Music
The first musical instrument that was used thousands of years ago in Iran was the reed, a simple tube with several perforations that was played mostly by shepherds. An engraved bronze cup from Lurestan at the National Museum of Iran, Tehran, portrays a double nay (reed pipes), chang (harp) and dayereh (tambourine) in a shrine or court processional.

 

The first musical instrument that was used thousands of years ago in Iran was the reed, a simple tube with several perforations that was played mostly by shepherds.
An engraved bronze cup from Lurestan at the National Museum of Iran, Tehran, portrays a double nay (reed pipes), chang (harp) and dayereh (tambourine) in a shrine or court processional. Music continued to play an important role in the lives of the Persians throughout their history, with its continuity well documented in the Safavīd frescoes of the Chehel Sutūn in Esfehān, dated 1647 AD. A major revival in Persian music has its inception late in the reign of Nāser od-Din Shah of Qājār dynasty (died in 1896 AD), who commanded the establishment of the House of Crafts, a center where all important craftsmen could be gathered for making and marketing their instruments. The first musical instrument that was used thousands of years ago in Iran was the reed, a simple tube with several perforations that was played mostly by shepherds. There were several kinds of these reeds: the Nay Labak or the small reed which later developed into the piccolo of today; the Haft Band reed, which was much larger and had seven perforations; and the Nay Anban, a reed which was connected to a wind bag. This looked and sounded much like the bagpipes of Scotland.
According to Herodotus such musical instruments were in wide use in the Achaemenian era as many as 2,500 years ago. There are also several other wind instruments in Iran dating back to ancient times. One of these is the Sorna, a woodwind instrument very much like the oboe. Another one is the Karna, a long wooden horn which was used for accompanying the Sorna in what was called Naqareh Khaneh music. Both of these instruments have fallen into disuse and their place has been taken by the modern oboe and clarinet as well as other woodwind instruments.
The Kamancheh , an ancient Iranian musical instrument, is probably the first ancestor of the present-day violin, the cello, the viola and the base.
The Kamancheh , an ancient Iranian musical instrument, is probably the first ancestor of the present-day violin, the cello, the viola and the base. This instrument, having the size of a violin is played cello-like in a vertical position and set on the knee of the player who uses an arched bow. Another bowstring instrument is the Ghazhak, which sound-wise resembles the Kamancheh. The instrument, no longer in general use, can still be found in Iranian Baluchistan. In Tajikistan and Uzbakistan it is called Ghichak. The Kamancheh is also popular in many Middle Eastern countries like Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. In India and Pakistan the instrument is called Sarengi. An ancient Iranian string instrument was the Barbat, which was very much in vogue prior to the advent of Islam. Iranian minstrels later took the instrument to the Arabian Peninsula and there the Arabs called it Al Ud, giving rise to the English word lute. The lute survived in Iran until the Safavīd period, some 500 years ago, when it gradually went into oblivion.
However, several years ago efforts were made to revive public interest in the old instrument and today there are several excellent performers in Iran. Iran’s most popular musical instrument is the Tar, which in Persian means the string. This is a string instrument with a pear-shaped body and six strings. Then there is the Seh Tar, a three-stringed instrument of the same general shape, which is plucked by the fingers Another very ancient instrument is the Santoor. This is a large horizontal sounding box over which are stretched numerous strings. It is played with plectrum and sometimes with fingers. It is much like the zither both in shape and in tonality. There are several percussion instruments of Iranian origin, the biggest and loudest of which is the Dohol, which is played with two heavy sticks. Then there are the Dayereh, the Dayereh Zangi, and the Tonbak.
Today almost all these instruments exist and play an important role in Iranians music life. Recorded traditional music with voice of master vocalist Shajaryān singing poems of hafiz can be found in all Iranian homes. Some new trends of west influenced music have also found its way to Iran, Iranian pop music is popular among younger generation. Younger musicians are experimenting, mixing the new music with the traditional one and sometimes creating nice original music.
 Iranians are great music lovers and during the course of their twenty-five centuries of their recorded history, they have developed not only a very distinctive music of their own but also numerous musical instruments, several of which were the first prototypes of the modern musical instruments of today. The first references to musicians in Iran are found in Susa.