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History of Garabagh musical culture


In the XIX century as in other regions of Azerbaijan, the development of the arts in Garabagh region, having always high cultural level, stepped on the special stage.
 Historically, the music an atmosphere of Karabakh, which gave a lot of singers, music performers, composers, conductors, theater workers, poets and writers to the culture of  Azerbaijan, was rich.
The minstrel (ashiq) art was also developed in XIX century in Azerbaijan, too. Ashiq Muhammad (1834-1914), Ashiq Aziz (1825-1918), Ashiq Hussain (1800-1880), Ashiq Ali (1907-1917), Ashiq Alesker (1821-1926), Molla Juma (1855-1919) and other’s high art had a positive impact on the development of art of ashug in Karabakh.
In Karabakh's celebrations and religious ceremonies music was also widely used.

A large mass of people gathered to celebrate Novruz a month prior to the holiday. In Shusha it was arranged more luxurious. Here people preferred to leave the sadness of old year and to meet the New Year with singing and dancing. As this celebrity was a folk holiday all people, including children and elders used to gather in this festivity and celebrated the holiday. All the intellectuals, the rich and the poor people, famous and non-famous musicians of Shusha, all would take part in this festival.
Religious ceremonies carried out in Karabakh during Muharram month. Usually a few days prior to the month of Muharram, mosques and places where Muharram related ceremonies would take place were cleaned. All entered the mosque to listen to singers of religious rites. They were not professional singers. They just were people reading poems about Imams and trying to expose their voices as singers. But old khanande sung just to clear their sins. Religious rites sung by poets based on sad tones, Gajar Bayati, Qatar, and a piece of heavy tasnif. In Shusha the famous rite singers were Sarbaf Ibrahim and Sarbaf Habib.

In the second half of the XIX century, especially can be called the period of blooming and development of a culture of Karabakh. Thanks to efforts of the leading intellectuals in Azerbaijan the Azerbaijani language was developed widely as scientific and literary language. In Karabakh, Shusha, since 1882 theater performances had staged in a wide range. The interrvalks of those performances the famous singers and performers of Karabakh demonstrated their skills to the audience. Gradual adaptation of famous khanande and trios (tar, kamancha and singer) to a new development stage provided the new development stage of the culture.
The efforts of arrangers of music assemblies, the famous musician-poet intellectuals, of that period, philanthropists in development, creation of new forms of mugham. Musical assembles arranged by  Khan kizi Natavan in XIX  century in Karabakh, Mir Movsun Navvab, the famous singer Haji Husu, Kharrat Gulu, in Shirvan Mahmud Aga, in Baku the Mansurov, the Bakikhanov, the famous tar player Mirza Faraj Rzayev in own homes had provided high  development of the art of music of Azerbaijan. Famous tar players Mirza Mansur Mansurov, Ahmad, Mehammadrza Bakikhanov brothers and many other took part in these meetings.
In the XIX century musical culture of Karabakh had a close relationship not just with neighboring peoples of the Caucasus but Iran. Many sources indicates on facts that Iranian khanende were accompanied by tar performers from Azerbaijan proves that the artists of both countries created the mugham performance having the same root and traditions.
Art of the XIX century the services of two outstanding figures Khurshud Nevvab Banu Natavan and Mir Mohsun Navvab were great in development of Karabakh poetry and music, especially poetry and music. Natavan (1832-1897) was representative of the generation of Javanshir, and had a great authority among the local community as the poet, painter, and person having great services in development of local art. She could gather the progressive intellectuals, poets at the “Majlisi uns’, the gathering of poetry and literature. Participants of "Majlisi-uns” besides having exchange of views on ways of development of poetry and art, as well as its daily cares, mad a lot of to spread  literary heritage among the mass of working people. The Majlis were attended by Karabakh poets like Gasim bey Zakir, Asi, Baki, Vafa, Fana, Shahin, Katib, Makhfi, Salar, Shahid, Ashiq, Hadi, Asaf Lanbarani and others.

In arrangement of poetry and music and its progress the role of well-known poet, painter, mosaic, musician and calligrapher Mir Navvab should be emphasized, too. Knowing perfectly   Persian, Arabic, Turkish M.M.Navvab also mastered philosophy, wisdom, logic, science. As he knew the music both practically and scientifically he carried out scientific observations and studies in this field.
Aesthetic problems in the music, singing, the art of music was discussed in “Assembly of Musicians” created by M.M.Nasvvab together with the famous singer Haji Husi. Majlis included well-known singers and players Mashadi Jamil Amirov, I.Abdulayev, S. Shushinski, Sadikjan and others.
One of the great representatives of vocalism of Shusha was Hadji Husu, stundent of Kharrat Gulu. He was a musician and scholar who mastered mughams, mughams improved a number of new mughams and created new ones.
Mirza Sadiq Assad oglu (Sadıqjan) was of the great master of tar in XIX century, reconstructed tar and created modern type of tar.
The analysis of the musical culture of Karabakh in the XIX century shows that it is a special stage in the development of the Azerbaijani culture as a whole, in particular musical art. Shusha is homeland of Khurshid Banu Natavan, Mir Nevvab, from performers Kharrat Gulu, Haji Husu, Sadıqjan, Mashadi Isi, Abdulbaghı Zulalov, Jabbar Qaryagdıoglu, Kechachi oglu Mammad, Mashadi Mammad Farzaliyev, Islam Abdulayev, Seid Shushinski, Bulbul, Zulfi Adygozelov, Khan Shushinski, Rashid Behbudov, Mashadi Jamil Amirov, Qurban Pirimov, from composers Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Zulfugar Hajibeyov, Fikret Amirov, Niyazi, Afrasiyab Badalbeyli, Soltan Hajibeyov, Ashraf Abbasov, Suleyman Alasgarov. This is not a complete list of the musicians of Shusha.

At the beginning of the XX century, at the conditions of socio-economic and cultural growth U. Hajibeyov laid the foundations of the modern professional music culture of Azerbaijan and created a synthesis of composer creations and folklore. This caused the active interrelations of Eastern and Western cultures. In 1908, U. Hajibeyov laid the foundation for the art of opera not only in Azerbaijan but the East with "Leili and Majnun" opera in the theater of H.Z.Tagiyev, became founder of music-opera genre. Realizing that it would be difficult for the Azerbaijani audience to understand the new genre U. Hajibeyov referred to Fuzuli’s "Leili and Majnun" poem and folk music genres (music, song, dance) and created performance meeting the spirit of that period, moral needs of people. U. Hajibeyov is also the founder of the musical comedy genre in Azerbaijan. In social housing-related musical comedies ("Husband and Wife" (1910), "If not then this" (1911), "Arshin mal alan" (1913)) based on the composer folk songs and dance music. His "Arshin mal alan" musical comedy (staged in 1913) is particularly famous. The work was translated in English, German, Chinese, Arabic, Persian, Polish, Ukrainian, Byelorussian, Georgian, etc. (Nearly 70 languages), and staged in Moscow, Istanbul, New York, Paris, London, Tehran, Cairo, Beijing, Berlin, Warsaw, Sofia, Budapest, Bucharest and others places, at stages of 120 theaters, many times screened (in the years 1916- 1917 in Baku, in 30-es n the United States, in 1945 and 1960 in Soviet Azerbaijan).

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