By Aygul Salmanova
Tofig Guliyev, one of the creators of Azerbaijani pop music, wrote new bright pages in the centuries-old chronicle of national culture as a master possessing a peculiar original style.
His distinctive works in various genres, enriching the treasury of cultural values of our people and still occupying a wide place in the repertoire of performers belonging to different generations, instill in people attachment to national and spiritual values and a high artistic and aesthetic taste.
Guliyev was an amazing personality, he was not only the author of numerous works in various genres, an excellent melodist, but also a professional teacher who had trained many talented musicians during the years of teaching.
The composer made a significant contribution to the national musical culture, playing a leading role in the development of the pop genre in the republic. Guliyev’s achievements in this area have become traditions that are now being continued by all Azerbaijani composers who create songs.
Guliyev greatly contributed to the national music industry. He is one of the first composers who transferred Azerbaijani Mugam, a unique musical and poetic phenomenon, into musical notes.
He is a founder of the “composer music” genre in 20th century Azerbaijan. His splendid songs are still young, modern, and will never go out of style.
Guliyev always kept in step with time, but not to the detriment of his music. “I am not against modern technical capabilities if they help, but do not replace a performer,” he noted.
In the 1930s, Western music began to gain popularity in Azerbaijan. Guliyev was the first among Azerbaijani composers to establish the first Jazz Orchestra in Baku.
In 1941 an orchestra headed by Guliyev gave its first concert at the Baku Philharmonic Hall, thus marking the birth of national jazz. He went down into the history as the founder of Azerbaijani pop and jazz music.
Having joined the group of composers and musicologists in the collection, recording and publication of folklore, Guliyev was one of those who played a significant role in this area of national culture.
Guliyev is the author of symphonic works, cantatas, and piano compositions. He made a great contribution to the national cinema music, enriched the Azerbaijani musical comedy with interesting examples.
The focus of the composer's theme is patriotic, friendship of people, courage of Azerbaijani contemporaries, fused with the pathos of labor. A special place in the composer's work is the lyrical theme, revealing itself in all its many facets.
Guliyev always expressed respect for the poetic text, which testifies to his high culture as a musician, but poems never became the basis for the creative imagination of the composer.
One of the features of Guliyev’s music is a vivid expression of the national character in them. Closely associated with the traditions of the entire Azerbaijani music school, Russian classical music, he always relied heavily on the Azerbaijani folk music culture.
Synthesis of national and European is also manifested in the harmonious language the composer, where the functional system merges organically with the modality, represented in the free-creative "cohesion" across the horizon of individual segments, different, often far from each other modes.
A great work to popularize his music was played by his creative collaboration with the outstanding singer Rashid Beybutov, one of the best performers of the composer's songs.
In the second half of the 1940s, Guliyev and Beybutov toured the cities of the Soviet Union, performing concerts that were invariably accompanied by enormous success. The vocal skill of R. Beibutov and the brilliant pianism of Guliyev, who acted as an accompanist and soloist with his works, captivated listeners of different audiences in various cities of the Union.
Several generations of Baku grew up on Guliyev’s songs, and his amazing devotion to music, concern for young performers allowed to bring up a whole pleiad of Azerbaijani musicians and composers.
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