Traditional / folk music of Iran
Iran has a vast styles of traditional / folk musics. From each city and village this folk or traditional music can be changed. With the rich tradition of poetry in Iran, these folk musics are polished with Persian poetry too.In general these musics can be categorized in two branches.
Persian - Iranian Classical Traditional Music
This can be called as a "City Music" and you can find it in all part of country and in all cities. It is classified and well written during many years and it is taught in many music academies and universities. Many people use to learn and play this type of music.
This music is categorized in seven major moods (which is called Dastgah) with many sub-moods. The name of seven Dastgah's are: Segāh, Čahārgāh, Rāst-Panjgāh, Šur, Māhur, Homāyun, Navā.
Traditional music of Iran exists through hundred of years or even in some more simple forms maybe thousand(s) years. But the traditional music of Iran which we know today is from Qajar dynasty (Qajar was an Iranian royal dynasty started to rule in Iran from 1785). Until this time, existence of this music was mostly in the royal court. The first known recording of traditional music of Iran happen at the end of their ruling in Iran in the beginning of 20th century in Tehran and later in Paris by a group of musicians. Darvish khan was one of these artists, he was tar and setar player. He categorized Traditional classical music of Iran into seven part (Dastgah) and he taught some of the most important musicians of next generation. Abolhassan Saba was one of his students. Abolhassan Saba spent all of his life to develop traditional Iranian music. He adopted this music for violin, so traditional Iranian music is also played with violin. He played most of Iranian instruments in the perfect level, he also traveled to different parts of Iran, specially in the north, to gather folk music of small cities and villages, then adopted and wrote them down for these instruments. The next dynasty in Iran was Pahlavi dynasty which support this music a lot and caused traditional classical Iranian music comes between normal people too.
Other major famous artists in this category are Mohammad Reza Shajarian, Mohammad Reza Lotfi, Shahram Nazeri, Keyhan Kalhor, Hossein Tehrani , Faramarz Payvar,... . One of the main factors in this music is the quarter notes, which also exists in most middle-eastern music. It gives very very special flavor to the feeling of the music.
Iranian Classical Traditional Instruments
Instruments which is used in this type of music is: Tar, Setar, Santoor, Tonbak, Persian Ney, Kamancheh... . Tonbak is a percussion instrument which accompany most of the time with other instruments. Tar and setar are string instruments and they are type of lute. Kamancheh is also string instrument but it is in style of violin with the same tune. Persian ney is a wind instrument. Santoor is also string instrument but different from tar or setar with many strings.
Persian - Iranian Folk Music
Persian folk music mostly is not written down and to learn it, the student should go to the master of specific instrument and learn it by listening and listening and then repeat it hundreds of the time. It can be different in each small city and village. For example in north east, in Khorasan you can find different types of folk instrument Dutar (type of ancient lute which is very common is central Asia). North and south of Khorasan have different type of dutars. Haj Ghorban Soleimani is one of greatest from North. Nazar Mohammad Soleimani and Abdollah Sarvar Ahmadi were great Masters from south of Khorasan and they played different type of dutar from north. These folk musics are bounded to the life of people. Songs for wedding, funeral, religious traditions, love stories or even mythology stories,..
In the west of Iran you can find Tanbur in Kurdish area. The same as dutar, these songs have the same variety from sufi music to stories in daily life of people.
In the north west of Iran, Turkish folk music exists.
In the east south of Iran, Baloochi folk music (tanburak, rabab and gheichak as the main instruments). Baloochi music is similar to the Baloochi music in Pakistan and also share instruments with Afghanistan.
There are many different types from the coast part in the south of Iran. But one of the most interesting one is Zār. There are some masters who are called Baba Zār. These people use this folk music in some rituals for curing some diseases. The ritual can be taken one week and they play the music non-stop and in a trance style music. Zār in fact means harmful wind. There are many different type of harmful winds. It's a possession which happen with these winds and can lead to serious illness and discomfort for the person. The job of Baba Zār is actually to release the person from these winds with his ritual and trance style music.There is a beliefe which says, a person can never get rid of the zār. He or she can only comes to the peace with it. The music originally comes from Africa to south of Iran, maybe from Sudanese slaves. Generally, folk music in the south of Iran has the African root and you can hear same style of music.
In the west near Kurdish area you can see Lori folk music from Lorestan which basically use Kamancheh as the main instrument. This Kamancheh traditionally had three strings, but the Kamancheh which is used today in Iran has four strings with the same tune as violin.
Traditional / folk songs for Iran
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