Music of the 18th – 19th centuries on the territory of Uzbekistan


Music of the 18th – 19th centuries on the territory of Uzbekistan

There was a tendency towards the democratization of musical life during this period as a whole.

Music of the 18th – 19th centuries on the territory of Uzbekistan

Literary and musical circles and communities were formed in cities and outside the court among the educated nobility and intellectuals, writers and poets, artisans and merchants. This phenomenon can be observed in Bukhara, Samarkand, Kokand, Khiva and many other cities. This is where Persian-Tajik and Turkic-Uzbek bilingualism, expressed also in the classical music of maqoms, flourished. 

Maqom musicians took into account the language preferences and tastes of the audiences they performed for. Many of them had songs with both Persian and Turkic lyrics in their repertoire. Music is the most praised topic in late Uzbek and Tajik poetry, full of established metaphors, which compare the sounds of music to the strings of the human soul, and harmony with the spiritual world. Such, for example, is the first line of the ghazal about music by Sufi poet Mashrab Namangani (1640 – 1711), which was included in the texts of the Uighur Maqamat: “I’ll pull the strings of soul on my lute and play” (Setorim toriga djon rishtasidin tor eshib cholsam).

Many poets of that period praise the merits of singers (hafiz, mutrib) in their poems, as well as describe the unique aspects of various musical instruments, especially the tanbur. The tanbur was perhaps the most popular instrument in the educated circles of Turkestan cities, and came in a variety of forms and types.

You can learn more about the topic in the book-album "The Musical Legacy of Uzbekistan in Collections of the Russian Federation" (Volume VI) from the series "Cultural legacy of Uzbekistan in the world collections". 

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