Author Archives: SinginKuz

The Bards & Ballads of Dagestan

In times past in Daghestan, bards (only males) would hold contests in eloquence, with the loser reputedly loosing his head, literally. (Colarusso 1997 section 14) The bardic practice in Dagestan is more easily defined as a monophonic tradition since the Republic, … Continue reading

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The Bards & Ballads of the Northwest and Central North Caucasus

The following post explores the bards of the Vainakh, the Adighe, and the Ossetians and takes a brief look at a Georgian bardic tradition. As is reported by Joseph Jordania (2006; 2000a), Amjad Jaimoukha (2005) and the website for the … Continue reading

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The Bards & Ballads of the North Caucasus

Introduction The next two posts return to the bards of the Caucasus but this time focusing on the practices in the North Caucasus and crossing over a little into Georgia. Because of the difficulty in accessing information, the following is … Continue reading

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Polyphony In the North Caucasus

Unquestionably, Georgia is known for its polyphonic folk music but part-singing also occurs throughout most of the North Caucasus. According to ethnomusicologist Joseph Jordania, there are 2 distinct styles of polyphony (2000a; 2006). The one that is found “everywhere” uses … Continue reading

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Polyphony in Georgia

More so than Azerbaijan or Armenia, Georgia has many different vocal-based musical dialects, most of which are polyphonic. Georgians are known for their part singing and have over 60 traditional terms to describe the different vocal parts and their functions … Continue reading

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Polyphony In Georgia & The North Caucasus

Introduction: Part singing occurs through most of Georgia and the North Caucasus. In general, the upper voices are sung by soloists while the rest accompany on bass in the limited range of baritone-tenor. More often than not, songs usually start … Continue reading

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Transcaucasian Urban Folk Songs

For more information on the subject see Kavtaradze and Buchukuri (2012); Tsitsishvili (2007) Transcaucasian urban folk songs are often labelled “Old Tbilisi Songs” because, until Baku took over with the oil boom of the 1880s, Tbilisi was the cosmopolitan and economic … Continue reading

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Armenian Lyrical Songs

The following is based primarily on the “Armenian” entries in the Encyclopedia of World Music (Manukian 2001) and the Grove Music Online (Pahlevanian et al 2014). In some way, what defines Armenians is not just the fact that as a … Continue reading

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Azerbaijan: final thoughts

The subsequent posts on Azeri music provided detailed description and examples of the three streams of Azeri music –  the mugham system linked to Iranian urban influences, the ashiq art connected to Turkic bards, and the rural folk music.  I … Continue reading

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Azerbaijan: Rural Folk Music

There is a lack of information on the rural folk music of Azerbaijan. I found only 2 compilations of field recordings (Women’s Love and Life Female Folklore from Azerbaijan PAN2008; and Azeri Folksongs At the Fountain-head of Music 2004) and … Continue reading

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