This is a great daf solo by Mohammad Jaberi. The video clip is produced by Santoori.com music company.
Introduction to Sufi Drumming Workshop with Peyman Neshapour
Frame drums are most ancient type of musical instruments. They have a simple structure with strong spiritual and entertainment effect. Frame drums are usually round made of wood with animal skin and sometimes metal rings or plates incorporated into the drum to provide jingle.
Most frame drums are originated in the ancient Middle East. Similarity of the names of frame drums in these regions shows the common history of these drums. For example the Daf is one of the most ancient frame drums in Asia and North Africa.
In Iran, Sufis have been using Daf during their Zikr (spiritual chanting) ritual. Today Daf is played in all genres of music, from Persian to fusion style.
In this introductory workshop, the artist will talk about the daf, its basic strokes (the Tom and the Tak with both hands), how to use the jingles (Eshareh, Nafas and son on) and popular rhythm cycles such as Daem, Haddadi, HalGerten, HayAllah and Zekr-e-Dovvom.
The workshop will be online via Skype, you will be conferenced in, please provide your Skype details prior the workshops.
Tuition fee is £10
Payments can be made via Paypal. Please go to http://www.caravansary.org/artists/peyman
for payment. We aim to please! Full refunds are provided if you are not happy.
16-18pm GMT – London time
Alternatively you can pay directly to ntsolak at gmail.com
The workshop will be in English.
The antiquity of daf, with the Pahlavi name dap, goes to pre-Islamic ages. Persian literature shows us the importance of this Persian frame drum in Persian Sufi music. Daf was considered a spiritual drum played in khanghahs of Iran, particularly Kurdistan. It should be mentioned that similar frame drums with similar names are played in some other countries such as daf in India, tef in Turkey, duf in Arabic countries and dap in Uyghuristan of China.
Thanks to some famous daf players, daf integrated into Persian art music and it became the second national drum of Iran. The chief national drum of Iran is tonbak (the Persian goblet drum).
Today daf is used in all genres of music in Iran and in this article I will give a brief description of different daf-s used in different genres of Iranian (Persian) music.
Solo-Daf: A kind of daf that is used in solo performances. It should have a very strong sound and its jingles should have a clear sound. A daf soloist should be able to show her/his finger patterns by this solo-daf easily.
Studio-Daf: A kind of daf that its skin is not so sensitive of humidity changes. A studio-daf player should not be worry of the change of the tune of the skin of her/his daf during the recording.
Orchestra-Daf: A kind of daf with not a very strong sound. It should be mentioned that daf has generally a strong sound and if the sound of daf is very strong, like solo-daf, then the orchestra-daf player should be always worry of her/his drums sound. A strong-sounded daf may kill the orchestra’s sound. An orchestra-daf should have a warm and soft sound.
Bass-Daf: A kind of daf with a bass sound (its size is larger and its skin is thicker).
Treble-Daf: A kind of daf with a treble sound. This kind of daf may be used in winter also.
Ring-Daf: A kind of daf with a thin skin and lots of jingles.
Summer and Winter Daf: The skin of summer-daf is not covered on its frame tightly, while the skin of winter-daf is covered on its frame so tightly.
Remark: A good ensemble of different daf-s may use different daf-s such as solo-daf, bass-daf, treble-daf and ring-daf.
Zakariya Yousefi, Daf with its Different Applications, Magham Musical Monthly, Vol. 3, Page 88, 2003.
Daf the spiritual frame drum
An Article by Peyman Nasehpour
Frame drums are most ancient type of musical instruments. They have a simple structure with strong spiritual and entertainment effect. Frame drums are usually round made of wood with animal skin and sometimes metal rings or plates incorporated into the drum to provide jingle. They have different sizes; the larger drums are played mainly by men in spiritual rituals and medium size drums are played mainly by women. Frame drums are originated in the ancient Middle East, India and Rome and reached medieval Europe through Islamic culture. Similarity of the names of frame drums in these regions shows the common history of these drums. Daf is one of the most ancient frame drums in Asia and North Africa. In Iran, Sufis use Daf during their Zikr (spiritual chanting) ritual; in recent years Iranian musicians have successfully integrated it into Persian music.
