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Geography & topography

Capital: Tehran

Population: 74,798,599

Area: 1,648,195 km2

Language: Persian language

Religion: Shia Islam

Currency: Iranian rial



Iran is a country in central Eurasia with a population of approximately 75 million people. Prior to 1935 Iran was known as Persia, and the official language is Farsi.

The musical culture of Persia, while distinct, is closely related to other musical systems of the Middle East and Central Asia. It also has affinities to the music cultures of the Indian subcontinent, to a certain degree, Africa, and, in the period after 1800 particularly, to that of Europe. Its history can be traced to some extent through these relationships.

The music of Iran has a history that spans over thousands of years. Until recently the main styles of music played in Iran were Persian classical, Persian symphonic and folk music. Contemporary styles such as rock, metal, pop, hip hop, rap and electronic music have developed in Iran in the last hundred years.



Daf, a frame drum used as a musical instrument in popular and classical music




The most recognisable instruments in traditional Iran Music are:

Daf: The daf is a type of frame drum that is used as a musical instrument in popular and classical Iranian music. Although it appears as a relatively simple instrument, the daf has the potential to produce intricate rhythmic patterns and sounds. Some dafs are equipped with rings or small cymbals, making them a form of tambourine.  The frame is covered with goat-skin.







Oud, one of the most popular musical instruments in Arabic music

Oud: The oud is a short-neck fretless lute with five double-courses of strings tuned in fourths and traditionally played with an eagle’s quill. The oud is the ancestor of the European lute and functions as a bass instrument. The oud, unlike many other plucked stringed instruments, does not have a fretted neck. This allows the player to be more expressive by using slides and vibrato.  This development is relatively recent as ouds still had frets in AD 1100 and they gradually lost them by AD 1300.







Some interesting facts:

  • Iran’s tigers were hunted to extinction 50 years ago; however it is still home to the only remaining Asiatic cheetahs.
  • In spite of fierce competition, Persian rugs are still the best rugs in the world. Iran is the maker of the largest handmade carpet in history, measuring 60,546 square feet (5,624.9 square meters).

Iranian community in Australia: