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Notes on Musical Imagery in the Poetry of Jāmi

Alessia Dal Bianco    Sapienza Università di Roma, Italia    



The poet Nur-al-Din ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Jāmi (1414-92) is known to have been proficient in music theory; he also wrote a Resāla-ye musiqi (Treatise on Music Theory). In his poems he displayed an extensive and precise use of musical terms. To probe further into the elements of musical imagery, I scanned through his maṯnavis Haft awrang (The Seven Thrones) in search of lines dedicated to musical modes, instruments, and performers. Considering that musical imagery had a long-established tradition before his time, I pursued a comparative investigation and commented on some lines by way of examples. Finally, I argue that literary conventions shaped Jāmi’s poetry more than his expertise in music theory did.

June 30, 2021
Sept. 17, 2020
Aug. 13, 2020

Keywords: Nur-al-Din ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān JāmiMusical instrumentsResāla-ye musiqiPersian poetryPoetic imagery

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