Bahman Rajabi

(Bahman Rajabi with Mother Soltan Khanum)

Bahman Rajabi was born to a very poor family in 1939 in Rasht. His lifelong & complete devotion to the art of Tonbak is a colossal service to the art of Tonbak and living testimony to his interest in musical rhythms which started in his childhood by playing on household equipments like metal trays. He moved to Tehran with his family at a very young age.

He could not afford a Tombak teacher due to financial difficulties. Therefore, he started learning Tombak by just listing to and observing Tombak players during his schooling. He also faced family and educational problems. These difficulties very much delayed his artistic development.

He considers himself as student of the past and contemporary tombak masters, by learning from past masters and being influenced by contemporary masters. He considers Ostad Amir Naser Eftetah as being more influential. (pictured above)

Bahman Rajabi has renovated and modernized the work of other artists. He has also made some notable innovations in the art of Tombak especially in expansion of playing techniques by using logical methods. He has renovated the traditional Iranian 6/8 rhythms known as "motrebi" or "ruhozi". He has added ten new riz (roll) to the previous five traditional riz (roll).

از تکنیک های احیا شده و بکار رفته رجبی می توان به موارد زیر اشاره کرد (بکارگیری و بوجود آوردن ریزهای شانزده گانه متعدد که تنها پنج نوع آن توسط گذشتگان نواخته می شده است):

- ریز دو انگشتی ساده یا ریز تیمپانی
- ریز دو انگشتی بشکنی
- ریز نه انگشتی
- ریز ده انگشتی یا ریز پرتر
- ریز دو انگشتی ساده عکس و برگردان
- ریز دو انگشنی مضاعف
- ریز هشت انگشتی روی پوست
- ریز هشت انگشتی روی چوب
- ریز هشت انگشتی ترکیبی یا مختلط
- ریز هشت انگشتی بشکنی
- ریز هشت انگشتی ناخنی روی پوست
- ریز شلاقی یا ریز زورخانه ای

(Bahman Rajabi writing his book)

He is an excellent orator. He has given many lectures accompanied by solo performances about Tombak without expecting any financial reward. He believes that a modern Tombak artist must be a scholar, a thinker and a researcher as well as a good player and has opened the minds of many of his students and audiences worldwide. Bahman Rajabi is a mountaineer.

(Bahman Rajabi Early Years)

Bahman Rajabi believes that art is for attainment of highest human attributes and not means for accumulating wealth. For this reason, he never plays in any institution in which art has only entertainment value.

Books: Tonbak and study of Rhythm from different aspects (Tonbak va negareshi beh rhythm azzavaya-ye-mokhtalef) - This book is in Farsi. A comprehensive study of Rhythm from viewpoint of a master Tombak player.