Motia, Rouzbeh (2019). Radīf-ha and pre-composed pieces in the repertoire of Iranian dastgāhi music and their role in the development of instrumental techniques and performances. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.


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What we certainly know about Iranian dastgāhi music dates back to Nāser al-Din Shah’s reign (1848-1896) in the Qājār era. In this era, opportunities arose to teach and extend dastgāhi music due to additional support from the government. Farahani’s family played a significant role in collecting and teaching the repertoire of dastgāhi music (radīf). After the Mashrūteh (1905-1911), one can observe the improvement and extension of music collections, both in different dastgāh-ha and in various radīf-ha and pre-composed pieces. These improvements can be attributed to greater individual freedom to pursue musical activities in society and an increased possibility of performing for the public. There are a few other factors that played a crucial role in advancing the repertoire of dastgāhi music in the Qājār era after Mashrūteh. These included the establishment of a music school under the supervision of Vaziri, holding concerts and the composition and extension of pre-composed pieces by musicians who were masters of radīf. In the 1960s and 1970s, there were two dominant views regarding Iranian classical music. The first view was held by a group of traditionalists. They stressed the concept of tradition and, as a result, a single version of radīf. Moreover, this group began classifying musicians and their pieces into two major groups: traditionalists and modernists (more westernised musicians). The second view considers the various types of radīf-ha and introduces radīf-ha as a collection of music materials and melodies that make it possible to create pre-composed pieces in various forms. This view also improves the possibility of improvisation within musical compositions. Due to its fixed understanding of radīf, the first view recommends the performance of musical instruments with very specific techniques. The second view considers additional possibilities for musical instruments and the role of musicians in creating new and innovative techniques. I will introduce and analyze the techniques of two musical instruments, tār and santūr in two separate chapters in my thesis. Tār and santūr are the main musical instruments in Iranian classical music. They have the most repertoire regarding different radīf-ha or pre-composed pieces. I will study the different radīf-ha of tār and santūr in the middle part of my thesis. I intend to show the development of the performance of these two musical instruments in the recent century. I will also study the impact of musical instruments and radīf-ha on one another. I will analyze the first view that leads to freezing the radīf and establishing a fixed radīf with specific techniques. I will analyze different radīf-ha to indicate the significance of the second view regarding the dynamism of the radīf. I will conclude that the improvement of the radīf depends on factors such as the role of performers, the possibilities of musical instruments and social situation. In the last chapter, I will discuss the course of improvement of the pre-composed pieces. They are an essential part of the repertoire of Iranian classical music. I will also study the role of pre-composed pieces regarding performance and teaching. I will show the role of performers and prominent masters in development of pre-composed pieces and the techniques of musical instruments.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Motia, Rouzbehrouzbehmotia@yahoo.comUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-380732
Date: 2019
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 1: Kunstgeschichte, Musikwissenschaft, Medienkultur und Theater, Linguistik, IDH > Musikwissenschaftliches Institut
Subjects: Music
Uncontrolled Keywords:
iranian classical musicUNSPECIFIED
pre-composed musicUNSPECIFIED
Farāmarz PāyvarUNSPECIFIED
Hosseyn AlizādehUNSPECIFIED
Parviz MeshkātianUNSPECIFIED
Date of oral exam: 16 January 2020
NameAcademic Title
Koch, Lars-ChristianProf. Dr.
Spinetti, FedericoProf. Dr.
Seifert, UweProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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