BiographyMusicBooksEducationalGalleryContactFarsi PagesLinks


At a glance


1.      Twenty Folk Songs of Fârs; Tehran, Chang 1984; Mâhoor 1994.kjkj

2.      Haft Orang (Essays on Iran’s Regional Music), Tehran, Hozeye Honari 1991.

3.      A View on the West (An account of the influence of the western music on Iran’s regional music) Tehran, Mâhoor 1994.

4.      Tradition and Cultural Alienation in Iranian Music, Tehran, Hozeye Honari 1994.

5.      An Introduction to the Knowledge of Iranian Regional Music (Vol. 1: Hormozgân, Bushehr & Khuzestân) Tehran, Hozeye Honari 1994.

6.      Nowruzkhâni (Songs of Nowruz and spring, from various regions of Iran) Tehran, Ârvin 1996.

7.      On Art and Literature (Nâser Hariri’s interview with Mohammad Rezâ Darvishi) Tehran, Âvishan & Goharzâd 1994.

8.      Âyne va Âvâz [Mirror and Song](A set of essays about Iran’s Regional Music) Tehran, Hozeye Honari 1998.

9.      In Memory of Eghbâl (Prelude for the piano) Tehran, Chang 1984.

10.  Âvâze Sahar (Trio for two clarinets and the piano) Tehran, Ârvin 1997.

11.  Music and Trance: Dhikrs of the Gwâti ceremony, Baluchestân; Mâhoor 1999.

12.  The Encyclopaedia of the Iranian Musical Instruments, Vol. 1 (Chordophones in Regional Music), Tehran, Mâhoor 2000.

13.  From amongst Songs and Silences: Selected writings and speeches, Tehran, Mahoor 2000.

14.  Where’s Leyli? (Brief reflections on music and culture), Mâhriz 2004.

15.  Over the Iranian Music (Mohsen Shahnâzdâr’s interview with Mohammad Rezâ Darvishi), Tehran, Ney Publisher 2004.

16.  The Encyclopaedia of the Iranian Musical Instruments, Vol. II (Idiophones and Membranophones in Regional Music) Tehran, Mâhoor 2005.




1. Twenty Folk Songs of Fârs; Tehran, Chang 1984; Mâhoor 1994.

First edition, 1984, in 110 pages

Second edition, 1994, in 125 pages (by Mahoor publications)


Twenty folk songs of Fârs is the first book published from M.R. Darvishi. It contains the following:


1.     Preface

2.     Introduction 

-         Music among Qashqâyi people

-         On Music, poetry and songs

-         On the style of poems

3.     Twenty folk songs of Fârs: transcriptions alongside poems

4.     Songs – comparisons with traditional Radifs     

5.     Fârs folk songs – analyses of the poems

6.     Bibliography of Fârs


In preface, the author notifies the demand for verbal cultures and the causes of the documentation of songs:

“Collection and documentation of Iranian folk songs has not so far gained a broad scope, and despite its great importance, no remarkable attempt has made in this field prior to the last fifteen years.”

                                                          (Quoted from the preface, p. 8)


In the introduction, some invaluable matters are stated on Qashqâyi music. Next, there come several points pertaining to Fârs poetry, music and folk songs.

Chapter 3 is attributed to documentation and transcription of songs and poems.


Following an introduction underlying the author’s method, Chapter 4 gives comparisons between the songs and Gushes of Dastgâhi music Radifs.

The ending part includes the analyses of the poems in Fârs folk songs.


In this book, one can observe the author’s concerns about verbal cultures. However, the method adopted here is comparatively distinct from similar books on the subject. For instance, the section on comparison with Radifs fully depicts this difference.   


A passage from the book:

“Folk literature begins and develops along people’s efforts to meet their basics needs. First examples were simple ceremonies that were performed besides everyday tasks and activities and supposed to bring discipline and order during work time; and, sounds and tunes harmonious with the rhythm of body movements in particular jobs were the primeval songs that came to be used independently later on.”

                                                                   (From the last chapter, p.101)



2. Haft Orang (Essays on Iran’s Regional Music), Tehran, Hozeye Honari 1991.

First publication 1991, in 241 pages



In this book, the section allocated for a review of Iran’s regional music is written by M.R. Darvishi.


-         The writer of this part, following an introduction called “A second search and several notices”, brings the common concepts of the Iranian music and discusses some topics as traditional music, Radif music (Dastgâhi), Maqâmi music and folk music at last.

