Quality Decline in Regional Music Festivals

Translated by Mahboube Khalvati
Regional music festivals are organized to, firstly, introduce the music of different regions and, secondly, to support its performers. Regional music festivals are held in large cities for various reasons, including the availability of financial and executive facilities and the presence of an audience. However, the organization of these festivals has always been one of the challenging issues of ethnomusicology. The reason is that the presence of regional music performers in large cities places them in a context other than the context they would normally perform in their homes; consequently this change in situation leads to changes in the quality of their performance.
These changes can include:

1- Changes in the region’s music due to imitation of other works of music
1 .1. imitating a variety of works of music outside the performer’s native region in order to attract non-native audience;
1.2. imitating a variety of musical pieces outside the home region of the performer in order to compete with a variety of regional music pieces which, in the view of the performer, are more technical. (In competitions the problem is even more severe);
1.3. imitating all types of official urban music in order to attract urban audiences;
2. Changes in the music of the region as a result of performing in a new environment;
1.2. Conscious changes in the music: because of the presence of new audience compared to the audience for whom regional music performers usually perform, the regional music performers often cannot play the music of that particular region with all characteristics, for the reason that its performance needs the active attention of the audience (the examples of this type of music may include a variety of ritual and religious elements along with chorus or dance);
2.2 unconscious changes in the music: due to the presence of unfamiliar audience (especially urban audience) or new stage, the performer does not mentally connect with the audience and the music consequently goes through changes (the examples of this type music may include a variety of narration and storytelling accompanying the music).
The aforementioned cases are only part of the reasons for the change in the quality of the performance of regional music in the festivals. On the other hand, as mentioned earlier, there are many reasons why these festivals cannot be held in different regions, and the organizers of these festivals have to inevitably accept the above-discussed decline in the quality of regional music.
The audience of these festivals is made up of two large groups: 1- the public, and 2- researchers.
The public: this group of fans of regional music attends regional music festivals with the aim of familiarizing themselves with the music of different ethnic groups. Therefore, the drop in quality described above has little effect on this group. Generally speaking, the public does not listen to this type of music in a detailed and scrupulous manner. Moreover, this group of the audience is not able to identify the shortcomings. Of course, the presence of these people in the festivals is not only useful for familiarizing with regional music, but their financial support can lead to the motivation and, eventually, the continuation of the activities of regional music narratives.
Cultural scholars: These audiences of regional music festivals watch the performance of regional musicians in a more sophisticated manner. Therefore, should never consider that the performances in regional music festivals are the same as performances done in regional musicians’ home regions. In conclusion, although musical festivals in large cities make the people familiar with less-known cultures and increases people’s material and spiritual support for regional musicians, a music researcher can only find clues through these festivals about cultural incidents. In order words, music researchers cannot consider these performances as a perfect example of music in the regions, the researcher must investigate for his research work in the same area where the particular regional music belongs to.

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*
Your email is never shared.

Farshad Sanjari, Forgotten Iranian Conductor Met His Tragic End

Farshad Sanjari, one of the most renowned Iranian conductors in the 1970s in Iran died after fire broke in his apartment in Vienna on November 22, 2019. Farshad Sanjari was not involved in politics; however, he was one of the victims of the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, his name was never seen as the conductor of any programmes.

Gholam Reza Khan Minbashian: a pioneer in Iranian music (II)

Gholamreza Khan Minbashian taught courses such as organology, orchestration of military music and harmony based on the books which were translated from French into Persian with the help of Aliakbar Mozayyan-o-Dolleh (1846-1932).

From Past Days…

Polyphony in Iranian Music (II)

With regard to each polyphonic form, only one specific and distinguished example is analyzed. These polyphonic forms are as follows:

Qanun, a feminized instrument?

In the world music culture, there are instruments which were traditionally associated with a certain gender. It remains disputable to what extent these gender-based perceptions have been logical and scientific. For example, as playing wind instruments need more breath strength and the public opinion believe that men have stronger breath compared to women, these instruments are predominantly a male domain. Harp is also considered a female instrument as the public opinion believe that women have finer fingers and can therefore better perform nuances and delicate techniques on the instrument.

Principles of Violin Playing (X)

Creating sound continuity between two notes in the source and destination positions when left hand position changes and “two different finger numbers” are involved is called portamento. Portamento can be performed on single string or two neighboring strings and with hand moving on fingerboard either upward or downward.

Polyphony in Iranian Music (III)

In heterophonic variant, two performers perform a single melody simultaneously and change it. Performing and changing a single melody simultaneously by two performers leads to the coincidence of different voices.

“Pledge of Love”

The “Pledge of Love” is the first album in a series composed based on the tasnifs by the renowned Iranian tasnif-maker Mohammad Ali Amir Jahed and recorded by Sahba Kohan Ensemble with Ramin Bahiraie as signer.

“The Art of Silence” Project Will be Released

Shaahin Mohajeri, the award-winning Iranian microtonal compose, has contributed to The Art of Silence is an international project which features unpublished pieces by microtonal composers from Iran, Japan, the United States, and other countries.

Principles of Violin Playing (I)

The present series of training articles, “Principles of Violin Playing”, seek to help students, to appropriately understand this field, by gradually introducing, categorizing, and teaching the myriad relevant points. One of the principles of playing violin, which must be always kept in mind, is that the selection of the most natural position for the body parts while playing is the best and most appropriate solution. As a matter of fact, any unnatural body part position which requires lots of energy or unusual stretching to maintain, is wrong.

A Promising Concert by National Instruments Orchestra

The National Instruments Orchestra of Iran performed its first concert amid much hope and anxiety on July 18, 2015. The Orchestra is founded by Roudaki Cultural and Arts Foundation which is a semi-private foundation in Iran. The Arts Director for the National Instruments Orchestra of Iran is cand the Orchestra Executive Director is Sadjad Pourghand.

Call for papers SIMF 1396

The Association of Iranian Contemporary Music Composers (ACIMC) and SHAHREAFTAB Art & Cultural Association are pleased to announce a call for papers for SIMF 1396.

Principles of Violin Playing (II)

Since for playing violin, it’s necessary that the player’s palms and fingers be inclined toward the fingerboard, therefore, the player, while bringing up his hand, should turn it toward the fingerboard.