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  • Date :
  • 1/2/2005

Abol-Hasan Saba

Iranian Musician

(1281-1336/ 1902-1957)

Saba was born in Tehran. His father Abol-Qasem Kalmal-o-saltaneh, was a literary man and familiar to take in music.

Saba got familiar with musical instrument in his early life. He learned playing

setar from "Aqa Mirza Abdollah", santour from "Ali Akbar Shahi" as well as "Habib Sama"ee", zarb from "Haji Alikhan Zarbi", kamancheh from "Hossein Khan Esmailzadeh", and Violin from "Hosein Khan Hang Afarin". As a fourteen-year-old boy, completed his talent in playing setar with "Qolam Hossein Saba".

He used to study inAmerican College in Tehran but because he"d gotten busy with artistic activities, Couldn"t finish his education.

In 1302 Shamsi (1923), "Ali-Qoli Vaziri"-Saba"s last teacher- established the High School of Music in Tehran. Saba was one of the first students who stepped in this school and learned methodical principles of music. Two years later, in 1304 Sh. (1925), by increasing the number of students of school, Vaziri referred some of them toSaba. That was when he started his first experience of teaching violin.

In 1306 Sh. (1927),Saba together with Vaziri and school"s orchestra traveled toRasht and Pahlavi. After two year, Vaziri opened a school inRasht since the dwellers had welcomed this idea. Saba took the manager seat (Esfand 1308) and taught the learners for two years, But he had to return Tehran because the humid weather in Rasht made him trouble.

Saba setup his pirate Classes in his own house in 1310 Sh. (1931) and taught singing, santour and other instruments for the rest of his life. After establishment of Tehran"s first radio Station, he was one of the pioneer musicians who entered there. In 1320 (1941) he was employed in the then culture Minister and years later, became the master in the (High) school of art and music.

Saba was the first to introduce musical note and arranging the Iranian songs" row on santour. He had a specific technique for playing setar and also could make it.

He changed the technique of playing violin; before this violin was played the same as kamancheh.

His most important books are violin in Iranian song, in 2 volumes: They have been reprinted many times. His other works are first row in santour (1328/1949) including Shour and Segah and the second row (1335/1956) including Bayat, Tork Abu Ata, Dasti and Afshari


Saba insisted on preserving and completion of Iranian music and instruments. He was familiar with folklore music thoroughly and had studied about. It"s obvious in his pieces such as Deilaman, Amiri or Mazandarani, Zard Malije (yellow sparrow) in cage, Kouhestani.

[1]- Shour, Segah, Bayat, Tork Abu Ata, Dasti and Afshari: They are all Iranian techniques in playing music

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