Iranian Folk Music
Iranian folk music portrays the history and culture which is passed on by word of mouth. It reflects Iranian peoples’ beliefs, culture, and customs that are distinctive due to different ethnicities. Therefore it has various features in tune and rhythm. Iranian folk music’s tunes are unlike what is called Iranian classical music. The folk tunes evolved into classical music at sovereigns’ courts. While folk music that is spread orally is about Iranian peoples’ stories, joy, and grief and is as old as this country’s history.
Azerbaijani, Gilani, Khorasani, Bakhtiari, Kurdish, Shirazi, and Baluchi music do not differ only in melodies but also in dialect. Various songs that were passed on by word of mouth generation by generation tried to convey a people’s feelings, sentiments, beliefs, and history to the next generation. Kurdish music has melodies with strong rhythms all over because of its mountainous location. Xenophon explains how well Kurds were familiar with music during Achaemenid period. In South, percussion instruments along with Ney-anban (a type of bagpipe) have formed Bandari rhythm which is a token of the African’s immigrants to South. In North, the folk music is inspired by nature owing to their pristine habitat that is lush forest. Sistan’s music represents their physical and spiritual life in their region that was famous in farming. Khorasan and Turkmen music contains a kind of distinguished anguish and sorrow.
Furthermore, a part of Iranian folk music is about rituals. Music has played a major role for promoting or purifying religious concepts to Iranians. Islam conquest enriched Iranian folk music and a notable part of the folk music was devoted to religious ones. Unlike Zoroastrian religious music which consisted of simple songs or hymns, in Islamic religious songs literature, prose, poesy, drama, epic, mythology, and play have been of high importance. Studying Iranian Folk music is crucial in better understanding of Iranians’ morale.