-         In the section of a review of Iran’s regional music, in collaboration with a number of researchers, scholars and informants, he presents various essays on the music of Iran’s different regions.

-         A short history of diverse genres and instruments in music belonging to each region makes up another section in the present edition.

-         Eventually, a section on biography of musical masters and artists of several regions of Iran brings all to an end.


“In the normal classification of genres in the Iranian music, ordinarily made by experts and even non – experts, traditional and folk music are stated as two distinct kinds of music in Iran. To bring together these two concepts has always given rise to many various insights and approaches not only in Iran, but also in all other places in the world.”

                                                                        (From the introduction, p.33)



3. A View on the West (An account of the influence of the western music on Iran’s regional music) Tehran, Mâhoor 1994.

First edition 1994, in 290 pages with illustrations


Amongst the few books of its own kind, this text addresses issues as interchanges of cultures, the influences of the western culture, and problems of identity, tradition, and modernism in Iranian music.


Subsequent to the introduction and preface, the following chapters come in turn:

First chapter: The branch of military music in Dârolfunun order – Technical schools

-         Military music

-         Documents and pictures

Second chapter: Orchestra

-         Including three attachments of composers, major conductors of the symphonic orchestra and the names of this orchestra from its establishment

-         Documents and pictures 

Third chapter: Stage music (Opera, Operetta, Chorals, Ballet, Dance)

Part 1. Secondary issues

-         Opera – its history in Europe

-         Ta’ziye – National religious spectacles of dramatic and musical nature in Iran

Part 2. Stage music in Iran (Opera, Operetta and Chorals)

Part 3. Stage music in Iran (Dance and Ballet)

Part 4. Documents and pictures

Fourth chapter: The school of the master Alinaqi Vaziri

-         His life

-         His career following return from Europe

-         His opinions and attitudes


As the title of the book implicates, the author, knowing as a fact the penetrability of cultures and the impact of the western culture on Iran in the area of music, investigates into some major topics in the field. Various sections of this text discuss the most important areas of concern in several domains of the Iranian music

According to the author, “the very influence of the western music in Iran ought to be traced genuinely from the Qajar period onwards…. That to what extent the Iranian music could and can enjoy the impacts of the western music is a subject worth a great deal to study…. Since impacts as such possess a vast scope and numerous dimensions, inevitably this text is only able to deal with the most significant currents and trends in music that have been influenced as yet.”


                                                          (Quoted from the text, pp. 24 – 25)


The introduction, here, is devoted to plainly state the viewpoints of the author. There, he calls attention to the necessity of understanding the core of the western thought and profound scrutiny into it, along with stressing the oriental manner of contemplation that bears upon interpretation and mysticism.

“Thoughtless occidentalism and indisputable orientalism overwhelmed by ignorance are two sides of the same coin and two faces of a reality with hypothetically different natures that altogether constitute a, say, double ignorance.”


                                                                   (From the introduction, p.15)




4. Tradition and Cultural Alienation in Iranian Music, Tehran, Hozeye Honari 1994.



5. An Introduction to the Knowledge of Iranian Regional Music (Vol.1: Hormozgân, Bushehr & Khuzestân) Tehran, Hozeye Honari 1994.

First edition 1994, in 167 pages with illustrations



Southern areas (Hormozgân, Bushehr, Khuzestân) 

This book is comprised of an introduction and three separate parts.


1. Music of Hormozgân

Southern coast inhabitants

-         Followers of Havâ (Zâr, Nowbân, Livâ)

-         Songs and melodies of wedding and merry festivites

-         Ta’ziye, Sharve

-         Diversity of regulations, musical forms and instruments (Bandar abbâs, Bandar lenge and Kong, Qeshm, Hormoz and Minâb)


2. Music of Bushehr

-         Religious music (Beyt, Monâjât, Châvoshi, Azâ – ye Zanâne [women mourning], Dom Dom Sahari)

-         Non – religious music (Sharve, Bidguni, Jangnâme, Mowludkhâni, Merry songs, Yazle, Work songs)

-         Instrumental music, instruments

-         Dance

-         Havâ followers


3. Music of Khuzestân

-         Historical record

-         Shushtar and Dezful

-         Traditional Arab music

-         Kolihâ [gypsies]

-         Zâr


In the introduction, the author puts emphasis on any investigation into the music of Iran’s regions. Quite as observed in the introduction, the purpose of this publication was to bring pupils, musical students and young researchers into closer contact with older and nearly defunct cultural treasures of Iranian regional music. As the goal here was a preliminary familiarization, “Any documentation, analysis and contrasts between tunes are avoided and there only goes in a simple tone an introduction to musical forms, rituals, songs and instruments of every region.”


