Azadeh : for santur and tape
by Andrián Pertout (2004)
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At the beginning of the twentieth century during the Pahlavi dynasty (1925-1979) we begin to see the resurgence of theoretical research into the Persian theory of intervals and scales. This ideological shift in affect being the impetus for three separate theories on intervals and scales of Persian music proposed in the twentieth century: the twenty-four quarter-tone (equally-tempered) scale proposed by Ali Naqi Vaziri in the 1920s, the alternative twenty-two-note scale proposed by Mehdi Barkešli in the 1940s based on Pythagorean principles, as well as the theory of the five primary intervals of performance practice presented by Hormoz Farhat in his 1990 publication The Dastgah Concept in Persian Music.
Azadeh for Santur and Tape - composed for Iranian santurist Qmars Piraglu (formerly Siamak Noory) - features the Persian santur (72-string box zither), and serves as a practical study of Persian tuning systems, with its presentation of both 'theoretical' and 'performance practice' tunings. Within the context of an analysis of the tuning methodology of performer Qmars Piraglu, an attempt is made to make comparisons not just with the three propositions outlined previously, but also with other existing alternative tuning systems. This discussion presented in order to generate a greater understanding of the musical processes that govern the theory of Persian intervals, at the same time disclosing some of the strategies employed in the general contemporary 'cross-cultural' compositional process.
Instrumentation: Santur, accompanying CD.
Duration: 13 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Professional.
Commission note: Commissioned by Qmars Piraglu.
First performance: by Qmars Piraglu — 9 Feb 07. St Andrews on the Terrace, during the Asia Pacific Festival/26th ACL Festival & Conference, Wellington, New Zealand.
Inspired by the Persian theory of intervals and scales.
- Influenced by: Middle Eastern cultures
Performances of this work
28 Apr 08: Bennington College, Vermont, USA
28 Apr 2008: at New Electronic Music from Australia and New Zealand (Bennington College (USA)).
26 Apr 07: St. Neighborhood Unaitarian Church, Pasadena, CA, USA
9 Feb 07: St Andrews on the Terrace, during the Asia Pacific Festival/26th ACL Festival & Conference, Wellington, New Zealand.. Featuring Qmars Piraglu.
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