Talk:Music of Iran

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Somebody has put a lot of work into this article and I thank him or her but respectfully I am making some adjustments which is in the spirit of Hamyari and not correction and hope will not cause any offence to the learned compatriot who has obliged us with his or her time and effort. I think his/her original idea regarding the ambivilant position of music in Iran was fascinating and I have followed in the same vain.

I am also going to edit a section regarding dastgah and history of Iranian music but I will need help. Can the person who wrote the original article on the Iranian Traditional Music work with me please. Also please all the people who know something about folk music please put in all you know, some of us will edit it into a coherent whole. At the moment I think the article is not up to the standard of some of the comparable sites regarding other musical traditions.

We also need a young withit person to start a section on Iranian POP and rock and edit stuff people write in. How about all the singers from before the revolution or even revolutionary songs, there is a lot of knowledge out there that needs to be collated. It's all anonymous and a bit time consuming but is important to the image of all of us as a people. Deus Ahrimanus

Can I just say that there is someone in the entry in the history of Guitar who removes any reference to Iran, because she says that Iran did not exist before the 20th century. Can a guitarist or music historian sort her out please.

Because you're not a guitarist or a music historian? Well that's an admission from an anonymous coward such as yourself that's nice to hear. 23:05, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Well are you a historian? And that reference was when I was conversing with Richard. With you I have no problems, you make it too easy. You are just a racist Megan is a racist


I removed the following for incoherence. Tuf-Kat 03:49, Sep 29, 2004 (UTC)

In urban musical culture Koran chanting is not considered music Actually, there are varying degrees of "musicness", Koran chanting is not, but classical improvised song, classical instrumental metric composition, and popular dance music are, in order of increasing "musicality". However, from a European influenced musicological analysis, Koran chanting is structurally similar to classical singing, and would be considered music. Since music is often denigrated, it is associated with non-Muslim and Muslim minorities. Thus Koran chanting is more highly valued as it is "not music". Classical Iranian musical culture [music] is thought to be complete, new creations [compositions] are variations and rearrangements of old ones or parts of [old ones. F]or instance new dastgahs are not invented. (Nettl, 1989)
What is your problem? If you are capable of making corrections, please do so. If you do not understand, please ask, and we can edit so as to make sense. For instance, I noticed one sentence that did not make sense because of the erroneous addition of an extra word, music. It is now in brackets above, the other words in brackets are a suggestion for a substitution that may clarify, a missing word or two that should be added, and a sentence break.
What you should not do is remove informative, cited, text, especially without editing the entire page, "neither source nor reference are cited in article", which is itself "incoherent". Hyacinth 19:41, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

In urban musical culture Koran chanting is not considered music

Chanting is not mentioned anywhere in the article as being music, so this appears to be responding to a claim that is not being made. If chanting is not considered music, why is it covered in this article? What is Koran chanting? Is it the actual chanting of words from the Koran? Chanting inspired by the Koran? Chanting Muslims are instructed to do by the Koran? Is it considered music somewhere else? Why is the word urban there? Is Koran chanting considered music in rural musical culture?

Actually, there are varying degrees of "musicness", Koran chanting is not, but classical improvised song, classical instrumental metric composition, and popular dance music are, in order of increasing "musicality".

In addition to being a run-on sentence, the second part of which is incomplete ("chanting is not..." is never completed, and neither is "classical improvised... dance music are", presumably "music" is the nominative, but this isn't stated) What is the source for this claim? Who feels that popular music is more musical than classical works -- common Iranians, musicologists, governmental authorities? On what basis do they claim this? What is the purpose of "actually" in this sentence? It implies that what came before has something do with what is about to come, but since Koran chanting is not part of the scale of musicalness, there is no relation that I can see.

However, from a European influenced musicological analysis, Koran chanting is structurally similar to classical singing, and would be considered music.

