Embellishment as a Structural Element in Iranian Classical Music
he purpose of the article is to exhibit this fact that embellishments, despite of their lexical meaning, do not play just an ornamental role in Iranian classical music, but they have an extremely important function to form the structural facets of Dastgahi music; in fact, the embellishments are irremovable elements in the mentioned musical system. First of all, some brief explanations about concept and function of embellishments in Iranian classical music would be cited. Then, we will divide the embellishments, based on an especial approach, into two groups: Tonic and Modal. Tonic and Modal embellishments are used to ornament a specific tone and a specific mode respectively. The first kind of them is too widespread and varied in Iranian classical music and includes the kinds of vibration, tremolo, glissando, trill, mordant, staccato, Dorrâb, Kande Kâri, Eshâre, Tekiye, Pejvak, Shalâl etc. They are applied in both of instrumental and vocal Persian music. Among the important musical techniques which have always been considered as ornamental component by Iranian performers and musicologists, sometimes a long continuum of tones that is called Tahrir (Melisma) can be seen. Tahrirs are remarkable embellishments in Persian vocal and instrumental music. Tahrir is a “falsetto break or cracking of the voice in the form of the grace note above, and between the notes of, the melody line”. This phenomenon is called Chacha in the vernacular Persian term. From author’s point of view, the Tahrirs are the most important sort of the second group. Consequently, the most significant part of the article would be focused on clarifying the meaning and function of Tahrir in Iranian classical music. At the mentioned part of the article, according to the statistical study, we will show that the Tahrirs take more than half of the time of a specific musical performance. The mentioned statistical study would carry out based on assessment the measure of Tahrirs utilization in 35 records of famous Iranian vocalists; such as Seyyed Ahmad Xân, Hosein Xân Ta’ziye Xân, Ghorbân Xân, Soleimân Amir Qâsemi, Jenâb Damavandi, Seyyed Hosein Tâherzade, Hosein Ali Nakisâ, Abolhasan Eqbâl Âzar, Rezâ Gholi Mirzâ Zelli, Ghamarolmolouk Vaziri, Tâj Isfahâni, Abdollâh Davâmi, Adib Xânsâri, Ruhangiz, Gholâm Hosein Banân, Hosein Ghavâmi, Mahmoud Mahmoudi Xânsâri, Mahmoud Karimi, Hosein Xâje Amiri (Iraj), Razavi Sarvestâni, Râmbod Sodeif, and Mohammad Rezâ Shajariân. All of the case studies are in Dastgah-e Châhârgâh (one of the twelve multi-modal cycles in Iranian traditional music) and Âvâz-e Isfahan (The Âvâz is traditionally regarded as a derivative Dastgâh whit the fewer Gushes). According to this investigation, we will see the Tahrirs involve more than 55 percent of Iranian vocal music duration; it seems that this result can be accepted about instrumental music too. As a conclusion of the article, it is clear that, the embellishments, at least in Iranian classical music, are not omissible elements. Additionally, they have an organic relation with main body of the music.
Honar-Ha-Ye-Ziba: Honar-Ha-Ye Mosighi Va Namayeshi, No. 46, 2012
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