classical music / iran / Music / Podcasts

Currently Listening To…Folk Music from Syria + Iran


Bagpipe competition in Sth Iran, leading up to the finals March 2015. Source:

The sounds of South Iran, Bushehr on the south coast of Iran and the north of the Gulf basin, are well known in Iran. The bagpipe is normally the skin of a goat, uncut in that it keeps its essential shape, and the player will blow down the wooden pipe attached to the neck of the skin (pictured). This podcast is from a collection of live music from Asia, recorded in the Freer Gallery of Art’s Meyer Auditorium. It’s interesting to us that in uploading the podcasts, the institution felt it need not mention that the Freer is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s national museums of Asian art in the United States.

“Four jazz-oriented artists from the Middle East merge the musical traditions for Persian and Arab bagpipe, double clarinet, lute, and drums along with the Western saxophone. Together they forge new sounds that transport ancient melodies into modern idioms. This performance was recorded live in concert at the Freer Gallery on December 12, 2013, and was presented in cooperation with the Aga Khan Music Initiative.”

See images, program notes and related artwork at