The Qasida is the devotional poetry of Ismailis of Persian heritage
BY NIMIRA DEWJI
Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Catalogue: Spirit and Life
From the Diwan of Sultan Ibrahim Mirza, Iran, 1582.
Image: Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Catalogue: Spirit and LifeMusic had a high place in the cultures of pre-Islamic dynasties. Amongst the earliest historical records of Persian music are the writings of the Greek historians who refer to the use of ritual and ceremonial music at the time of the Medes (900-550 BC) and the Achaemenian (559- 331 BC) dynasties. The performance of music continued both in the court and in society after the advent of Islam through the Arab conquests in the seventh century. The Sitar (Persian ‘three strings’) is a small lute with a long neck. It was originally equipped with three metallic strings but a fourth was added during the Qajar period ((r. 1794-1925).