The art of mugham is an important branch of verbal heritage of the culture of Azerbaijan professional music. It has deep roots in cultural traditions and history of Azerbaijan people. Great number of followers of this cultural tradition in the country, and an important role it plays in the national culture as a source of endless enthusiasm for the composers, painters, sculptors and poets of speak about the basis of this culture in Azerbaijan
It is a highly complex art form that weds classical poetry and musical improvisation in specific local modes. "Mugham" is a modal system. Unlike Western modes, "mugham" modes are associated not only with scales but with an orally transmitted collection of melodies and melodic fragments that performers use in the course of improvisation. "Mugham" is a compound composition of many parts. The choice of a particular mugham and a style of performance fits a specific event. The peculiarity of folk music clarifies itself firstly with the development of a fret system. It contains seven main frets - rast, shur, segyakh (are especially spread), shushter, bayati-shiraz, chargyakh, khumayun and three collateral kinds - shakhnaz, sarendj, chargyakh in some other form.
Musical İnstruments of Azerbaijan
Musical instruments of our nation are distinguished for richness and diversity. Many of them were made in the ancient times and have been improved throughout the centuries.
Tar, ‘the most important instrument for expansion of study of Eastern music’ to Uzeyir Hajibeyov, kamancha, which he considered ‘the most beautiful of melodic instruments’, saz, the ‘friend’ of ashygs, ganun that was compared with ‘box of secret’ by Fuzuli, oud, the ‘king’ of all instruments in due time, are most popular string instruments at present. Tar, one of the most perfect instruments of Azeri nation, is played with mediator. Tar is made of mulberry, walnut and pear trees, open side of the body is made of cattle heart membrane. Its strings are of different thickness and composition.
Kamancha is an ancient stringed musical instrument of Azerbaijan played with a bow. Various kinds of kamancha are famous among the peoples of the Eastern and Middle Asia. This instrument, characterized with a charming, tender and melodic sounding, has been improved throughout centuries and survived till our times.
Gaval, which was called ‘the most delicate’ of percussion instruments by Uzeyir Haibeyov, naghara, goshanaghara, dumbek are very popular at present.Gaval is consisted of narrow, round wooden rim. One side of gaval is open, another side covered with fish skin. Metal rings are fastened to the rim from inside. Diameter is 340-456 mm, width 40-50 mm. Gaval is played by touching palms and fingers of both hands on the side or centre of the skin surface, also shaking the instrument
International Mugham Centre
Creation of the International Mugham Center in the City of Baku in order to widely promote in the world the Azerbaijani mugham, proclaimed by UNESCO as Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, is of special importance among the projects accomplished towards the safeguarding of the national moral values and promotion of the Azerbaijani culture.
Round Table initiated by President of the Foundation Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva was held in 2005 with the participation of outstanding mugham masters and a decision was made to establish the International Mugham Center in the City of Baku. On April 6, 2005, President Ilham Aliyev signed an order on the creation of the International Mugham Center in Baku. Regular meetings and consultations with masters of mugham led to the development of the project of the International Mugham Center.
On August 24, 2005, the cornerstone laying ceremony of the Center was held in the National Seaside Park with the participation of President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura. On 27 December 2008, President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva inaugurated the International Mugham Center. The 7.500 sq.m building reminds of the parts of tar, an ancient musical instrument of Azerbaijan. The 3-storey building includes 350-seat concert hall, club, classrooms, recording studio, 80-seat restaurant “Ud”.
At the International Mugham Center young performers learn the refinements of the art of mugham, an important branch of the Azerbaijani music culture. Concerts of eminent mugham masters, mugham evenings, international conferences and festivals are organized in the Center.
Address: Nizami 100, Baku. Azerbaijan, AZ 1010
Tel: +994 12 555 12 46,
+994 55 273 54 10
+994 55 836 13 26
+994 55 791 62 63