How is this true only from a "European-influenced musicological analysis"? Is Iranian musicology different? Musicology seeks to describe the structure and social purpose of music; if the claim is that Eurocentric bias has led to misunderstandings regarding Iranian music (a not unlikely statement), this claim should be explicit and explained. Structural similarities are pretty objective -- either they exist or they don't. One can certainly feel that the similarities are not relevant, but that doesn't have anything to with "European-influenced musicology". This is also vague -- at first read, I thought the European-influenced musicologists were comparing Iranian Koran chanting to European classical singing, but on second read, it appears to be comparing it to Iranian classical singing.

Since music is often denigrated, it is associated with non-Muslim and Muslim minorities.

This is potentially useful info, but without some more detail, I don't know what to do with it. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with what came before (which doesn't mention denigration of music, nor minorities of any kind) or after (except by implication). What is the association?

Thus Koran chanting is more highly valued as it is "not music".

Valued by whom? Valued religiously, morally, aesthetically, socially or monetarily? Is this connected to the previous sentence? Is the conclusion the reader is supposed to draw that the "non-Muslim and Muslim minorities" are denigrated because they "are associated with" music? If so, say so. Or is music associated with minorities because music is denigrated, and minorities by extension?

Classical Iranian musical culture [music] is thought to be complete, new creations [compositions] are variations and rearrangements of old ones or parts of [old ones. F]or instance new dastgahs are not invented. (Nettl, 1989)

This was originally a very long run-on sentence, but is better after the tweaking. The term dastgah is not defined until much further down in the article though, and I'm not sure in what way a dastgah could be invented. If twelve dastgahs are a gusheh, which are each part of a radif, isn't the issue more that no new radif is invented? It would appear that even if someone wanted to invent a new dastgah, he would have to invent eleven more, along with a couple of gushehs and a radif. Or maybe I'm reading the definition in the article wrong. No actual definition of a dastgah is given, except that there are twelve of them in a gusheh... is it just one twelfth of a gusheh? Furthermore, the fact that Iranian musical culture is thought to be complete appears to be proved by the fact that new creations are variations of old ones -- I think this is a standard characteristic of most kinds of folk music, or at least it is not rare for new tunes and songs to be more-or-less the same as old ones, and these other folk traditions are considered complete. Therefore, the apparent evidence offered that Iranian "musical culture" is thought to be complete (by whom?) does not support the claim. Keep in my mind I am not arguing that the claim isn't true, only that what is offered does not educate the reader as to why it is true. Also, if "classical Iranian musical culture" does not include "Koran chanting", which it appears to not, the paragraph needs to be split up, because the beginning and the end are on two different subjects.

