Iranian Music project

An Entry to Iranian Music

Curated by Aman Askarizad

Museum of Impossible Forms is excited to announce An Entry to Iranian Music, an eight-session workshop as part of our Alternate Pedagogy program and to further the curatorial focus of ‘The Atlas of Lost Beliefs (For Insurgents, Citizens and Untitled Bodies)’. Mif has invited Aman Askarizad to devise a series of lectures, workshops, and performances, jointly conducted by Farshad Sanati, Aman Askarizad and guest lecturers.

This course will provide nuanced and detailed introductions to several important fundamentals and advanced concepts of Iranian Music.In our workshops with an engaging and interactive method, the participants will obtain a holistic knowledge about the history, characteristics, scales and modes, rhythms and instruments of Iranian music.‘Oriental Music’, ‘Eastern Music’–as terms–often simplify complex genres of music and sound in various regions of the Middle East and Asia. The project tends to dispel simplifications and generalisations by providing in-depth look into Iran’s music, its history, its symbiotic relationships with other forms of music in the region that have been otherwise categorized as ‘Oriental music’.

Please note:

  • Several sessions for this course require signing up. Further reading material and detailed information may be provided after signing up.
  • Accompanying performances are open to public. All the sessions are free to attend.

Participate by filling this form


deadline for application 18.07.2020


Rhythm & Percussions in Iranian Music

Friday, 07.08.2020

Lecture and workshop led by Pasha Karami.

In the first part of the session, Pasha Karami will talk about rhythm in Iranian music and introduce Tonbak, Iranian percussion instrument.

This session is for signed up participants and requires a background in music.

In the second part of the session, our guest lecturer will introduce and perform his invented percussion instrument, the Shahzarb.

This performance is open to the public.

Pasha Karami (1979) is an Iranian Tombak player and hand drummer based in Sweden. He started learning Tombak at the age 13 under the supervision of the great Master Navid Afghah. Pasha has been active on the Iranian classical music scene, he has always explored beyond the frameworks of Iranian Classical music. He has played extensively as a Tombak player and hand drummer within various projects encompassing jazz, contemporary and world music. Having lived in the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and Sweden for over a decade helped him to entwine Iranian percussions with the contemporary repertoire. He invented instrument Shahzarb (Globe-tombak)which added another dimension to the percussion instruments and his music experience.

History of Music in Iran

Saturday, 15.08.2020

Lecture by: Aman Askarizad & Farshad Sanati

An introduction to the History of music in Iran. We will discuss the works of musicians and intellectuals in the middle ages, and the formation of the Dastgah System and existing repertory of Iranian music, the Radif.

This session is open to the public.

Aman Askarizad (b.1986 Iran) is a Visual Artist, photographer and musician based in Helsinki. He started learning music at the age of 15 and had his first concert in 2010. In Finland he’s had solo and group performances and collaborates with ‘Road Ensemble’, playing Tar and Setar with them since 2017. In his works, as an artist or organiser, he intends to dismantle the dominant narratives and representations within their socio-political contexts.

Farshad SanaatiIs a musician and musicologist, started playing Santour (Persian classical instrument) 20 years ago in Iran, he learned Iranian classical music repertoire (Radif) from Maestro Majid Kiani and contemporary Santour planning from Maestro Ardavan Kamkar. He gained a degree in Music, Mind and Technology from University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. He founded Road Ensemble in 2015 and have had several performances, lectures and workshops all over Finland about Persian and Kurdish music.

The Dastgah System 1: Intervals & Structure

Saturday, 29.08.2020

Lecture by Farshad Sanati.

This lecture will delineate different attitudes towards the intervals and characteristics of Iranian Music and compare them to Turkish/Arabic Music. Farshad will  describe the concept of ‘Tetrachords’ and provide practical demonstrations of the different tetrachords and scales.Through musical samples, participants will be Introduced to various components of the Radif (7 Dastgah & 5 Avaz from Radif).

This session is for signed up participants and requires a background in music.

The Dastgah System 2: Composition & Improvisation

Saturday, 12.09.2020

Conducted by Farshad Sanati 

An advanced analysis of a Dastgah. Farshad will demonstrate the functionality of the concepts introduced in the first session, such as components of the Dastgah (Gusheh) and the notion of Shahed or Tonic notes in it. Dastgah-e-Shur, also known as the Mother of Dastgahs, as a case study will demonstrate how changing of modes and movement between different Dastgahs are possible. This session is for signed up participants and requires a background in music.In the second part of the session, Farshad Sanati will perform an improvisation in Shur mode.

This performance is open to public.

