Kamanche Solo


Kamanche : Saeed Farajpouri / Tombak : Daryoush Zargari & Kambiz Ganjei
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Kamanche : Saeed Farajpouri
Tombak : Daryoush Zargari & Kambiz Ganjei

 Although there is a great discrepancy concerning the history of many instruments, the first manuscript which deals with the musical instruments including kamanche - under the title of "rabab" - is Ketab al-musiqi al-kabir by Farabi, the great Persian philosopher and scientist of 9th and 10th centuries A.D.
Farabi did not mention using a bow for rabab, and this the reason why so many scholars considered it a non-bowed instrument. Nevertheless his description of the instrument is totally concordant with kamanche that he classified it into 3 groups: Rabab-e sha'er, Rabab-e Mesri and Rabab-e Torki.
Four centuries later, Abdulqader Maraqi in his two major books gives comprehensive details of the instrument.
Ruhollah Khaleqi believed that kamanche is one of the oldest instruments in Eastern hemisphere. Albert Lavignac in La musique et les musicians pointed out that the oldest bowed instrument is ravanstron, in fact a Chinese instrument. Khaleqi also traces the origin of kamanche back to Qezh or Qezhak belonging to the pre-Islamic culture of Iran.
In the great hall of Chehelsotun (Safavid dynasty) there is a fresco which shows a musician bowing a kamanche. This is the oldest document revealing kamanche and its usual style of playing. During Qajar period musicians added a fourth string to the instrument after getting familiar with violin, an instrument which exerted a forceful influence on kamanche playing and also on the players. There is also another type of kamanche used in regional music of Iran. This folk instrument is often with three strings.

Saeed Farajpuri was born in 1960 in Sanandaj. His gift and love for music led him to Ostad Hasan Kamkar, the renowned Kurdish musician. At the age of 13 he entered the Orchestra of Culture and Art in Sanandaj and took part in many music festivals.
In 1980 he joined Sheyda and Aref Group and studied ensemble playing and radif of Persian music with Ostad M. Lotfi and Ostad H. Alizadeh.
Farajpuri has collaborated extensively with Ostad Shajarian and produced numerous recordings and played in concerts in Europe, US, Canada and Asia.
In 1992 after the rebirth of Payvar Ensemble, he played as soloist in concerts in Iran and abroad.
He is part-time researcher on the old and new styles of kamanche playing and on the teaching of the instrument.
Now he teaches at the College of Music and also in conservatoires. Of his works are Kamanche (solo), Naqsh-e Pendar (traditional instruments),Avat, Zamane, and In the Memory of Seyyed Ali-Asqar Kordestani all of them in the art of ensemble playing.

Daryush Zargari was born in Hamedan in 1958 and began studying tombak from early childhood. In 1979 after finishing his studies he went to Tehran and continued with Naser Farhangfar to improve his skills in tombak playing. His style is clearly under the influence of that of his master.
In addition to tombak, Daryush Zargari has studied tar playing with Ostad H. Alizadeh and Ostad M. Lotfi. His collaborations with Ostad Alizadeh both in public concerts and also in recording sessions have made him more and more familiar with the secrets and delicacies of Persian music during a performance.
Besides being a performing artist, Daryush Zargari teaches tombak and tar in Tehran Conservatory.

Kambiz Ganje'i, the son of Davud Ganje'i, the renowned kamanche player. He was born in 1968 in Shahr-e Rey near Tehran. In basic principles of music his first teacher was his father. Then he went for learning tombak with Mahmud Farahmand. He has played in many concerts in Iran and abroad with music groups Sama' and Mowlana. He began his teaching courses in the "Center for Preservation and Propagation of Music" from 1987. He has attended the class of many Iranian masters such as Naser Farhangfar and Bahman Rajabi to perfect and improve his musical knowledge.

Published [31/01/2002]



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