Iran Heritage Foundation
Wednesday 3rd June 2015, 6.30pm
This talk will survey Iran's rich and diverse musical traditions. On the one hand, there is Persian classical music or canonical repertoire, cultivated mostly in the centre of the Iranian plateau in the cities such as Qazvin, Shiraz, Isfahan and Tehran; and on the other, ‘regional musical traditions’. Iran has long been home to many ethnic groups including Turks, Kurds, Baluchis, Lors, and Arabs, who live mostly on the periphery of the current political boundaries. Each community has its own language and their own musical practices which indeed share many common features with the music of the same ethnic groups living outside Iranian borders. As there are many affinities between languages and musical styles, sung poetry has long been appreciated in Iran; musicians were often poets, and vice versa.
Ameneh Youssefzadeh received her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at Nanterre University, Paris, in 1997. Her dissertation was a monograph on the bards of Khorasan, Iran. She is currently a visiting scholar at the Graduate Center, CUNY, in New York and Co-consulting editor of Music at Encyclopedia Iranica. Her areas of study include musical repertoire of the various ethnic groups of Khorasan (Khorasani Turks, Kurmanji Kurds and Persian), the situation of music in Iran after the 1979 revolution, and music and gender in Islam. Her publications include several articles, CDs, and a book, Les bardes du Khorassan iranien: le bakhshi et son repertoire (Paris, Peeters, 2002). A revised Persian translation of this book was published in Iran in 2009 (Mahoor Institute of Culture and Art).