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Art

Poetry

Human beings are members of a whole, In creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, Other members uneasy will remain. If you have no sympathy for human pain, The name of human you cannot retain. These verses by great Iranian poet Sheik Sadi is written in entrance to the Hall of Nations of the UN building in New York.
We can distinguish two periods of Persian poetry: one traditional, from the tenth to nearly mid, twentieth century; the other modernist, from about World War II to the present. Within the long period of traditional poetry, however, four periods can be traced, each marked by a distinct stylistic development. The first of these, comprising roughly the tenth to the twelfth century, is characterized by a strong and an exalted style (sabk-e fakher). One may define this style (generally known as Khorasani, from the association of most of its earlier representatives with Greater Khorasan) by its lofty diction, dignified tone, and highly literate language. The second, from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century, is marked by the prominence of lyric poetry, the consequent development of the ghazal into the most significant verse form, and the diffusion of mystical thought. Its style is generally dubbed Eraqi because of the association of some of its earlier exponents with central and western Persia (even though its two major representatives, Sadi and Hafez, were from the southern province of Fars); it is known by its lyric quality, tenderness of feeling, mellifluous meters, and the relative simplicity of its language.
The third period, which extends from the fifteenth well into the eighteenth century, is associated with the Indian style of Persian poetry (sometimes called Isfahani 0r Safavi). It has its beginning in the Timurid period and is marked by an even greater prominence of lyric poetry, although it is somewhat devoid of the linguistic elegance and musicality of the preceding period. The poets of this period often busied themselves with exploring subtle thoughts and far fetched images and elaborating upon worn-out traditional ideas and metaphors. The fourth period, from approximately the eighteenth to the mid-twentieth century, is known as the Literary Revival (bazgasht-e adabi).It features a reaction against the poetic stagnation and linguistic foibles of the late Safavid style, and a return to the Eraqi style of lyric poetry and the Khorasani style.
With Ferdowsis immortal poem, the Shah-nama, epic poetry rose to the height of its achievement almost at its beginning. Hailed as the greatest monument of Persian language and one of the major world epics, it consists of some fifty thousand couplets relating the history of the Iranian nation in myth, legend, and fact, from the beginning of the world to the fall of the Sassanian Empire. Ferdowsi, who belonged to the landed gentry (dehqan) and was well versed in Iranian cultural heritage and lore, fully understood the sense and direction of the work he was versifying. His approximately thirty years of labor produced a magnificent epic of tremendous impact.
A new height in Persian lyric poetry is reached in the thirteenth century with Sadi, a versatile poet and writer of rare passion and eloquence. He holds a position in Persian literature, in terms of the power of expression and the depth and breadth of his sensibilities, comparable to that of Shakespeare in English letters. His sparkling ghazals display a youthful love of life and passion for beauty, be it natural, human, 0r divine. Sadis dexterous use of rhetorical devices is often disguised by the beguiling ease of his locution and the effortless flow of his style; his masterly language has been a model of elegant and graceful writing.
The culmination of Persian lyric poetry was reached about a hundred years after Sadi with Hafez, the most delicate and most popular of Persian poets. His ghazals are typical in their content and motifs but exceptional in their combination of noble sentiments, powerful expression elegance of diction and felicity of imagery. His world-view encompasses many Gnostic, mystical, and stoic sentiments, which were the common cultural heritage of his age. While Hafezs satirical lines against pretense and hypocrisy lend a biting edge to his lyrics, his philosophical outlook and Gnostic longings impart an exalted air of wisdom and detachment to his poems. But he is above all a poet of love who celebrates in his ghazals the glory of human beauty and the passion of love. Belief in a mystical "inner meaning" of Hafezs poetry represents the application of a bateni, 0r esoteric principle, which distorts his meaning and flies in the face of his poetic sense. Hafez is the most notable satirist Persia has produced. Poignant gibes at the hypocritical, judges, professional Sufis, and other pretenders to virtue form an integral part of his ghazals and (following his model) are a common theme of Persian lyrics. The liberal Hafez strongly felt the sting of pretense and cant; to express his outrage was as much a motive for his writing as were his aesthetic and amorous sentiments. But his subtle wit and his magnanimity keep his lyrics from being bitter. Siding with sinners and tavern dwellers, championing the Fends and the kharabatis - the "hippies" of his time - are essentially his protests against the narrow views and bigotry of the establishment, and part of his satirical thrust. To read mystical meanings into all this is to miss the intent and the sense of Hafezs poetry to the detriment of his real worth.
Modernist poetry, namely, a poetry which departs radically from the traditional school of the old masters, began to emerge only after World War II, when the deep social changes which had been developing for some time finally challenged the venerable literary tradition in a drastic fashion and eroded its foundations. It not only dispensed with the necessity of rhyme and consistent meter, but it also rejected the imagery of traditional poetry and departed noticeably from its mode of expression.
Nima Yushij (1897-1960), the father of modernist poetry, died in relative obscurity, but after World War II a number of young poets took up his cause, fighting against the shackles of literary conventions and writing free verse, sometimes with a vengeance. The vogue gathered momentum, and by the late 1950s it had become the dominant mode of avant-garde Persian poetry. Most of the contemporary literary movements in the West, from the Symbolist to Imagist schools, have found exponents among modernist Persian poets.
In modernist poetry, all formal canons, thematic and imagistic conventions, as well as mystical dimensions of the traditional school are by and large abandoned, and the poets feel free to adapt the form of their poems to the requirements of their individual tastes and artistic outlooks. Hence the great variety of styles among modernist poets. Akhavan-e Thaleth, also a follower of the Nima school, has produced among others, long poems of veiled protest and of epic quality. In Sepehri, a poet of serene simplicity but overweening imagery, we find an original poet singing in praise of the simple pleasures of life and basking in the contemplation of nature

