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Music education


Author:                   City : Baku   Country : Azerbaijan
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Dance music of Azerbaijani people has the century-old history. Information about popular dances was reflected both in archeological and literary monuments.

As it is obvious from historical and archeological searches, some points of the dance like "Yalli" were carved on Qobustan rock near Baku by ancient man. Scientists refer these drawings approximately to V-Ill centuries B.C. (1; p.34).At the same time, it is supposed that being one of the first musical instruments, "Qaval dashi", located in Jingirdagh was used as percussion for performing dances like "Yalll", Drawing of the musician performing musical instrument saz was also found out in Qobustan monu-ment. Besides, we may meet interesting examples in miniature pictures created in Middle Ages. Collective men dance reflected in miniature named "Hunt scene"1 of Soltan Mahammad Tabrizi (XVI century) resembles Yalli .

Azerbaijan people created nice samples in the field of choreography and music during centuries. Wishes, thoughts and determination, of the people were reflected in different genres of dances.

In the result of investigation of the popular dances in musicology their genre properties were found out and classified. We tried to systemize them in our investigation basing on the propositions put forward by the scientists in this field.

Uzeyir Hajibayov paid attention to the classification of Azerbaijani popular music from the point of view of genre in his scientific articles. His article named "A glance to music life of Azerbaijan" is very interesting from this point of view. Covering all spheres, all genres of oral Azerbaijani music in that article he explained them shortly, laconically but with full and apt features from the point of view of performance, genre properties and music key.

U. Hajibeyov also classifies the genre of popular dance according to the sphere of subject and their application in music practice, From this point of view he showed that most of the popular dances are related with traditions,

Mammad Saleh Ismayilov explained genre properties of the popular dances in his book named "Genres of Azerbaijani popular music".

First of all, he paid attention to the sphere of subject and came to the conclusion that like songs dances also reflected peoples wishes and thoughts, skills and heroism. He indicates that Azerbaijani dances are related with labor process, daily life and traditions.

On the other hand, according to their rhythmic character, melodious properties and speed of performance, the investigator divides the popular dances into: heavy-mild, light-lively and quick and speedy dances like "lazginka" (2; p.4.4). From this point of view, heavy and mild dances such as "Mirzayi", "Turaji", "Uzundara", etc. are mostly performed by ancient women and men. But young boys and girls dances light and lively music such as "Tarakama", "Brilyant", "Jeyrani". There are also quick and speedy dances such as "Qaytaghi", "Qazaghi", "Khanchobani".

M.lsmayilov divides all dances into three groups from the point of view of performance: dances performed by one person (solo), by two persons (duet) and dances performed collectively (group). According to him, solo dances are performed either by men or women and such kind of dances are differed due to their characters, tempo and melody, Both men and women participate while performing collective dances like "Yalli" (3; p,44).

At the same time, M.Ismayilov discloses his opinions about structure of dance melodies. He notes that most of the dances consisted of three parts (for ex. "Uzundara", "Jeyrani", "Azerbaijan", "Brilyant" etc.); he shows that in their middle part called "smooth dance" feet and body move tenderly to the accompaniment of quiet and mild melody. Therefore, dance melodies reflect all peculiarities of the popular choreography.

At the same time, M.Ismayilov put forward some valuable thought on the pecu1iarities of music key of the popular dances.

It is important to specially emphasize name of Bayram Huseynli, who has contributed to the field of investigation of dance music. He recorded yalli and dances to the magnetical tape, noted and investigated them since 1957 till 1965 . He noted both old and modern popular music (total 283 examples). As the result of this work he defended candidacy dissertation on the topic of " Azerbaijan popular dance music" in 1966 (3).

Lets revise the classification of the dance music reflected in the investigations of B.Huseynli. B.Huseynli classified dance music from two points of view: their accompaniment and subject.

B.Huseynli divides popular dances into three types from the point of view of their accompaniment: vocal, vocal-instrumental, instrumental (4)

According to the scientist, vocal music accompaniment is the oldest form of the dance music. So, people accompanied their dances in primitive society by different noise, singing simple melody. Ceremonies, popular dances-songs which exit till today are striking example of this genre.

B.Huseynli notes that vocal-instrumental accompaniment of the popular dances concerns to the next sphere of development of the popular music creation. So, after appearing of simple musical instruments people accompanied their dances by both singing and in instrumental form and vocal-instrumental type of the dance was created.

Absolute instrumental music accompaniment of the popular dances is referred to the further development stage of popular music creation from historical point of view. So, after perfection of the musical instruments it was possible to play certain melody by these instruments. According to the investigators, instrumental dance music, accompanied different popular plays, performances, sport competitions, is of this type.

B.Huseynli indicated, dance music named "Chaharzan" was performed in some regions of Azerbaijan in XIX century. "Chaharzan" music is musical-choreographic composition. Speedy and quiet type of man and woman dances of different character, performed solo, duet and by group alternate one another in this music. Dances such as "Qarabaghi", "Yumma Qarabaghi", "Shahperda Qarabaghi", "Bayati Qarabaghi", "Qahramani", Mirzayi, "Bayazi" are often included in "Chaharzan" music. At the same time, every dance consists of the quick and heavy rhythmic parts (3; p.33).

According to their subjects, popular dance music is divided into six large groups in the classification of B.Huseynli: 1) traditional ceremony dances, 2) dances of daily life; 3) dances of labour; 4) heroic, military and sport play-dances; 5) Yalli and ring (halay) play-dances; 6) popular dances on different subjects (5). Lets shortly comment them basing on the investigations of B.Huseynli.

Ceremony dances consist of dances and play-dances related with wedding, holi-day and calendar events.

Special rites were performed in holidays and calendar ceremonies which were deeply rooted in the daily life of the people since ancient times. It should be mentioned that ceremonies such as "Kos-kosa", "Khidir Ilyas", "Qodu-qodu" that existed in ancient times and connected with coming of spring are included in the composition of Novrouz ceremony and this ceremony is accompanied by special songs and dances.

It should be mentioned that other developed forms and genres of music were created from ceremony song-dances and plays which are the oldest type of popular art for their poetical words and musical structure. For instance, B.Huseynli indicates that melody of the "Novruzu" dance, related with Novrouz holiday, may be considered to be an example created in the last periods because of its stylistic feature.

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