for new dimensions and perspectives in musical expression, and by doing so he revolutionized the style of playing the tar. He was the first to transcribe the classical radif of the Persian music. He developed the sori and koron symbols to annotate Persian quarter-tone notes in standardized musical notation.[2]

Vaziri for years was the director of the Tehran Conservatory of Music and a professor at the University of Tehran.


Vaziri was one the first Persian musicians in the 20th century to go to Europe to study music, and after his return to Tehran in 1924. He was for a long time the only traditional instrumentalist familiar with and promoted the theory of Western classical music.[3] He was also the first who wrote a method for a Persian instrument. This method Dastur-e Tar was published in Berlin in 1922.

Vaziri was the first to introduce and promote equal moderation in classical Persian music; in this way, each octave was evenly divided into 24 notes. This method made it possible to use Western system to harmonise traditional Persian melodies.[4] His experiments with musical scale was work in the direction of blending Western polyphony into Persian music.[5] His creation of the 24 step scale was created "with the intention of accommodating the application of Western harmony to musical compositions within Persian modes."[5] He first described this view briefly in The Grammar and then in more detail in Theoretical Music.[5] He invented a new Persian music notation for accidentals, calling the additions sori and koron; the first raises the bottom of a note by a quarter of a step and the second lowers it by a quarter of a step.[6] Vaziri's theory for classical Persian music was heavily rejected since the 1960s.

Alinaghi Vaziri trained students, some of whom became famous in Persian music, including: Abolhassan Saba, Ruhollah Khaleghi, Javad Maroufi, Heshmat Sanjari.[7] He invited some artists of his time (such as Ali Dashti, Ali Akbar Dehkhoda, Gholamreza Rashid-Yasemi, Badiozzaman Forouzanfar and Hassan Taqizadeh) together to establish an "Academy of Fine Arts" with the aim of collecting a culture of musical words and which may have become the basis for the formation of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature.[8]


  1. ^ "زادروز علینقی وزیری، موسیقیدان بزرگ". روزنامه دنیای اقتصاد (in Persian). Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  2. ^ Maryam Pirnazar (July 16, 2013). "Reza Vali: An Iranian Composer to Watch and - of course - to Hear". For transcription of the micro-tones, I use the standard notation of the micro-tones, the Sori and the Koron, which were developed during early 20th century by the Persian master Alinaghi Vaziri.
  3. ^ Farhat, Hormoz (2004). The Dastgah Concept in Persian Music. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-54206-7.
  4. ^ "به مناسبت گرامیداشت صدمین زادروز استاد علینقی وزیری کلنل...علینقی وزیری موسیقیدان فرهنگ ساز[translation: Alinaghi Vaziri is a cultural musician...On the occasion of the 100th birthday of Professor Alinaghi Vaziri Colonel]". Archived from the original on 2021-05-06. Retrieved 2021-02-21. During this period, the colonel not only introduced a new style of music and performance, but also ...making new instruments with wider sound possibilities, including four types of strings and the miracle of his playing in strings and making new songs and new notation and new compositions in the form of a 24-quarter step curtain of Iranian music...
  5. ^ a b c "VAZIRI, ʿAli-Naqi". Encyclopedia Iranica. In a brief chapter on theory, in his first published book, Dastur-e tār, and more extensively in Musiqi-e naẓari, he sets forth the proposition that all the modes of traditional music can be conceived within an octave scale of twenty-four equidistant (tempered) quarter-tones...
  6. ^ کمال پورتراب translation:Kamal Portrab, Mostafa. نگاهی نو به تئوری موسیقی ایرانی کلنل علینقی وزیری [translation:Theory of Iranian music by Colonel Alinaghi Vaziri]. Tehran: Nay and Ney Publishing.
  7. ^ خالقی، روح‌الله [translation: Khaleqi, Ruhollah] (2016). سرگذشت موسیقی ایران [translation: The story of Iranian music]. Tehran: Mahour.
  8. ^ H. E. Chehabi (1999). "From Revolutionary Ta?n?f to Patriotic Sur?d: Music and Nation-Building in Pre-World War II Iran". Iran. Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 37: 143–154. doi:10.2307/4299999.
  • Khaleghi, R., Sargozasht e Musighi e Iran, Ferdowsi Publication, 1955, (in Persian)
  • Ella Zonis, Contemporary Art Music in Persia, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 4, pp. 636–648 (1965). JSTOR
  • Hormoz Farhat, The Dastgāh Concept in Persian Music (Cambridge University Press, 1990). ISBN 0-521-30542-X, ISBN 0-521-54206-5 (first paperback edition, 2004). For a review of this book see: Stephen Blum, Ethnomusicology, Vol. 36, No. 3, Special Issue: Music and the Public Interest, pp. 422–425 (1992). JSTOR
  • Laudan Nooshin, in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie, second edition (Macmillan, London, 2001). ISBN 1-56159-239-0. (Oxford University Press, 2001). ISBN 0-19-517067-9.

External links[edit]