What is Radif of Persian music?

Radif of Persian music Inscribed in 2009 on the Representative UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Radif consists of two main and subsidiary sections. The main part consists of seven Dastgah, each of which has its own atmosphere and, of course, its own fans. Radif organizes melodies in a number of different tonal spaces called Dastgah. These seven Dastgah create the music of most parts of Iran including many of nostalgic songs of our childhood.

Dastgah-e Shoor in Radif on Persian music

Many of songs played during Iran festivities are made on Dastgah-e Shoor. As its name implies, the music of this Dastgah is full of passion and energy. Shoor is one of the huge Dastgah of Radif of Iranian music whose atmosphere is similar to the music of Mazandaran region. Of course, this Dastgah is also inspired by the music of central regions of Iran and Kurdistan.

Among Radif of Persian music Dastgahs, Dastgah-e Shoor is the most widespread one. Each Radif of Persian music Dastgah has a number of subsidiary songs and melodies, but Dastgah-e Shoor has some independant attachments in addition to the songs and meodies. The independent songs that are considered as Dastgah-e Shoor and each of them has independence are as follows:

  • Abu Atta
  • Bayat Turk
  • Afshari
  • Bayat Kurd
  • Dashti
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Dastgah-e Homayoun

Homayoun is a glorious and luxurious song, calm and at the same time very beautiful and charming. Based on Ruhollah Khaleghi: “Homayoun is a kind and compassionate advisor who talks to his listeners with shame and embarrassment, and advises with expressive statement such a way that no speaker is known for this skill and mastery.

Dastgah-e Isfahan Bayat

Isfahan Bayat song is one of the old Iranian songs. It is an attractive and captivating song that has a rhythm between joy and sorrow.


Mahur is the most natural step and basis of foreign music. Mahur is a song that inspires the listener with a special dignity and grandeur, and the composer uses this song to express his courage and bravery. Mahur has a special place among young people because it is related to foreign music. But overall, Mahur’s song is eloquent and happy.


Segah is one of the old songs of Iran, and its name is mentioned in the history books of Iranian music. Segah song has completely Iranian roots. Of course, Segah is used a lot among Turks, and they have a great skill in singing this song. But Persian speakers sing it differently. In both, the song is very sad and with a lot of influence and charm.


Segah and Chahargah have a special connection with each other. Chahargah is scientifically the most important position in Radif of Iranian music. This song is a comprehensive and complete representative of all the moods and traits of Iranian music. So that all the excellent traits of Iranian steps can be found together in Chahargah.

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Dastgah-e Rast Panj Gah

This Dastgah runs the least among Dastgah of Radif of Persian music. Some musicians believe that this Dastgah was designed to teach. Rast Panj Gah is a combination of other positions, and in this song you can enter all the Iranian positions. Therefore, all the emotions that are in Iranian music can be created with this Dastgah. Rast Panj Gah is perfect song; Because it has all the moods and attributes of other songs.

Dastgah-e Nava

Another Dastgah of seven Dastgah of Radif of Iranian music is Nava. It is a moderated song and has a gentle and moderate melody neither too happy nor too sad. Nava is a good song and was usually played at the end of the session. Usually, mystical poems such as Hafez’s poems are chosen for Nava because it has a great impact on the listener.

Radif of Iranian music and culture

The formation of the Radif of Persian music is generally attributed to Ali Akbar Farahani. Radif of music have changed a lot over time. Radif of Iranian music is usually taught as a single, unified set, and the masters of Radif are usually sensitive to the arrangement of Dastgah and Gusheh (melodic units). Brunontel (who worked on Radif of Persian music) looked at Radif as a cultural issue, stating that the culture of Iranian people has had an impact on Radif of music, which can be said to include the following:

  • Class system: People follow the king / leader, university professors follow the dean, and families are patriarchal.
  • Individualism: Imitation is not good, and being different is considered as value.
  • Compliments: In informal matters, the main person or the first speech comes, but the more formal the situation, the more the main words are pushed to the end, and the main speaker is usually the last person.