The Mahoor Institute of Culture and Art

The Mahoor Institute of Culture and Art was established in 1987 to produce and promote musical compositions and literature on the subject of music. To date, it has released more than 200 CDs, 180 cassettes, and 40 CD and cassette sets, as well as 100 books and pamphlets on music.

Mahoor is primarily concerned with classical Persian music and Iranian regional music from scholarly and pedagogical perspectives. The repertoires of both types of music are vast, and Mahoor's publications have been acclaimed as original and invaluable by many scholars and musicologists.

The Encyclopaedia of the Musical Instruments of Iran, vols. 1 and 2, is probably the most extended study in the field of Persian music. The first volume discusses the regional music of Iran for stringed instruments. More than 200 music masters, artists, scholars, photographers, sound recordings, guides, and assistants have contributed to this voluminous work, which was nearly two decades in preparation. Percussion instruments are described in the second volume, which was just released in 2006.

The Persian Music Collection is a series of rare and hard to find recordings made by some of the most prominent masters of Persian classical music in the previous century. It now includes more than 20 titles, encompassing masterpieces by Eqbal Azar, Taherzadeh, Yusef Forutan, Reza Hoseyn-Qoli, Darvish Khan, and others. Mahoor has also published recordings of the radif (the repertoire of melodic and rhythmic models) by such masters as Davami, Karimi, Neydavoud, Aqa Hoseyn-Qoli, Shanazi, Fakhâm al-Dowle Behzadi, Hormozi, Forutan, and Adib-e Khonsari.

The collection Regional Music of Iran (13 CDs issued to date) features anthologies of the music of Mazanderan, Talesh, and other regions as well as discs devoted entirely to one or two masters from Northern Khorasan or East Azerbaijan. Other titles in the series are Qalandari Music of Baluchestan and Sama: Music from Kermanshahan.

The Tales of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh (Book of Kings): Rostam and Sohrab aims to introduce Persians and non-Persians alike to one of the greatest epics of all time. The tales are selected, recited, and interpreted by the late Dr. Mohammad-Jafar Mahjub, an eminent scholar and man of letters. In the same series, The Tales of Nezami Ganjavi, Saadi's Bustan, and Hafez's Ghazals will be released shortly.

The past century witnessed major changes in Persian classical music. Mahoor has released a series of priceless recordings of tar (2 CDs), setar (2 CDs), and santur (1 CD), as well as an oral essay on the art of singing avaz (3 CDs). Also available are manuals by leading masters for students of tar, setar, and tonbak.

Mahoor Music Quarterly (nos. 1-30, the latest issue dated Spring 2006) is the leading Persian journal of music scholarship. It offers contributions by prominent Persian music scholars covering the issues currently under discussion in Persian musical life. It is a collection of different scholarly viewpoints as well as reports written by Mahoor’s correspondents in various fields of music scholarship.