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First music performances appeared within this period. In 1897, Abdurrahim Akhverdiyev, famous writer (that time student of St. Petersburg University) guided performance of musical scene called “Mejnun at Leyli’s Tomb”. It was performance in costumes for the text of the final part of “Leyli and Mejnun” poem (great Azerbaijani poet Fizuli). Famous singers Jabbar Garyagdi and Akhmed Agdamsky played roles in this performance. Instrumental trio, headed by Mirza Sadig Asadoglu, accompanied their singing.

This music performance was met with delight. It was a notable event in music life of not only Azerbaijan, but also for the whole Trans Caucasus. It became bless ground to create music theater in Azerbaijan. Uzeir Hajibeyov, basing on this performance (seen in his childhood in 1908), created the first Azerbaijani mugam opera “Leyli and Mejnun” (poem of great Azerbaijani poet Fizuli - 1908). Opera “Leyli and Mejnun” was the first opera in the East.

After performance of above music scene, A. Akhverdiyev arranged “Eastern Concerts”. First concert was arranged in Shusha (1901), and then in Baku (1902). Outstanding representatives of Garabagh school: Jabbar Garyagdioglu, Kechachi oglu Mahammad, Meshadi Farzaliyev and others successfully participated in these concerts. Tar-player Gurban Pirimov and Kemancha-player Sasha Oganezashvili accompanied them. They performed mugam and tesniffs at these concerts. Famous Garabagh ashigs were invited for performance. “Eastern Concerts” played important role in mugam entering into concert stage. They assisted in upbringing of high aesthetic taste of listeners.

Music life rapidly developed in Baku in early 20th century. This city became the first one among Azerbaijani cultural centers. Outstanding cultural figures, including some Garabagh musicians started coming here. The continued their activity in Baku. However they always were connected spiritually with Garabagh and Shusha, their native land. They continued transmitting their knowledge to young musicians. New generation of mugam performers grew and formed in Garabagh.

State music schools, special and higher music institutions have been opened in Baku in the middle of the 20th century. This time mugam singers increased their teaching activity. They continued upbringing of professional musicians firstly in Eastern Conservatoire, then at Baku Musical College, and later in Baku Music Academy. At the moment they teach classic mugam art in the National Conservatoire and University of Culture and Arts.

The other area of folk professional singers was a theater and concert hall. Many of them being soloists of the Opera and Ballet Theater, participate in mugam operas of Azerbaijani composers and for wide audience of TV and radio. Parallel with this mugam singers often perform on tours. Concerts of folk professional performers, including Garabagh ones were successfully performed in big cities of Europe, Russia, and Middle East.

Speaking about development of mugam art, we should note gramophone records of folk musicians. These records, preserving voices of great masters are the national property of Azerbaijani people. They played significant role in propaganda of Azerbaijani music and its recognition in the world.

Within 1906 – 1905, big sound-recording companies of different countries (such as “Gramophone”, “Pate”, “Sport-record”, “Extraphone”, and Nogin factory) invited famous Azerbaijani singers and recorded them. Jabbar Garyagdi was the first of them. Then they recorded voices of Kechachi oglu Mahammad, Meshadi Mammad Farzaliyev, Islam Abdullayev and others. Gurban Pirimov (tar) and Sasha Oganezashvili (kemancha) accompanied them. Gramophone records preserved us their solo instrumental performance of mugams.

That time recording process itself was very difficult. That is why performers were required to be high professionals. All musicians showed extraordinary skills to transfer beauty and prosperity of Azerbaijani music. Next years issue of gramophone records increased significantly. Above companies issued the catalogues with data and pictures of Azerbaijani singers and instrumentalists.

This tradition proceeds till nowadays. Performances of mugam singers and players are recorded with modern hardware on CD, audio and videos. They open Internet-sites. All this widens the audience of mugam listeners. Number of Azerbaijani mugam admirers increase worldwide. And representatives of Garabagh School take a great role in this process.

Records of mugams and folk music opened ways for scientific researches. Activity of Scientific Research Cabinet in the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire, headed by Bulbul is remarkable. Here they recorded mugams, tesniffs, folk songs and dances, ashig creative works and others, performed by famous singers and players. Then they interpreted recorded material, and issued it as collections. They invited many masters for recording. For instance, we could note Jabbar Garyagdi. They recorded over 200 songs and tesniffs in his performance.

Colleagues of the cabinet participated in research expeditions, aimed to collect folk music. Expedition to Garabagh was especially productive. They could record very important music material. We should note that essential part of collected materials is preserved in the archive of Bulbul House-Museum.

Thus mugam that is expression of folk ideology, folk attitude, was perfected in the creative works of professional performers, improving in performance schools. So it came across nowadays. Mugam as a genre of Azerbaijani professional music of oral tradition is the ground of national music culture. It lives, develops, walks around the world greatest stages, and is carefully transmitted to growing generation.



 ©Copyright by Musigi Dunyasi