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Wind of Change in Playing Ney Anbān, an Iranian Traditional Musical Instrument

Behrouz Vojdani*- Ney Anbān (Iranian Bagpipes) is one of the oldest Iranian musical instruments which is mostly played in the south of Iran adjacent to the Persian Gulf’s northern coastal regions, especially in the provinces of Hormozgan, Bushehr and Khuzestan, Iran.
As this instrument produces melodious and forte sounds; to that account, it is used in cheerful celebrations in outdoor events. Many people participate in such parties, especially the youth who may dance in harmony with the bagpipe.
Ney Anbān has played a massive role in safeguarding and transmission of the living musical heritage of the regions wherein it is practiced and enjoyed many cultural and social functions.
Within a recent couple of decades, some girls, chiefly whose fathers play Ney Anbān, have shown interests in it. Their fathers facilitated a suitable atmosphere for their daughters to that effect. For centuries, this instrument was only practiced by and transmitted through men.

When the first female bagpipe players have been provided to play in public, they succeeded to attract the general audience attention and encouragement. This paved the way for the next changes including playing in musical festivals in national, regional and international scales.
Moreover, in recent years, several private classes learn Ney Anbān playing to female enthusiasts.

Ms Liana Sharifian, whose father taught her how to play Ney Anbān at home, says playing music does not recognize any specific gender, and no musical instrument is exclusively restricted to men. At the present moment, many young girls in Bushehr and other regions have inclined to play Ney Anbān.

Berouz Vojdani is an ICH expert who is active in the field of anthropology of music.

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