A review of folk music in Iran (1)

Khorâsâni music
Musically speaking, “Khorasan” is one of the richest parts of Iran. This area can be divided into two parts, namely northern and eastern parts. In the Northern part, exists a mixture of Persian, Turkish and Kurdish musical cultures, the latter been being carried with Kurd immigrants into this region; the eastern area has mostly a Persian musical culture.

– Northern Khorasan
Important musical focuses in the northern Khorasan can be found in the cities of “Bojnourd”, “Shirvân”, “Quchân”, “Daregaz” and their villages. The majority of the populations of these cities are Turks, then Kurds and Persian.
There existed a variety of folk music ‏in this ‏part of Khorasan in the past time -many of them still do- that can be known and classified, according to, and under the name of the musicians that performed them. They were known as “âshiqs”, “lutis”, “naqqâls” and “bakhshis”, each of them having a particular characteristic, which made them different from others.
Âshiqs: Ashiqs of khorasan, differ from that of Azerbaijan and other Turkish speaking regions of Iran, and in fact, because the Instruments they play (“sornâ” and “dohol”) And acts they perform along with their music (like different dances, comic plays or acrobats), They must be considered as the likes of motrebs and lutis of other regions in Iran. Ashiqs of khorasan, called “âshiqchi” at times, Or often Kurds and most of them belong to Kurd nomadic tribes. They perform in wedding ceremonies and circumcision parties and play music instruments such as sorna, “qoshme”, “kamanche” and dohol.
Naqqâls: naqqals in khorasan, less seen than before, Used be from dervish sects of “Ne’matollahi” and “Khâksar”. These naqqal- dervishes similar to their predecessors are narrators, reciting verses from old poets, religious poem and also from Ferdowsi’s Shahname.
Lutis: Nowadays in Khorasan, lutis don’t exist anymore. They were “dâyereh” Player and animal trainers, roaming villages, telling stories and singing poems, and sometimes critics of the conditions.
Bakhshis: Being the most important musicians of northern khorasan, bakhshis are considered bard of this region, and perform poets in three languages of Persian, Turkish and Kurdish, accompanying it with their “dotâr”. Bakhshis often have other sources of income, they are normally farmers, shepherds or barbers. Their musical knowledge and technique was generally passed from father to son. The art of bakhshis are basically oral, but there also exist printed text of the stories and poems that bakhshis refer to, when needed. Traditionally, bakhshis perform at the wedding ceremonies, circumcision feasts, private parties and teahouses.
Famous musicians: Mohammd- Hossein Yeganeh, Haj- Ghorban Soleimani, Hamra Golafrooz, Powshan Golafrooz.

– Eastern Khorasan
With center such as “Torbat-e-jâm”, “Tâybad”, “khâf” and “Kâshmar”, Music of eastern Khorasan is, above all, correlated to Persian classical music and in this region only Persian lyrics are sung. Here vocal melodies are accompanied with a dotar that varies from that of Northern Khorasan. The differences can be detected in both the external appearance of the instrument and it’s playing techniques.
Long epic are rarely found in Eastern khorasan, instead short love, proverbial, and religious poems are more famous. Instrumental pieces that are particularly create for dotar. In this erea the sorna and dohol players perform in wedding ceremonies and different feasts too.
Famous musicians: Zolfaghar Asgaripoor, Noor- Mohammad Dorpoor, Sarvar Ahmadi, Poor- Atayi.