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Iranian folk music

Iranian folk music refers to the folk music transmitted through generations among the people of Iran consisting of tunes that exist in numerous variants. The variance of the folk music of Iran has been stressed, in accordance to the cultural diversity of the country's ethnic and regional groups. Musical influences from Iran, such as the ancient folkloric chants for group dances and spells directed at natural elements and cataclysms, have been observed in the Caucasus. Iran's folk and popular songs might be considered "vernacular", in the sense that they are known and appreciated by a major part of the society, as opposed to the country's art music, which belongs for the most part to the intellectuals. Folkloric items, such as folk-tales, riddles and everyday-life narratives, were collected through the discovery and translation of the Avesta, a collection of ancient Iranian religious texts. In classical Iran, minstrels had a prominent role in the society, they performed for their audiences in public theaters.

Ancient Greek historian Plutarch, in his Life of Crassus, reports that they praised their national heroes and ridiculed their Roman rivals. Strabo's Geographica reports that the Parthian youth were taught songs about "the deeds both of the gods and of the noblest men"; the modal concepts in Iranian folk music are linked to those of the country's classical music. Many of Iran's folk songs have the potential of being adapted into major or minor tonalities, Iranian singers of both classical and folk music may improvise the lyric and the melody within the appropriate musical mode. Experiments and influences from Iran's folk music have been incorporated into the musical appearance of tasnif, a type of vocal composition in Iranian classical music. Composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries used the folk music of their native countries as a source of inspiration for their compositions. Iranian folk songs were incorporated into musical compositions that were produced within the parameters of classical Iranian modes, combined with western musical harmonies.

Elements deriving from Iran's folk and classical music have been combined and used in the pop music. Iranian folk music is categorized in various themes, includes historical, social and nostalgic contexts. There are folk songs that apply to particular occasions, such as weddings and harvests, as well as lullabies, children's songs, riddles; the poetic meter of do-beyti sung in the Iranian vocal mode of āvāz-e dašti, is associated with Iranian folk tunes. Ruhowzi, a musical comedy in Iran's traditional theater, involves loose paraphrases of stories from Iranian folklore and classical literature that are known to the audience; the stories contain funny remarks that indicate social and cultural concepts. Traditionally, ruhowzi was performed on stages made of boards that were covered with rugs and were put on a small pool in the courtyard. Musical instruments of various sorts are used in Iran's traditional music, some of which belong to specific groups. Three types of instruments are common to all parts of the country, namely sorna, a doubleheader drum called dohol.

Iranian folk musicians learn their art from their families. There are several types of traditional specialists of folk music in Iran, some of whom belong to specific ethnic and regional groups. Professional folk instrumentalists and vocalists perform at formal ceremonial events such as weddings. Storytellers would recite epic poetry, such as that of Iran's long epic poem of Šāhnāme, using traditional melodic forms that are interspersed with spoken commentary, a practice found in Central Asian and Balkan musical traditions; the bakshy, wandering minstrels who play the dotar, entertain their audiences at social gatherings with romantic ballads about warriors and warlords. There are lament singers, who recite verses that would commemorate the martyrdom of religious figures. Many of Iran's old folkloric songs were revitalized through a project developed by the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, a cultural and educational institute, founded under the patronage of Iran's former empress Farah Pahlavi in 1965.

They were produced in a collection of quality recordings, performed by professional Iranian vocalists such as Pari Zanganeh, Monir Vakili, Minoo Javan, were remarkably influential in Iran's both folk and pop music productions. In 1997, the American jazz fusion ensemble Pat Metheny Group released an album named Imaginary Day that contained inspirations from the folk music of Iran; the album was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 1999. In 2006, prominent musicians Hossein Alizâdeh and Djivan Gasparyan produced a collaborative album of traditional Iranian and Armenian songs named Endless Vision recorded at the Niavaran Palace of Tehran, it was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional World Music Album in 2007. In 2007, Baluch folklore vocalist Mulla Kamal Khan was awarded at a ceremony by grand master of traditional Iranian music Mohammad-Reza Shajarian for his contribution to the folk music of Iran's southeastern region of Baluchestan. Armenian folk music Assyrian folk/pop music Azerbaijani folk music Kurdish music Lurish music Music of Iran Afsaneh Ballet Lloyd Miller

Francis Gulston

Francis Stepney Gulston was an English rower who at Henley Royal Regatta won the Grand Challenge Cup five times, the Stewards' Challenge Cup ten times, the Silver Goblets five times. Gulston was born at Llandilofawr, the son of Alan James Gulston of Woodland Castle, Swansea and of Llandilo, Carmarthenshire, his father was a landowner and was High Sheriff of Carmarthenshire in 1860. Gulston was educated at the Royal Naval School, entered Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1863, it is said he went to Cambridge and to row, was recalled as taking up residence at the college with a pilot jacket on, a bottle of gin in one pocket and a bottle of bitters in the other. The authorities would hardly let him take part in a college crew, would not consider him for the Cambridge eight because they thought his style was too professional, he became a civil engineer and was in business in London in 1866. Accounts exist of his social life in London and WalesGulston was a member of the Oscillators Club of Surbiton and joined London Rowing Club heralding ten years of success with Gulston in their crews.