Persian Gardens

 

 

 

The tradition and style in the garden design of Persian gardens has influenced the design of gardens from Andalusia to India and beyond. The gardens of the Alhambra show the influence of Persian Paradise garden philosophy and style in a Moorish Palace scale from the era of Al-Andalus in Spain. The Taj Mahal is one of the largest Persian Garden interpretations in the world, from the era of the Mughal Empire in India.

 

 




Music

About the music of the Elamites not much is known; however, we know of a ruler of Susa who had musician at his temple gate about 2600 BC. There are also the bas-relief which shows musicians playing harps and tambourine. It is possible that there was not a lot of difference between Babylonian-Assyrian music and Iran at that time and the Persian names of tabire (drum) and karranay (trumpet) may be derived from names of the Akkadian tabbalu and qarnu.
After the conquest of Alexander the Great when Hellenistic culture found expression in Persia, one might suppose that Greek derived the name of salpinx (trumpet) from Iranians. During Parthian period ( beginning 2nd century BC) when Aramaic became the official language, the word shaipur (trumpet) which is Semitic may be taken from Aramaic word.
Sassanian dynasty cherished music as shown on rock carvings of Taq-i Bustan which are two types of harp, trumpet and drums. Also, lute (ud), guitar (rubab) and pandore (tanbura) can be seen from other arts. We also know that specific modes of music were used at certain hours of the day, week, and month, each for a particular purpose as a part of governmental procedure.
After entering Islam into Iran, Arabic music became known in Iran. At the same time, Persian music influenced Arabic music. In the 10th century, Persian musicians became favorite at Arab court and the Persian lute was a favored instrument.
In the 9th century, the Khorasanian scale was introduced. The musicians played on Persian tanbur which became as popular as lute. The nay (flute), chang (harp), rabab (viol), and the nay-i siyah (reedpipe) were also common instruments at the time.
Persian theorists were leaders in Arabian musical theory, for example, Al-Razi and Al-Sarakhsi. Ibn Sina mentions twelve principal modes of music:Rahawi, Husain, Rast, Busalik, Zangula, Ushshaq, Hijaz, Iraq, Ispahan, Nava, Buzurg, and Mukhalif (zirafgand). We know little about their formation. Four of modes mentioned above have Arabic names which may indicate Arabian origin. Ispahan was named as one of the ancient modes of Persia. There are also six secondary modes (avazat).
During Ghuri rulers and Khwarizmi (12th -13 th century) music grew. Two notable theorists of this era were Fakhr al-Din al Razi and nasir al-Din al Tusi. Another Persian theorist was Qutb al Din al-Shirazi who was famous for Pearl of Crown (Durrat al-taj). In the Treasure-House of Gift (Kanz al -Tahaf) an important work in 1350, ud (lute), rubab (guitar), mughni ( archlute), chang (harp), nuzha, qanun (psaltery), ghishak (spiked viol), pisha (fife) and nay-i siyah (reedpipe) are completely described. In other places, dutar (two strings) and sitar (three strings) exquisite of poet Hafez are mentioned.
During Timuri Dynasty, Abdal-Qadir ibn Ghaibi lived who wrote The compiler of Melodies (Jami al-alhan) which is cherished in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. By the 14th and 15th century, twenty four branch modes (shuba) and forty eight derived modes (gusha) began, respectively. By the 17th century, there were twenty four of rhythmic modes (usul).
Under Safavid Dynasty, chartar (four strings) and sheshtar (six strings) musical instruments were invented. Ud (lute) and kamancha (spiked viol) were the most favorite instruments with addition of nay (flute) and daira (tambourine) as can be seen in a painting of Shah Safi court. Surnay (shawm), naqqarat (kettledrums), karna (long trumpet), duhul (side drum), and kus (kettledrum) were for military uses. Persian theory especially in nomenclature influenced Indian, Arabian, Turkish and Turkomanian music. Even China through Turkomans was affected by Persian instruments.
By the 19th century, ud (lute), rubab (guitar), qanun (psaltery) were not in use but santur (dulcimer) was still used. During the second half of the 19th century, three viols rumuz, madilan, and tarab angiz were introduced.
About the mid century, European influence found its way into Persia, mostly in military bands. In the early 20th century, Ali Naqi khan Vaziri a teacher, a composer and instrumentalist played an important role in reviving and advancing the native music of Persia. Vaziri gives the notation of most popular modes (avaz); Mahur, humayun, Bayat-i Ispahan, chahargah, shur, segah, nava, and bayat-i kurd. Pish dar amad is an introduction which prepares the listener for dastgah (melodic modes) which are the pieces to come

