BĪDĀD, a melody (gūša) in the modal system (dastgāh) Homāyūn, one of the twelve modal systems of the contemporary tradition of Persian classical music. An important and popular gūša, Bīdād is always included in the performance of Homāyūn, even when the performance is short and selective. Unlike many gūšas in the repertory of the twelve dastgāhs, whose names appear in medieval musical treatises, Bīdād seems to be a relatively recent addition to the repertory, and the literal meaning of the word, “injustice” or “clamor emanating from injustice,” is not in evidence outside the context of post-Safavid musical nomencla­ture. An improvisation in Bīdād usually comes half-way into the course of a performance of the Homāyūn dastgāh. Bīdād is considered to have an amorous character.

The difference between Bīdād and basic Homāyūn lies not in actual tonality but in the scope and function of the tones. If we take the following as the scale of the mode of Homāyūn:


0x01 graphic

then the scale of the mode of Bīdād will be as follows:


0x01 graphic

Clearly a more extended range of tones and a higher register is in use. While the finalis (marked by the letter F) is the same note D, other functions are assigned to other notes. In Homāyūn, the starting (S) tone is Bp (p = koron), a neutral third below the finalis; in Bīdād, the note F#, a major third above the finalis, functions as the starting note. The reciting (R) tone in Homāyūn is Ep, a neutral second above the finalis; in Bīdād the reciting tone is the note A, which is a fifth above the finalis. The tone for phrase ending or pause (P) in Homāyūn is the note C, a major second below the finalis; in Bīdād it is the note G, a fourth above the finalis. This note G is used for pauses and acts as the finalis throughout, except for the very end when by way of a forūd (cadential melodic modulation) the mode of Homāyūn is reestablished.

For a music sample, see Bidād.


M. Maʿrūfī, Les systèmes de la musique traditionnelle de l’Iran (radif), Tehran, 1963, p. 49.

(Hormoz Farhat)

Originally Published: December 15, 1989

Last Updated: December 15, 1989

This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 3, p. 240