Abdollah Davami


Abdollah Davami, was born in Ta village of Tafresh city, Iran in 1891. As a teenager he discovered that he had a good, audible and suitable voice, so he decided to learn the elementary principles of Persian vocal music.

One day he had been to a gathering in the house of Majd-al-Mamalek when he met Ali Khan Nayeb-al-Saltaneh. After that he became the student of Ali Khan Nayeb-al-Saltaneh to learn radif; and by Haji Khan, Agha Jan, Sama’ Hozur, he learnt tasnif and tonbak.

As a result of his talent in learning music, he became friend of great masters of his time such as Mirza Hosseingholi (tar master), Hossein Khan (kamancheh master) Darvish Khan (tar and setar master), Malek-al-Zakerin (vocalist) and Mirza Abd-al-Allah (setar master). He passed away in 1980.

He trained many students such as: Abol Hassan Saba, Faramarz Payvar, Mahmoud Karimi, Nasrollah Nasehpour, Mohammad Reza ShajarianMohammad Reza LotfiNasser Farhangfar.

The founder of the Persian vocal radif repertoire and the great master of tasnif and tonbak, Ostad Abdollah Davami was born in the village “Ta” of Tafresh city, Iran, in 1891. In traditional schools in Tafresh, he learned elementary knowledge such as how to write and read the Persian language. When he was a child, with his family, he moved to Tehran and continued his studies. In Tarbiat School, he was a classmate of Rokn al-Din Khan Mokhtari (1887–1970). After finishing his studies, he worked in Tehran’s Post Office for a while, and then he worked in Tehran’s Finance Office till he retired.

One day, he had gone to a gathering in the house of Majd-al-Mamalek and he sang for the attendees, among them Ali Khan Nayeb-al-Saltaneh who was a wonderful Iranian singer. In that gathering, Ali Khan encouraged him to learn Persian vocal music, and he was the young Davami’s first teacher. Davami learned the radif, in particular, Dastgah-e Rastpanjgah from Ali Khan. According to Davami, Ali Khan Nayeb-al-Saltaneh was the only vocalist who knew how to sing the Rastpanjgah in those years.

In order to broaden his knowledge in Radif, Davami learned different points from other great masters of his time such as Hossein Khan (master of kamancheh), Darvish Khan (master of the tar and setar and composer), Malek-al-Zakerin (master vocalist), and Mirza Abdollah (master of the setar). He also attended the class of Mirza Hossein Gholi (1851–1915) for learning Mirza’s radif.

For learning the tasnif and the tonbak, Davami was a student of important masters of his time such as Sama’ Hozur (master of santoor, tasnif, and tonbak), and Sama’ Hozur’s sister, “Zivar Sultan” entitled to “Andalib al-Saltaneh” (master of santoor and vocal music), Haji Khan, and Agha Jan.

In March 1914, Abdollah Khan Davami, Abolhasan Khan Eqbal Azar (master vocalist), Darvish Khan (master of tar), Seyed Hossein Taherzadeh (master vocalist), and Bagher Khan Rameshgar (master of kamancheh) went to Tbilisi to record Persian music on gramophone disks. They also had a couple of concerts in Tbilisi, the first one performed on Thursday, March 26, 1914.

When Rokn al-Din Khan Mokhtari was freed, “the Center for Fine Arts” decided to open a school for music and wanted Mokhtari to be the manager of the school. After the establishment of the school, Mokhtari wanted Davami to teach vocal music there. Except him, Ostad Abolhassan Khan Saba and Ostad Ali Akbar Khan Shahnazi were teaching at the school. In this school, some students were introduced to him to learn vocal music from him. The names of his students in that school were Mr. Mahmoud Karimi, Ms. Fakhereh Saba, Ms. Marziyeh, Ms. Khatereh Parvaneh, Ms. Elaheh, and Ms. Homa. Among them, only Mr. Karimi and Ms. Marziyeh were more interested in the class, as Davami explained once.

  • Birthday: 1891
  • Death: 10.01.1981
  • Birthplace: Tafresh, Markazi, Iran

Musician, Composer and Instrument Player

Hossein Tehrani

Faramarz Payvar

Mohammad Esmaili

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