(1971) Various Artists – Music From Iran

Argo issue numbers: ZFB 51

Recorded in Meshed (tracks A2, B2) and Tehran (A1, B1) by Deben Bhattacharya in 1955

Production and sleeve notes by Deben Bhattacharya

Hossein Saba – santour (track A1)
Jabad Aliyani – tar (A2)
Sher Koda – chant and zarb drum (B1)
Eskandare Ebrahimi – setar (B2)

Click on a track title and the track will play in a new window.


Side A
Shur on santour
Shur on tar

Side B
Mahour on setar


Tracks A1 and A2
If you’re into finding out just what it is you’re listening to here, the shur is one of the 12 dastaghs (musical modal systems) around which Persian music is organised. The dastagh is explained here and the shur here.

Track B1
Recital of parts of the Shahnama (Book of Kings), Iran’s national epic poem, completed in the year 1010 by Ferdowsi. Take an online audio tour of the poem here, courtesy of the Cambridge Fitzwilliam Museum.

Find out more about Ferdowsi here.

Track B2
The mahour is another of the dastaghs. Find out about it here.

Hossein Saba
Haven’t found anything out about the other three, but Hossein Saba (track A1) was born in Tehran in 1924. He studied the santour and the piano and graduated from the Tehran Conservatory of Music as a piano major in 1949. He went on to teach both instruments at the School of National Music.

The year after this recording (1956) he published the first method for the santour. When the National Instruments Orchestra was founded at the School of National Music, Saba was offered the position of lead santour soloist. He died from a brain tumour in 1957, at the age of 36.


Thanks and praises to bolingo once again for passing me a copy.

~ by folkcatalogue on February 18, 2011.

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