Monday, 14 May 2012, 07:55 GMT
Tahsin Taha, the artist who brought modernism and innovation into Kurdish music


Tahsin Taha / PRESS PHOTO

The Kurdish Globe

17 years have passed since the renowned Kurdish singer Tahsin Taha passed away.

Taha was born in Amedi in October 25, 1941 in the town of Amedi, south of Duhok.

He studied his elementary and intermediate schools in Mangish, Batoofa and Duhok, and then went to Baghdad to study in the fine arts institute, where he learnt music and started to sing.

During his stay in Baghdad, he used to visit the Kurdish radio station in Baghdad and get introduced to a number of Kurdish artists there and become friends with them. Then the station broadcasts some of his songs.

After finishing his studies in 1946, he becomes an elementary school teacher and teaches arts in an elementary school in Makhmour, where he stays for four years. He conducts various musical and arts activities in the school as well as gathering musicians and artists of the village in his home.

In 1968, Taha moves to Erbil and starts teaching there. In Erbil and in cooperation with a number of musicians and artists of the city establish the Erbil Music Band, where they produce valuable works to the Kurdish singing and music.

The artist becomes a music trainer at the department of arts activities of the directorate of education in Erbil and educates a number of students in the field of music and arts.

Although the works of Taha were mainly Kurdish folk and traditional music that mainly reflected the village life, but they were all new and great works. His songs were a reflection of social life, love and the natural beauty of Kurdistan. Most of his songs were on the "Bayat" genre because the tone of his voice was very suitable for this kind of songs.

Many well-known artists argue that during Taha's era, Badinan had witnessed modernization in the Badinan area. He also had good friendship relations with other Kurdish artists, particularly with Moahmmed Arif Jaziri, Tahir Tofiq, Foad Ahmed and Shamal Saeb.

Mamosta Bakoori, an experienced artist and one of Taha's best friends says that he met Taha in late 1960s, in one of the evening parties at the home of one of the respected families in Erbil.

"We had a party with Foad Ahmed," Bakoori told the Globe. "Ahmed brought Taha with him to the party and introduced me to him. He sang a number of songs that night and I understood that he has a great potential."

Bakoori argues that Tahsin Taha brought a new genre into the music of the Badinan are and Kurmanji dialect.

"I had listened to the sins of most of his associates including Hassan Jazrawi, Nasrin Sherwani, Jaziri," explained Bakoori. "their works and songs were mainly like those in the Turkish Kurdistan, while Taha's works were very great and innovative. In choosing music for his songs he used many new methods and he was working on them by himself."

Besdies, according to Bakkori, Taha's performance and style was unique and there was no imitation of Arabic, Turkish or Persian music in his works.

In early 1990s Taha left home towards diaspora and spent the last years of his life in Netherlands, where he passed away in May 8, 1995 due to a heart disease.

Afte less than a month and in June 4th the same year, his cadaver was brought back to his birthplace Amedi, where he was buried forever.