Mahshid Mirzadeh

Persian santour

The santour, a traditional Persian instrument, is a three-octave wooden hammer dulcimer.  To learn the classical Persian repertoire of the santour, musicians study the radif, a collection of musical pieces organized into twelve modal systems and played in a specific order.  As a teaching model, the radif permits the student to learn the repertory of melodic types, technique, classical style, aesthetic principles, and rules of composition and improvisation.  Master musician Mahshid Mrizadeh began her studies at age ten at the Tehran Music Conservatory and studied with the Grand Master Framarz Payevan, among others.

In 2003, Mahshid was a master artist in ACTA's Apprenticeship Program with apprentice Samira Sahebi.  Samira used this opportunity to improve her technique and increase her knowledge of the traditional repertoire.


Click on any image to view slideshow.

Mahshid demonstrates an exercise for developing correct technique in holding the hammers and striking the strings (Photo: ACTA)
Master artist Mahshid Mirzadeh (right) and her 2003 apprentice Samira Sahebi (Photo courtesy of Mahshid Mizradeh)
Master Persian santour musician Mahshid Mirzadeh (left) and her 2003 apprentice Samira Sahebi (Photo: ACTA)
Master Persian santour musician Mahshid Mizradeh (Photo: ACTA)
The hammers of the santour are carved from a single piece of wood about 8 or 9 inches long and are quite delicate (Photo: ACTA)

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