Persia’s Music of its Golden Age Right Before Islam’s Takeover

Persia’s Music of its Golden Age Right Before Islam’s Takeover



          There was a time, a golden age, where an empire ruled Persia/Iran from the year 224 to the year 651. This empire ruled Persia and had the golden age of music in the country’s history before Islam. This empire is called the Sasanian Dynasty and
Sasanian music occurred under this empire. This type of music had a lot of cultural significance back in the Sasanian days, and even is valued today. The Sasanid Dynasty was the last Empire in Persia to exist before the rise of Islam.

Origins of Sasanian music:

          The origins of this genre of music came from the beginning of the Sasanian Dynasty. Religion was very important to the people living in the country. The religion of the Sasanian regime was Zoroastrianism which got brought back after Hellenic Parthian rule of Persia.

           Zoroastrianism became the state religion of the Sasanian Dynasty, which exposed more citizens to the Avesta (the religious text of Zoroastrianism) and the Gathas (which are multiple Avestan hymns). It is rumored that these hymns were sung in the country, even though there is no hard proof of this occurring. It has also been said by Herodotus (a Greek historian) that these Gathas have been chanted at religious sacrifices. The Zoroastrianism religion is important to Sasanian music because this religion has been heavily integrated into the country’s system and culture.

           Some leaders of the state have also been fascinated with music, and have taken action to integrate music into Sasanian’s popular culture, religion, and probably even more parts of the society. Ardasir I (the first king of the Sasanian Dynasty who reigned 224-241), created an upper class called the “Parthian Gosan”. This class was the class of talented artists, and musicians. This new class gave even higher value to music and art in the society of the Sasanians.


          Another king, Bahram V Gor (who reigned 420-438) increased the power of the class and hired another 12,000 singers who were from India. There was also another Sansanian king, Kosrow II (who reigned 590-628). He ruled during the peak golden age of the Sasanian music in Persia. In a boat with a group of a harpist band, Kosrow II is holding a bow with arrows. Another harpist band is on a second boat, while multiple musicans play on the shore at Taq-e Bostan in Persia.


Instruments used for Sasanian Music:

Various instruments were used to create music back in Sasanian days. Some of the instruments used were the Daf, the drum, the flute, and the harp.

Daf Instrument Above ^

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