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.

A Note on the Occasion of Houshang Zarif’s Demise

No introduction is needed when talking about the position of the late Houshang Zarif (1938-2020) in the Iranian music. His character and personality are so well-known among musicians that his name per se is a symbol and role model for the Iranian youth. “Becoming Houshang Zarif” is the dream of many young people who enter the world of music in Iran and many of whom retire regretting the realisation of this dream.

Hassan Kassai, Ney Virtuoso

The name of Maestro Hassan Kassai is so vehemently intertwined with Ney (Persian reed flute) that one cannot imagine one without the other immediately coming into mind. Ney is one of the instruments which went through a lot of ups and downs in the history of the Iranian music since the time of Sassanid kings to the time when shepherds found playing it consoling when they took their cattle for grazing. However, Nay could never demonstrate its main capacities to gain a stable position among the musicians and the people like other instruments including Oud, Tar, Santour, all sorts of bowed string instruments and plucked string instruments.

From Past Days…

Ennio Morricone’s music for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight

After watching Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, The Hateful Eight, everyone was excited by its novel music besides the beautiful scenes of blood and guts.
The Hateful Eight is the first collaboration between the world-famous film music composer, Ennio Morricone, and Quentin Tarantino as a famous director.

The Mystery of Messiah

Antonio Stradivari (1644 – 18 December 1737) was an Italian luthier and is considered the most significant and greatest artisan in this field.

Principles of Playing Violin (V)

3/1/2/5: When the first finger lands next to the nut, continuation of first phalange of this finger, on back of the hand, should be in line with continuation of the back of the wrist and the left hand; moreover, it should not pass them and bend at knuckles. Otherwise, an uncommon stretch is created in first finger’s knuckle also reducing the freedom of other fingers (especially the fourth finger) in finger placement.

Principles of Violin Playing (III)

Violin players should always pay attention to the proper position of the left thumb and other points related to it and to its joining point to the palm.

Principles of Violin Playing (VIII)

1.5.1.3.sometimes, a player, due to different reasons, may decisively want to play continuously two notes with a half-step by means of the same finger, in such a case, it’s necessary to open the interior curve of the finger like a spring. Naturally coming back, the curve of finger should be closed and the finger should become curved shape again (see paragraph 3.1.2.1).

Hassan Kassai, Ney Virtuoso

The name of Maestro Hassan Kassai is so vehemently intertwined with Ney (Persian reed flute) that one cannot imagine one without the other immediately coming into mind. Ney is one of the instruments which went through a lot of ups and downs in the history of the Iranian music since the time of Sassanid kings to the time when shepherds found playing it consoling when they took their cattle for grazing. However, Nay could never demonstrate its main capacities to gain a stable position among the musicians and the people like other instruments including Oud, Tar, Santour, all sorts of bowed string instruments and plucked string instruments.

Non-profit “Microtona” Project Released

Microtona is a sixty-eight-page Booklet with personal comments by the contributing microtonal artists. The booklet also includes a DVD which consists of 8 original video tracks and 9 original audio tracks. The project is an international one featuring unpublished pieces by composers from Iran, Japan, U.S., France, Austria, Germany and Belgium.

Layla Ramezan, Iranian Pianist

Iranian pianist Layla Ramezan has always sought to create a connection between her Persian origin and the contemporary music which she encounters daily. Sound, phrasing, a particular sense of rhythm and a refined understanding of the “time of musical development” are the foremost qualities of her interpretations. Her musical and pianistic education began in Tehran at the age of 8 with Mostafa-Kamal Poortorab. Having moved to Paris and received a scholarship from Albert Roussel Foundation, she integrated the classes of Jean Micault and Devi Erlih at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot, where she received a Diplôme de Virtuosité in piano performance and chamber music.

“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.

Women and the Music Environment in Iran

The life territory of the female-male relations in the Iranian cultural context is basically a domestic territory and not a social-living one in the labour and leisure domains. To prove this, it only suffices to consider the Iranian men’s viewpoints about women. For the Iranian men, there are three perspectives regarding the women: mother, sister and wife. Mother represents the emotional territory; sister represents the logical territory at home while wife represents the sexual territory.