RU  UK  EN
Статьи  >  Imagine  >  Divine mugham: the music of Azerbaijan

Divine mugham: the music of Azerbaijan

Автор: 29.03.2020 | art, Azerebaijan
There is music which brings us back to life. It happens even if the tears are falling when one listens to it. The musical genre mugham talks to the audience using the right language. Everyone has lived out unhappy love, loss of a close person or ruin of ideals. These topics became the source of inspiration for the musicians of Azerbaijan movement mugham.

OUTLOOK will tell about this unique style of music.

…God and devil once argued whose followers might have become stronger. Angel Jabrail who was incredibly beautiful had not been aware of the evil intentions. He came to the mysterious kingdom where ordeal started. Actually, he had to go through the special challenge to belief. That’s why he took the Prophet Muhammed with him. Coming closer to the gates of the kingdom, Angel knocked and heard a question: ‘Who are you?’ He knew that on the opposite side the representatives of evil forces could live. So, he responded: ‘You are who you are while I am who I am’. His wings were overwhelmed with the ruthless fire, and Angel fell down. He did not understand why he dropped. Again, he pulled himself up, speeded up and turned to stay near the unfortunate gates. He was asked seven times who he was, and time and time he insisted on his own belonging to the angelic nature. The angel crashed down seven times. This is the plot of mugham, ancient Azerbaijan singing. The performer who has been singing this legend came to conclusion. When there is music of soul, the listener becomes the one being with musician. There is no division into ‘own’ and ‘strange’, ‘light’ and ‘dark’ anymore. The border between ‘you’ and ‘me’ is blurred. The world loses duality and gets an absolute ideal. Only the angel is able to come through ordeal who loses the limited personality in the boundless music.1503400793_1323237_1503400680_662984hd.jpgPhoto caspiannews.com

It is said that mugham has divine nature. This fact is approved in numerous legends that left traces in the theory of music. Being traditionally vocal or instrumental, mugham is divided into the following styles. Simai Shams has the energy of god Sun, being bright and sizzling like the accompanying deity. Mugham of Marduk is austere like the weapon of god of thunder and lightning. Even the most sophisticated listener could withstand the temptation of its performing. As for the melodies of Bayat Gajar mugham, they refer to the noble Turkic generation. It seems that the nobility and gracefulness are inherent to this genre.

Read also: Serpent Charmers: How to make a snake dance?

Even though historians convince that mugham harkens back to the Medieval Ages, several artefacts show even more ancient origination. For example, in one of the oldest preaching house (which transformed into the ruins) there are lines from the mugham. It is believed that Ziggurat (the building is called like that) appeared at the sunrise of civilization. It means that music penetrating its walls accompanied the prayers of ancient sages. Maybe, they articulated the recitative which afterwards was called as mugham: ‘The sea of fire is storming everywhere with the terrible crackle’. One way or another, the singers who perform mugham are well-known as hanende.

Azerbaijan symphonic mugam - LSO and Karabakh trio, conductor Yalchin Adigezalov from Liepaja Symphony Orchestra on Vimeo.

There were some schools of performers, and each of them differed with the extraordinary attitude towards the music. Baku, Samaxi, Naxcivan, and Susa heard the first shy performances of mugham. In these surroundings the singers hanende studied philosophical background which serves as the basis for Azerbaijan vocal tradition. They dealt with different genres included in the movement of mugham, set up connection with planets mulling over the Universal influence made on the human destiny. Each style was dedicated to the exact trait embodied in the planetary guise. For example, the gentle genre nava related to Moon, buselik tended to male energy of Mercury, passionate rast was dedicated to the fervent Venus, breath-taking arag applied to the Sun. The truculent ushshag praised Mars while harmonic zirefkend has traditionally been performed in the glory of Jupiter. The controversial rahavi talked about Saturn.1200px-Azeri_music.jpgPhoto fr.wikipedia.org

Having defined the context, musicians chose instruments. Several loved trio consisting of tar, kyamancha and def. Other people opted for the trumpet-tongue orchestra. Also, there were someone who found it appropriate to use string (particularly, ud, tar, saz, and jam) with the rare inclusions of wind-instrument zil.

Mughams quite often were dedicated to the supernatural forces of nature or disasters. For instance, on some mugham the volcanic eruption is described: ‘The top of the mountain throws away lava with ashes. The reason of the disaster is in the absis. Ete El is languishing because of the breakage which Marduk considers as essential’. This lines contain the implication on the divine anger. Marduk is dissatisfied with the current state of affairs, that’s why people have to pay off for their deeds surviving in the disaster. The mythological view on life is typical for the ancient poetry while Azerbaijan culture has not become an exception.Photo img.day.az

Mugham has traditionally been transferred from the teacher to the tutor. The lyrics have not been decoded. Everyone had an opportunity to add something from his imagination. Hanende created masterful images drawing surrealistic pictures: ‘suffocating dense dust, ground and stones in the shape of fire balls make up the flamy lava’, ‘the clouds of dust, then blistering stones and ground appear from nowhere. The burning river starts its flow’. So as to reach the necessary effect, the performer took the highest notes which he could. Due to the beautiful performance of the lyrics, the disaster touched in mughams seemed not so dreadful.

UNESCO added unique musical style of Azerbaijan in the list of non-material heritage masterpieces. They made emphasis on the fact that mugham is incredibly valuable for the human culture.