                                                                                                                                (From the introduction, p. 12)


This is a book of much learning and attraction for Iranian regional music enthusiasts, scholars and advocates of cultural issues over Iran’s regions. In fact, one could come into a closer contact with the music and musical culture of three regions of Iran. Finally, a list of place and people’s names together with musical and book indices end up the whole volume.




6. Nowruzkhâni (Songs of  Nowruz and spring, from various regions of Iran) Tehran, Ârvin 1997.

First edition 1997, in 67 pages


A distinctive edition in a rather small format that might seem a little peculiar, but has thus become irregular and curious




1.     Preliminary

2.     The feast of Nowruz

3.     Nowruzkhâni and spring songs


-         The rite of Nowruzkhâni

-         Spring songs

-         Dasgâhi Radif s

-         Obsolete spectacles and little displays

-         Table of transcription

-         Nowruz and spring songs (songs of Gilân, Tâlesh, Mâzandarân, south Khorâsân and Bastak)


Nowruzkhâni is a selection of twenty five spring and Nowruz songs from varied regions

-         In the section of Nowruz celebration and Nowruzkhâni, the writer concisely describes Nowruz customs, feasts and songs and addresses them  individually.

-         In the section of songs, 20 songs are transcribed and besides the lyrics under the transcriptions, their translation has given on the facing page.


As stated in the preliminary:


“Nowruzkhâni comprises a share in the valuable culture of Iranian regional music, explaining by the way of exemplification this grand Iranian feast and old rite, in addition to the revival of the nature and creation of life and human being.”

Due to its extraordinary format and subject, this is an interesting publication for scholars, students and lovers of Iran’s culture and literature.




7. On Art and Literature (Nâser Hariri’s interview with Mohammad Rezâ Darvishi) Tehran, Âvishan & Goharzâd 1994.

First edition 1994, in178 pages


This publication contains Hariri’s dialogue with M.R. Darvishi in May and July 1992.

Albeit without a clear cut chapters’ division, it clearly covers in a form of dialogue M. R. Darvishi’s thoughts, opinions and approaches towards such many various topics as composition, Iranian music, concepts of music, musical criticism, and culture and tradition.

The last 20 pages of this edition include a complete alphabetical index.  

Reading of this book could well reveal Darvishi’s viewpoints, attitudes and preoccupations pertaining to diverse areas of concern in culture and music until then, most of which might rather be assumed, though with more profundity and perspicacity, to have thus far held more or less unchanged. 

“In fact, no solemn fundamental endeavor has ever done on the Iranian music. The history of this music has not yet undergone its basic stages of development in research and investigation. Older treatises of the Iranian music ought to be interpreted, rectified and published, and varied versions of Radifs must also be systematically analyzed, transcribed, and compared against the other. Moreover, necessary areas of knowledge for collection and compilation of fundamentals of the Iranian music should be provided. Musical encyclopedias and dictionaries of the Iranian musical terms ought to be written…. These are no doubt an ocean of work to do. Merely playing an instrument superficially and mindlessly and making inauthentic music devoid of cultural identity would not go anywhere. The Iranian music is in need of contemplative men. Our problem is lack of thought, not lack of performer.”

                                                (From the book, pp. 153 – 154)



8. Âyne va Âvâz [Mirror and Song] (A set of essays about Iran’s Regional Music) Tehran, Hozeye Honari 1998.

First edition 1997, in 264 pages, with illustrations (16 full color pages)


Âyne va Âvâz is the title of a meeting of singers from diverse regions of Iran held from November 18th to December 16th, 1994 in Tehran. More than 320 master singers from different regions of the country participated in this event.


Mohammad – rezâ Darvishi, a scholar and also the secretary of this meeting, prepared the current book under the same title. This edition is inclusive of:


-         About Âyne va Âvâz: The text of the author’s lecture in the concluding ceremony

-         Familiarization with the Iranian regional music: A set of essays on the Iranian regional music

-          Jubilees: Four essays as tribute to great masters of the Iranian regional music

-         The list of the programs performed

-         A glance at the life of some of the artists attended

-         Pictures and photos


In the opening section, once more mention is made of the significance of the Iranian regional music and the whole topic is investigated from several countenances.