I am sorry if the removal confused or offended you. I simply noticed a long paragraph added a while ago by an anon that had some terrible grammar and was more confusing than enlightening. I tried to distill whatever bits I could understand, but then found I couldn't understand any well enough to be sure of the intended meaning. I think the largest, overall problem is that the paragraph is out of place -- it is a vague introduction to a musicological analysis, presented without any of the details and before the basics are introduced. Before we get into the social implications of the various kinds of Iranian music, we need a clearer description of what those kinds are and where they come from. Tuf-Kat 22:19, Oct 3, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the apology. To clarify, the paragraph was not added by an anonymous editor, but by me [1].
oops, indeed. Tuf-Kat 00:24, Oct 6, 2004 (UTC)
How's this:
  • Music (muzik) is often denigrated in Islamic societies including Iran, and as a consequence music is often associated with non-Muslim and Muslim minorities. However, as with the ancient Greeks, music theory is valued, though performance is not, and as a consequence there is a strong and well-respected theoretical tradition. (Nettl, 1989)
  • The attitudes described above contribute to a difference between the European-influenced concept of music and the Iranian concept (see definitions of music). For example, though to a European-influenced listener Koran chanting, such as the call to prayer, is "music", it is not considered music in Iranian urban musical culture. From a European influenced musicological analysis Koran chanting is structurally similar to Iranian classical singing that is considered music in Iranian urban musical culture, and thus ethnomusicologists study Koran chanting as music, or rather; they study the musical aspects of Koran chanting. Though musicologists find it convenient to consider Koran chanting music, for Iranians Koran chanting is able to be more highly valued because it is not music (but something better). (Nettl, 1989)
  • As in European-influenced culture, musical genres are considered to contain varying degrees of "musicness". For example, pop dance music may be considered "entertainment" and thus less musical than the canonical masterpieces of the common practice period. In Iranian culture Koran chanting is not considered music, but classical improvised song, classical instrumental metric composition, and popular dance music are all considered music, in order of increasing "musicality". (Nettl, 1990)
  • Classical Iranian musical culture is thought to be complete by its participants with new creations being variations and rearrangements of old ones or parts thereof. For example, new dastgahs are not invented. (Nettl, 1989)
Hyacinth 23:08, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I'm fine with putting this in the article. The only question that remains is the use of "urban musical culture". This seems to imply that rural Iranians (most of the country?) have a different conception of music, perhaps that they don't consider classical singing music, or that they do consider Koran chanting music. Is this deliberate? Tuf-Kat 00:24, Oct 6, 2004 (UTC)
I have no idea, feel free to consult Bruno Nettl. If you feel that the concept of rural musicians and other rural Iranians is the same, we may delete "urban". Hyacinth 00:29, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)
If that's what Nettl said, keep it I guess. Hopefully somebody better informed will see this talk page and explain. Tuf-Kat 00:52, Oct 6, 2004 (UTC)

Is this article about Iranian music or Persian music?[edit]

... because Iranian and Persian are two different themes. Iranian music also includes Non-Persian music and traditions, such as Kurdish, Azeri-Turkish, and Beluchi. Persian music, on the other hand, can also be found outside of Iran, especially in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Afghanistan's music-culture is almost completely Persian; while the music and melodies are interpretations of traditional music of the Indian subcontinent, the lyrics is deffinitly Persian. I think that the article should be named "Persian music" and it should also include the Persian music of the eastern lands, such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, or India which are deffinitly Persian. - 14:49, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

This is an article on the music of Iran. There is an article on Persian music. Obviously, the two topics overlap a bit, but two separate articles is probably best. Tuf-Kat 15:49, September 7, 2005 (UTC)
And, yet Persian Music redirects to this article... Warrior4321talk 02:13, 4 July 2009 (UTC)


Hi, my wife play a string musical instrument she call a geychak but I am not sure of the english language spelling. I mainly wanted to see if a picture of it was needed.--Marc pasquin 01:31, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Deus Arimanus' essay[edit]

Deus, you just put an essay on top of the regular article and didn't integrate it into the article at all. It seems to be good material, but it is going to take a lot of work to pull this article together again. Zora 12:57, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Freddie Mercury[edit]

-He calls himself " a Persian popping-jay..." in an interview. Since he really was not caring what people think about him, it is not true to say he calls himself Persian for any reason other than his own belief. If we agree on this; meaning that he believes he is Persian, what gives us the right to not consider him a Persian? He would not care if you consider him Persian or not, but this is for the record and it should be corrected. About Persian and Iranian term, one should note that old name for the current Iran was Persia. Iranian is a broader term which includes all Aryans living in there, including Medes (Azerbaijanis) and Persian. Therefore, if someone is Persian, he would be an Iranian, too. Thus, Freddie Mercury should be recorded in Music of Iran, truly.Aydinsf (talk) 17:25, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

-Will someone take Freddie Mercury off this page!! He was an Indian Parsi. He grew up in both India and Zanzibar before emigrating to England. His ancestors never had a foot in Persia(Iran)for more than 1000 + years. Come on, his mother tongue was Gujarati, not Persian. These supposed Iran-pride claims are most likely no more different than other Parsis claiming pride in having had origins to the ancient Persians (who are not the same as the modern Iranians, in a cultural sense, the culture has changed since then). Anyway, Parsis are culturally, linguistically and nationally Indian. Only religion and racial background link them to Iranians and these dont really count towards disqualifying them as Indians/Pakistanis as race is quite hetergoenous there. So please, eliminate it. If anything, his music should be apart of British, Indian and Zanzibari legacy as his whole life was spent in those 3 places. [[Afghan Historian 20:40, 23 January 2006 (UTC)]] (I'm not Indian, by the way (I'm Pakistani, actually) However, I am a huge fan of Queen.

