“Today & Tomorrow.Azerbaijan in Focus”.-2008.-¹ 3(10) March.-P.67-70
Notes on development of the Azerbaijani musical culture
A.Taghiyev , Doctor of Philosophy,
Culture is a social-cultural
phenomenon and it is linked to thinking. And the musical thinking is its
component and, so, belongs to the philosophy of culture. Philosophical problems
of culture, as well as of music play an important role in the culture of
people. At least we claim that music impacts on people’s cultural-moral level.
It is also obvious that possessing deep musical perception demands a high
cultural-moral level of a person. Music influences the unseen, national-moral
values, and national consciousness. The philosophy of culture is a system of
rich values of people’s historically formed, given to it in genetic codes and
reached a certain level of mentality. As a high form of sense and mind, the
philosophy of culture is determined by the development level of thinking. The
person’s real practical activities cause the creation and development of new
creativity forms in him. Having become an indicator of people’s moral-political
abilities, it shows in itself how it is. As the form of public consciousness
music has always played an important role in people’s life. From the ancient
Nietzsche sets forward a concept about the
origin of culture from Dionis and Apollo. According
to his theory, the beginning of culture in the person’s life is related to its
link with Dionis culture with music in its stem. The Gobustan rock carvings on Absheron
In is impossible to find such a person in the
world who would not have been influenced by music in this or other degree. It
is no accident that the ancient
In the ancient
Placing the musician‘s band in the low part of the party In a number of parties also shows their closeness to the people and mass. And at the wedding parties where the bridegroom and the bride do not sit together, musicians are, as a rule, placed in the most honorable place – at the upper head.
If any musician was invited to elitist parties, he was by all means invited either to sing, or to play. Once Tchaikovsky was invited to such a party and having supposing to have been invited as guest, he did not fetch his violin together with him. Seeing this, the host demonstrated his indifferent attitude to him saying: “And where is your violin?” All this shows that when we sometimes speak about music and musicians, we have tried to see only good features in the attitude towards them, and tried to cover its negative features. The fact that many musicians are not in their places either caused the falling of their respect among the people. But when the talk is about a true music and musician, the situation gets a different shape; it becomes obvious that music has got a divine essence.
Also the turning by a number of show-business amateurs of music into a means of light entertainment is one of blows stricken at music. In fact, the cognition of this music hides the philosophical essence of music. Because music is a means of understanding, it is not at all a means of playing and merry companies, as some think.
Culture is a system of restrictions as well. Once any innovation of postmodernist amateurs was prevented resolutely. But now they are dominating. This is their principle: “I know everything best of all”. Thus, different TV channels not reconciling with anything regardless of anything let any singer appear on the screen. Here the main role is played more by his sponsor’s kindness than by his talent.
There was time when musicians and musical instruments like music itself were turned into victims of the repression. For example, saying “tar (the oriental musical instrument), don’t sing for the proletarian does not like you”, apologists and ultra Bolsheviks hurried to bury the tar, the kamancha (the oriental instrument)., the saz (the oriental musical instrument). However, these instruments having since long been flattering the people’s spirit, were not merely buried, in contrary, new symphonies and operas were sounded in their language. Another problem is a mutual influence of national cultures and music as well as mutual enrichment. In this sense in the Soviet period the impact of one culture on the other was a good case. It’s true the Soviets pursued the policy of separating Islamic-Turkic peoples from each other. They were being rooted on the basis of the Russian language and culture, did not create connections with each other. Contacts with our believers and compatriots living in the neighboring countries were restricted. In separate cases culture and music figures went abroad under the supervision and in a certain framework.
In the Soviet period music was considered in terms of ideology. Especially when a program was prepared at official ceremonies and parties, themes on the party and the Soviets, internationalism and the friendship of peoples used to occupy the basic place. The national spirit was destroyed by every means, hatred to nationalism was created.
And one of problems of the
Azerbaijani music became its appropriation and falsification by neighboring
peoples, especially by Armenians. Given that different peoples have during many
years been settling in the
So, the attitude to music has not
always been simple at all, there have always been people struggling against it
and they have also tried to estrange this fascinating force being “provisions”
of the spirit from the human life, in a certain way to launch “cleansing” of
the person’s moral world. Such reactionary forces have made efforts to fill in
the morality cleaned from music with mystics, to kill in people the champion
mood. As our world, in the person’s life music has called him to be optimistic,
to struggle constantly. Before fighting and during fighting battle motives have
always been a means calling people for struggling. Y. Chamanzamanli,
H. Zardabi, U. Hajibayov,
J. Garyaqdy, Khan Shushinski,
Bul-bul and other educators emphasized the necessity
to form our national music on the basis of popular music. For example, Y. Chamanzamanli noted in his letters written from
Both the khananda (folk singer), and the singer (the meaning of the two is similar – a performer, the first is in Persian, the second in Arabic) live a sort of their second life at the performance, according to Z. Freud’s concept, they are in trance. Suddenly, you can see, having pressed the tar or the kamancha to his breast, with half-closed eyes, the performer forgets himself, swing his head in gentle harmony depending on music rhythm.
All this shows that music is a very important component of the human life, his origin, evolution, and historical development stages. A human being was born with music, grew up with it, and also today is living under its influence. In his time the deceased Azerbaijani philosopher Asef Afandiyev estimated mougam (the Azerbaijani folk music) as a transition from sadness to revolt. That was a genius mark given to mougam. We would add that the transition from mougam to tasnif is similar to shift from winter to spring. As a total of sadness and grief, when passing to tasnif, the mougam already turns into a wedding-party-holiday. Mougam is the old East’s groan, sadness, grief, a revolt it rises against itself. It is such a revolt that results not in revolution, blood, ailment, but in the spiritual tranquility. The person is relieved, calms down and returns to himself.
It is a very good case that the attention to this musical genre has during recent years improved greatly in the republic. With the Republic’s first lady Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva’s direct patronage and assistance mougam festivals are conducted and talents are found out.
Though we are not musicians, as citizens we can’t stay indifferent to the future destiny of music in the republic. We are concerned about some distortions taking place in the sphere of our national music and its drift from the original sources. We do believe the time to make serious considerations on this has come.