A review of folk music in Iran (2)
Balouchi music in the southeastern Iran, can be classified under regional music category that is different from Persian classical music system, and can easily be linked to Indian – Pakistani music. This region is probably the richest regarding its variety of musical instrument. Furthermore, the prevalent instruments in Balouchestan are unique – they can rarely be found in other regions of Iran; e.g. “robab”, “qeychak”, “banjo”, “donali”, “tamburak” and “doholak”.
Balouchi music includes a wide range of genres. From simple songs, which are called “Sut”, and wedding songs, to rather elaborated genre, such as long epic and love songs, namely “She’r”, and instrumental and vocal improvisations in different modes, which is called “Zahirug”. The performers of Sut is called Suti. Sutis have a lower artistic rank than performers of She’r. She’r is an important genre in Balouchi music that deals with historical and social events and also love themes. She’r implies the person who sings and accompanies it with a music instrument such as qeychak and tamburak; he is called “pahlavan” as well. Zahirug or “Zahirig” is a vocal or instrumental music that is generally improvised. Several Balouchi modes are recruited in this music, in a way that Zahirug also means mode. Zahirug is usually free metered, but a metric piece follows it.
Guati music is music correlated to a possession rite that, in this respect, connects this region to its adjacent costal region. This ritual, called Guati, is performed to cast out demons out of bodies of people who, according to common believe of people in that region, are possessed by a supernatural entity called “Guat”; a possessed person cannot be cured by conventional medicines and methods. Music of the rite may also be performed in different situations, but in Guati ritual it has a unique style. The musicians himself is never taken by Guat.
Balouch musicians usually form a cast and different families are recognizable among them, e.g. Shakkal Zehi, Suri Zehi, Zangeshahi families etc.