Across the globe and throughout history, music has been a staple of culture.

There is a great array of styles and genres that have evolved over time for music. These have been made possible by, and necessitated, instruments as diverse as the cultures that created them.

We are all familiar with the more “standard” instruments like the piano, the flute, and the violin, but there is a rich world of instruments with interesting histories and craftsmanship out there!

Today, we spotlight one of these beautiful symbols of culture, the Kamāncheh.

The Kamāncheh is a traditional stringed Persian instrument. Its beautiful sound resonates with history, and when played by a master, it takes on an almost spiritual beauty.

For a proper introduction to the Kamāncheh and one if its most skilled musicians, we turn to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. They have a remarkable YouTube channel, MIMphx, that explores some of the unique instruments in their collection. It also features interviews with musicians from around the world.

Here is world renowned Kamāncheh artist Kayhan Kalhor and the instrument he has devoted his musical life to…

Via: MIMphx 1

That was such a beautiful sentiment from his wife:

“We create music because we are out of words.”

I want to leave you today with a beautiful performance by Kayhan Kalhor at the Morgenland Festival Osnabrueck.

This duet with Toumani Diabaté on the kora is a spellbinding fusion of musical traditions.

It is truly music that captures words that we cannot describe. So please, take a moment to enjoy this.

When we talk about another culture as being “other”, we allow for the complexities of its beauty to be erased.

Our experiences on this planet are made richer by our diversity. Whether in music, the arts, religion, or customs, the tapestry of our history is made more beautiful by our differences.

No one culture or country has the corner of the market on good or bad, right or wrong. When we break people and their complexities into binary terms we take away humanity. To be human is to be complex, to be made up of competing forces.

Art and music are some of the beautiful bridges we can use to explore cultures different from our own, and hopefully, as we explore we will rediscover and reaffirm our shared humanity.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

Celebrate even more of our marvelously complex world!

There is a lot out there to celebrate! From thought leaders to natural wonders, to artists and musicians we have written about them all! The best way to explore our growing archives is to try out our “Surprise Me!” button. Give it a try!

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Notes:

  1. “MIM Conversations: Kayhan Kalhor, Master Kamāncheh Player.” YouTube. MIMphx, 14 Dec. 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoLXkUNx2G0&t=133s>.
  2. “Kayhan Kalhor & Toumani Diabaté Live at Morgenland Festival Osnabrück.” YouTube. Morgenland Festival Osnabrueck, 19 Jan. 2017. Web. 13 Feb. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxmJCk9J5fE>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV