(Persia Digest)The Iranian House of Music Secretary has announced that Iran’s file for the registration of the lute as an intangible world heritage in 2019 has been forwarded to the Iran Cultural Heritage Organization. The registration file for the santur [dulcimer] will also be compiled next.

Daryoush Pirniakan said: “The dulcimer must be a joint registration, because China, eastern Europe, and Turkey also have this instrument.”

He added: “It is possible that countries who have the lute may wish to join us in our Unesco registration, as the Republic of Azerbaijan did with the kamancheh and we accepted.”


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When asked why other countries express a liking for the registrations as soon as Iran decides on one for its intangible heritage, he answered: “This is fine. It shows the expanse of Greater Iran. When twelve countries express their interest in sharing our Nowruz registration file, this only meant that they were once a part of Iran.”

He emphasized that these are all indications of Iran’s widespread culture, reiterating: “If any country decides to join us in our Unesco registration, we will accept. But the file has been compiled by us and is in our charge.”

As reported by Persia Digest, the lute is one of the more common, ancient instruments of Persian music. It is pear-shaped and is made of ebony or mulberry wood. It has a large, hollow cavity and a round back and short neck. It is a plucked instrument.

The santur is trapezoid in shape with many strings. It is played with two light hammers. The oldest traces of the instrument go back to the rock carvings from Assyria and Babylon (559 BCE).


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