Mohsen Mohammadi

Postdoctoral Scholar


History of music in oral traditions; Persian music in ethnomusicology literature; classicization of music in non-Western cultures; early recordings of non-Western music; music of Iran, Iraq, Central Asia, and India; ethnic music cultures of Iran; ritual and religious music in Iran and Central Asia.

PhD in Musicology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands, with an emphasis in Ethnomusicology hosted by UCLA; MA in History, University of Tehran, Iran; BA in Music, University of Tehran, Iran.

Mohsen Mohammadi studies music, history, and ethnomusicology, and plays the setar. His publications focus on the history of music in Iran, Central Asia, and India, using first-hand sources including manuscripts, historical texts, diaries and memories, old newspapers, and early recordings. While doing research for his dissertation, he studied the history of the Persian modal system. His dissertation examines the formation of the system of seven dastgāh and five āvāz and its evolution into the twelve dastgāh system in the ethnomusicology literature. He has also conducted fieldwork on ethnic cultures in Iran that have not yet been published.

PhD dissertation:
Modal Modernities: Formations of Persian Classical Music and the Recording of a National Tradition
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Publications in English:
2016: “Chef de Musique or Chef de Macaroni: The Twisted History of the European Military Music in Persia.” Rivista Italiana di Musicologia (Journal of the Italian Society of Musicology). V 51, 51-88.

2015: Musical Souvenirs: European Transcriptions of Persian Music (1600-1910). Tehran: Mahoor.

2014: Let No One Judge You: Early Recordings From Iran, 1906-1933. London: Honest Jon's Records.

2010: “Persian Records by the Lindström Company: Triangle of Political Relationships, Local Agents and Recording Company.” In The Lindström Project, Contributions to the history of the record industry, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Schallplattenindustrie. Eds. Pekka Gronow, Christiane Hofer. Wien: Gesellschaft für Historische Tonträger. pp 121-8.

2006: “Qand-i Pārsī: An Introduction to Twenty Persian Texts on Indo-Persian Music.” Journal of the Indian Musicological Society. V 36-37, 40-60.

All publications in English and Persian: