Every artist, because of her / his art, has to deal with different audiences that though this is an interesting chance for the artist, but perhaps this causes some tensions in the personal life of the artist. On the other hand, because of the special social status of female artists, these tensions can be more problematic. Musicians beside the social problems suffer of financial problems and all these problems need to be investigated sociologically and psychologically that is out of the specialty of the author and cannot be explained in this short note.
By the way, what it seems to be obvious is that in some societies women musicians suffer of some problems and restrictions and these problems are double for female drummers since for example the general belief in some societies is that women cannot be good percussionists and maybe because of this belief, great women drummers have not risen in some societies and if in some societies like India, Turkey, Iran and some Arab countries, some female drummers have risen, they have not been taken seriously and by referring to the history of percussion music of these countries, one can see this fact because there is no mention of the names of female drummers. The great news is that in different countries, women are gradually entering to field of percussion music more seriously and by their great artistic activities, they are denying this general belief that women cannot be great drummers.
For example in India, great lady tabla players like Sunayana Ghosh, Rimpa Shiv and Anuradha Pal have made a name in the music society of India and they are working professionally in the field of music. While the author has not heard any great name for female drummers from Turkey or Arab countries, but it is clear that many lady drummers have started playing frame drums, djembe (African goblet drum) and drumsets, particularly in the western world professionally.
In the music society of Iran – as the investigation of the percussion music history shows that – women have showed interests to frame drums, but in historical books, there is no mention of the names of female drummers, particularly as far as the author has researched there is no historical tonbak player except the late “Moluk Zarrabi” that she is considered more as a vocalist than a tonbak (Persian goblet drum) player.
While the shining history of tonbak as a solo instrument – not mere an accompaniment one – is not long and is due to some tonbak players that has been started by the revolutionary works of the father of the modern tonbak, i.e. the late Ostad Hossein Tehrani, but it seems in today generation, some professional and great female tonbak players have entered to the field of Persian drumming that among them one can mention the following names:
Asareh Shekarchi, Naghmeh Farahmand, Goharnaz Masaeli, Nazanin Pedarsani, Narges Torshizi, Maryam Molla, Niloufar Mohseni, Zarrin Abedinzadeh, Mojgan Gharasu, Mahru Fazel Hamedani, Leila Hakim Elahi, Azadeh Rahrovan and Sara Zomorodi Fard.
The author wishes to apologize all those professional goblet drummers that their names have not been mentioned here and invites all to introduce them to the author that he can appreciate them in other notes.
Finally author knows very well that this short note is not good enough to appreciate female drummers particularly female tonbak players, but he hopes that this short note can be a base for further
investigations and support of female tonbak players, since he believes tonbak players, particularly female tonbak players need to be supported by the music society of the world, specifically Iranian music society.
Acknowledgements. The author wishes to thank Ms. Nikoo Yousefi (tar player and editor-in-chief of the womenofmusic.ir online magazine for women of music), Ms. Pantea Alvandipour (Persian art music vocalist), Ms. Nazanin Pedarsani (tonbak player) and Ms. Mahtab Alibakhshi (teacher of child music) for their helpful suggestions and comments.