Tag Archives: traditional music

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: 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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Azerbaijan: The Ashiq Tradition

If it can be generalized that the text in mugham is stable while the music is improvised, the revers is true of the ashiq tradition. There is an essential narrative function to the ashiq which stems from the long standing … Continue reading

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Azerbaijan Mugham

WHAT IS MUGHAM? Mugham is difficult to define. It is ensemble music; it is improvisation; it is a framework for improvisation; it is a  scale; a mode; a system of modes, of phrases, of musical development and composition; it is … Continue reading

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An Overview of the Caucasus

Little Certainty in the Caucasus The Caucasus, about half the size of my home province of Ontario (Canada), has such a wealth of landscapes and ecosystems (desserts, arid woodlands, lush forests, river rapids, snow bound mountain, tropical seasides, etc.), it … Continue reading

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About:

This  blog addresses the musics of the Caucasus. It is intended as a one-stop shop to provide an overview of the musical traditions from the region. As an ethnomusicologist, I found it difficult to access information on all the traditional musics of … Continue reading

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