Thursday 21 April 2016


Songs practicing with Master Monzavi: starting by Biate Esfahan

Two wonderful voices, Guity jan and Nahid jan

One of the last songs to practice: Djahane Ziba, Biate Esfahan

Dastgāh (Persianدستگاه‎‎) is a musical modal system in traditional Persian art music. Persian art music consists of twelve principal musical modal systems or dastgāhs; in spite of 50 or more extant dastgāhs, theorists generally refer to a set of twelve principal ones. A dastgāh is a melody type on the basis of which a performer produces extemporised pieces.

Short summary[edit]

Each dastgāh consists of seven basic notes, plus several variable notes used for ornamentation and modulation. Each dastgāh is a certain modal variety subject to a course of development (sayr) that is determined by the pre-established order of sequences, and revolves around 365 central nuclear melodies known as gushehs (each of these melodies being a gusheh) which the individual musician comes to know through experience and absorption. This process of centonization is personal, and it is a tradition of great subtlety and depth. The full collection of gushehs in all dastgāhs is referred to as the radif. During the meeting of The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of the United Nations, held between 28 September – 2 October 2009 in Abu Dhabiradifs were officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.[1][2][3][4]
The dastgāh system has been a major influence in the maqam system in the Arabic music, both of which are deeply rooted in the Sassanid Persia's melodies which entered into the Islamic world following the Arab conquest of Iran in the 7th century.
The system of twelve dastgāhs and gushehs has remained nearly the same as it was codified by the music masters of the nineteenth century, in particular Mîrzā Abdollāh Farāhāni (1843–1918). No new dastgāh or large gusheh has been devised since that codification. When in the modern times an āvāz or dastgāh has been developed, it has almost always been through borrowings from the extant dastgāhs and gushehs, rather than through unqualified invention. From this remarkable stability one may infer that the system must have achieved "canonical" status in Iran.[citation needed]

The terminology[edit]

The term dastgāh has often been compared to the musical mode in Western musicology. This however does not reflect the correct meaning of the term. The term can be described by noting that a dastgāh is usually the name of the initial mode of a piece of music being played which is referred to again and again and moreover a dastgāh identifies a group of modes which are grouped together according to tradition. In short, a dastgāh is both the collective title of a grouping of modes as well as the initial mode of each group.[5]
According to musicians themselves, the etymology of the term dastgāh is associated with “the position (gāh) of the hand (dast) [on the neck of the instrument],” The Persian term dastgah can be translated as "system," and dastgāh is then "first and foremost a collection of discrete and heterogeneous elements organized into a hierarchy that is entirely coherent though nevertheless flexible."[6]
In conventional classifications of Persian music, Abū ʿAṭā, Daštī, Afšārī, and Bayāt-e Tork are considered to be sub-classes of Šur dastgāh. Likewise, Bayāt-e Esfahān is defined as a sub-class of Homāyun, reducing the number of principal dastgahs to a total of seven. A sub-class in the conventional system is referred to as āvāz.

The Seven Dastgahs[edit]

