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Abolhasan Saba (Tehran)

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In 1281 SH a child was born in a family fond of science and arts. They named him Abolhasan. His father introduced to him the secrets of music. Abolhasan learned how to play the instrument Tar under masters like Mirza Abdollah and Darvish Khan, the Santur under Ali Akbar Shahi, Zarb under Haji Khan, the Kamancheh under Hossein Khan Esmail Zadeh, the flute under Akbar Khan Hangafarin, and the violin under Hossein Khan Hangafarin.

Despite all this education, when Colonel Alinaghi Vaziri returned from Europe and established the High School of Music in 1302, Abolhasan Saba, now twenty-one, began working as his pupil there. However, he quickly became one of the best students of the school, and also directed one of the classes himself. In Farvardin of 1306 SH, Abolhasan Saba and Vaziri went to Rasht to establish a Fine Arts School. He began working as its director. During his time in Rasht, which lasted for two years, he listened to local songs and music of Gilan, and obtained a rich knowledge of traditional music of this region. He was the first to gather and recreate these songs in a pleasant way. Pieces like Zard-e Malije, Deylaman, Ghasemabad traditional wood dance, Amiri Mazandarani were created during this time.

Abolhasan Saba returned to Tehran in 1310 SH and held music classes himself. Ali Tajvidi, Faramarz Payvar, Hossein Tehrani, Hosein Malek, Hasan Kasayi, Gholamhosein Banan, Mohammad Baharlu, Ebrahim Ghanbari, Rahmollah Badii, Mehdi Khaledi, Ataollah Khorram, Homayun Khorram, Dariyush Safavat and many more are all his students. Saba gradually gathered and published the traditional Radif of Iranian music in three volumes. He collaborated with Iran radio station from the first day of its establishment in Ordibehesht 1319 SH, sometimes as a player and sometimes as the conductor. Famous violin tracks by Saba are another example of his valuable works.

One of the greatest contributions of Saba was creating a new style of playing the violin. He also made beautiful pieces for the Santur, one of their most famous being Reng-e Shotor. The series of books Violin intended for players of different levels and Santur in four volumes are published by him. Many music masters unanimously believe Abolhasan Saba’s greatest contribution to Iranian music was that he introduced the traditional music of Iran into the new age. He passed away on Azar 29, 1336 SH when he was fifty-five. He was buried in Zahir ol-Dowleh cemetery in Tehran. Shahriyar, the renowned poet, wrote a poem in honor of his death. The house of Abolhasan Saba turned into a museum run by the University of Fine Arts in 1335 SH, following his own will.


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