Ann E. Lucas’ book on history of Persian musical traditions published in Farsi 

April 26, 2023 - 17:38

TEHRAN – The Markaz Publishing House in Tehran has published Ann E. Lucas’ book “Music of a Thousand Years: A New History of Persian Musical Traditions” in Persian.

Sahand Soltandoost is the translator of the book originally published by the University of California Press in 2019.

Iran’s particular system of traditional Persian music has been long treated as the product of an ever-evolving, ancient Persian culture. 

In “Music of a Thousand Years”, Lucas argues that this music is a modern phenomenon indelibly tied to changing notions of Iran’s national history. 

Rather than considering a single Persian music history, Lucas demonstrates cultural dissimilarity and discontinuity over time, bringing to light two different notions of music-making in relation to premodern and modern musical norms. 

An important corrective to the history of Persian music, “Music of a Thousand Years” is the first work to align an understanding of Middle Eastern music history with the current understanding of the region’s political history. 

Lucas is an assistant professor of ethnomusicology in the Department of Music at Boston College, where she also teaches in the Islamic Civilizations and Societies Program. 

She is recognized for her work on music historiography of the Middle East.

On its back cover, the original edition carries comments from three renowned experts, including Kamran Scot Aghaie, an associate professor of Iranian history at the University of Texas.

He wrote, “Ann E. Lucas very effectively combines historical analysis, ethnomusicology, and musicology to provide a broad, holistic explanation for complex, nuanced processes of change.” 

“The book is very well written and highly original in its approach and is a major contribution to the field. I found answers to many questions I had been pondering for years—not only about technical aspects of the twelve maqam and radif systems, but also about broader historical patterns of change in the music traditions of Iran and the Persianate world,” he added.

Photo: Front cover of the Persian edition of Ann E. Lucas’ book “Music of a Thousand Years”.


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