Bayat e Tork – Persian Music Continued

by Majnuun Music & Dance on January 24, 2014, no comments

In Persian music, Bayat e Tork is the next sub-dastgah after Abu Ata. Bayat e Tork is very different in feeling from the mother Dastgah Shur which it belongs to. Bayat e Tork can be treated as an independent Dastgah as you will see it differs a lot in melody and quality from Shur, and Abu Ata. In my own personal experience, listening to Bayat e Tork always transported me to another time. I often takes my imagination back to a medieval Iran. I often feel relaxed and lighthearted hearing this mode. It is full of happy, buoyant energy.

Bayat e Tork was originally called Bayat e Zand. My teacher, Hossein Behroozinia related to me the following reason for the change of name: The Zand dynasty in Iran was from an ethnic Persian tribe in Iran ruling for much of the 18th century. When the Qajar family usurped the throne in the late 18th century, they changed the name of this to wipe out any remnant of the Zand dynasty in the culture. The Qajar dynasty was of Turkic descent from the northern reaches of Iran, and they renamed this Dastgah “Tork”.

Bayat e Tork is related to Shur. Its relationship is modal in character as it uses the exact same set of notes as Shur uses, but the focus shifts to the interval created between the notes C and F (if playing Shur from D)

Shur: D Eqb F G A/Aqb Bb C

Bayat e Tork: C D Eqb F G A/Aqb Bb

There is only one gushe where Bayat e Tork uses Aqb, but the focus on the four note interval C D Eqb F stays constant. In Arabic terms, the notes C D Eqb F is a tetrachord called Rast.

The key things to remember in Bayat e Tork is that it usually starts on C but during melodic development the melody lands on F. In Arabic music, a maqam that is most closely resembles Bayat e Tork would be Maqam Jiharkah. A person on mikeouds forums brought this to my attention. I previously thought that Maqam Rast most closely resembled Bayat e Tork. Maqam Rast does share the same tetrachord however, and this is where they overlap.

Below are some sound files of me playing some important gushes from Bayat e Tork from the Radif of Mirza Abdollah:


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