BAYĀT-e TORK, a musical system (āvāz, naḡma) and one of the branches of the modal system (dastgāh) of Šūr in traditional classical music. It is also known as Āvāz-e Tork and Bayāt-e Zand for the Zand tribe in the region of Fārs. It is believed that the name Tork refers to the Turkic tribes of southern Iran, where many songs are found composed in this mode (Farhat, I, p. 82). The call to prayer (aḏān) and a number of prayers (monājāt) and poems (maṯnawī) performed on religious occasions are sung in this mode.

Although it is considered as originating within the dastgāh Šūr, its modal scheme is distinct from Šūr. The basic scale of Tork is F G Ap (koron or half-flat) Bb, C D and Eb. The primary reference pitch, or šāhed, is on the fourth scale degree, Bb, which is retained throughout the dastgāh, giving it, according to many musicians (Farhat, p. 95; Ḵāleqī, p. 156), a uniform or even monotonous character. Each piece (gūša) may end on the first or fourth degree of the scale, the more common one in recent times being the fourth degree, giving Tork the flavor of the Western major mode with a slightly flatted seventh degree. Indeed, some pieces in the current repertoire are believed to be borrowed from the dastgāh Māhūr (q.v.), such as Šekasta.

Important pieces (gūšahā) in Bayāt-e Tork include the Darāmad, Dogāh, Rūḥolarwāh (Rūh al-arwāḥ), Jāmadarān, Mahdī Żar(r)ābī, Šekasta, Qaṭār, Qarāʾī, and Maṯnawī. Rūḥolarwāh and Mahdī Żarrābī conclude on the second degree of the scale (G). Since that is the cadential pitch for Šūr these two pieces provide a link with that mode. Qarāʾī is one of the more important pieces and Qarāʾī represents the high pitch area (awj) at the end of the dastgāh. Qaṭār is very common in the music of the Kurds in Iran (Barkešlī, p. 121). Šekasta is considered to be a modulation, modally resembling Afšārī (Caron and Safvate, p. 73). Although traditionally similar in expressive character to Šūr, the modern performance of Tork is felt to be lighter in mood, due to its closer relationship to the dastgāh Māhūr.

For a music sample, see Bayāt-e Tork I (Āvāz).

For a music sample, see Bayāt-e Tork II (setār).



N. Caron and D. Safvate, Iran: Les traditions musicales, Berlin, 1966, pp. 70-74.

M. Barkešlī, Modāwamat dar oṣūl-e mūsīqī-e Īrān: Gāmhā wa dastgāhhā-ye mūsīqī-e īrānī, Tehran, 2535 = 1353 Š./1974.

J. During, La musique iranienne: Tradition et évolution, Paris, 1984, pp. 113-14.

H. Farhat, The Dastgah Concept in Persian Music, Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 1965, I, pp. 82-91; II, pp. 309-16.

M. Forṣat Šīrāzī, Boḥūr al-alḥān, ed. ʿA. Zarrīnqalam, Tehran, 1345 Š./1966.

M. Karīmī (coll.), Radīf-e āvāzī-e mūsīqī-e sonnatī-e Īrān, transcribed and analyzed by M.-T. Masʿūdīya (Massoudieh), Tehran, 1357 Š./ 1978, pp. 32-43.

R. Ḵāleqī, Naẓar-ī be mūsīqī II, Tehran, 1352 Š./1973, pp. 153-57.

K. Khatschi, Der Dastgah: Studien zur neuen persischen Musik, Regensburg, 1962, pp. 97-98.

M. Maʿrūfī, Radīf-e haft dastgāh-e mūsīqī-e īrānī, Tehran, 1352 Š./1973 (s.v. Bayāt-e Tork).

M. Sadeghi, Improvisation in Nonrhythmic Solo Instrumental Contemporary Persian Art Music, M.A. thesis, California State University, Los Angeles, 1971, pp. 35, 59, 62-63.

D. Ṣafwat, Ostādān-e mūsīqī-e Īrān wa alḥān-e mūsīqī-e īrānī, Tehran, 1350 Š./1971, pp. 74-99.

E. Zonis, Classical Persian Music: An Introduction, Cambridge, Mass., 1973, pp. 77-79.

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 بیات ترک bayat turk  bayaat turk  

(M. Caton)

Originally Published: December 15, 1988

Last Updated: May 2, 2014

This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 8, pp. 885-886