Regional Music of Persia 25 (Khayyami)

Khayyam-Khani in Bushehr
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Jahangir Nasri-Ashrafi, Mohsen Sharifiyan

Khayyami 1
Singer: Kheder Aziz-zade, Yazle: Mohammad Saqiri,
Ney-jofti: Mahmud Pakdel, Zarb: Morteza Palizdan, Abdol'ali Mohandesi
Khayyami 2
Singer: Abdorreza Akhlaqi, Flute: Mohsen Heydariye, Zarb: Mohammad-Reza Shushtari, Hoseyn Sangesar
Khayyami 3
Singer: Qolam Doriye, Flute: Amir Rasa'ifar, Zarb: Rajab Badrimun, Mohammad Zolqadr
Khayyami 4
Singer: Kheder Azizzade, Flute: Amir Rasa'ifar, Zarb: Mahmud Zolqadr
Khayyami 5
Singer: Esma'il Bakhtiyari-Azad, Flute: Amir Rasa'ifar, Zarb: Hoseyn Sangesar, Mehdi Sharifiyan
Khayyami 6
Singer: Ruhollah Safavi, Flute: Amir Rasa'ifar, Zarb: Qolam Doriye, Esma'il Bakhtiyari-Azad
Khayyami 7
Singer: Kheder Azizzade, Ney-jofti: Mahmud Pakdel, Zarb: Morteza Palizdan, Mohammad-Reza Shushtari
Khayyami 8
Singer: Jahanbakhsh Kordizade (Bakhshu), Flute: Abbas Keshtkar, Zarb: Musa Yaqutzade (1968)
In cooperation with: Baqer Arami, Ali Kordizade, Amir Kordizade, Rajab Badrimun, Kheder Sheykhaboli, Mahmud Yusefi, Reza Sharifiyan, Reza Zalpur, Qolam Shokrifar, Amir Mirshekari, Qasem Mirshekari, Hoseyn Kavekhu, Mehdi Haqqani, Mehrdad Rastiyan, Mohsen Mehrjuyi, Mahmud Shaker, Ramin Tajeddini and Mohammad Izadpanahi
Thanks to Shahrokh Sarvari and Shahin Bahramnezhad for their assistance in recording


Khayyami in Bushehr
In the early history of the music of Bushehr, alongside the local poetry, mainly those by Fa'ez and Maftun, there existed the Persian classical poetry by such great poets as Mowlavi, Ferdowsi, Nezami, Khayyam and so on.
Khayyami or Khayyam-khani is considered as a unique form of the music of Bushehr which consists of instrumental and vocal periods. These instrumental and vocal parts can be represented either independently as a form of a dialogue or simultaneously to complement each other.
The metric structure of Khayyami is a combination of free and fixed meter. At the beginning, the vocalist sings an Avaz in free meter in Bayat-e Tork as a prelude. When finished, he does sing a rhythmic song in the same mode creating a cheerful atmosphere. Afterwards, he keeps singing the local poems.

It should be noted that Khayyami has much more urban characteristics in it than the other local forms of music in Bushehr. In addition, the melodic structure of Khayyami makes it completely different from other forms.
The outstanding rhythmic feature of the second part is the harmony of the rhythm with the applause of the excited audience, reinforced by the percussion instruments.
No doubt the reason of giving the name of Khayyami to this form is that most of the poems are either written by Khayyam or at least attributed to him. Hakim Abolfath Omar-ebn-e Ebrahim-e Khayyami, known as Khayyam, was born in 439 A.H. in Neyshabur and died in 517 A.H. at the same place. This Persian philosopher and Mathematician is one of the world-famous poets of Persian literature. This fame is largely due to his Roba'iyyat most of which are regretfully attributed to him and whether they are originally written by him is a matter of concern.
In Bushehr, Khayyam-khani is called Khayyami. What is interesting about this naming is that Khayyam was originally named as Khayyami before being called Khayyam. This fact proves us how deep-rooted this form of music is in Bushehr.
The employment of Roba'yyat in the second part of Khayyam-khani as a long-established tradition creates a particular correspondence between the meter of the poem and the rhythm of the music. This very characteristic of Roba'iyyat urges the singers to adapt the forms of other kinds of poetry to the internal rhythm of this music.
In cases which the singers exploit poems by other poets such as Hafez or Sa'di, it seems as if they are Khayyam's since they are inextricably interwoven with every single moment of the music. That's why nowadays singers feel free to choose from diverse poets.
Khayyami is frequently performed in traditional ceremonies, but bear in mind that it had originally been just held on special occasions for the aristocrats. It is a typically masculine ceremony in which women and children are not allowed. A kind of dance, something like Sama', is usually done by men. The ceremony begins at midnight and lasts till dawn. It is the experimented singers who begin to perform. A free-metred sung is a prelude to this ceremony. In this part, the lyrics sung mostly include poems by Hafez. Flute is the main instrument in Khayyami which is usually accompanied by zarb or dayere, though playing ney-jofti instead of flute had been frequent, too.
The ney-jofti player begins with an free-metred piece in Dashti, known as Hajiyuni, and then goes on playing a rhythmic melody called Shakki which is among the most ancient, frequent forms in playing ney. Based on the melody played by ney, the singer starts singing. Sometimes the player stops playing in the course of Khayyam-khani. This happens due to the limitations of ney regarding its tonality.
The combination of Khayyami with Yazle-khani, one of the ancient forms of music in Bushehr, has somehow become a part of this regional music, in which the singers of Khayyam-khani perform Yazle at an interval between the two parts of singing Roba'iyyat.


Published [23/01/2010]