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Iranian Music Theory 03

Ok! Let’s talk about Quarter Steps. A Quarter Step is a half of a half step! But we don’t use them as independent intervals and still, the half step is the smallest usable interval in Iranian classical music. But adding a quarter step to a half step, makes a 3/4 step which makes it one of the main differences between Iranian and western music.

So! A 3/4 step is 1/4 of a step less than a whole step and we add KORON to the name of that note (instead of flat for half steps). And for adding an 1/4 step to a note, we use the word SORI: (instead of sharp for half steps).

Adding 3/4 steps to make our tetrachords, will bring us to these 14 tetrachords:

1-C D E F                RÂST

2-C Dk* E♭ F       DARÂMAD e ŠUR

3-C Dk E F             DARÂMAD e ČAHÂRGÂH

4-C D E♭ F           NAVÂ

5-C D Ek F            ROHÂB

6-C D♭ E F          BAYÂT e RÂJE

7-C Dk Ek F         DARÂMAD e SEGÂH

*: k stands for KORON

8-G A B C             DARÂMAD e MÁHUR

9-G Ak B♭ C       ŠAHNÂZ

10-G Ak B C        ČAKÂVAK

11-G A B♭C        PARVÂNE

12-G A Bk C        ARÂQ e AFŠÂRI:

13-G A♭ B C      OWJ e RÂJE

14-G Ak Bk C     DARÂMAD e HOMÂYUN

☆:C is the FINALIS note in all of the tetrachords.

☆☆: The names of the tetrachords are based on HOSEIN MEHRÁNI’s book; SORÂYEŠ