Wednesday, December 09, 2009

...Tar...Mugham...Azerbaijan...

The other day we were getting ready for my father’s birthday. I knew what to present him…we were going to present him a “tar”. The instrument that he used to play in his childhood…the instrument that would bring back his memories and would be his soul mate when he would be remembering his parents and friends that are not with him any longer…the instrument, love towards music of which he would try to instill in his grandchildren…

Tar is a five string musical instrument that one plays holding against chest…tar can be played solo and together with other instruments…tar is the instrument that any Azeri remembers when speaking about national music and or mugham. Mugham is one of unique forms of Eastern traditional music. To me mugam is music that is mostly understood or comprehended by elder people since for many young people it sounds as too serious or complex. Tar, mugham were not really promoted in Soviet times…generally speaking anything to do with national identity such as speaking Azeri, playing national instruments, enjoying traditional music was not considered “cool” for young people and very appropriate for those who tried to make a career for example. Therefore people like my teacher who was promoting Azeri, Ismikhan Rehimov (İsmixan Rəhimov) were exiled to Siberia and poets such as Mikayil Mushfiq (Mikayıl Müşfiq) that wrote patriotic poems (one of the most famous is his poem about “Tar”) were repressed (Mikayil Mushfiq was repressed/sentenced to death at the age of 31).

Nowadays when Azerbaijan is independent and is trying to find its way in XXI century, mugham is revealed from behind the scenes and enjoyed by all…It is another example that people can only repress people while they cant really repress music, art, something that is eternal; something that exists on its own and just waits for the right people to discover its treasures again and again…In 2003, UNESCO recognized mugham as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Thus nowadays Azerbaijan has beautiful Mugham center in Baku and this year we had a wonderful International Mugham Festival. We have very many young people that seem to be capable and motivated to carry the traditions and skills to future generations with guidance of talented mentors and teachers that were able to preserve their skills and motivation…it is now personal free choice to play or not to play tar, to sing or not to sing mugham…to be a part of this culture or not to be…

Tar...picture that was available on internet...
Mugham center in Baku, Azerbaijan
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4 comments:

Glennis said...

A very unusual instrument, I had never heard of or seen before, I hope it makes your Father very happy and brings back great memories.

Kris said...

It’s that time of year again! I’m doing the rounds and apologising for my complete failure to more regularly offer comment on everybody’s incredible efforts for the year. I know how hard it can be to keep up with the daily grind of everyday posting, and want to thank you for your efforts.

I especially want to wish festive greetings for all from down here at [nearly] the end of the world, the bottom of Tasmania.

So, if you could delete whatever is not applicable, I’d like to wish you a very pleasant/merry/happy/wonderful/safe Amaterasu; Ashurall; Beiwe; Choimus; Christmas; Dazh Boh; Dongzhi; Goru; Hanukkah; Hogmanay; Junkanoo; Karachun; Koleda; Lenæa; Meán Geimhridh; Modranicht; New Years; Ras as-Sana; Rozhanitsa Feast; Şeva Zistanê; shōgatsu; Summer Solstice [if you're in the Southern Hemisphere]; Sviatki; Winter solstice [if you're in the Northern Hemisphere]; Yalda; Yule-tide; Ziemassvētki; and Коляда!

With a hearty three cheers from Kris, Jen, Henry and Ezra!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to all!
And to all - A Happy New Year!!

Amin said...

Salam !Sizin blogla tanis oldum.Bos vaxtiniz olsa menim bloguma baxarsiniz mumkunse.Hormetle Amin.