Most scholars divide the traditional Persian art music to seven Dastgahs, although some divide them to 12 Dastgahs (by counting Abu Ata, Dashti, Afshari, Bayat-e Kord and Bayat-e Esfahan as separate Dastgahs rather than subcategories of other Dastgahs).[7] Those who categorize the traditional Persian art music into seven Dastgahs often also list 7 Avazes (Persianآواز‎‎, which means songs) in conjunction with these Dastgahs. The following is a list of the 7 Dastgāhs and 7 āvāzes:
  • Segāh ("third place")
  • Čahārgāh [8] ("fourth place")
  • Rāst-Panjgāh ("fifth place")
  • Šur
Bayāt-e Tork [9] (referred to as Bayāt-e Zand, before the conquest of Qajar dynasty over Zand dynasty)
Abū ʿAṭā [10]
Daštī [11]
Afšārī [12]
Bayāt-e Kord [13]
Bayāt-e Esfahān [15]
  • Navā
Note that in some cases the sub-classes (āvāzes) are counted as individual dastgāhs, yet this contradicts technicalities in Iranian music.  BAYĀT-e EṢFAHĀN, or ĀVĀZ-e EṢFAHĀN, a musical system based on a specific collection of modal pieces (gūšahā) which are performed in a particular order. According to the late 13th/19th-century author Forṣat Šīrāzī (apud Ṣafwat, p. 81), Eṣfahān was listed as one of the pieces of the modal system (dastgāh) of Homāyūn. In the twentieth century it has developed from a gūša of Homāyūn into a nearly independent dastgāh. Its smaller repertoire and cadential references to Homāyūn support the theory that it is a sub-dastgāh (āvāz, naḡma) of Homāyūn. Some theorists (Farhat, p, 164; Caron and Safvate, p. 89) believe it to be an independentdastgāh; others believe it to be derived from the dastgāh Šūr (During, p. 118).
The introductory part (darāmad) is in the mode of Eṣfahān. The scale degrees are F G Ap B C D Eb. The recitation tone (šāhed) is on C, the initial pitch (āḡāz) may be on C or G, the cadential pitch (īst) may be C or Ap, and the final pitch is on G, although earlier in the century it concluded on F.
Like other dastgāhs, Eṣfahān’s scale and modal configuration have changed over time. The mood of Eṣfahān has been described as mystical and profound, expressing a mixture of happiness and melancholy. Its current similarity to the Western minor scale has made it a much-used mode in popular and semiclassical music, where Western minor tuning is used and the Ap eliminated (Zonis, p. 87).
The important gūšas of Bayāt-e Eṣfahān are the Darāmad, Jāmadarān, Bayāt-e Rājeʿ, ʿOššāq, Šāhḵatāʾī, Sūz-o-godāz, and Maṯnawī. Bayāt-e Rājeʿ is one of the most important gūšas, and has a slightly different modal character than the Darāmad. ʿOššāq, also very important, represents a distinct modulation. Šāhḵatāʾī, which is modally close to ʿOššāq, expresses the high pitch area (awj) of the dastgāh, cadencing to Eṣfahān at its conclusion. Both Sūz-o-godāz and Maṯnawī have modal configurations similar to Eṣfahān.
N. Caron and D. Safvate, Iran: Les traditions musicales, Berlin, 1966, pp. 88-91.
J. During, La musique iranienne: Tradition et évolution, Paris, 1984, pp. 118-19.
H. Farhat, The Dastgah Concept in Persian Music, Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 1965, I, pp. 164-75; II, pp. 355-58.
M. Forsat Šīrāzī, Boḥūr al-alḥān, ed. ʿA. Zarrīnqalam, Tehran, 1345 Š./1966.
M. Karīmī (coll.), Radīf-e āvāzī-e mūsīqī-e sonnatī-e Īrān, transcribed and analyzed by M.-T. Masʿūdīya (Massoudieh), Tehran, 1357 Š./1978, pp. 83-97.
R. Ḵāleqī, Naẓar-ī be-mūsīqī II, Tehran, 1352 Š./1973, pp. 207-14.
K. Khatschi, Der Dastgah: Studien zur neuen persischen Musik, Regensburg, 1962, pp. 102-03.
M. Maʿrūfī, Radīf-e haft dastgāh-e mūsīqī-e īrānī, Tehran, 1352 Š./1973 (s.v. Bayāt-e Eṣfahān).
M. Sadeghi, Improvisation in Nonrhythmic Solo Instrumental Contemporary Persian Art Music, M.A. thesis, California State University, Los Angeles, 1971, pp. 35, 60, 62-63.
D. Ṣafwat, Ostādān-e mūsīqī-e Īrān wa alḥān-e mūsīqī-e īrānī, Tehran, 1350 Š./1971, pp. 74-99.
E. Zonis, Classical Persian Music: An Introduction, Cambridge, Mass., 1973, pp. 86-88.
(M. Caton)
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: December 15, 1988
This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 8, pp. 884-885



There is nothing comparable to the feeling of pride when I connect interesting people, specially artists together! The artists have their own cocoon and it is hard to connect them together if it is not coming from their own choice or will!

