Encyclopaedia Iranica Online

RAM, Emad
(355 words)

(1931-2003), composer, vocalist, and flute player.

RAM, EMAD (ʿEmād Rām, b. Sāri, Māzandarān, 11 Esfand 1309 Š./3 March 1931; d. Germany, 3 Ḵordād 1382 Š./24 May 2003), composer, vocalist, and flute player. Ram started playing the flute in elementary school. By age 12 he was able to play the folk songs of Māzandarān as well as the music he had heard on the radio. His experiments with various reed instruments enabled him to learn and play Persian folk songs on the flute at an early age, which astonished his audiences.

Upon graduation from the Sāri School of Agriculture, he was employed as a teacher in his hometown and continued his artistic activities in acting and singing as well as performing preludes and curtain-raisers at shows and concerts. His harmonious compositions on the lyrics of Ḡolām-Reżā Kabiri in the modes of Māzandarāni folk songs spread his fame as a promising musical talent.

He was transferred in 1956 to the Department of Fine Arts (later Ministry of Fine Arts and Culture) in Tehran, where his association with master musicians of the time helped improve his music performance. He studied music notation, harmony and orchestration with Moḥammad-ʿAli Ḵādem Mit¯āq and the repertoire (radif) of Persian music with Ḥasan Rādmard. He also benefited from association with Ḥājj Aqā Moḥammad Irāni and Nur-ʿAli Borumand and soon was acknowledged as an outstanding flutist (Behruzi, pp. 280-83).

In 1966, he performed on national television as flute player in the ensemble of Farāmarz Pāyvar and Ḥosayn Tehrāni. Innovative and colored by a folkloric bent, his performances were received with great acclaim. Among his most celebrated works are two compositions on the poems of Ḥāfeẓand Nimā Yušij, performed by the vocalist Ḥosayn Qavāmi. ʿEmād’s own approach to vocals produced a new style in ditty singing, which was eagerly embraced by the public but abandoned after his death. His composition and performance of Biāmo bahār (Spring is here) with lyrics by Ḡolām-Reżā Kabiri is considered a classic in Persian folk music.


Šāpur Behruzi, Čehrahā-ye musiqi-e Irān, Tehran, 1993, pp. 280-83.

Saʿid Moškin-qalam, Tanifhā, tarānahā, wa sorudhā-ye Irān-zamin, Tehran, 1999.

Cite this page
Morteżā Ḥoseyni Dehkordi, “RAM, Emad”, in: Encyclopaedia Iranica Online, © Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York. Consulted online on 10 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2330-4804_EIRO_COM_10790>
First published online: 2020
First print edition: 20101210

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