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Music and Dance


    The Baloch has a rich musical culture.  His interest in music was profound.  It is possible that like other civilizations, music among ancient Baloch had functions connected with religion.  However, its ecstatic and secular possibilities nevetheless had relation with some form of magic.  The Baloch treated persons suffering a type of disease similar to hysteria or chronic indigestion through music.  They were called Gwati.  Ministrels played music on sorouz and tamborag and repeated often one particular rhythm.   When the music reached its climax the gwati started a relentless movement in a dancing pattern.  This would continue for many hours til late at night.  It was believed that music would construe some magical effect, and that disease which had been caused definitely by some evil forces would end.

    Music had its importance on all occasions except death when the ceremonies were of a more solemn nature.  Other occasions were marked with much singing and dancing.

    The Balochi sur or raags which could be termed Zaheerag because of their general characterization of melancholy pattern, could be categorized under two main heads: Balochi and Kurdi.  All others which may be as many as twenty come under these heads.  Under Balochi, comes its various branches: miedi gor-obam, mianag, asrap-e-durra and janozam.  Kurdi included baskard jalawani kurdi, sahr kurdi, salat and tat. It may, however, be noted that the entire Balochi musical structure is based on Zaheerag.  Some of the folk-music appears to be somewhat different from it, but in their formal structure all musical derivatives have their base in Zaheerag.

    Among the musical instruments nal-sur, tamborag and surous were important.

    As regads dances, there are few traces if any, of weather, harvest or thanks-giving dances among the Baloch.  Dances were always collective and associate with groups.  There was no fiery manner of dances.

    Religious dances were  not prevalent.   However, in the more recent past, Zigry sect, among the Baloch, practiced a kind of religigious dance called chogan.  It, however, varied much from classical temple dances of most ancient cultures.

    The main dance was do-chapi when men gathered and danced, clapping hands with the movement of foot, nech and head on rythmical music on drum, dohl.  Any knid of dance apart from do-chapi was not univesal.  Basically it was for the enjoyment of performers and was not a spectator dance.  On many occasions women moved in a circle, clapping hands but without any body movements such as do-chapi.

Lewa, hambo and latti were also prevalent mostly through foreign influence.  Lewa is supposed to be of Arabian origin, while Latti and Hambo were clearly dances of the ancient indigenous people of Balochistan.