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Parisa Badiyi  

violinist and educator, living in Germany

Parisa Badiyi.

Parisa was born in Tehran. As the daughter of well-known violinist, Rahmatollah Badiyi, she was exposed to different music styles from her early childhood.

Although as a child she began playing the piano, at age nine she entered the Music Conservatory of Tehran to study classical violin performance. In 1979 Parisa and her family moved to the Netherlands, where she continued her education and graduated from the Music Conservatory in north Holland.

Since 1989 she has lived in Germany, and is now active as an early-learning music educator for violin and piano, specialising in the Suzuki method. Parisa studied classical Persian music for violin and traditional Persian singing (áváz), under the guidance of her father.

She has performed in many parts of the world, including New York, where she was first violinist for the second Bahá'í World Congress in 1992. She has recorded (see many of her works and has plans to produce new CDs in the near future.

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About Persian music

The classical music of Iran is based on the radif, which is a collection of some 228 goushehs or old melodies. These have been handed down by the masters to the students through the generations. Over time, each master's own interpretation has shaped and added new melodies to this collection, which may bear the master's name. Most well-known musicians agree that the best and most famous radifs, for performing as well as teaching, were written by three of the masters. One was Mirzá Abdu'lláh, the first Bahá'í musician.

The preservation of these melodies greatly depended on memory and mastery, because the interpretive origin of this music was handed down only through oral tradition.

The radif contains several maqams, which is a specific sonic space (modi). The maqams are distinguished from each other by their note intervals and the form of the movement of the melodies within them. A dastgah may contain about 10 to 30 goushehs. The principal goushehs of the dastgah specify the different maqams within that dastgah. The instrumental radif and the vocal radif are different rhythmically, but their melodic structures are the same.

Persian music differs from western music in the following ways:
ˇ It uses quart-tones(1/4). A scale in western music consists of 12 chromatic and dyatonic tones
  whereas a scale in Persian music has 24 quart-tones.
ˇ It has no Polyphonic sound.
ˇ Rhythm in the melodies takes three different forms: symmetric, asymmetric, and free form.
ˇ The rhythm is greatly influenced by the rhythm and meter of the Persian poetry.
ˇ In Persian singing, there is a special trill for the voice, which gives beauty and elegance to the song.

Arts Dialogue, November 2002, page 4.

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