I am honored to be trusted to be the person who dares to invite a friend artist to the world of another artist! Why? Because, I simply love the arts and artists!!!

First, I just wanted that my dear friend Kitty Holley and her (our now!) wonderful friends, Marie-Anges and Pascal to see the wonders of Montreal! I wanted them to see the French and English feeling of Montreal. All turned to be the most surprising and the most emotional contacts I had ever dared to create!

I had talked about Kitty and friends and had said to Ira that I will suggest my friends to join us for the Monday night singing while I had said to Kitty that I would ask Ira if she would have been open to it! The artists know themselves and understand that they cannot just walk in the world of other artists without being closely invited!

Even though I was sure that they were welcomed but I still hoped that the French-English ...could be fun! Pascal had lots of work and he decided not to come. Good point, Kitty and Marie-Ange loved dogs and for sure they did not know that Snoop and Pucci were quite special dogs!!!

Yes, the beginning was reading the question marks in the faces and the words of  everybody! Kitty by nature was quiet, Ira, was going out and coming in, for a cigarettes or phone calls, Ritza and Jane right away started speaking French and asking questions while Cecile arrived and with Ira they took a century to come in (they chatted outside of the sining room!). Finally, they come in and a few cold conversations, I try to see how it could be possible that we all become naturally ourselves instead of being somewhere by ourselves and not connected.

We practiced a bit and when we all sang our solos, something very special happened, all of us sang beautifully and impressed our two wonderful encouraging guests!   

The magical moments were happening; I said to Ira that Marie-Ange had sang beautifully at the Vernissage at Trois-rivieres. As my guests knew that Ira was originally from Bulgaria, M-A asked Ira if she could sing a Bulgarian song! Ira surprised all of us by her CD of her contemproray composition of some of Bugarian melodies! Kitty and M-A were just so absorbed that they wanted her to continue her artistic energies and creativity in singing these kind of special music. Kitty said that she was from a musician family and what we were doing and Ira s music were quite unique. And after the class, Ira asked M-A to sing and it was the bonheur...a kind of real connection through voice as an exceptional instrument through feeling and expressions...

Here the photographs which talk the moments of  sharing the moments of JOY!

Ira so amazed by our amazing guests...! 

La grande complicite between the artists and a strong friendship ....

And, Kitty no more place left to satisfy the unlimitted demand of Snoop....and Cecile makes me laugh about something about Snoop who had leek all the clementines on the table (we let Snoop eat them all after all!)...

Snoop, <Of course, it is about me...and I am a part of this conversation...>!

Ira offered posters of Red Riding Hood to our guests who offered to Ira their CD and drawing....

Tuesday, our guests had museums and we had dinner together later and Bahram brought us to Mont Royal to show the view...

Une des plus belles bouquets de tulipes que j ai jamais recu par mes fantastiques amis, Kitty, Marie-Ange et Pascal to Bahram and me!

And, here the day of all we can enjoy! 
Starting by breakfast at home, inviting Maya to join us at Park or Victoria hall to see our Tai-chi friends and do Tai-chi...

Visiting Westmount park, then, driving to East to la Maison de la Culture de Maisonneuve for visit the wonderful team of Petits-bonheur...quel bonheur, the contact! Marion make a tour of the Cultural center with my guests while I was talking to dear Sylvie and Pierre and our surprise for the artists coming to Manoir Ville Marie soon for the festival!

At Victoria Hall of Westmount, activity center...

We followed Tammy for Tai-chi...extremely happy to see her, Maya and Sharon whose birthday was a few days before and we sang happy birthday for her...such a beautiful Happy Birthday...
Sharon so multicultural and always ready to talk French and of course my dear guests spoke English, too!
The connections were excellentes because I knew that they are made to be friends!!!

