Main page




Author:                   City : Tashkent   Country : Uzbekistan
Pages : 1   :: 2   :: 3   :: 4   :: 5   :: 6

From the beginning of the 16th century until the 1920s Bukhara was the principal center of the Central Asian maqam tradition. There were two main stages in the development of this tradition: 1) the stage of 12 maqam-s of the Bukharan school, part of the universal system of the Muslim East (16th until 18th century), and 2) the stage of Bukharan Shashmaqam system (beginning from second half f the 18th century until present). In this paper I will focus on the first stage and its most important representative, Mavlana Najm al-Din Kaukabi Bukhari.

Mavlana Najm al- Din Kaukabi Bukhari, one of the founders of the Bukharan Maqam School was famous musician, poet and scholar (killed in 1531 AD). His scholarly heritage was studied by several researchers, mostly in Uzbekistan. such as: bd al-Rauf Fitrat, N. N. Mironov, V. . Beliaev, . . Semionov. Iskhaq Rajabov, Dilbar Rashidova, T. S. Vyzgo, S. . Veksler, Rajab Amonov. Askarali Rajabov. Aygul Malkeeva, Danish Pazhuh. Angelika Jung, and Walter Feldman.

The manuscript copies of his principal work The Treatise on Music (Risale-i-musiqi) are housed in the various libraries in Tashkent, Bukhara, St. Petersburg1, Dushanbe, and in Iran. This work has been translated into Russian b Semionov, Iskhaq Rajabov, Dilbar Rashidova, Aygul Malkeeva, and Alexander Djumaev. With the exception of small fragment by Iskhaq Rajabov (Shestakov 1967:320- 325), nn of the translations are as yet published. Until now Kaukabi remains little known to the European community of scholars and there is n scholarly biography f him.

n shortcomings such as incorrect numbering of the folios, missing and incorrect transliteration, make this edition unacceptable for the scholarly purposes.

In this paper I will discuss Kaukabis relation to the Herat maqam tradition and the influence of Kaukabis theory on the development of the music theory of Central Asia, North India and Irn during the 16th to 18th centuries.


Herat maqam tradition began in the first decade f the 15th century through the activities of Khoja bd al-Qadir, and reached its flowering stage in the second half of the 15th century, at the time of the last Timurid ruler, Husain Baiqara (14691506). During the 15th century Herat claimed to be musical capital of Khorasan and Maverannahr region. Many young musicians from the different places such as Bukhara were educated in Herat. Among them was Najm al-Din Kaukabi. The fall of Herat as the capital of the Timurids at the beginning of the 16th century led to the disappearance of the Herat q tradition. After that, the remnants of the Herat tradition were incorporated into the regional traditions in Turkey, Irn, Mughal India, and Central Asia. Mark Slobin (1976:73) and later John Baily (1988:15) stated that Herat classical tradition was fusion of Turkic and Persian musical elements and was continued in Bukhara and Samarqand.

Bukhara inherited many artistic and cultural values of the Timurides. The emigration from Herat and Khorasan to Bukhara increased after Shi was pronounced the state religion of Iran. It was the time when the Shi Sunni conflict was at the high point3.


Khoja Abd al-Qadir was the central figure in Herat maqam tradition. After the capture of Baghdad in 1392 Amir Timur took him to Samarqand. After Amirs death in 1405, Abd al-Qadir moved to Herat, to the court of Shahruh, the son of Timur. We have an early evidence on Abd al-Qadirs activity in Herat. 1n 1410 he wrote poems Tarih in memory of the violent death of his former patron. Sultan Ahmad (al-Havafi 1980: 23, 116, 159: al-Maraghi 1373 AH: 70-71, 213). Abd 1-Qadir died in 1435 in Herat.


This unknown person deserves special study in order to clarify his role as teacher of Kaukabi1. Kaukabi calls him his teacher (ustad-i in kamine lit.: The teacher of this non-entity) as well as makes reference to him (Kaukabi MS No. 468/1V: f. 68; MS No. 2257: f. 268)5 in the ninth chapter of his treatise on music, Dar tare-i iqa (About the Definition of Rhythm). An anonymous author of the treatise on music Khada iq al-naghamat (The flower Garden of the Melodies) in Persian, probably the end of the 16th century, also ties those three figures together saying that "it is not secret that Fathil-i Bukhari [lit. noble inhabitant of Bukhara] Mavlana Kaukabi was disciple of Khoja Yusuf Burhan, and the latter was disciple of Janab-i Khoja Abd al-Qadir (Khadaiq al- naghmat Vve 114: f. 111b).

One of the outstanding poets, Alishir Navai also called himself disciple of Khoja Yusuf Burhan in the field of music (Navai 1961:59). Navai included some information about Khoja Yusuf Burhan in the second chapter (majlis) of his tazkire literary-poetic anthology. The poets described by Navai in this chapter were familiar to him since his youth. Navai notes that all f them, "went to the world of eternal peace" before he finished his book in 1492. Thus, unless we discover some nw evidence, we can consider the year 1492 as the year of the death of Khoja Yusuf Burhan. The text from Majalis an-nafa is says:

Pages : 1   :: 2   :: 3   :: 4   :: 5   :: 6

     ©Copyright by MusigiDunyasi


Main page Mail us Main page Top