Recognised by UNESCO as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, mugham is a traditional form of Azerbaijani folk music – a highly complex improvisational art form that combines music with poetry typically on national stringed instruments (the tar and the kamancha) and the gaval percussion instrument. Come have a listen.
Traditional mugham music is a highly complex and improvisational art form combining music and poetry which is sometimes referred to as Azerbaijan's classical music. Inscribed on the UNESCO list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, it shares similarities with other regional forms such as Iraqi Maqam, Persian Radif and Turkish Makam. Mugham is traditionally performed at weddings and social events, with ensemble featuring a male or female singer accompanied by musicians playing traditional instruments: the tar (a long-neck lute), the kamancha (a bowed string instrument) and the gaval (a type of tambourine). As the music cannot be written down, the spiritual melodies are transmitted from master to student orally. Travellers can come and listen to this soul-stirring musical art form at the spectacular, tar-shaped International Mugham Centre, which besides its rich repertoire of concerts also has a museum of national folk instruments
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