Ebrahim Sharifzade

It is often when we lose something that we realize the fleeting nature of this life. It is the loss that makes us wish for ways of preservation. It is having to let go of something grand that makes us deeply feel the attachment we had to them. Iran’s music has been losing many of these amazing treasures and this comes at a great cost since our music culture is deeply rooted in the oral form. Yes, we have written it down in notes and recorded many, however, learning an ability through the oral form is not just due to the lack of ability or facility to record and preserve in written form, it is rather a method which engages the mind, the memory in a different way. For instance, one’s pitch memory can become much more fine-tuned through the oral form because one has only their ears and their instrument or vocal chords to asses whether or not they’re hitting the right notes. It is also extremely important for exercising melodic memory. This is one of the biggest things we are losing with the loss of treasured musicians such as Ebrahim Sharifzadeh. With their encyclopedic musical brains, and deeply generous hearts, they are irreplaceable.

Ebrahim Sharifzadeh was from a golden generation of Khorasani musicians. He lived in Bakhlar and his collaboration with another one of Khorasan’s treasured musicians, Gholamhossein Samandari, lasted over 60 years. He lived a working life, simple and devotional. His loyalty to his faith was heard through his performance on the Dotar, and his deeply touching singing. One of the famous folk songs he is known to have performed timelessly is Nava’i. He kept a tradition of Khorasan’s music alive and added his own contributions to it as well. He will be missed for all that he stood for.