Theater and Cinema



Themost popular form of entertainment in Iran is the cinema. Cinema is also an important medium for social commentary. Irans film industry became one of the finest in the world, with festivals of Iranian films being held annually throughout the world. Fajr Film Festival is arranged annually in Tehran and has gained international recognition in recent years. Iranian and foreign films are screened and are awarded.
The nearest thing to the theater in Iran used to be the religious re-enactment of holy stories, known as tazie, but theater in European style was introduced to Iran only in the second decade of the 20th century. Initial work was concentrated in Tehran and Rasht. The quick advent of cinema and, later, television in Iran soon after the introduction of theater left little initial opportunity for the latters development.
The first cinema hall was constructed in Tehran in the late 1920s. However, foreign films were the only source for cinemas, and these were shown with sub-titles. Dubbing into the Persian began in 1948, while serious shooting of Iranian films did not begin until 1950. Iranian Young Cinema society was founded in 1974 and its statute officially was approved by the then Supreme Consultative of Culture & Art in 1975. But it was after the Islamic Revolution of Iran that the society started its activities with new policies and aims in 1985 which as follows, to flourish the creativities and talents of the enthusiastic youths who are interested in film making and photography, to train the enthusiastic youths in order to improve their cine culture, to conduct the processes of film making, and amateur photography in Iran.
In the beginning, Iranian Young Cinema Society mainly focused its activities on producing 8 & 16 mm films through establishing training courses, thereafter, holding regional and annual festivals were also taken into Consideration in the frame of its programs. The society started its activities along with its four offices in Tehran and at the present time the society has established fifty branches throughout the country.

 

Theater and Cinema



Themost popular form of entertainment in Iran is the cinema. Cinema is also an important medium for social commentary. Irans film industry became one of the finest in the world, with festivals of Iranian films being held annually throughout the world. Fajr Film Festival is arranged annually in Tehran and has gained international recognition in recent years. Iranian and foreign films are screened and are awarded.
The nearest thing to the theater in Iran used to be the religious re-enactment of holy stories, known as tazie, but theater in European style was introduced to Iran only in the second decade of the 20th century. Initial work was concentrated in Tehran and Rasht. The quick advent of cinema and, later, television in Iran soon after the introduction of theater left little initial opportunity for the latters development.
The first cinema hall was constructed in Tehran in the late 1920s. However, foreign films were the only source for cinemas, and these were shown with sub-titles. Dubbing into the Persian began in 1948, while serious shooting of Iranian films did not begin until 1950. Iranian Young Cinema society was founded in 1974 and its statute officially was approved by the then Supreme Consultative of Culture & Art in 1975. But it was after the Islamic Revolution of Iran that the society started its activities with new policies and aims in 1985 which as follows, to flourish the creativities and talents of the enthusiastic youths who are interested in film making and photography, to train the enthusiastic youths in order to improve their cine culture, to conduct the processes of film making, and amateur photography in Iran.
In the beginning, Iranian Young Cinema Society mainly focused its activities on producing 8 & 16 mm films through establishing training courses, thereafter, holding regional and annual festivals were also taken into Consideration in the frame of its programs. The society started its activities along with its four offices in Tehran and at the present time the society has established fifty branches throughout the country.

  

 

 

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