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Azerbaijan music

General info

Music in Azerbaijan varies from the region to region. Alongside with the folk music, jazz, rock and pop music have been developed and aquired national characteristics.

It is particularly in Karabakh the Azerbaijani music rested in craddle. There was lots of music there, more than in any other region of Azerbaijan; it was possible to hear folk performers playing different national musical instruments, such as: tar (a stringed musical instrument played by plucking), kamancha (a string musical instrument played with a bow), balaban (a woodwind instrument), def (a percussion instrument), saz (a string instrument played by plucking with a plectrum) and other types.

At the end of the 18th century the accumulation of a tradition of professional musical performance created the conditions for the appearance of a new musical-poetic tradition. Thus, traditional forms of musical genre and creative art acquire features, which later become the foundation of the concert, theatrical and vocal styles of the 20th century.

It was Shusha, the rich artistic life of which is marked by many bright events and talents that stimulated the rapid growth of twentieth century Azeri music. At the close of the eighteenth and at the beginning of the nineteenth centuries, famous Shusha singers Shakhsanam oglu Yusif, Mirza Husryn Gasanja, Mirza Ismail widely popularized classic mugams - a genre of professional Azerbaijan folk music, the distinctive feature of which is the improvisation of melodic patterns; and laid the foundation of the Khanende - singer's art, when the singer performs mugams with perfect mastery.

There are 7 classical forms of mugam. These are: Rast, Shur, Seygah, Chaargah, Bayati - Shiraz, Shushter, Humayun. At the same time, each of these mugams has a fixed number of parts. And only singers, who could perform all parts of all of the mugams correctly, deserved the name Khanende.

Later musicians, who had previously sung solo, began to organize the so-called "Medjlis", something like the "musical salons" of today. The organizer of the first literary - musical mejlis in the eighteen - seventies was Kharrat Gulu Mohammed ogli Yusifi. A religious man, Kharrat Gulu was nonetheless the most honored music expert of his time. He had a wonderful voice, knew classic eastern poetry very well and had an uncommonly subtle feel for mugams, their philosophic depth and contains.

Kharrat Gulu Mejlis had much in common with "music schools" because their essence lay in the principle of teaching religious ceremonies and learning the Koran with the use of improvised mugams. For his school he selected musically gifted boys with developed voice. Such distinguished Azerbaijan musicians as Haji Gusi, Meshedi Isi, Kechachi oglu Mohammed, Jabbar Garyagdy, Mirza Sadykh Asad oglu and Bul - Bul graduated from his school. Pupils and followers of Kharrat Gulu's school contributed to the development of the oral tradition in professional Azerbaijani national folk music. Among these a special place is given the musician and innovator Mirza Sadykh Asad oglu, who refined a musical instrument, the tar, which is widely used in Transcaucasian republics, Middle Asia and Dagestan.

In the beginning of the 19th century two prominent Azerbaijani composers U.Hadjibeyli
and M. Magomayev (both were natives of Shusha) gave an impetus to the development of the opera and ballet in Azerbaijan. In 1908, U.Hadjibeyli staged first opera in the Moslem East - "Leyli and Madjnun".

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