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Abolhasan Saba
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Birth: Apr. 15, 1902
Death: Dec. 19, 1957

Abolhasan Saba was a well-known Persian musician who was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1902. When he was quite young, he began to study and play the "setar" with his father's guidance. Meanwhile, he learned to play the "tonbak" with the help of his aunt's maid named Robabeh. After a few years, he became a student of Mirza Abdollah and then joined Darvish Khan's School, which had the most significant impact on his playing technique and composition of Persian music. Saba perfected his tonbak skills with Haji-khan Zarbgir. He was trained playing another instrument, the dulcimer, by Ali-akbarshahy. In addition, he learned to play the "kamancheh" with H. Esmeel-zadeh. Then, a little while later, when Ali-Naghy Vaziry established the Advanced Music School, Saba enrolled to learn the theory of music.

Saba had a number of music teachers over the years and he once said: "I was the pupil of 40 masters of Iranian Music". Ali Akbar, H. Hang-Afarinm and Ostad Abbas were among the most influential teachers and role models for Saba. Seeing his passion, talent and skills, Vaziry, another teacher, suggested that Saba start teaching music. After some time, Saba founded a music school in Rasht in 1927. Following this, he went on to live in several northern villages for about three years. These villages were the starting point for his significant future research in Iranian folklore music.

Saba composed fabulous works in this period of time. These included Zard-h malijeh, Deylaman, Kuhestany, Amiry and ba zandan. He wrote many instrumental books for the violin, dulcimer and setar including 4 cycles of training for the dulcimer, 3 cycles of training for the violin, and a cycle of training for the setar and tar.

Saba was a versatile musician; he revitalized the old playing styles of the past masters in the setar and trained well-known musicians in Iran. He was a member of the National Music School's orchestra and association; a knowledgeable authority in teaching radifs; both instrumental and vocal. He was also a master in various methods of training music, and a pioneer in composition of new music pieces.

Fortunately, some of Saba's first recordings have survived. These include some private performances on the violin and the setar accompanied by Tehrani's tonbak, performances in the "Golha Program" (a weekly radio program preformed by the elites musicians of Iran), and playing with the orchestra of the Advanced Music School.

In contrast to heavy strokes and drones of all 4 strings seen with the previous music masters, Saba played the setar on a single string. He was also involved in the design and production of setars. In fact, I have been fortunate to see one of his original setars, which excels most others in both acoustics and elegant design. This setar has been played by master Lotfi in a few different concerts in Iran. Saba believed that to be an accomplished musician, one must know more than just how to play the setar. He felt that one had to know classical music and the history of music, in addition to one's area of specialization. Furthermore, he believed that Persian literature was crucial for an Iranian musician in order to achieve higher levels in the understanding, appreciation, and depth of music.

Saba has been, and continues to be one of the most influential and significant figures in traditional and instrumental Persian music. He taught many great students who then went on to become famous musicians themselves. For example, Ostad Tehrani was one of his students and he once said "apart from musical notation, I have learned many practical and theoretical aspect of music from Saba". Master Abolhasan Saba passed away in 1957. His teachings and legacy however, live on for many years to come.

Abolhasan Saba (April 15, 1902 - December 19, 1957) was a famous Iranian musician.

He was born in Tehran to Hossein Saba, another music celebrity of Iran.

Saba is considered one of Iran's most influential figures in traditional and instrumental Persian music.

He died in 1957 and was buried in Tehran's Zahir o-dowleh Cemetery of articts and musicians

Zahir-od-dowleh Cemetery
Tehran, Iran
Created by: K
Record added: Jun 04, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19715718
Abolhasan Saba
Added by: K
Abolhasan Saba
Added by: K
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- Rita
 Added: Dec. 16, 2012

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