ROYA World Music
"Innovative Fusion, Seductive Sounds"- The Smithsonian

Educational Programs

Educational & Cultural Exchange Performances

Roya has created and presents her lecture-performance programs at variety of venues here in Washington, DC and around the world. She has presented at The Library of Congress, Museum of Flamenco Dance in Seville, Spain, Cimbalom World Association conferences in Mexico, Hungary, and Slovakia, Hackbrett Days festival in Linz, Austria, The Rumi Forum in DC, American University Katzen Art Center, Shepherd University in WV, University of Maryland, Towson University Asian Arts & Culture Center in MD, University of Memphis School of Music, George Washington University School of Music, Green Acres School (preK-8th grade), Bell Multicultural Campus in DC (high school), University of Mary Washington Department of Classics in VA, Sunderman Conservatory of Music in PA, among others.

In these programs she interweaves segments of historical and technical talk with live musical performances in an intimate personal journey with the students, playing all her own compositions from improvisational to the contemporary. Technical talk is only included in the programs developed for music students and musicians.

Please check out the many reviews from professors, administrators and foundations.

Existing Portfolio of Programs and the Intended Audiences:

(Funded in part by DC Commission on Arts and Humanities)

Classical Music of Persia – for general audiences

Persian Art Music: From Traditional To Contemporary Forms – for music students and musicians

Music and Spirituality: Impact of Ancient Sufi Poetry in the Development of Music in Persia – for general audiences

Understanding Multicultural Identity through Artistic Expression - for high school students and general audiences

The Persian Nowruz (Persian New Year, first of Spring) - A Musical Journey - for preK-8th grade students

Traces of Ancient Persian Melodies in Andalusia – for audiences interested in the roots of flamenco and Spanish studies

Natural Fusion | Music of Ancient Persia and the Spanish Flamenco: How does natural fusion occur in music? What is the significance of multicultural music? – for music students and musicians

Traces of Persian Music

Traces of Persian music can be found as far back as the 7th century BC. However the most substantial historic evidence dates back to the period between 3rd and 7th century AD, when music flourished at the imperial court of the Sassanid dynasty.  It reached its peak in mid-7th century during the rule of King Khosro, with Barbod being the most illustrious of the court musicians who is attributed to have invented the Persian modal system. This was when the Arab Empire expanded to include the Persian territory.

Through out history, Persian culture has come into contact with other cultures, examples include: the 3rd c. BC Silk Road, the 15th c. traveling gypsies, the 7th-15th c. Persian scholars settling in the Arab Empire who became important figures in the formation of Islamic musical culture in the East . It was during these times, that two schools of music developed with the direct influence of the Persian tradition; one was the school of Baghdad and the other the Cordoba school which later became the North African and Flamenco systems. There are indeed fascinating historical details that lead to interesting segments in the talk portion of these programs, which Roya presents in a historic storytelling style to parallel the musical journey!


Santur (Persian hammer dulcimer)

Santur is believed to be the oldest of the hammer dulcimer family - the great grandparent of the piano with many descendants: Yanqin (China), Hackbrett (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Hammer Dulcimer (UK, US), Cimbalom (Hungary, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania), Santoor (India), Santuri (Greece), Salterio (Mexico, Italy).  Roya is an active member of the Cimbalom World Association, based in Budapest, Hungary.

It is a three-octave dulcimer made with aged walnut wood and performed by using two delicate handmade wooden mallets. The mallets are commonly, especially in the recent decades, covered with felt to soften the sound quality; however using pure wooden mallets without the felt, one can hear even more of all the incredible harmonics it produces. It is a non-chromatic instrument with seventy-two strings arranged on adjustable tuning pegs in eighteen quadruple sets, nine (bronze) in the low register, and nine (steel) in the middle and high registers. It is one of the commonly used instruments in Iran today famous for its colorful sounds.