I was heard about Savart unit in Persian music that divides a chromatic interval into smaller units.

Persian musicians using an interval smaller than the chromatic intervals, called: Kron. they measure it using the Savart unit.

is this true? if is true, then how can I convert it into cent or vise-versa?

2 Answers 2


An article by Joe Monzo at http://tonalsoft.com/enc/s/savart.aspx defines the savart as 1/300 of an octave.

A savart is calculated as the 300th root of 2, or 2(1/300), with a ratio of approximately 1:1.002313162. It is an irrational number. A savart has an interval size of approximately 4 cents.

savart = 1000log10(f2/f1)
cents = 1200log2(f2/f1)

Cents, as the name implies, are 1/100th of a semitone (or "chromatic interval"), when working in 12-tone equal temperment (12-TET).

So, as long as your definition of "savar" is in relation to a "chromatic interval" that is defined as a 12th of an octave, then you should be able to convert back and forth by simply defining 1 savar = 2 cents.

However, if the Persian chromatic interval is not 1/12 of an octave, you will have to draw an equivalence in relation to the octave. The cent is 1/1200th of an octave. The savar is 1/(50*c) of an octave, where c is the number of equal chromatic intervals that make up an octave. You can then easily compare the two.

  • I couldn't find any references to savar beyond your question, but this thread seems to indicate a scale that is not strictly equal-tempered, though it may be based on choosing certain 24-TET notes to end up with 17 unequal tones.
    – NReilingh
    Commented Feb 8, 2013 at 18:33
  • 1
    yes, in persian called savar, but i just found the true spell, savart
    – pylover
    Commented Feb 9, 2013 at 6:34
  • @pylover I see your edits--does this mean the Persian chromatic interval is 1/6 of an octave?
    – NReilingh
    Commented Feb 9, 2013 at 21:21
  • no. we have a concept named: dastgah. so the intervals are variable across dastgah.for example, in dastgah: shoor ,E-F is 20 savar.
    – pylover
    Commented Feb 9, 2013 at 21:27
  • @NReilingh It takes its name from the French physicist Savart. See Jean During's article for instance: Théories et pratiques de la gamme iranienne. jstor.org/stable/928594. Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 19:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.