Iran’s culture, or contemporary Persian culture, has its roots in one of the most ancient civilizations in the Middle East. Throughout history, the Persian cultural radiation of various kinds of literature and arts had a wide presence and influence that transcends the boundaries of place, extending to various parts of the world.
For instance, the development of music and singing in Iran has roots dating back to about two thousand years prehistory, where the Aryans excelled after their conquest of Persia in the arts of singing, inventing musical rhythms, and practicing theatrical performances in the open air, and they used drums and trumpets in their wars. During the time of the Achaemenid Empire, musical instruments were used in the assemblies of glee and delight, and instruments such as the trumpet, cymbals, drums, and flutes accompanied war chants to inspire enthusiasm among soldiers.
The emergence of Islam in the seventh century and the Arab conquests of Iran were a turning point for various types of arts and literature. Persian music, along with other Persian cultural elements, became the main component of what has been termed “Islamic civilization”. Where Persian literature emerged with the formation of the modern Persian language after the Arab conquest. Thus, Language and literature joined forces for the advancement of intellect, before the emergence of the classical Persian literature, then its transformation into its modern styles later on, especially after the Khomeini’s revolution in 1979.
And so, the Iranian society’s cultural scene is usually formed between tradition and modernity. For instance, researchers today believe that the reality of contemporary Iranian culture has been based on three foundations: the traditional Persian national heritage, then the reality of the Islamic revolution in its political, social, and religious dimensions, and finally, the globalized scientific and cultural interaction factors in the modern era of the information revolution.
Architecture in Iran dates back to about five thousand years BC, the buildings constructed before the Islamic era, such as historical gates, castles, palaces, and markets (bazaars) reflect various types and patterns of architecture.
The Islamic Iranian architecture was influenced by the architectural patterns in the Arabian Peninsula, such as mosques and palaces, most importantly of which are entrances with big rib vaults, and columns that were distinguished with their height and grace. Residents in the south were interested in building mosques with great Sahn (courtyard) and unroofed halls, while residents of the north favored roofed mosques due to extreme cold weather.
Persian carpets are also one of the most important cultural and civilizational legacies in Iran, as it combines art and trade, and each city is famous for a specific type of carpets that are distinguished from each other by the inscriptions and patterns of handicrafts, their accuracy, and beauty, as well as the materials used in their weaving.
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