Azerbaijan: Introduction

Of all the other people in the Caucasus the traditional music of Azeris* seem to most easily be categorized into 3 definitive streams:

  • classical mugham stemming from an Iranian urban influence;
  • ashiqs, which shows direct connection to Turkic bardic tradition; and
  • rural folk or peasant music.

Typically, mugham is known for its musical development and ashiqs for their lyrical/textual development. The folk music, in comparison, is very simple. Technically speaking, the thing that ties them all together is a monodic music system based on tetrachords. This translates into the ability of each stream to make meaningful musical phrases out of the primarily stepwise motion of only a few notes.

* The posts on Azerbaijan do not discuss the traditional musics of any of the minorities within the country.

Azerbaijan Mugham →

Azerbaijan: The Ashiq Tradition  →

Azerbaijan: Rural Folk Music →

Azerbaijan: final thoughts →


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