A Brief History of Daf
Its Pahlavi (Persian ancient language) name is dap and daf is arabicized of dap. Some pictures of dap have been found in the paintings to be painted before the birth of Christ. The presence of Persian dap in the stonecutting of Bisotun is really wonderful. (The monuments of Bisotun are situated 25 kilometers from Kermanshah city.) Also there is a kind of square frame drum in the stonecutting of Tagh-e-Bostan (famous monument located 5 kilometers northeast from Kermanshah city). It is said that Nowruz (the first day of the Persian New Year and the national festival of Persia) and other festive occasions have been accompanied by dap in the period of Sassanian (224 A.D. – 651 A.D.). In this period dap has being played in order to accompany khosravani songs.
The presence of the word daf in the poems of many Persian poets shows the importance of this instrument. For example Hafiz, very famous Persian poet and the shining star of the rich Persian literature has applied the word daf in his works ten times. His famous verse that includes the word daf is:
The translation of the verse is:
I, who nights, with the daf and the chang, have dashed down the path of piety,
I, suddenly, bring my head to the path! What a tale this is!
Moors introduced Daf and other Middle Eastern musical instruments to Spain and Spanish adapted and promoted Daf and other musical instruments in medieval Europe. In 15th century daf was only used in Sufi ceremonies, Ottomans reintroduced it to Europe in 17th century.
The art of daf playing in Iran has reached us by the effort of the Iranian Sufis especially in 20th century the late Sayyed Baha-al-Din Shams Ghorayshi (1872-1947), Ostad Haj Khalifeh Karim Safvati (1919-…), Ostad Haj Khalifeh Mirza Agha Ghosi (1928-…), Mohi-al-Din Bolbolani (1929-…), Sayyed Mohammad Shams Ghorayshi (1930-…) and Masha-Allah Bakhtiyari (1940-…).
It is fortunate that daf has been integrated into Persian art music successfully and many young Persian boys and girls have started learning this ancient drum.
Structure of Daf.
Daf has six parts: 1. Frame 2. Skin 3. Pin 4. Hook 5. Ring 6. Leather Band.
1. Frame is wooden. The diameter of the frame is 48-53 centimeters. The width of the frame is 5-7 centimeters.
2. Skin is glued on the frame. The most popular is goatskin.
3. Pins are applied in behind part of the frame in order to keep the skin on the frame tightly.
4. Hooks are applied in order to hang the rings in the inner part of frame.
5. Rings are the jingles of daf.
6. Leather band is applied in order to help the player for long duration performances.
The other instrument that is played in khanghah is the Tas. It is a percussion instrument that is played with wooden or leather sticks. Its body is a copper bowl and the skin is stretched on it. It doesn’t have a standard size and its diameter can be from 20 to 30 centimeter. It is played only during the Zikr-e-Ghiyam ceremonies.
Brief Biography of Ostad Haj Khalifeh Karim Safvati
Ostad Haj Khalifeh Karim Safvati, outstanding daf player and master of Sufi vocals, was born in Sanandaj, Kurdistan province of Iran, 1920. He learnt the art of daf playing and Sufi vocals from his father Darvish Abdolmohammad. He was appointed khalife (spritual leader) by sheikh abdolkarim Kasnazani of Kirkuk. His sons Mashallah and Jamal are good daf players and accompany their respected fathers in his performances.
Brief Biography of Ostad Mirza Agha Ghosi
Ostad Mirza Agha Ghosi, outstanding daf player and master of Sufi vocals, was born in Sanandaj, Kurdistan province of Iran, 1928. He learnt the art of daf playing and Sufi vocals in during his teenage from his father Haji Ghowsi and later with Darvish Karim. He was appointed khalife (spritual leader) by sheikh abdolkarim Kasnazani of Kirkuk. He is one of the oldest daf players of Iran and he has a very nice vocals. He has performed in many festivals of Iran, France, Colombia, Turkey, Panama, Peru and Ecuador. His sons Abd-al-Rahman and Ali-Reza are good daf players and singers and accompany their respected fathers in his performances.
