Listen to Kurdish music

Ali Baran
Issa Hassan
Nefel Musik
Nilüfer Akbal
Razbar Ensemble
Shahram Nazeri
Shahram Nazeri 2
La pluie doiseaux
Ramzi Ghotbaldin
Dawrish & Rafeq
Nüvidé Altunakar Mahieu
Seyhmus Dagtekin

Dilan Dance


The Kurdish Music, by Kendal NEZAN


From an instrumental point of view, Kurdish music is characterized by the preponderance of wind instruments, the total absence of bowed instruments "found so frequently in Turk-Mongolian folk musics" as well as of struck string instruments and of the transverse flute, another instrument widely played in the orient

The blûr or shepherd's flute, which is the basic instrument used in folk music. A sound pipe carved from a branche of either mulberry or walnut trees, the blûr has neither notches nor a reed. Made primitively and often not very carefully, it does not have standard dimensions. one can, at least, indicate a few general details of its size: it includes either 7 or g equidistant holes, except for the last hole, which is separated from the next-to-last by a larger interval. The sound opening is on the back.

The length of the blûr varies from 4O to 60 cms. and sometimes is longer. The inner radius of the pipe is about O.9 cms., its upper end which one holds at a slightly oblique angle between the lips, is in the form of a truncated cone. Actually, the player must sing into the instrument and breathing plays a primordial role.

Played often as a solo, the blûr also accompanies love songs and epic songs quite often, and it is not rare that, playing with the erbane (tambourine) it also accompanies the dances and dilok in the mountain villages; and, of course, one should not forget that it serves the shepherds as a means of communication with their flocks.

The dûdûk, which is also called the fîq, is used especially in the valleys and on the high plateaus of the northern Kurd region which is at present in Turkey. one also comes across it in the musics of certain peoples of the Caucasus (Armenians, Azerbaidjans, etc.).

The dûdûk is a pipe carved from a mulberry branch or apricot tree branch, of an average length of 32 cms., perforated with 8 equidistant holes on the upper surface and with an opening at the back, very slightly widened towurds the upper end where a reed mouthpiece of about 12 cms. is inserted. Used earlier to accompany war songs or traditional love songs, it now tends to become general practice. In addition, along with the def (bass drum), it may accompany dances.

The dûdûk is practically never played alone. Even in a solo part, it may be accompanied by a second dûdûk, which plays the tonic (drone) or by the tenbûr.

The zirne is a conical oboe with double willow rced enclosed in a small brass mouthpiece. one finds it usad in most of the folk musics of thé Near East and the Maghreb.

The tenbûr or Kurdish lute is the most popular instrument of this category. It exists in a variety of models and dimensions.

The most common tenbûr has a resonance box in the form of a half-pear (carved from mulberry tree wood), 6 metallic strings plucked with a plectrum (pick), a neck made of walnut wood about a meter long, containing 6 pegs and 32 non-equidistant and adjustable frets. Its sound board is not pierced.

The playing of the tenbûr does not in principle call for the addition of percussion. It is used alone to accompany traditional songs of the plains and especially political chansons, for which it is widely used. When it accompanies entertainment chansons and dances, it is sometimes supported by the dembilk (pottery drum), notably among the Kurds of Syria and Iraq. This manner of presentation tends to spread also into the meridional cities of Kurdistan of Turkey.