The Seventh National Festival and First international Course on Daf (a type of frame drum) was held in Sanandaj, western Iran, from August 30 to September 1, 2017.
The mystic and pleasant sound of Daf (a tambourine-like drum) echoed across Sanandaj in Kordestan province from August 30 to September 1, as prominent domestic and foreign musicians played the traditional musical instrument in the Seventh National Festival and First International Course on Daf.
According to a Farsi report by IRNA, the national section of the festival was titled ‘Daf, the Sound of Mercy’.
Kordestan Province has been Iran’s hub of mystic music and Daf playing since a long time ago. Playing this musical instrument has a very high and special status among the people of the province.
The musical instrument helps the romantic and mystical spirit of Kurds in this province to become more familiar with God.
The native people’s avid interest in Daf is so much that one can hardly find a house in the province to which the musical instrument has failed to find its way. The same interest has turned the province into the world’s Daf capital.
Each year, the province hosts festivals on different occasions, during which Daf players stage their performances.
Since 2014, after a seven-year hiatus, the festival has been held nationwide in Sanandaj every year, attended by Iran’s prominent Daf players.
The motto of this year’s festival was “Art, Convergence and Kindness”. Daf players from 25 Iranian provinces as well as two foreign ensembles took part in the recently held edition of the fest.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the event, the Governor of Sanandaj said Daf is an old Iranian musical instrument, with which spiritual music can be played, and has a high status in the country and, particularly, Kordestan Province.
Mohammad-Ebrahim Zarei added playing the Daf constitutes a major part of Iran’s spiritual and mystical music.
He stressed that Kordestan region plays a significant role in preserving and promoting the art.
People in this province have preserved the art of playing the Daf for 3,300 years, Zarei said, adding plans are underway to inscribe Daf as a national intangible cultural heritage.
During the festival, a two-volume book on teaching how to play the Daf was also unveiled. The book is written by Farzad Andalibi and published by the Art Bureau of Kordestan Province.