Traditional Kurdish music is very distinctive from Arabic, Armenian and Turkish music, and mostly composed by people who remained anonymous. Thematically, the music were of melancholic and elegiac character, but has since then incorporated more upbeat and joyous melodies. Kurdish folklore consists of three genres: the storytellers (çîrokbêj), bards (dengbêj) and popular singers (stranbêj). Moreover, there are religious-themed songs (lawje) seasonal musical topics, for example "payizok" that are songs about the return to the summer pastures performed in autumn. Kurdish improvisations are called teqsîm.
Hassan Zirak, Kurdish folk Singer
However, the tolerance for Kurdish music ceased with the Saddam regime (from 1979 to 2003) which put in place restrictions against Kurdish culture. Between 1982 and 1991 the performance and recording of songs in Kurdish was also banned in Turkey.
^Robert F. Reigle (2013). "A brief history of Kurdish music recordings in Turkey". Hellenic Journal of Music Education, and Culture. 4 (2). ISSN1792-2518.
^B. Schott's Söhne (1979). Monde de la Musique, 21 (in French). p. 20.
^Sebastian Maisel (2018). The Kurds: An Encyclopedia of Life, Culture, and Society. p. 205. ISBN9781440842573.
^Philip G. Kreyenbroek (2010). Oral Literature of Iranian Languages: Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik. ISBN9780857732651.
^Fabian Richter. Identität, Ethnizität und Nationalismus in Kurdistan (in German and English). p. 328.
^Anthony Gorman, Andrew Newman. Jamie, Sokes (ed.). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East. p. 393.
Skalla, Eva and Jemima Amiri. "Songs of the Stateless". In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 378-384. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN1-85828-636-0
Izady, Mehrdad. The Kurds: A Concise Handbook, Taylor & Francis, p 256 - 268. ISBN0-8448-1727-9.
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Edith Gerson-Kiwi, The Music of Kurdistan Jews. A synopsis of their musical styles, in Yuval, Studies of the Jewish Music Research Centre, ii, Jerusalem 1971.
Vartabed Comitas, Quelques spécimens des mélodies kurdes, in Recueil d'Emine, Moscow 1904, and re-edited in Erivan in 1959.
Hassanpour, A. "BAYT". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved . , "BAYT , a genre of Kurdish folk art, an orally transmitted story which is either entirely sung or is a combination of sung verse and spoken prose."