Bijan Kamkar, was born in Sanandaj, Kurdistan province of Iran, 1949. He started learning the music under the training of his father, the late Hassan Kamkar. He was learnt tombak. After receiving the Diploma Degree of High School, he entered the Fine Arts Faculty of University of Tehran to continue his musical studies. He started playing Daf in 1974 and for the first time as a member of Shayda Ensemble. He introduced Daf into traditional Iranian music at Shiraz Art Festival and Toos Art Festival.
The author wishes to thank Ostad Mirza Agha Ghosi and his sons Abd-al-Rahman and Ali-Reza for their help.
Kurdistan Zikr et chants soufis, Radio France, Paris, November 1994.
[B]: Arfan Beomid-e-Hagh, The School of Playing Daf, Ebteda Publication, Tehran, 1998.
[H]: Khajeh Shams-al-Din Mohammad Hafiz Shirazi, Divan-e-Hafiz, by the effort of Ms. Salehe Salehpour, Persian to English Translator: Henry Wilberforce Clarke, Booteh Press, Tehran, 1998.
[N]: Peyman Nasehpour, Personal Research in Khanghah of Ostad Haj Khalifeh Mirza Agha Ghosi (Sanandaj city), 1996.
[S]: Dr. Mahindokht Sadighian and Dr. Abutaleb Mir Abedini, Farhang-e-Vazhe Nama-ye-Hafiz (Concordance et Frequence de la Hafiz), Amir Kabir Publication Corp., Tehran, 1987.
[T]: Emad Tohidy, An Introduction to Daf Playing, Kerman Music Society, Third Publication, 1994.
An Article by Peyman Nasehpour
Ghaval (also spelled gaval in Azerbaijani latin alphabets and not to be confused with qawwali music) the Azerbaijani frame drum is played in Azerbaijani folk and art music. In folk music of Azerbaijan Ashigh (poet-musician) sings and plays on gopuz (nine-stringed long-necked lute) and sometimes composes poems in different festive occasions. The drum that usually accompanies the Ashigh is ghaval. In Azerbaijani art music a traditional ensemble contains a singer, which plays on ghaval and two instrumentalists, one plays on tar (long-necked lute) and the other plays on kamancheh (bowed spike fiddle). In modern art music of Azerbaijan an ensemble can contain more than two instrumentalists. Usually the drum that accompanies the modern ensemble is naghara (a kind of cylindrical drum that is called in Armenia dhol).
Ghaval is the same as Persian dayereh. In Persia (Iran) there are different types of frame drum. But only daf is considered as the only national frame drum. It is unfortunate that ghaval is not integrated into Persian art music like the daf, though some ghaval players particularly the late Mahmoud Farnam tried to do this by accompanying the great masters of Persian art music, Ostad Eghbal Azar (very skillful vocalist) and Ostad Gholam Hossein Bigchekhani (very skillful tar player).
The history of dayereh goes back to many centuries. An engraved bronze cup from Lorestan at the Notional Museum of Iran, Tehran, portrays a double ney (reed pipes), chang (harp), and dayereh in a shrine or court processional, as similarly documented in Egypt, Elam, and Babylonia where music involved the utilization of large orchestral ensembles.
Some believe that the word dayereh comes from the Pahlavi (Persian pre-Islamic language) name dareh. Abu Saeed Abolkheir (967-1048), the poet, has mentioned in his works to the word dayereh as a drum.
Ghaval was not considered a solo instrument. After the effort of Ostad Latif Tahmasebi-zadeh ghaval has found an independent role.
Ghaval’s frame is wooden and the skin stretched on it can be goatskin or fish skin, though today the head of modern ghavals is synthetic (plastic) because the skin-headed ghaval is sensitive to changes in humidity. Some metal rings are incorporated into the drum to provide jingle. Its is much larger than Western tambourine but smaller than daf.
Basic Rhythms of Ghaval
There are four basic rhythms in Azerbaijani art music.
Diringi: Diringi is a light rhythm for dance music, though it is found in vocal music also. It is played in both low and high tempo, depending on the occasion of the performance. Diringi can be considered the same as Persian Reng.
Diringi is in 6 beats.
Yalli: Yalli is another light rhythm for different rhythmic compositions of vocal and instrumental music.
