Daf is the large Persian frame drum, is used in Khangah (temple of dervishes) during the zekr (spiritual chanting) ritual. Its Pahlavi (pre-Islamic Persian language) name is Dap and Daf is the arabicized version of Dap. Many Persian poets have alluded to the Daf in their works; perhaps the most famous one is Molana Jalal-al-Din Rumi. It has become very popular these days and is now integrated into other styles of Persian music. Indeed, the Daf is becoming more popular around the world.
The antiquity of daf, with the Pahlavi name dap, goes to pre-Islamic ages. Persian literature shows us the importance of this Persian frame drum in Persian Sufi music. Daf was considered a spiritual drum played in khanghahs of Iran, particularly Kurdistan. It should be mentioned that similar frame drums with similar names are played in some other countries such as daf in India, tef in Turkey, duf in Arabic countries and dap in Uyghuristan of China. Thanks to some famous daf players, daf integrated into Persian art music and it became the second national drum of Iran. The chief national drum of Iran is tonbak (the Persian goblet drum). Today daf is used in all genres of music in Iran and in this article I will give a brief description of different daf-s used in different genres of Iranian (Persian) music.