The major characteristic of the music of Būšehr and the surrounding area is the singing of šarva, local dobaytīs (couplets) mostly sung in āvāz form in free meter and accompanied by the ney-anbān (bagpipe) and the ney-e joftī. Apparently a very old form, šarva originated in the region of Daštī, Daštestān, and Tangestān, where it is also designated by the terms ājīānī and šanbaʾī. Among the Qašqāʾīs and in villages around Shiraz, šarva is the name for local songs based on do-baytī. Similar songs in Kermān are called arībī/orbatī.

In the past the melody of šarva began with an introduction consisting of verses by Jalāl-al-Dīn Rūmī, a custom still current in Daštestān. Today šarva consists mainly of the poetry of Zāyer Moḥammad-ʿAlī Fāyeż (d. ca. 1290 Š./1911) and Sayyed Bahmanyār Maftūn, both from Daštestān.

Another noteworthy feature of the music of Būšehr is the type of song called yazla, in which the melody is more important than the lyrics; it is accompanied only by the clapping of hands.

For a music sample, see Nowhe of Men's Mourning.

For a music sample, see Nowhe Zeynab.


Āhanghā-ye maallī-e manāeq-e jonūb-e Īrān I, Tehran, 1325 Š./1946.

J. Kuckertz and M.-T. Massoudieh, “Musik in Būšehr (Süd-Iran),” Ngoma. Studien zur Volksmusik und äussereuropäischen Kunstmusik (Munich and Salzburg) 2, 1976; Pers. tr., Mūsīqī-e Būšehr, Tehran, 2536 = 1356 Š./1977.

Idem, “Volksgesänge aus Iran,” Baessler­-Archiv 33, 1975, pp. 217-29.

(Moḥammad-Taqī Masʿūdīya)

Originally Published: December 15, 1990

Last Updated: May 19, 2017

Cite this entry:

Moḥammad-Taqī Masʿūdīya, “BŪŠEHR ii. MUSIC OF BŪŠEHR,” Encyclopædia Iranica, IV/6, p. 572, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/bushehr-02-music (accessed on 30 December 2012).