Yalli is in 4 beats.
Lazgi: Lazgi is the most famous Azerbaijani dance. It is played in medium to high tempo. It is for instrumental music.
Lazgi is in 6 beats.
Mahni: Mahni is in fact the rhythmic form for vocal music. The most famous rhythm for Mahni has been linked here. Mahni can be considered the same as Persian Tasnif.
6 beat version of Mahni.
Ashigh: (Pl. Ashighlar) Some believe that Ashigh comes from the Arabic word eshgh (love). While the others believe that Ashigh comes from Ashk and Ashkanian. They reach the history of Ashigh to the Ashkanian period (Parthian period 247 B.C.-224 A.D.) and they mention to this point that Ashghabad (capital of today Republic of Turkmenistan) had been one of the most important centers of Ashkanian. A famous tradition in the art of Ashighlar is really wonderful. This tradition that is called de’ishma is a kind of musical debate. According to a very old tradition of the skillful Ashigh-s, occasionally the Ashigh-s do this musical debate (de’ishma) and every Ashigh that loses should give his instrument (the saz or the gopuz) to the winner and leave his job. In this musical debate to compose poems by improvisation is often the winning trump.
Gopuz: Gopuz is the long-necked lute to be played by the Ashigh in Azerbaijan. It is called Saz too and Saz is generic name for musical instrument in Iran, Turkey and India. There is a similar instrument to gopuz in Turkey that is called Baglama.
Kamancheh: Kamancheh is bowed spike fiddle to be played in Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Central Asia, Turkey and Egypt. Kaman literally means bow. Many musicologists consider the kamancheh the predecessor of the violin.
Qawwali: Qawwali or ghawwali or kawali is the Islamic devotional song. It is a lively, light style, which has a popular appeal for both Muslims and Hindus alike.
Tar: Tar is a long-necked lute to be played in Iran. Its Persian version sometimes is called tar-e-shiraz (tar of Shiraz which is one of the most important cities of Persia and located in SW) and its Azerbaijani version is called tar-e-ghafghaz (tar of Caucasus). Tar literally means string, chord and so on. The word tar can be see in some other musical instruments such as ektar, dotar, setar, sitar, khoshtar and guitar. Not to be confused with Egyptian tar witch is a kind of frame drum.
[N]: Peyman Nasehpour, Personal Interview with Ostad Latif Tahmasebi-zadeh, Aug. 1994-Aug. 1995.
[S]: Mehdi Setayeshgar, Vazhe-Name-ye-Musighi-ye-Iran Zamin, Tehran, Vol. I (1995) & Vol. II (1996).
A recognized master of ghaval (Azerbaijani frame drum), Ostad Latif Tahmasebi-zadeh, was born in the city of Ardebil in province of Azerbaijan in Iran, 1944.
His father, Majid Tahmasebi-zadeh moved to Baku (capital of today Republic of Azerbaijan) in order to find a good job. After moving to Baku he learnt garmon (Azerbaijani organ similar to European accordion). Ostad Latif Tahmasebi-zadeh was interested in ghaval and he started learning it at the age of fourteen. He initially learnt ghaval by observing ghaval players and visually studying their techniques during their performances in the wedding ceremonies (toylar). After learning ghaval, he started playing ghaval in wedding ceremonies (toylar) and gradually he became famous.
Then great masters of his time such as Ostad Ali Salimi (famous composer and Azeri tar player), Ostad Safar Ali Javid (Azeri tar player), Ostad Seifi Ebrahimpour (Azeri tar player), Ostad Esma’il Cheshm Azar (Azeri kamancheh player) invited him for artistic collaboration. He performed with them more than 30 years. He has had many concerts and has performed in national Radio and Television.
Great masters of Azerbaijani art music have praised the style of his ghaval playing. He has developed some new playing techniques for ghaval. He is regarded as a preeminent ghaval soloist in Iran and Republic of Azerbaijan. Ghaval was traditionally played by singers as accompanying instrument. Ostad Latif Tahmasebi-zadeh has transformed the role of ghaval into an independent instrument. He is one of the few ghaval players who give solo ghaval performances.