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"Space of Mugam" Opens in Baku March 14-21
"2nd Int'l Music Festival" to Draw Tourists from World
Mugham Festival 2008

The Second International Mugam Festival will be held in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, from March 14 to March 21, 2011, Azerbaijan Embassy in Seoul announced on March 7, 2011.

The eight-day festival will include concerts, an academic conference and UNESCO symposium.

The festival's opening ceremony will be held on March 14, 2011 at the International Mugam Centre on the seafront promenade.

The festival will continue until March 21 March, 2011.

The first International Mugam Festival was held in Baku on March 18 to March 25, 2009.

This year's festival is organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Union of Composers.

Mugam is an ancient form of modal music in Azerbaijan,traditionally passed on orally rather than in written form.

Mugam also known as Azerbaijani Mugham is one of the many folk musical compositions from Azerbaijan, contrast with Tasnif, Ashugs. Mugam draws on Iranian-Arabic-Turkish Maqam.

It is a highly complex art form that weds classical poetry and musical improvisation in specific local modes. "Mugham" is a modal system. Unlike Western modes, "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.

"Mugham" is a compound composition of many parts. The choice of a particular mugham and a style of performance fits a specific event. The dramatic unfolding in performance is typically associated with increasing intensity and rising pitches, and a form of poetic-musical communication between performers and initiated listeners.

Three major schools of mugham performance existed from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries - the region of Garabagh, Shirvan, and Baku. The town of Shusha (Garabagh) was particularly renowned for this art.

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 2003, UNESCO recognized mugam as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Azerbaijan also has a great tradition of composers and musicians of western classical music. Uzeyir Hajibeyov with his Leili and Majnun created the genre of mugham-opera. Fikret Amirov (1922-1984) was the first Azeri composer symphonic mughams — Kurd, Ovshari, and Gulistan Bayati Shiraz. Azerbaijani composers created a plethora of compositions that fused mugham and traditional European genres.

Among those, for example, Vasif Adigozal's mugham oratorio Shikestesi. Such works are obviously very different from traditional mugham formations but in fact incorporate many mugham idioms. On the level of musicians, there remains a strict separation between classical and "traditional" music in terms of training. Even if the musicians are educated at the same conservatorium they stick to one camp.



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