His "origin" was Iranian, not his nationality, parents, or background. Keyword is "origin". I dont understand these efforts to detach Mercury from Iran, especially as he was "proud of his Iranian ancestry".--Zereshk 02:50, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

-Not Necessarily. This origin is no more different than Charlie Chaplin or Bob Hoskins being Indian as they are of Roma/Gypsy descent or Spielberg being ancient Israelite and contributing to Middle Eastern cinema as he is Jewish. Both the Roma and Parsis left their countries of origin (India and Iran) one thousand + years ago. And, Mercury said he was of Persian background not Iranian background. Parsis are Indians of Persian descent, ancient Persian descent, and, naturally, feel proud of being descended from Ancient Persians as well as settling in India. Parsis are sometimes nicknamed "Persians". Mercury was most likely referring to this part of his ancestry rather than feeling connected to modern-day Iran and Iranians. Nonetheless his music is removed from Iran and should belong with Rock, British, Western, or, if you want to put him in a musical legacy for a country, India as his rock career began there at his boarding school. Now, if this logic about origins were to apply, why not include Zubin Mehta and Khaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, as they made major contributions to modern western classical music? I'm sure they too feel proud of being of Persian descent, the latter definetly (Sorabji, especially if he went to great lengths to change his name from Leon Dudley to Khaikhosru Sorabji to reflect on his partial Parsi heritage.) -[[Afghan Historian 16:56, 17 January 2006 (UTC)]]

The BBC article specifically says "Iranian".--Zereshk 20:51, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

-Forget about the BBC, his own quotes say "Persian" not Iranian. And what about my points on Zubin Mehta and Sorabji? -[[Afghan Historian 16:55, 19 January 2006 (UTC)]]

What do you mean "forget the BBC"? The hell we will forget it. It is against WP policy to judge sources. And besides, I suppose youre claiming that "Persian" is not "Iranian"?--Zereshk 01:37, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

-Parsis have been in India since 12 centuries and have assimilated into general Indian population. Even their language is Gujarati which is Indian. See Parsi article. Theres no way you can call a Parsi and Iranian, its akin to calling an American whose ancestors landed in New England in 1600's an Englishman! अमेय आर्यन DaBroodey 06:41, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

-No, actually. I'm saying that Mercury meant that he was Persian no more than are other people of his ethinic group. Look, Parsis are not Iranians in the modern sense of the word. They do not speak Farsi, nor do they dress or act like people in this region. They only follow Zoroastrianism and are racially more closer to their ancestors than to the rest of the Indian population. Also, it is the policy of Wikipedia to record facts, not opinions of the person. Are we to record Merle Oberon as Tasmanian, as she claimed, even though she was of mixed Sri Lankan and British descent in reality? In reality, Mercury was not an Iranian, although he claimed himself Persian ("I'll always walk around like a Persian popinjay and no one will stop me"). Mercury cannot be called an Iranian for the reasons I gave above in my longer explanation. -[[Afghan Historian 16:55, 19 January 2006 (UTC)]]

You are wrong top to bottom. The caption clearly says he is "Iranian by ancestry". And that is 100% accurate. (even you are talking about the 12 centuries and all). So I dont know what all this fuss is about.--Zereshk 00:57, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

