Persian Writing on Music
A Study of Persian Musical
Literature from 1000 to 1500 AD

By Mehrdad Fallahzadeh
August 2005
Uppsala University Press
ISBN: 9155462197
384 pages, Illustrated, 6 " x 9 "
$79.50 Paper Original


This is a Ph.D. dissertation. This dissertation attempt to understand and map the development of Persian writings on music; focusing on their various approaches and variations of topics from the beginning of the 11th century to the end of the 15th century which can be called the classical period of Persian writing on music. The rise of Persian music literature as a part of Persian learned literature was a result of the political and cultural decentralization of the Abbasid Caliphate.

Like most other genres of learned literature in Persian, translation and abridgements of and commentaries on Arabic works played a crucial role in the rise and establishment of Persian musical literature. The most important conclusions to be drawn from the present study are that we can distinguish between two main approaches in Persian writings on music, viz. the religious and non-religious approaches, and that there is a pattern in the development of Persian writings on music which provides us with a periodization of the development of this literary genre.

According to the macro periodization of Persian writings on music which is presented in this study, we can identify five different stages in the development of the genre; 1) the initial period: ca 1000-110; the first interemezzo: ca 1110 up to 1175; 3) the period of establishment: ca 1175-1299; 4) the first Golden Age of the genre: ca 1300-1435; 5) the second intermezzo: ca 1435-1500.

Music History
Studia Iranica Upsaliensia, No. 8

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