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Abd al-Qadir Maraghi (East Azerbaijan)


Without any doubt, Abd al-Qadir Maraghi is one of the greatest musicians and musicologists in Iranian art history. Abd al-Qadir Ghaybi al-Maraghi, entitled Hafez or Ibn Ghaybi or Abd al-Qadir the Talker, was born in 768 AH in Maragha, an ancient city and capital of Maragha County, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran. He went to kuttab when he was 4 and at the age of 8, he memorized the Holy Quran.

As he mastered rhetoric, lexicology, syntax, eloquence, and semantics, he acquired complete knowledge of all sciences of his time. He was a poet, calligrapher, illustrator, musician, musicologist, specialist in theoretical and practical sciences in music, and Oud player. Maraghi is one of the genius in Persian art history in the middle of 8th and 9th century AH and the last theoretician in Persian classical music. It is just after him that accurate and reliable information about Persian music can be found. According to historians, Maraghi spent just his childhood and adolescence in Maragha.

Being young, he lived in the court of Sultan Hossein Jalayir in Tabriz. His artistic character includes a combination of music, poetry, calligraphy, and painting. Farmer, the British musician, wrote about Maraghi: “Abd al-Qadir followed Safi al-Din al-Urmawi in music. He played Oud well and he composed songs perfectly”. Farmer believes some pieces of Maraghi’s music, with name Kira or Ghobar is common among Turks. A music band entitled Abd al-Qadir Maraghi, under supervision of Mohammadreza Darvishi with Homayoun Shajarian as a singer, replayed some of his songs and music. He knew the Islamic calligraphy so well and he wrote in it. Although he was from Azarbaijan and he knew Turkish, he wrote in Persian and he did a great favour to the Persian language and literature. In addition to calligraphy and painting and playing Oud, he also wrote poems. The examples of his Persian and Turkish poems existed in Maqasid al-Alhan (Arabic for: Purports of Music) and some of his books in which he signed as just Abd al-Qadir.

Finally, the master Abd al-Qadir Maraghi, died of pest in Herat in 838 AH. His mausoleum is located in Herat.

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