Cover photo dlmn.info

Вам это будет интересно:
Belgian lace: Waltz of a thousand threads
At the sight of Flemish lacework it is hard to shake the feeling that miraculous flowers, artfully braided into a wreath of a pattern, were born from loose sparks that had escaped a magic wand. On the inside of the beauty there are efforts and days of jetsam girls, stolen from life by labyrinth of openwork loops.
Serpent Charmers: How to make a snake dance?
Magic dance of a snake in time with flute’s melody often described in Eastern fairy tales and depicted in movies is no fiction but a true symbol of those countries. In Egypt, India, African countries and some other states slithering tribe are tamed to make a spectacular entertainment out of it. Profession of reptile charmers exists there; it is believed to be as nearly as the most amazing on Earth.
The way they dance
What is it that characterizes any nation without much words and long explanations? Dances, of course, because it is these movements, refined over centuries, that can tell a foreigner about other peoples much more than thick history books. If you carefully watch and feel the way people dance in different countries, their mind set will become much more comprehensible. And these aren’t mere words.
Baltic gold: Amber running through veins
We have amber flowing through our veins, joke the Balts. They believe that a sunny stone comes from tear drops of their goddess Jūratė. According to legend, she was careless enough to fall in love with a mere mortal fisherman named Kastytis who day by day cast his nets to the Baltic Sea.
Filthy creativity
Dirty cars are like a host for an artist. One may treat such art differently. Someone will wrinkle his nose and disdainfully wrestle his clothes. Others necessarily want to put a finger in such a picture in order to check the fragility of the "canvas" and smear its outlines. However, others will definitely make a selfie. However, nobody can pass by.
The magnificent world of land-art: Patrick Dougherty
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti.
Art of topiary
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
METRO beauty
Residents of big cities almost daily use the subway as a transport means. Alas, in the rapid pace of modern life a few people can afford to enjoy the design of these transit hubs. OUTLOOK is not able to stop time, but allow us to highlight fifteen of the most mesmerizing underground subway station from all around the world.
Mandala Therapy
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue...
Houses that they build…Unusual houses
Treehouses, dug-outs and secret shelters – all the things we used to build when children. Unfortunately, as we grow older, fantasy fades and most of us now live in uncomfortable grey “boxes”. However, there are people who have created dwellings of their dreams by themselves.
Mould your hobby. History of pottery
In a local history museum in every country you visit, you will certainly notice similar archaeological finds - fragments of clay products. Pottery, born millennia ago, but “living” even today, can rightfully be considered one of the most tenacious one. The uniqueness of clay was noticed by our distant ancestors who lived in caves ...
Rice canvas. Tambo Art
The Japanese are very creative people, especially when it comes to rice. If they have some extra spare time and large spacious rice paddies, then routine process of growing an agricultural crop turns into art...
Street art: From the French revolutionaries to Banksy
Nowadays the word "art" is sparkling and strikes the eye wherever you cast a look. Alas, if applied to ordinary canteen with dirty tables and flies, the place will not become a pleasant public catering with creative design. Yet, when it comes to genuine art, one should call things by their names, so we immerse into concrete jungle of mega-cities to enjoy one of the areas of street-art known as stencil art.
Glass Handmade
Exclusive glass vases and Christmas tree decorations that only exist in one or two samples, aside from high price, most often also have in common unique production technology that is mastered by representatives of a rare profession – glass-blower. The history of the craft has lasted for a couple of millennia with some old secrets of handmade production still kept under seal.
Art of Tattoo: Mesmerizing Magic of On-body Drawings
Coin jar of history of this art accounts for about 6 thousand years. Notably, this currently popular trade owes its emergence to happenstance... A prehistoric man once noticed that after any natural colorant had gotten into a place of a burn or a cut, very lasting drawings stayed on skin.
Flowers in Ukrainian Style. Kateryna Bilokur
Today marks 120 years since the birth of the famous Ukrainian artist - Kateryna Bilokur. Her talent has been recognized in her lifetime, her work has been admired by Pablo Picasso, and nowadays her paintings are exhibited in museums, and Google dedicates its doodle to her. And it all started in totalitarian times...
Kamasan: Village of masterpieces in Bali
Bali is one of the most popular places to spend winter. Ocean, volcanoes, amazing nature and exotic fruits... But there is also one more reason that not many people know of, yet it definitely deserves attention: Kamasan, a unique art village where namesake Balinese picture art was conceived – as ancient as the island itself. We are going to tell about it today on the pages of the OUTLOOK.
Handicraft: persian carpets
In those days when the Persian soldiers were second to none, and both the Roman Empire and the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by their power, skilful fingers of winner nation craftswomen created their first masterpiece. The carpet called The Springtime passed into history as the most precious of all time. It symbolized powerful rule of the Persians, and its beauty told about the divine origin of the king Khosrow I.
Mehndi – instead of a thousand tattoos
Every other person has considered having a tattoo, maybe not permanent but at least a temporary one. Absolutely painless application of drawings that can be altered in a couple of weeks is offered by Mehndi art – henna painting.
Pablo Picasso: Poet for his era
About Picasso as a distinctive artist, graphic artist and sculptor, we know to some extent everything. Meanwhile, his other incarnations are pushed into the background. Ilya Ehrenburgh once very concisely described Pablo Picasso’s relations with his era: “20th century found in him its own dynamite expert, its own philosopher and its own poet”.
Закрыть
Outlook facebook page