“One of the objectives of this meeting, among the others, is to draw attentions to the most fundamental and remarkable aspects of traditional art, i.e. the spirituality in the east.”

                                                              (From the introduction, p. 12)


Attention to the aesthetical measures of the Iranian music, the importance of minstrel’s life as musicianship in the music of this country, and the connections between music and linguistics, poetics, and contrastive musicology are the other matters involved therein.

In the section adopted for the essays related to the music of various regions, in addition to an examination of the music of each region with respect to its culture, and according to its history and musical culture, a brief explanation of the major instrumental and vocal Maqâms follows. The style of writing, here, is so that it could be appropriate for all readerships, and clearly gives a concise account of the Iranian regional music.




9. In Memory of Eghbâl (Prelude for the piano) Tehran, Chang 1984.



10.  Âvâze Sahar (Trio for two clarinets and the piano) Tehran, Ârvin 1997.


This trio has been written in Sahari Maqâm belonging in the regions of Iran where Tanbur prevails. Considered as a Tanbur’s primary Maqâm, this is one of the older Iranian Maqâms that are common in Kermânshâh.


Here, the composer has created a trio for the piano and two clarinets based on a free adaptation.

There is given some explanation as to the intervals and the scale used in this piece. Then, there come 14 pages of the score.

This piece was created and performed in 1996 and Darvishi dedicated it to Akbar Mohammadi (the Iranian clarinet player).




11.  Music and Trance: Dhikrs of the Gwâti ceremony, Baluchestân; Mâhoor 1999.

First edition, 1999, in 54 pages



A brief publication in a rather simple language that provides a narrative of  Baluchestân Gwâti ceremony and its music





-         Introduction

-         Memories and recollections

-         Ode of Sheykh Abdolqâder Gilâni

-         Zhekr’s of Baluchestân Gwâti ceremony (Generalities)

-         Zhekr’s of Baluchestân Gwâti ceremony (Transcription and text)

-         Zhekr’s of Baluchestân Gwâti ceremony(Pictures)


In introduction, the author explains his motive in the creation of this book besides describing the method of its compilation as well as the principal approach assumed.


-         In the section “Memories and recollections”, one observes in full a pictorial account of the author’s trip to Baluchestân and his confrontation with Gwâti ceremony.


“It was past midnight on the shore of the Omân sea and the Khamush coast that seemed more beautiful than day since in the dark of late night pains are gone and await another tomorrow, a tomorrow that is more of the same to Baluch nomads.”


                                                                                                                                  (From the section “Memories and recollections, p.14)


-         In the section under “Generalities”, through a simple and plain language, the author describes the Gwâti ceremony and gives an account of the ritual performance plus its music and instruments.

-         The text of Zhekr’s and their transcriptions in a specific method, according to the performance of Khalife Shahmir Baluch Mâldâri in Châhbahâr, makes up another section of the present volume.

-         In the end, a set of pictures from Gwâti ceremony that has added much to the content and appeal of this publication brings it to the close.



12.  The Encyclopedia of the Iranian Musical Instruments, Vol. 1 (Chordophones in Regional Music), Tehran, Mâhoor 2000.

First edition 2001, in 596 pages (and 16 pages in English)



This is the first volume of a ten – volume publication on common musical instruments in Iran. As demonstrated by the title, it is a source book in the area of Iranian musical instruments. The first volume is determined as the study of plucked and bowed chordophones.



-         Preface

-         A list of names of the artists documented

-         Introduction

Part 1. : Plucked chordophones

Part 2. : Bowed chodophones 

-         The extensive introduction of this publication is among its principal and worthwhile sections.


This section is written with due recourse to the approaches and standpoints of some great figures in musicology as Bruno Nettl, Curt Sachs and others, and includes:

-         The importance of knowledge of instruments

-         Inception of instruments

-         The symbolism of instruments: A symbolism on the basis of duality, a symbolism on the basis of the music global symbol, a symbolism on the basis of literary terms, a symbolism as for elimination of diseases and expulsion of evil spirits.

