Music & Melodies of the Persian Ismaili qasideh — Institute of Ismaili studies UK

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Music & Melodies of the Persian Ismaili qasideh

Double finispiece from the 'Diwan' of Sultan Ibrahim Mirza.

Double finispiece from the Diwan of Sultan Ibrahim Mirza, Opaque Watercolor, Iran, Qazvin, 1582.
© Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Catalogue: Spirit and Life

The tradition of devotional poetry amongst the Ismailis in Iran, known as qasidas, is part of the broader literary tradition of Persia found among other Muslim traditions as well. As the traditional Persian music is closely associated with Persian poetic literature, certain tonalities of Persian music have been used for recitation and singing of poetry, depending on the content and occasion of a poem. Each tonality is said to relate to a particular feeling or moment.

The Ismaili devotional literature in contemporary Iran is invariably recited in some of these tonalities, including certaingushas of Bayat-i Isfahan, Shushtari, Homayoun and Se-gah. This gallery attempts to provide an overall understanding of the structure of Persian musical traditions, which have…

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