-Talk about wrong top to bottom. His own bloody birth certificate states him as Indian Parsi. Ever bother to take a look at it? Its on the wikipedia Freddie Mercury article. I also read Sooni Taraporevala's(herself a Parsi, unlike you) book on Parsis, and the interview with Mercury's mother showed he was a Parsi. Parsis and modern Iranians are not the same. Shall we call all gypsies Indians by origin? I'll put Charlie Chaplin in the indian actors page as he is a roma and his "origins" are Indian. His own mother and the Zanzibar govt. birth certificate are better documents than a recent news article. The fact is, he is an Indian Parsi. Lets do this however: If the argument should go your way, then I'll start to add Zubin Mehta and Khaikhosru Sorabji on here in the classical musical page. They are Parsis like Mercury and, like him, can apply to Iranian origin definition as well. And, to tie up my argument, Iran never existed back then, it was the Sassanian Persian empire (which was dying.) Also, I'm not the one to say this alone. All of the Parsis on this subject in wikipedia back me up here. -[[Afghan Historian

The "bloody" birth certificate doesnt mention a BLOODY damn thing about "ancestry". KEYWORD: a n c e s t r y. Do you know what an "ancestor" is? Now if you think Parsees were not Persian or Iranian by ancestry, then that's another thing. (youre basically out to try and change history).
And by the way, "Iran" existed even before the Arab invasion. The "Islamic Republic of Iran" did not. Eratosthenes uses the name "Iran" to refer to Persia. And so does Vendidad and [[|Avesta|Yasna]].--Zereshk 21:32, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

-I'm not going to go over the points of why a Parsi cannot be considered a Persian (this was explained to me by many Parsis). But, just so you know, your argument will apply to Charlie Chaplin and more specifically towards this article, Zubin Mehta and Khaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji. Which I've heard nothing about from you. A Parsi cant be called an Iranian by origin the same way an Arab-American can be called Lebanese by origin. It's too distant to be of significance. You cant label someone as part of a country's musical heritage based on an ancestry that comes from 1200 years ago. Edward Fitzgerald should be regarded as part of French literary heritage because his ancestors were from Normandy, France 1000 years ago. A distant ancestry cannot be used to tie someone's heritage to that country. You dont seem to be understanding what I'm saying. I'm not denying that Parsis are descended from Persians. I never did. You got me completely wrong there. I'm saying it's just too long ago to really tie someone there anymore. And, I also read in a number of articles and pieces that Mercury called himself Persian to downplay his Indian heritage rather than of real pride ( due to racism in the UK). About the ancestry thing, I know what your talking about. I have ancestry too. My ancestors were Scythians from central Asia(among my Punjabi forebearers.)For an example from the world of the famous, lets take..hmmm...Mirza Ghalib a famous Urdu poet of both India and Pakistan. He was a Central Asian Turk by 500 years worth of ancestry. Should we call him a famous poet Turkish origin in a page on Turkic literature because his ancestry? No. Likewise with Freddie Mercury. No hard feelings by the way. -User: Afghan Historian

I dont know why youre fighting so hard for this. It's only one sentence that mentions his Iranian ancestry. And as far as I can see in the Meriam-Webster dictionary, the word "ancestry", by definition, implies no "distance" in how far descendants are from each other. You cant just cut off Freddie Mercury from his Persian ancestors. That's just absurd.--Zereshk 20:43, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

There should be a mention of Freddie Mercury's Iranian/Persian ancestry on his page, something which he was proud of. There are numerous sources and references regarding this. --ManiF 12:56, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

-Freddie Mercury could have called himself Persian to distance himself from India rather than of real pride, like many other Indians entering a field of such mass popularity. It could be of real pride instead. We cannot be sure. But, we can record facts. And fact is he was Indian Zoroastrian of Persian descent. After some more research, I've decided to revise my opinion and concede that ancestry-wise, despite the number of years and generations, it can still be acknowledged that he was an Indian Persian. But could this not apply to all other Parsis as well. Can we call South Asian freedom patriots like Dadbhai Naoroji or Pherozeshah Mehta of Persian descent on their own pages, as they were proud of being descended from the Persians. Someone please answer this for me? -User: Afghan Historian

Perhaps we can. I have no problem with ancestry. After all, we're still Aryan cousins to begin with anyway.--Zereshk 22:57, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

-Zereshk, I added a section to the Freddie Mercury article discussing the controversy through an attempted, NPOV stance. Could you please read it and tell me what you think? If there should be any improvements? -User: Afghan Historian.