-         An account of musical instruments’ classification

-         Classification of the common Iranian instruments (Classification of musical instruments in older cultures of India, China, Greece and Iran; classification of musical instruments in older Iranian treatises: Musiqi –ye  Alkabir by Fârâbi, treatises by Ebn – e Sinâ, Kanzottoahf of Hasan Kâshâni, and all the treatises by Abdolqâder Marâqi)

-         A description of tables, the method of calculation and measurement of hands’ intervals

In the end, there is a diagram for the classification of instruments, distribution of the plucked and bowed chordophones and a map of the routes taken through all regions.


In this text, 16 plucked and 16 chordophones, chosen from various regions of Iran, are studied.  

-         Part one: Plucked chordophones: Robâb, Binjo, types of Dotâr, the instrument of Âsheqi, Âzarbâyjâni Târ, Tanbur, etc.

-         Part two: Bowed chordophones: Types of Kamânche, Sorud (Qeychak), etc.


In any region, each instrument is examined separately, and in each case the following is given:

1.     The necessary pictures

2.     Generalities: General points and principal issues concerning the region of the respective instrument together with a section on the instrument in question

3.     The physical features of the instrument, its tuning technique, and fretting, plus diagrams and tables

4.     Documentation and explanation of performance techniques, and their function, as well as the use of the instrument

5.     Titles of pieces composed for the instrument and its different parts, table of measures, terms and popular idioms concerning it

-         The geographical map concerning distribution of the instrument

-         Pictures of each instrument and its various parts


Then, there go full – color pictures of instruments and players that follow an introduction in English as the closing section.




13.  From amongst Songs and Silences: Selected writings and speeches, Tehran, Mahoor 2000.

First edition 2001, in 296 pages



This publication is a selection of essays, speeches and interviews by M. R. Darvishi in the press, gatherings and conferences during 1988 through 2000.

“I decided to demonstrate parts of my thoughts and pictures of my reflections from the last 20 years: this, of course, is a sort of externalization and at the same time a way to dispense with harmonious and, sometimes, inharmonious images, themselves comprising various fields of a human being’s mental and artistic life.”


                                                                                                                                           (From the introduction)

This book consists of three main sections:

-         Essays (essays published in the press from 1990 through 2000)

-         Speeches (inclusive of various speeches at meetings, seminars and conferences)

-         Interviews and comments (including interviews with correspondents, journalists and critics)


 Form different angels, From Amongst Songs and Silences could be a significant edition. First, it presents a whole set of already published works form the author within a fifteen year period.

Moreover, preoccupations, tendencies and attitudes of the author could well be plainly found here as one can simply gather their development over time via this book.

Finally, topics as identity, culture, necessity of knowledge and contemplation in the realm of the Iranian music are the ones emphasized within the discussions of the present book.


Titles of some essays:

-         Iranian regional music, tradition or innovation

-         Âvâz Dâd Akhtar, Bas Rowshan Ast Emshab

-         A root in hidden beats

-         We are Majnun, and Leyli the forgotten spirituality


Titles of some speeches

-         Epic and epic composition in Iranian music

-         The instrument taken as holy

-         The rite of minstrels and Nowruz tunes


Titles of some interviews

-         Winter, bitter and frozen, a grey music

-         Today’s need, yesterday’s identity

-         Stuffing thatch for between porcelain dishes

-         Iranian music and national identity


“Music, for me, is not a sort of profession, and not a career in art in its ordinary sense too. It is not also equality between art and profession. For me, music is not a means to express ones feelings and to transfer ones thoughts. For, to me, expression of feelings and transfer of thoughts are rather restricted areas of the infinite realm of life on the whole. So, music is a dispensable reason to continue living with all its dimensions; the ones that, apart from survival, are indisputably miscellaneous and intricate.

                                                                       (From a part of the book)




14.  Where’s Leyli? (Brief reflections on music and culture), Mâhriz 2004.



15. Over the Iranian Music (Mohsen Shahnâzdâr’s interview with Mohammad Rezâ Darvishi), Tehran, Ney Publisher 2004.



16. The Encyclopedia of the Iranian Musical Instruments, Vol. II (Idiophones and Membranophones in Regional Music) Tehran, Mâhoor 2005.



Under Publication


·        The Encyclopaedia of the Iranian Musical Instruments, the remaining volumes.

·        “Representations of Humor, Satire and Allusion in Iranian Regional Music” (Book and Cassette).

·        “Musicianship and Songs of Nowrouz”.

·        “Songs and Incantations of Sâhebân Meetings (Baluchestân)”.

·        “Iranian Ritual Dances” (Along the photos of Jâsem Qazbânpur).