Mugham art: Music style that never stops inspiring
By Laman Ismayilova
Music is like a breath of fresh air that never stops inspiring those who look deeply into life and go beyond the obvious.
The Azerbaijani mugham is a unique music style that makes you reverently tremble with delight.
Being one of the ancient musical genres of the ancient East, mugham has always attracted the attention of music experts and music lovers from around the world.
Mugham as invaluable cultural heritage
On August 26, acclaimed mugham singers and music lovers traditionally gather together to celebrate the greatness of the centuries-old form of music.
The decision to proclaim August 26 as the International Day of Azerbaijani Mugham was made by the administration of the Canadian city of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the leadership of the traditional annual Niagara International Chamber Music Festival 2010.
In 2003, UNESCO proclaimed Azerbaijani Mugham a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity". It was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2008.
Initiated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the International World of Mugham Festival has drawn more interest to mugham art.
The establishment of the International Mugham Center is another step toward promoting the ancient music form.
The Mugham Center implements many large-scale projects aimed at promoting the Azerbaijani music culture, including mugham art.
History of main classical folk music genre
Mugham, renowned as the major genre of Azerbaijan's classical folk music, has gone through a long path of development.
The mugham modes are associated not only with scales but with an orally transmitted collection of melodies and melodic fragments that performers use in the course of improvisation.
The mugham contains seven main modes - Rast, Shur, Segah, Shushtar, Bayaty-Shiraz, Chahargah, Humayun, and three collateral kinds - shahnaz, sarendj, chargah in some other forms.
The short selection of Azerbaijani mugham played in balaban, national wind instrument, was included on the Voyager Golden Record, attached to the Voyager spacecraft as representing world music, included among many cultural achievements of humanity.
In 1960-1970, a completely new mugham style emerged in Azerbaijan.
Vagif Mustafazade is considered the founder of the Azerbaijani jazz-mugham, who blended the two music styles.
Speaking about mugham, it is impossible not to mention Azerbaijan's living vocal treasure Alim Gasimov.
The mugham singer was awarded the International Music Council-UNESCO Music Prize, one of the highest international accolades for music in 1999.
He is a talented mugham singer, whose voice captivates audiences around the world.
Nowadays, mugham art continues to live in the hearts of the Azerbaijani people.
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