Vocal Radif “Radif-e Âvâzi” has been formulated for teaching the singers, and instrumental Radif “Radif-e Sâzi” for getting to know classical Persian music through performing by playing instruments. Radif-e Âvâzi is a set of traditional patterns formed on the basis of poetical rhythms and poetical meanings and therefore has a deep connection with poetry. Radif-e Âvâzi is the basis for formulating Radif. Instrumental Radif is an imitation of Radif-e Âvâzi plus traditional patterns formulated for performing with instruments.

Radif-e Âvâzi includes a set of about 150 traditional patterns or Gusheh-s.

Instrumental Radif has been formulated for performing with instruments. Owing to its technical capacity, it is more comprehensive in performance that Radif-e Âvâzi sometimes incorporating up to about 350 Gusheh-s.

In both types of Radif, poetical rhythm and meaning bear significant importance; however, in instrumental Radif, poetic concepts have faded away because the role of poetry is not conspicuous. Nevertheless, in some traditional patterns, or Gusheh-s, poetical rhythm is the main pillar of the structure of the Gusheh, and continues to show its importance.

Many music maestros believe that learning both vocal and instrumental Radif-s is necessary and paves the way for the musician.

It is noteworthy that Maestro Kassaie, musician and Ney player, has said about his playing technique: “Why is my playing different from others? Because when I’m playing I am indeed reciting poetry.” This short sentence accentuates the importance of poetry in classical Persian music.