Mugham as a national music of Azerbaijan
There are many different types of music in Azerbaijan. The national music in Azerbaijan is Mugham. The term Mugham is used at least 700 years. Mugham is the general name of the largest genre of traditional Azerbaijan music and is applied to all of its forms. Nevertheless they all carry their own names. Several comon features relate Azerbaijani mugham with Iran destgahs , Uzbek and Tajik shashkoms, Uygur mughams, Indian ragas, Arabian nubas and Turkish tegsims (destgahs, shashkoms, mughams, ragas, nubas,tegsims are one of the kind of national music in the following countries).
From the late nineteenth century the Azeri tradition has also distinguished seven basic mughams, called: Rast, Shyr, Segyakh, Shushmer, Chargyakh, Bayati-Shiraz, Khymayut, plus several accessory ones, including Shakhnar, Saranj, Bayti kyur, Khidzhaz, Gamar, and Makhur. These names go back to figurative attributes. For example, Shur means love or enthusiasm. Other names are numerical: Dugyakh comes from du, meaning two; and others are names of cities and countries, such as Irak and Khijaz. Furthermore, each of the tones is connected to a particular circle of moods and feelings: Shur to the lyrical, Rast to cheer, Segyakh to love, Chargyakh to passion and excitement, Bayati-shiraz to sadness, Shyumer to sorrow, and Khumayon to profound sorrow.
Mugham is performed by the group of performers. The group is composed of a singer – khanende (in azeri language) who plays on gaval (a musical instrument), tar (a musical instrument) and kamancha (a musical instrument). This group of performers is called "trio of mugham". Because there are participating tree people. The text of mughams which singer songs are usually being the classics of Azerbaijan poetry such as Fizuli, Nizami Ganjavi, Khagani Shirvani and etc. By the way the text of mugham is called gazels. And singer is free to choose the kind of poem, but he should take into consideration the melodic peculiarities of mugham he performs.
Artistic values of Azerbaijani mugham for national culture and the culture of the whole world and its high sense acknowledged by highly authorized international organization UNESCO in 2003. UNESCO appreciated mugham as 'one of the masterpieces of the verbal and non-material heritage of the world.
*culled from www.azeriyoungsters.blogspot.com