Persian Music Creatively: learning through the work of Saba

In this course we will explore the Persian/Iranian tradition through the legacy of one of the most enterprisingly creative musicians of his time, Abolhassan Saba (died 1957). Saba is an inspiring figure for many reasons beyond his study of the Dastgah with the iconic Mirza Abdollah. He was a multi-instrumentalist on a very high level (kamancheh, ney, santour, tombak, setar, tar, and violin); he customized European notation for Persian music; he composed, and encouraged his pupils to compose (also playing their compositions himself); he developed a personalized approach to teaching, composing didactic pieces for his pupils; he added ‘gushes’ to the Radif and he published at least two versions of the Radif (one tailored for santur, the other for violin).

In our 3 sessions, this rich legacy will guide us as we explore the most important features of Persian Dastgah music, and investigate how they can be most creatively brought to life today. Through carefully-selected pieces we will take a fresh perspective on the Dastgah system, on compositional approaches, and on the realization of existing repertoire.

The course is open to everyone regardless of their level of experience with Iranian music. Please get in touch if you are unsure whether the course is right for you.

Timing: 3 x 2-hour meetings, 1, 4, 8 March, 15:00 GMT.
Price: £72 (registration open through 1 March).