دوفصلنامه پژوهشی مهرگانی- چکیده مقالات
Mehregani Mehregani
Mehregani

 

History of the Tonbak in Persian Music (from Ilkhanid to the End of Safavid Dynasty)
Narges Zaker Ja’fari

Abstract

The objective of this research is to study the origin of the tonbak from the reign of Ilkhanid to the fall of the Safavid dynasty. Since Tonbak has been considered the most significant percussion instrument in the Persian Dastgah musical system from Qajar to now, in this paper, we are tracing it back to the junctures earlier than the Qajar dynasty. Moreover, we intent to answer the question of what place the tobank is endowed with in Persian music, during the dynasties prior to the Qajar. On the grounds of sources at hand, it can be inferred that, during the aforementioned periods, the Tonbak was often being employed in theatrical occasions by showmen or actors. Also, rarely, the Tonbak accompaniment has been encountered on festive occasions. What has just been stated can also be observed in written sources as well as the illustrated ones. Before the Qajar, the dayereh had been undeniably playing the most significant part as a percussion instrument in classical Persian music. Despite the total absence of the Tombak in the depictions of feasts, its presence in some illustrations treating of folk plays is noteworthy. Apropos of its early morphological aspects and what it used to be made of, there is not enough information at hand; only in some travel literature handed down from the Safavid dynasty has its earthenware quality been mentioned. Among the available musical manuscripts, we have come across the name “tonbank” in only one musical manuscript belonging to the Safavid period. In the illustrated sources, the point which is of a great consequence is how the tonbak used to be held by players. In these pictures, players, whether standing or sitting, are holding the tonbak under their arms. It appears that since the employment of tonbak in festive occasions became extensively common and players in lieu of standing position favored sitting one especially on the floor, the way that they used to hold the tonbak also underwent a change, and instead of holding it under their arms they gradually started to place it on their legs.


Keywords:
Tonbak, Membranophones, Percussion Instrument, The Origin of the Tonbak.


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