The material in this section is taken from the catalog of exhibition on the musical instruments of Iran, creator and curator architect Antonio Bianchini, held in Rome at the National Museum of Musical Instruments in the period from 5 to 20 April 2008 in collaboration between the aforementioned museum and that of Music in Tehran.
Iran in the broadest sense of the Iranian plateau occupies a barycentric geographical area between Europe, Africa, China and India and as such constitutes a hinge capable of joining East and West. A strong territorial identity has been formed in this pivot, testified from the beginning of civilization by its own cultural and artistic traditions of great refinement and sensitivity such as the Achaemenid, Sassanid and Safavid ones.
As evidenced by the archaeological finds of the city of Susa the very ancient bronzes of Lorestan, the rock reliefs of the Sassanid site of Taq-e Bostan up to the most recent paintings of the Qajar period, an autonomous cultural product is developed, also the result of the influences of neighboring civilizations, which under the Muslim push is then exported to the West where it is grafted into scientific disciplines and artistic experiences as well as in musical theory.
Precisely from the Safavid period are some of the most beautiful representations in the sparkling miniatures of signs and colors representing court scenes: here as evidence of the importance of music, ensembles of reclining musicians can be seen in a central position, between dignitaries, kings and elegant girls. often on a splendid one carpet, paradigm par excellence of the refined sensibility of this people.
Like poetry, music is a distinctive trait of Persian culture, a symbol of a civilization that has spread over vast territories for centuries and whose influence has gone beyond the territorial boundaries of the empires that flourished under it.
Even through the history of musical instruments proper to these territories it is possible to reconstruct the links and contacts that civilizations have established between them; the skill of craftsmen in the precious inlays and decorations, by the great master builders of instruments, it combines in an indissoluble whole, musical theories, philosophical thought and construction techniques from different geographical and cultural fields, modifying, refining and reworking influences that testify exchanges between cultures, mutual knowledge and individual evolutions.
The coexistence of populations of different ethnicity and religion, the presence of communities is not negligible Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Nestorian, Manichaean and Buddhist, rooted in the territory for more than a millennium, each with its own cultural traditions, contributed under mutual influences to form a complex and fascinating musical panorama that perhaps can be summarized in the tradition of "art music" Persian that boasts great interpreters and performers heritage of humanity.
Traditional music in Iran