Music has always been a part of Persian culture, being shared among tribes and preserved for today’s modern Iranians to cherish. Within the Persian culture, are included many “micro-cultures,” from which variations of beautiful Persian music has arisen over time.
Regions of Shiraz and other parts of Fars are known for their Qashqai music and are a large part of Iranian culture, being centrally located in Iran. These tribes brought their Qashqai dances and Sabounati rhythms to Iranian music. The music of the Lur tribes from the Zagros region was also incorporated into traditional Iranian music. These musical influences all came from regions which fall within the borders of present-day Iran.
Other musical influences stem from Iranian groups outside of the country’s current boundaries. Music of the Kurdish people known as Kurdi music, for instance, is performed in the western areas of Iran, as well as southern parts of Turkey, northern Iraq and parts of Syria. Music is central to the Kurdish culture and lifestyle.
Husavi is a music culture which hails from the Iranian province of Khuzestan and is also performed in parts of Basra, Iraq and small countries in the southern Persian Gulf. The music in these areas has particular qualities in relation to rhythm and is characteristic of Bushehri Music.
Iranians from the southeastern parts of Iran have a unique musical culture which is also enjoyed by locals in the south of Pakistan and some of the northern provinces of India as well. The music in this region has fundamental differences, the most important being the use of Raga, a unique sounding scale, in their melodies.
The Great Khorasan is a major cultural zone in Iran including Razavi Khorasan and also parts of northern Khorasan. It also extends up to the northern parts of countries such as Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and other areas of Central Asia. Turkmen music culture stems from various parts of northern Khorasan, Golestan Province and large parts of the modern Turkmenistan. The dotar, a two-stringed lute, is a popular instrument played by musicians in the region and brings a lovely tone to their music.
Mazani and Gilani music are performed in both the Mazandaran and Gilan provinces in Iran but also extend to countries around the Caspian Sea and areas of other provinces to the north of the Alborz Mountain range. Music is a vital part of the lifestyle in this region and musicians perform using local musical instruments. Mazani and Gilani music cover a great variety of songs, beautiful melodies, and traditional dances.