By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijanis are proud of their music and culture. The country enjoys incredibly rich and varied musical traditions.
Most of the national instruments in the country date back to ancient times, while many of them have been improved and modernized.
Local and foreign musical instruments have been showcased in Baku.
The exhibition titled "Musical Instruments: Unity and Diversity" opened its doors to music lovers at the Heydar Aliyev Center on September 17.
In his remarks, Rector of Azerbaijan National Conservatory, People’s Artist, professor Siyavush Karimi hailed the importance of the exhibition which was opened ahead of the National Music Day, Trend reported.
"We should always work towards to promoting the Azerbaijani culture around the world. The organization of the exhibition is impressive. I believe that the exhibition has a future, and it needs to grow and expand. For the visitors at the Heydar Aliyev Center, it is very interesting to see the musical instruments of Azerbaijani culture and the Oriental culture in general," he said.
People's Artist, Professor, Professor Ramiz Guliyev described the exhibition as a significant event in Azerbaijan’s cultural life.
"The national musical instruments in Azerbaijan are the wealth of our people. The history of Azerbaijani musical instruments goes back to pre-Christian times. This exhibition will showcase to the world the beautiful voice of the musical culture of the Azerbaijani people," Guliyev said.
"We are proud that the Azerbaijani people keep their musical art, musical instruments alive. At the same time, we are very pleased that the state is on guard of the musical culture of the Azerbaijani people. This exhibition is a clear example of the state’s attention and care to the Azerbaijani Mugham and music. A lot of work has been done that will appeal to everyone," he added.
He underlined the attention and care given by the national leader, late Heydar Aliyev, to the Azerbaijani culture, a policy that is being continued by President Ilham Aliyev.
Thanks to the efforts of the First Vice President of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Azerbaijani musical instruments like tar, saz and kamancha are included into the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Nearly 200 rare musical instruments of the 18-20th centuries are showcased at the exhibition at the Heydar Aliyev Center.
The exhibition features Azerbaijani, Albanian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Dagestani, Afghan, Algerian, Georgian, Indian, Indonesian, Iraqi, Iranian, Cypriot, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Libyan, Hungarian, Macedonian, Moroccan, Egyptian, Mongolian, Uzbek, Pakistani, Romanian, Serbian, Syrian, Tajik, Turkish, Yemeni and Greek musical instruments.
Some 50 national musical instruments are showcased at the exhibition.
Among the rare exhibits is kamancha that showcases a scene from Nizami's Khamsa, a famous collection of five epic tales. The musical instrument is decorated with gold, diamonds and pearls. Shaki's drum that dates back to the 18th century is also in the focus of attention.
At to the NASA section, visitors can listen to the Azerbaijani music which was sent to space in 1977 with 27 tunes from around the world on the Voyacer 1 spacecraft.
Another room presents videos about famous Azerbaijani singers and national musical instruments.
Public and art figures shared their thoughts on the exhibition.
"Authentic folk music is hard to understand. But I think the musical instruments exhibited here will be of interest to the folk music lovers at the exhibition,” Azerbaijan's living vocal treasure Alim Gasimov said. He added that the exhibition is important in terms of popularizing the Azerbaijani music since there are many foreigners among the visitors.
Italian opera singer Paolo Levontino (tenor) said he was impressed with so many musical instruments.
Heydar Aliyev Center is a complex construction, which includes an auditorium (congress center), a museum, exhibition halls and administrative offices. Following a design competition in 2007, Zaha Hadid Architects was chosen to oversee the design of the Heydar Aliyev Center.
The Center holds exhibitions and concerts with the purpose of supporting the development of culture and introducing world culture to Azerbaijan, and expands the relations between countries and people through its projects.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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