Contemporaneity in Iranian Music

Saturday, 26.09.2020

Lecture via skype by Sina Mousavi Fard (Iran)

In this session the notion of contemporaneity in Iranian music and among Iranian musicians will be discussed. Sina Fard analyzes the works of a few selected musicians and outlines the contemporary attempts and experiments within Iranian music scene.We continue the session with Q&A.

This session is open to the public.

Sina Mousavi Fardholds a master of Composition from Tehran University of Art, and is a composer and university lecturer in Composition, Classical Harmony, Tonal Counterpoint, Music Analysis, and History of Western Music in the Department of Music at Lahijan Islamic Azad University, in Lahijan, Iran. He is one of the panel managers and collaborators of Tehran Contemporary Music Festival.

Geography of Instruments in Iran

Saturday, 10.10.2020

Led by Aman Askarizad and Farshad Sanati. Guest Artist: Pouyan Biglar (Iran)  

A historical and geographical background of Instruments shared in the region, and we introduce technical dimensions of the instruments used in Iranian music. Pouyan Biglar, a prominent musician and improviser from Iran is invited to introduce Tar and Setar to our participants. We Introduce a range of instruments which are used in Iran to our participants, such as the Tar, Setar, Santur, Tanbur, Ney, Kamancheh, and violin, in a practical session where they can hold, play with, and familiarise themselves with these instruments. This is followed by a series of public performances with the invited guest instrumentalists. 

This session is for signed up participants and requires a background in music.

Pouyan Biglar(b. 1982) is an Iranian musician, Song writer and composer and TAR & SETAR player. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Music conservatory Of Iran and then Graduated with masters degree in music from Art university of Tehran. He has been on stage in numerous concerts, as solo/duet improvisation and group and orchestral performances in Iran and around the world and has collaborated with renown masters of Iranian Music.

Sonic Experiments and Iranian Music

Saturday, 24.10.2020

Guest Artist: Arash Pandi (IR/DEN)

Arash Pandi, an Iranian experimental electronic musician – sound artist/ teacher based in Copenhagen will perform his audio-visual set, “Exotic Paradox” and give a lecture on the whole code-based and live production process of music. He will share how he wrote some programs that allowed him to reach microtonal intervals of Persian Dastgah music system and do sound synthesis and intense electronic production on them later on.

This session is open to the public.

Arash Pandiis an Iran-born experimental electronic musician – sound artist/ teacher based in Copenhagen. I’ve studied bachelor of sound design at Sonic College in Denmark. He has been involved in different activities in music and performing arts such as Composing and performing music, producing and engineering, sound design for radio, film and Theatre, creative programming, installations and teaching. In his new works he experiments new approaches to electronic music in Iranian musical scales.

Then & Now: Improvisation & Performance

Date to be confirmed

Final Improvisation & performance by participants + guest artists

In this last session, our participants can present their take from lectures. We also invite a few more Iranian instrumentalists and musicians to take part in this session to improvise with workshop participants.

This session is open to the public.

This session will be conducted as part of the Museum of Impossible Forms Agitate-Educate-Organise Festival 2020 (more information about this soon).

Museum of Impossible Forms is a cultural space, located in Kontula, Helsinki. It is a contested Space and it represents a contact zone, a space of unlearning, formulating identity constructs, norm-critical consciousness and critical thinking. Impossible Forms are those that erase and facilitate the process of transgressing the boundaries/borders between art, politics, practice, theory, the artist and the spectator. For 2019-2020, Museum of Impossible Forms operates under the curatorial theme of ‘The Atlas of Lost Beliefs (For Insurgents, Citizens and Untitled Bodies)’.

Museum of Impossible Forms is a Safer Space. We follow a  Safer Space policy to create a welcoming, inclusive, awesome environment.

Events at the Museum of Impossible Forms are completely free and accessible without prior booking.

Museum of Impossible Forms is accessible by lift with thresholds up to 4cm on the way. The toilet has no thresholds but is not spacious enough to meet accessibility standards. The nearest accessible toilet is located at Kontula metro station.

𝑨𝒏 𝑬𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒚 𝒕𝒐 𝑰𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒂𝒏 𝑴𝒖𝒔𝒊𝒄 will start with a lecture by Official Mohsen Namjoo on 𝗿𝗵𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗺 𝗶𝗻 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗽𝗼𝗲𝘁𝗿𝘆. 3.3.20 17:00…
Gepostet von An Entry to Iranian Music am Mittwoch, 26. Februar 2020

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Gepostet von An Entry to Iranian Music am Sonntag, 12. Juli 2020