How has maqom art transformed?


How has maqom art transformed?

The most important historical musical event of this period (18th–19th centuries) was when new forms of maqomat (the classical music of Central Asia, i.e. of the Bukharian Shashmaqom, Ferghana and Tashkent melodies and Khorezmian “Six and a Half Maqoms,” also now called “Khorezmian Maqoms”) were created in the palace practices of the Bukhara, Khiva and Kokand khanates.

These monumental works consisted of cycles with many parts, including instrumental and vocal music, as well as dancing. Each type of maqomat was based on a system of strict canons and rules adapted from the past and enriched with the artistic experience of maqom musicians. 

In addition to the court tradition itself, distinguished by its rigidity and canonical performance, maqoms were performed in the majlises for the educated urban elite, poets and musicians, craftsmen, at family holidays and even in hujras (monastic cells) of Madrasa students and in Sufi khanaqahs (monasteries). 

Maqoms, with their high position in the hierarchy of types and genres of music, were mostly interpreted in terms of a mythological approach during that era. Numerous anonymous treatises on music and poetry books (bayazes) for maqom performers contain legends and myths on their connection with the life of prophets and saints, their influence on people, and their cosmological, therapeutic, Sufi and other parallels.

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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