Music instruments

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National music

Azerbaijani music, which has enriched the treasury of the world's music culture with its rare pearls has centuries-old traditions. The folk musical creators, who transferred these great traditions from generation to generation, have made great contributions to the development of Azerbaijani music.

The folk music inspired popular composers such as Uzeyir Hajibayov, Muslim Magomayev, Gara Garayev, Vagif Mustafazada, Fikrat Amirov, Niyazi, Arif Malikov to create compositions which are performed all over the world and inspired singers with magical and charming voice such as Bulbul and Rashid Behbudov.



The cornerstone of the national music of Azerbaijan is its mugham. In 2003, Azerbaijani mugham was included in the list of UNESCO cultural heritage. Mugham has developed along with Eastern poetry. Thus, while singing mugham, the khanandes sing the ghazals of mighty poets of Azerbaijani people such as Nizami, Khagani, Fuzuli and Nasimi.

The modern Azerbaijani music has 7 main and 3 auxillary mughams. The main mughams are "Rast", "Shur", "Segah", "Chahargah", "Bayati-Shiraz", "Shushtar" and "Humayun", and auxillary mughams are "Shahnaz", "Saranj" and "2nd Kind of Chargah".

Jazz. Jazz music was brought to Azerbaijan from America in the 1930s. The first jazz orchestra in Baku was created by Tofig Guliyev and Niyazi. The first jazz festival was held in Baku in 1963. At the end of the last century there were jazz ensembles such as "Bakustic-jazz" and "Sindikat", as well as "Arena" jazz orchestra in Azerbaijan. Since 2007, Baku International Jazz Festival has been supported by the state and is held by the Ministry of Culture. Jamil Amirov, Javan Zeynalli, Sevda Alakbarzada, Salman Gambarov, Emil Afrasiyab, Afgan Rasul, Elchin Shirinov, Shahin Novrasli, Isfar Sarabsky, etc. can be mentioned among the performers of Azerbaijan's modern jazz abroad. The Baku Jazz Center, which is currently operating in Baku, contributes to the development of jazz in Azerbaijan.

Rock. The rock genre in Azerbaijan has begun in 1990s. The first rock bands were "Uch Alov” (Three Flames), "Ashugs" and "Experiment OK". The first rock festival was held in Baku in 1968. In 1970-1980, jazz and rock developed jointly in Azerbaijan. At the next stage rock groups such as “Gaya”, “Choldunya” and “Yukhu” represented Azerbaijan in different events. At present rock groups mainly performd in rest places or restaurants.

Pop. Azerbaijani pop music was established in the mid-20th century. In 1957, pop ensemble "Biz Bakidanig” (We are from Baku) led by Tofig Ahmadov played an important role in the development of Azerbaijani pop music. The 1970s is characterized as the "Golden Age" of Azerbaijani pop music. Classic pop singers such as Mirza Babayev, Shovkat Alakbarova, Zeynab Khanlarova, Ogtay Aghayev and Ilhama Guliyeva achieved great success at that time. Modern Azerbaijani pop music takes its roots from traditional Azerbaijani folk music.

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