Looks fine to me. I dont think there is any "dispute" though. We are really in agreement, not conflict. Iranians regard parsees (not just Freddie) as Iranians in diaspora, cut off from their home land (even though it's been many centuries as you say) because they had to flee the Arab invasion, as many Iranians still do today. There are 1.5 million Iranians in exile in the United States alone. No Iranian denies where Freddie was born. But being a zoroastrian eternally ties you to Persia. Even if youve been away for generations. IOW, being a zoroastrian entitles you to call yourself Iranian, regardless of nationality. (at least that's how Iranians look at it). Anyway, I just added a link at the end, for more info about how Freddie is loved in Iran.--Zereshk 21:28, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Western music and State TV[edit]

Ahmadinejad is not able to affect music of Iran. He may be able to control the state TV. Iranian will do whatever they like as before. -- Mensen14:00, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

I think so too.--Zereshk 14:16, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

PoP Music[edit]

Many new comers in the list of Pop Music weren't yet impressive or famous, such as Mr. Delan or Hi-5.


The sentence "The 1979 revolution launched a renaissance in Persian classical music, from which emerged national stars like Parisa" is false. Parisa's star shone before the revolution and she was forced to stop singing after the revolution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:00, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

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Electronic music[edit]

Hello, I read this :

"Inspired by some of the most significant artists of the genre Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, David Tudor, Gordon Mumma and Iannis Xenakis who performed in Shiraz Arts Festival, but after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, faced dark future like most of the other genres. Many of the expatriate Iranians in North America and Europe are involved in electronic music. The best known group is the Washington, D.C.-based Deep Dish, which consists of Ali "Dubfire" and Shahram."

Thi sis not clear at all. As this Shiraz festival happened before the revolution. Also, there were electronic artists in Iran by that time too ! Alireza Mashayekhi (1960's) Dariush Dolat-Shahi (1960's) Shahrokh Khajenouri (1970's)

Plus still nowadays some experimental and alternative electronic musicians do live and record in Iran : Sote, Nyctalllz and more. See for a list this database and this article Also, I see nothing about punk music/new wave/post punk and there's quite a few in Iran too, this compilation proves it. And last but not least plenty of Iranian bands play black or death metal musical genres which is also not listed here such as : Abathur, Ahoora, Angband, Aras, Ekove Efrits, Emerna, Explode, Farshid Arabi, Farzad Golpayegani, Freezing Moon, Halla, Kahtmayan, Midgar, NaHan, Nazhand, Necromimesis, Sorg Innkallelse, Sår, Tarantist, Tenebrous Shadow, Zakhm.

There are some goth metal artists too, etc.

It would be nice to see some more about that listed on the article.

Cdrk (talk) 23:16, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

  • wee need reliable sources WP:RS or artist with wiki page then we can write about them here, that compilation is about Rock/Metal musicians, I know many of that musicians but wikipedia has its rules they should be notable enough to pass WP:Music. all the best. Spada II ♪♫ (talk) 06:41, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

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Additional citations[edit]

Why and where does this article need additional citations for verification? What references does it need and how should they be added? Hyacinth (talk) 23:41, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Original reasearch[edit]

Why and where does this article contain original research? How should it be cleaned up? Hyacinth (talk) 23:41, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Please put in more![edit]

I want more of the ancient stuff, you know, for school? Very hard to when you search up "Iran music" in google, and it gives songs that were made as little as a month ago! No websites that talk about the cultural music or Persian music (Iran used to be Persia). I just want better depth into it, not a full page. So, if you have time, please help me! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:19, 8 December 2016 (UTC)