Music and Dance in the Pamirs

Music and Dance in the Pamirs

The pamiri musical and dance traditions comprise many forms and genres and are an integral part of the region's culture.  Here are a few examples:

Maddahkhoni

In this distinctly Pamiri style, singers praise the prophet Muhammad and the Imam Ali while musicians accompany on traditional stringed instruments (rubab, tambur) and drums.  In these mystical songs, called mado, the singer recounts history through ancient Persian verse, or ghazals, by Rumi (XIIIth century), Nasir Khosrov (XIth century) Sanoi and other classical Persian and contemporary Pamiri poets. While playing mado the story teller simultaneously explains the meaning of the sacred verses.

Doira-bazm

This style is performed exclusively by men. Sitting in a circle, each man holds a daf (traditional frame drum) in the left hand and plays with the fingers of the right hand. At first, without rhythm, the lead singer starts the three beyts (stanzas), the second signer supporting him at the end of each beyt, and then all together they repeat the refrain rhythmically while playing the daf.  When one session is over, the second starts with increased speed and new ghazal.

Lalaik, dargilik, dodoik, (in some places bulbulik)

The lalaik, dargilik and dodoik songs are one of the most original forms of traditional repertoire in Badakhshan. They can express complaints against destiny and injustice of heaven, longing for distant places, longing for beloved, sorrow of the mother separated from her daughter etc. Specifically, lalaik is a very ancient form of lullaby, is a slow nostalgic piece which ends the two first songs.

Falak, Ruboiyat (quatrains)

Falak is a common style of southern Tajikistan.  The song starts on a very slow rhythm accompanied by ghijack (violin), nay (flute), all traditional instruments at once or it can be just a solo performance without accompaniments.  Falak is sorrowful music where the singer grieves over the destiny of mankind.  There are different kinds of falaks, such as, piyodafalak, dashti, kuhi, bulbulik, and tilomjun.

Dance traditions

Dancing is a part of almost all traditional and contemporary repertoires of Pamiri musicians. There are more then 80 various dances such as; rapo dance, masked dances, horse dances, camel dance, setor dance, ghijack dance, eagle dances, fox dance, chicken dances, pantomime dances, daf dances, spoon dances, mughulbozi, funeral dances (poyamal, kash-sha) jag dances etc...