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      /  Literature   /  The Master Poets and Singers

    The Master Poets and Singers

    Part III of “The Melodious Poetry of the Baluchi Language” series

    Author: Aziz Dadiar

    In this article, the author discusses the evolution of Baluchi literature and music in Western Baluchistan and talks about how it is done in contemporary times. In addition, the role of great masters of song and music in the advancement of Baluchi language, literature and music is discussed. This article is divided into four parts, the second part of which is published below.

    I believe it is time to delve into the Baluchi canon and discover how, and in which form, with what methods and when the Baluchi language reached in the voice of master Dorjan.

    On this new road, mental capacity, knowledge of poetry and the ability to read the poems and the music in the poetry possessed by Shahdad Shakir is noteworthy, in addition to the extraordinary skills of his composer Pahlavan Arzu.

    Without examining the artistic competitions of these artists , one cannot compare their impact. From one side, Hoot Kamalan with his sweet and strong tunes beside master Dorjan, one of the greatest classical musicians. And on the other side Shahdad Shakir, with his impeccable memory and knowledge of correct reading of the poems along side one of the most well- known musicians named Arzu.

    And beside both groups, master Gholam Ghader who had claimed the legacy of classical Baluchi singing and used to attack both Kamalan and Shahdad on any occasion where musicians were assembled as he believed they have entered his domain and these attacks would ignite the fire of competition even more.

    In those days, this pleasant competition and its influence was experienced mainly among the poetry and music enthusiasts in Dashtiyari and Chabahar regions.

    Following that, the pleasure of this competition reached every town and village in Baluchistan excluding Sarhad and Zahedan and it quenched the thirst for all those suffocated emotions for Baluchi culture. As if being caught by the fire of passion, everyone was seeking to access these epic poems as soon as possible.

    In order to become acquainted with how the seeds of national and ethnic sentiments started to grow in the Baluch society and how this stored treasure, the result of which is the book, “Miras’’ was discovered, it is necessary to highlight its practical process.

    It was in Mekran where singers moved from one place to the other to collect classic poetry through the words of older generations and embellished them with their music.

    It is self evident that the emergence of our culture of poetry, literature and music was not sudden. Obviously, Hoot Kamalan, Dorjan, Shahdad and Gholam Ghader did not wake up one day and decided to leave their home and family and collect the poems and make music all day long.

    Besides, people did not ask nor pressured them to collect the poems and make music. They were not the elite nor political activists who were tasked with this national and cultural mission. In reality it was the time and the international developments of the time that motivated and resulted in this matter.

    Now we pose the following question: “which had more impact on this domain? the singers or the musicians?”

    In regard to music and the singers, it should be noted that these two are the heart and soul that are united in the form of poetry which can not be separated. It is in other words the chicken or the egg dilemma.

    According to my analysis what had happened to Baluch people in this area, was an unexpected occurrence which we Baluch call “Kapt’’ ( a sun that suddenly and unexpectedly appears in the middle of night and shocks everybody).

    Two major masters, Master Dorjan and Pahlevan Arzu were like two prophets with hundreds of miracles. On the other side, two great singers from Dashtiyari, Gholam Ghader and Jan Mohammad and Ghader Daad appeared in Sarbaz, a district of flowing rivers.

    Master Gholam Ghader inherited his knowledge of Makams and classic music from his father Mullah Moosa. And he would spend time singing poetry along with Dorjan and beside them Jan Mohammad with his powerful voice and Ghader Daad on their side.

    The competition between Hoot Kamalan, Shahdad and Gholam Ghader grew each day.

    Master Gholam Ghader who had inherited the everlasting Makam of “Bashgerd” poetry had announced that poetry and signing are his legacy and non shall enter this field in which he inherited from his forefathers. Following Noori and Mullah Moosa, it is I, who shall continue on this journey.

    Shahdad and Kamalan however, continued in such a way that Gholam Ghader had no other choice but to dip into a collection of poems that till then nobody had heard. This step awakened the passion of the other two singers for the search of poems that have not yet been heard as well.

    In such a condition, the discussion over, “which singer had more poems in their repertoire than the other’’ grew among the people.

    Now, Hut Kamalan and Shahdad had the task of memorizing the poems. From that point on, the sweet sound of Kamalan echoed in every street and neighborhood.

    to be continued…