LRC won the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 1868 and the Stewards Challenge Cup in 1868, 1869 and 1871. In 1871, Gulston won the Silver Goblets partnering Albert de Lande Long, he was captain of London Rowing Club in 1872 when they won the Grand and Stewards and he won Silver Goblets with Long again. LRC won Stewards every year until 1878. Meanwhile Gulston and Long were runners up in Silver Goblets in 1873 to Clement Courtenay Knollys and A Trower and won in 1874, they were disqualified in the final of Silver Goblets in 1875 but Gulston won with S le B Smith in 1876. In August 1876 Guslon, together with R H Labat, A Trower and J Rowell went to Philadelphia on the steam ship Wyoming to take part in the town's centennial regatta. Gulston took part in the double scull with Labat. Prior to the event the rowers went for a swim in the Harlem giving scope for the local newspapers to describe their physiques; the New York Times wrote of Gulston "very much larger than the others His face is full with heavy whiskers and he is in all respects a thorough English oarsman.

His shoulders and back are immense while he is not the least lacking in full development of arms and legs."In 1877 LRC won the Grand as well as Stewards and in 1879 Gulston had his fifth win in Silver Goblets, this time partnering R H Labat. In 1878 and 1879, Gulston as captain of LRC was involved in meetings to set up the Amateur Rowing Association In 1881 Gulston was living in Putney with his wife and year old son. Gulston was living at Salcombe, Devon where he died at the age of 71, he was recalled as "that finest – I make no exception – gentleman oarsman". Gulston married Emma Elizabeth Davis at Putney in 1880, his brother Alan Stepney Gulston was an artist and author

Smooth-fronted caiman

The smooth-fronted caiman known as Schneider's dwarf caiman or Schneider's smooth-fronted caiman, is a crocodilian from South America, where it is native to the Amazon and Orinoco Basins. It is the second-smallest species of the family Alligatoridae, the smallest being Cuvier's dwarf caiman from tropical South America and in the same genus. An adult grows to around 1.2 to 1.6 m in length and weighs between 9 and 20 kg. Exceptionally large males can reach 36 kg in weight; the smooth-fronted caiman was first described by the German classicist and naturalist Johann Gottlob Schneider in 1801. The genus name Paleosuchus is derived from the Greek palaios meaning "ancient" and soukhos meaning "crocodile"; this refers to the belief that this crocodile comes from an ancient lineage that diverged from other species of caimans some 30 million years ago. The specific name trigonatus is derived from the Greek trigonos meaning "three-cornered" and Latin atus meaning "provided with" and refers to the triangular shape of the head.

The head of the smooth-fronted caiman is similar in appearance to that of the spectacled caiman, but no bony ridge or "spectacle" occurs between the eyes. The scutes on the back of the neck and the tail are large and sharp, it has ossified body armour on both its dorsal and ventral surfaces. The short tail is broad at its base and flattened dorsoventrally in contrast to most species of crocodilians which have laterally flattened tails; the bony scutes on the tail have sideways projections. This caiman is a dark greyish-brown with mid-brown eyes. Males grow to about 1.7 to 2.3 m long, with the largest recorded specimen being 2.6 m. Females do not exceed 1.4 m. It is a robust crocodilian, strong for its size, tends to carry its head high with its neck angled upwards; the smooth-fronted caiman is native to the Amazon and Orinoco Basins in South America and is found in Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana, Peru and Venezuela. It inhabits small streams in forested areas where in some cases, the water may be insufficiently deep for it to submerge itself.

It is seen in open areas and does not bask in the sun in captivity. The adult smooth-fronted caiman has cryptic habits and is observed by day because it hides in underwater burrows or may spend much of its time up to 100 m away from water, concealed in dense undergrowth, in hollow logs, or under fallen trees. Males are territorial and females have small home ranges. Adults are semiterrestrial and feed on such animals as porcupines, snakes and lizards, consuming few fish or molluscs. Hatchlings feed on insects in their first few weeks, graduating to larger prey as they grow. Juvenile mortality is high, but adult mortality is low, although large carnivores such as the jaguar sometimes prey on them. Females become mature and start to breed at about 11 years and males at about 20; the female builds a large mound nest out of leaf litter and soil at the end of the dry season or may use a pre-existing nest. A clutch of 10 to 15 eggs is covered with further nesting material; some heat is generated by the decaying vegetation and good insulation helps to retain this.

The nests are built against the sides of termite mounds and metabolic heat generated by the termites helps to maintain the clutch at a near constant temperature. The eggs need to be maintained at a temperature of 31 to 32 °C for the production of male offspring; the incubation period is about 115 days and the female caiman remains near the nest for at least the earlier part of this time, providing protection against predators. During incubation, roots may grow through the nest, soil from the termite mound may cement the eggs together; this means parental assistance is necessary when the eggs hatch to enable the hatchlings to escape from the nest chamber. Having transported the newly emerged juveniles to a nursery area, the female stays with them for a few weeks after which time they disperse; the female may miss a year before breeding again. The smooth-fronted caiman is not extensively hunted because its skin contains many bony scutes, which make it of little use for leather; the animals are collected in Guyana, for the pet trade.

The main threats to this species are destruction of its forest habitat and pollution of its environment by gold mining activities. Over one million individuals are estimated to remain in the wild, the species is rated by the IUCN as being of least concern, it is listed on Appendix II of CITES, designed to limit overexploitation through international trade. Data related to Paleosuchus trigonatus at Wikispecies Media related to Paleosuchus trigonatus at Wikimedia Commons