Jazz is one of the most popular forms of music listened to in Azerbaijan. With specialised Jazz cafes and a modern history relationship with the musical form. Azerbaijani jazz (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan cazı) is a popular variety of jazz, widespread in Azerbaijan. It covers a broad range of styles (traditional, post-pop, fusion, free flexion) and often features a blend of traditional Azerbaijani music. Among the most loved Azerbaijani jazz musicians are Aziza Mustafazadeh, who was influenced by Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, Isfar Sarabski, Salman Gambarov and Rain Sultanov.
Mugham /or Mugam (Azerbaijani: Muğam) music is one of the best known traditional forms of Azerbaijan. It is a folk musical composition which runs parallel to other forms including, Tasnif and Ashugs. Stringed and wind instruments and drums that are used when playing Mugham music are also traditional – ranging from the oud, a type of fiddle to the daf, a type of drum. the music can be played with a number of instruments in a band formation or as a solo. The name Mugam draws a similar wording to the Arabic ‘Maqam’, and there are links to Turkic instruments during the evolution of the artform.
It takes great skill to learn, play and compose Mugham music, as it is a highly complex art form that blends classical poetry and musical improvisation, also sometimes in specific local modes. Unlike Western music, “mugham” is associated not only with scales but with an orally transmitted collection of melodies and melodic fragments that performers use in the course of improvisation. Mugham is a composition of many parts and the choice of a particular mugham and a style of performance will always fit a specific event. The dramatic unfolding in performance is typically associated with increasing intensity and rising pitches, and a form of poetic-musical communication between performers and initiated listeners.
Mughal music is an art form that has been passed throughout generations of Azerbaijani’s – unfortunately because of the changing societies of today’s world traditional art forms are becoming less and less easy to maintain. However with the help of UNESCO, Azerbaijan hopes that the traditional formation of this type of unique music can live on for generations to come. A piece of Mugham music, the 16th-century miniature of ‘Nizami Ganjavi’s Khosrow and Shirin tragic romance’ has a UNESCO Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Music of Azerbaijan builds on folk traditions that span nearly a thousand years. For centuries, Azerbaijani music has evolved under the badge of monody, producing rhythmically diverse melodies that have beautiful narratives.
As with Maghum, Azerbaijani modern music has a branchy mode system, where conversion of major and minor scales is important. Also, among their national musical instruments there are 14 string instruments, eight percussion instruments and six wind instruments. Azerbaijan’s music production in this sense is similar to it’s neighbours in Iran, but as with Magnum, an evolved link to Turkic music.
Azerbaijan are very one with their Heritage and folk-based music is still wide spread and popular across the country. Uzeyir Hajibeyov and Gara Garayev, in particular, have received much acclaim for the pieces they composed, with the former having a statue unveiled in his honour in June 2011. However Azerbaijan is also very familiar with west pop culture – its music TV channels showing an array of Russian pop-stars and Western ballads and dance music hitting bars and clubs in the larger cities. As you may have noted from recent ‘Eurovision’ entries, it is difficult to tell modern pop from Azerbaijan to British pop. The quality of Azerbaijani music was there for all to see in 2011, as 115 million people watched their national entry, Ell and Nikki, defeat global superstars such as Blue in the Eurovision Song Contest. As a result, Azerbaijan hosted the competition in 2012.
The Crystal Palace in Baku was built especially for the event, and has left a legacy for Azerbaijan on the pop scene hosting more global stars in the City, including Rhianna.
Please see the link below for more information on Azerbaijani Music: