Autor: Majid Amani
Persian classical guitar repertoire falls largely into two categories. The first is a collection of early works by Persian composers that reflects European compositional styles and rarely show signs of the modes and melodic gestures associated with Persian traditional repertoire (radif) or folk music. A more recent trend incorporates the sounds and spirit of Persian classical music in two distinct ways: a) pieces that apply thematic material derived from Persian music, and b) pieces inspired by the improvisational aesthetics of Persian music. The main question this thesis seeks to answer is: “How can we bring performance practices associated with classical Persian music into the delivery of modern compositions based on Persian music?” In this thesis, I draw out of the literature specific sites of agency in Persian music performance practice, including but not limited to ornamentation, melodic phrasing, various types of melodic and rhythmic variation, and intonation. Through a comparative study of recordings, I then map out the wide range of approaches to performance this agency yields and ponder how the spectrum of practices documented in this analysis might inform the delivery of five pieces written for the classical guitar: Khorasani and Nava by Mehrdad Pakbaz, Five Persian Miniatures by Dušan Bogdanović, Nam by Carlo Domeniconi, and my own composition for flute and guitar, Le Yarei. The lecture recital submitted as my major creative work presents stylisations of these compositions that draw on the findings of my performance practice analysis.