Code: 12784 A

TEHRAN.(Iranart) - Hamidreza Moinipour says Iranian musical instruments have tune-up problems, a fact yet to be recognized by music masters, much less fixed. They insist the shape of Iranian musical instruments should never be altered, he complains.

In an exclusive interview with Honaronline, the maker of Iranian musical instruments said the country has never been short of masters who have inherited the craft of making musical instruments from previous generations. “They have built some of the best instruments and they should be credited for that.”

On when and how he began making these instruments, Hamidreza Moinipour said: I began learning the craft from Master Mansour Younesi in year 2000.  I also formed a local group in Ilam and performed in many concerts. It was a profound feeling when I made my first musical instrument. After that I rented a workshop and bought the necessary tools to make more of the same, in this case Iranian warp.

On whether his priority is making instruments or playing them, he said: The priority for me is playing the instrument. It is rather hard to make one from scratch. Although I make professional instruments, I still prefer playing them. I cannot live without music. I spend a lot of time conducting music.

On the type of wood used in making instruments, he said: I use mulberry wood and you can find them on the outskirts of Tehran, Kordan and Shahriar. Nowadays, it is hard to find the right wood for your new instrument. And when you find it you have to spend a lot of money to get it.

On why craftsmen use old wood to make instruments, he said: Newly cut wood has moisture. Wood bends when it dries, and with that the instrument you have just made from it. Another reason why we also use old walnut wood is the color. It is beautiful and more colorful. I personally use mulberry wood brought from Neishabour and Kordestan.

On the number of instruments he has made thus far, Moinipour said: So far, I have made some 40 musical instruments. I usually play my own instruments to get the best tune out of them. Not many craftsmen do that as they don’t know how to play. I keep the new instruments for a month and after that send to those who have ordered them. I usually make warp and I’m pretty much good at it.

On the income made from this business, he said: There is no steady income in this business. Sometimes I make quick cash by selling an instrument, but most of the times it’s a waiting game. In any case, I’m fine with this. I also repair old musical instruments. It takes a lot of time and effort and expertise to fix a broken instrument. I love the way older instruments have been made. You learn a lot from old masters in the field.

In conclusion, Moinipour talked about the problems and challenges in the business. He said: The biggest problem is that we are still experiencing and learning. They make standard violins in other parts of the world, but in Iran we are yet to make standard Iranian musical instruments. The problem is that our craftsmen snub each other. They don’t approve of each other, let alone each other’s works. They use their own experience and expertise, whereas they could do wonders if they learn from each other and work as a team.

There is a huge need for new standards and scientific practices in Iran with regard to making standard musical instruments. This way we could also have a say on the international scene. Iranian musical instruments suffer from tune-up problems and we are yet to acknowledge that. We have to fix these problems before anything else. There is no other way to internationalize the Iranian musical instruments.


Hamidreza Moinipour
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