Iranian musical instruments played an integral role in the cultural landscape of the Safavid Court (1501–1722) and their presence in contemporary illustrated manuscripts draws attention to how music fared under the changing tempers of the Safavid shahs. Over the past century of musical conversation, little attention has been paid to the musical instrument traditions in Iran. To make matters worse few musical instruments from this region are held in museum collections, largely due to various obstacles preventing collecting and forty years of sanctions against Iran. Information concerning Iranian musical instruments, outside of their role in Persian classical music, is largely inaccessible to English-speaking scholars, which also contributes to the lack of attention paid to these musical instruments. However, information can be gleaned from interdisciplinary approaches to organology, such as the following analysis of musical instruments featured in illustrations completed over the course of the Safavid Dynasty. Drawing from sources easily available to those in the United States, highlights the need for more English-language sources while also making use of the wealth of information concerning Iran’s instrumental traditions available in manuscript illustrations. Through a discussion of the political and artistic environment of each Safavid shah, a strong understanding of the unstable position of art music in Iran under the Safavids is presented. Using illustrations as primary sources for musical history also addresses how music was incorporated into Iran’s visual language that continued to be employed by Safavid-era artists.
|Advisor:||Check Reeves, Deborah|
|Commitee:||Downie Banks, Margaret, Moskowitz, David, Schorn, Timothy, Freese, Lauren|
|School:||University of South Dakota|
|School Location:||United States -- South Dakota|
|Source:||MAI 81/2(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Music history, Middle Eastern history|
|Keywords:||Iran, Musical instruments, Organology, Safavid|
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