In the Westmount Park, after Tai-chi a few photographs style Zen!

Photograph and copy right: Shahrzad Ghaffari, 20 April 2016

Photograph and copy right: Shahrzad Ghaffari, 20 April 2016

Photograph and copy right: Shahrzad Ghaffari, 20 April 2016

Photograph and copy right: Shahrzad Ghaffari, 20 April 2016

With Marion, Maison de la Culture Maisonneuve, Petits-Bonheurs...

With Sylvie Demers ...

At Market Atwater before going to the airport!

Shahrzad est enchantée de votre visite et vous invite à partager votre art de sagesse,...

Bonjour aux Artistes et Artisans de la vie!!! C'est un grand plaisir de partager avec vous ma passion de vivre l'équilibre en harmonie avec la liberté grâce à la comprehension de ma place et la place de l'autrui dans cette univers...
Alros, je vous remercie pour être vous, pour votre générosité et l'ouverture, joignons à cette foire aux merveilles avec nos oeurves crées par la Passion et Tendresse pour la VIE...

Manoir Ville Marie, ce Cocoon de Paix pour beaucoup de clients réguliers qui y offrent leurs présences authentiques!!! Alors, dormir au Manoir Ville Marie est une expérience à la fois paisible et intéressante.

Participez au tirage d'un Certificat de Cadeau d'une nuit pour deux au Manoir Ville Marie':

Tous les deux mois, il vas avoir un tirage (le premier étant le pre,mier septembre 2011) et le nom du gagnant serait annoncé. sur ce weblog

*Racontez-moi un poème, une petite histoire de sagesse de maximum 500 mots, ou une photo, une peinture...

Je remerci mon très cher fils, Sépandat Stéphane (qui a le regardl très profond sur l'univers et ses êtres) pour m'avoir encourager (plutôt forcé) de faire ce blog en rapport avec mes amis Manoir Ville Marie.

Je remerci mon très cher fils, Maziar Marc (qui a le regard minutieux sur ll'univers et ses êtres) pour m'a aidé (plutôt forcer) d'avoir le courage d'apprendre comment faire ce weblog, toujours disponible pour sa mère, Maziar est un excellent guide et proffesseur.

Enfin, je remerci mon cher mari et compagnon de vie, Bahram Bernard pour m'encourage d'essayer de faire court et simple!!!

A cette étape de ma vie, je crois que la fiérté de l'être humain est dans sa Compréhension de l' cette Compréhension nous guide vers la Conscience qui se manifeste souvent par les Arts, La Créativiyé ou nos Actions. Où La Paix est présente, elle y est présente également.

. Les textes et photos publiés sur ce blog sont mes propres créations et comme tous les arts peuvent être naîfs maintenant et plus mature plutard!!! Vous allez avoir une part précieux dans mon évolution artistique par vos commentaires.

. Je jongle entre trois langues, alors, pardonnez mes erreurs et si vous souhaitez apporter des corrections, j'en serais ravie (envoyez-moi vos corrections et je les appliquerez) et je vous en serrais très reconnaissante.

... Au fur et à mesure que vous allez me connaitre à travers mon regard sur la VIE, l'univers et le monde..

Je vous aime et j'ai hâte de vous décourvir par votre ART...


About Me

J'ai toujours été ravie de mon prénom Shahrzad شهرزاد qui avait été choisi par ma chère mére, un être exceptionnel que j'appelle madar en persan. Quand j'ai appris que Shahrzad voulait dire:'Caractère Libre', j'ai sourri...quand j'ai lu l'histoire de Shahrzad, j'ai encore, quand j'ai appris que Shahrzad était dans la Perse antique la déesse de l'apprentissage (ou quelque chose similaire,à confirmer), j'ai me suis demandée comment ma mère savait que ce prénom allait tellement bien à sa fille Shahrzad!