There are plenty alternatives to western classical music...
July 5, 2010 7:42 PM   Subscribe

Listen to some great contemporary orchestrated classical Persian tunes.

With Obvious bias to group shayda and Mohammad Reza Lotfi in particular.
posted by clueless22 (12 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
. . . and thank you for posting them to MetaFilter!
posted by jason's_planet at 7:50 PM on July 5, 2010

I wish I had the ability to hear this and similar music completely devoid of my Western, chauvinist, even-tempered, tonality-demanding ear. Despite my best efforts I always feel like I can never fully appreciate it, as I am constantly subconsciously supplanting the aural framework in which it was conceived and performed with my own, which cannot fully contain it. Gamelan ensembles bring out even more of these feelings in me.........
posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy at 8:14 PM on July 5, 2010

Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy: you can do it. It's not unlike learning another language: when you first hear it, you think, "Oh boy, there are a lot of words in this other language!". I'm not great with either languages or music, so I had to start simple: learning simple words and phrases with language, and listening to simple tunes with music. Stuff that reads like children's story books; tunes and rhythms that sound like the sorts of songs taught to kids in primary school.

Before long, I was holding simple conversations, and listening to pop music. I'm not yet at the level of being able to read journal articles or rich novels, nor of being able to properly appreciate classical music, but I'm getting better all of the time.

If you've learned another language as an adult, it's no harder than that, and the process is similar. Trust me, if I can do it, you definitely can.
posted by surenoproblem at 10:16 PM on July 5, 2010


TTismyhomeboy: Listening to one or two pieces once a week until they grow on you might work, although I can sympathize if you find this too much. For something completely new, a full cd usually has enough different pieces that my brain will find one or two that I can hum on the way home from work. That might be more than you want to spend time on...

How about some Abdelli as an introduction to Arab music in general? It's not very abrasive, at least to my ear. (Yes, it's not Persian Classical music.)

Still, the way to learn to hear different scales and rhythms is to listen to them. The trick is finding something that appeals to your ear long enough for it to become familiar.
posted by sneebler at 10:26 PM on July 5, 2010

Fantastic stuff - thanks...
posted by twsf at 10:33 PM on July 5, 2010

Still, the way to learn to hear different scales and rhythms is to listen to them.

Definitely. Also, a handful of music lessons go a long way. I took some oud lessons for about a year, and can't play oud worth a damn, but it helped my ear and understanding immensely.
posted by surenoproblem at 10:47 PM on July 5, 2010

wow. this one is especially lovely. i was a bit surprised at the number of women in the ensemble. i'm not sure i've seen that before, but that's probably just my ignorance at work.

i came across an album by this lot a couple of years ago and it completely floored me.
posted by peterkins at 11:45 PM on July 5, 2010

Mmmm, many thanks. Delicious.
posted by pyrex at 2:14 AM on July 6, 2010

Listen to some great contemporary orchestrated classical Persian tunes .

Thanks to this excellent post, I've done just that, and enjoyed them thoroughly. That Shayda Group is fabulous. Not only are they incredibly skilled and tight as an ensemble, but they're also cool-as-fuck looking.

Great stuff, thanks so much for posting.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:20 AM on July 6, 2010

posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:24 AM on July 6, 2010

Thanks for posting--very interesting. (That includes the other examples mentioned in the comments).
posted by catgirl at 7:27 AM on July 6, 2010

You might also want to give Jon Silpayamanant a listen.
posted by pjern at 1:22 PM on July 6, 2010

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