Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Ostâd Mohammad-Hoseyn Yegâneh Photobucket

The late Maestro Mohammad-Hossein Yeganeh was born in the city of Ghoochan (in the northeastern Province of Khorasan) in 1918. He took up playing the dotar when he was only ten with his first teachers Avaz Mohammad and Khan Mohammad Bakhshi. In August 1941, he became a student of Maestro Mohammad Jozanni, the most renowned of all the dotar players of the region. Jozanni himself was a student of Ghollamhossein Zirrevagi, a great music scholar in the north region of the Province of Khorasan. Yeganeh's performance was very much influenced by this master of the art. Jozanni lived in Yeganeh's home for months where his host offered him hospitality and the guest in return taught him his treasured knowledge.

Yeganeh mastered the different Khorasani styles of playing the dotar such as Torkaman, Bakhrazi, Ghoochani, Kurdish, and local Turkish and for many years he sang Ali-Akbar Khan and Shahadat Khan. Alongside being an excellent dotar player, he was a master of singing vocals, making dotar and kamanches (the dotars that he made are among the best instruments in north Khorasan), writing poems in Farsi, Kurdish, and Turkish. His techniques were uniquely phenomenal in playing tekiehs and tazyeens; he had a strong set of fingers. Yeganeh translated some famous Turkish and Torkaman tales of the Ghoochan region into Farsi verse and performed one of them, Ebrahim Adham in the Art Festival of 1973 in Moshir Hall. It was in this very recital that the bone of one of his fingers was fractured but he did not feel the pain amidst the excitement and glory of his rhythms and continued his performance until the end of the program.

Ali Ghollamrezayi Almejooghi and his son, Mohammad Yeganeh are among the best students that he trained. This great dotar player passed away in his hometown in 1992.

The Musical Maghams of North Khorasan

Yeganeh's style of story narrating comprises two major classes: first, a description of the events of the story which have their roots in naghalli (an old Iranian custom of narrating a story to a group of people, especially telling epic tales through paintings) and shahadat-khani, and second, retelling the lyrics through singing. The role of dotar in this regard is more than merely accompaniment; it forms a certain conversation with the vocals. The music part is composed of different maghams each having a specific name. The gerayeli, tajnis, and navayi maghams are considered as the shah-maghams (the key maghams). Yeganeh labeled tajnis as harifkosh (competitor-killing) magham and navayi which has its origin in western Khorasan is one magham with several different subclassifications. Navayi is attributed to Amir-Ali Shirnavayi who lived in the 15th century.

Jovayni, Enjedameh, Gharjebayer, Sarhaddi, Zarenji, and Shahkhetayi are examples of important maghams. Gharjebayer is a Torkaman magham in which the galloping of a horse is imitated and the style of vocals is similar to Torkaman vocals with repeated instances of short cries. Sarhaddi is a vocal magham which contains four verses in locallanguages and is customary in western Khorasan.

The North Khorasan Dotar

The dotar of North Khorasan is a string instrument which is played by all the five fingers of the right hand. The sound box of dotar is pear-shaped and intact and contains two strings. The neck is relatively delicate and contains about ten to twelve octaves on it. The sound box and the plate on it are from the wood of berry trees while the neck is from the wood of apricot or walnut trees or any other strong wood.


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