Instrumental Music of
The musical cultures of Central Asia can be divided into two major groups. Uzbekistan
and Tadjkistan share a common culture with Western Asia and Azerbaijan, whereas Kazakhstan
are nomadic cultures. Turkmenistan
possesses characteristics of both cultures. It resembles Western Asia in its
use of the Iranian musical instrument called gidzhak,
the form of its poetry, and the use of microtone (quarter tones and other
intervals smaller than a half tone), whereas the almost complete absence of
percussion, the polyphonic performance technique using the longlute are traits shared with nomadic cultures.
This is a recording of musicians
who came to Japan for the concert, "A Musical Voyage Along The Silk Road
VIll, under the title of Epic Ballads from
Afar", which was held in March and April of 1993.
This is an album of solo
performances on Turkmenistan's
three most common instruments. After becoming part of the Soviet
Union many new pieces were composed, but this album is
exclusively of traditional music.
First to appear is the kargy-tyuidyuk, a kind of long, narrow flute. Sometimes
called simply tyuidyuk, it was originally an
instrument of shepherds. It has six finger holes, uses no reed, and is much
like the Japanese shakuhachi. The sound of this
instrument also resembles that of the shakuhachi.
Its repertory includes melodies taken from traditional folk songs.
The second intrument is the gidzhak, a
three-or four-stringed bowed instrument, with skin stretched over its small
round body, Here, Ataev is using a three stringed
instrument. Like the kokyfi of Japan it is
held vertically, and played by turning the instrument to meet the bow, while
the bow is drawn along one plane. The same sort of instrument is found in Iran and Azerbaijan.
The last of the three
instruments, the dutar, is the most popular in Turkmenistan.
Similar instruments are common throughout Central Asia.
"Du" means "two," and "tar" means
"string." It is a long lute which has a small pear-shaped body, a
long neck, and which is played by plucking its strings with the fingers.
Thirteen metal frets are tied around the neck, and its two strings, which
were originally made of silk, are nowadays made of metal. The characteristic
sound of this instrument derives from the fact that one of its two strings
functions sometimes as a drone, while at other times is used for playing the
melody in parallel fourths. This instruments is also commonly used by singers
who accompany themselves.
1) Menzer (a girl like the moon)
An old song of Turkmenistan,
it tells of a girl who is beautiful like the moon. In the Middle
East a woman's beauty is often likened to the moon.
2) Zulpun (long curls)
A song about a girl with
long curly hair.
3) Yok Menim (I have no
A single stanza from destan Shasenem". Destan (or dastan) is a
ballad poem com mon throughout the Middle East. It contains many stories of heros and love.
4) Novgul (New flower,persian)
is the name of a woman. This song tells of her beauty.
was a famous 15th century poet, thinker and politician who was active in Herat. He wrote
poetry in turkish and Persian. He is known as Navoi in Uzbekistan.
A song about brave feats
of trick horsemanship.
Content and meaning of
this song are uncertain.
is the name of a man from Turkmenistan
who lost his eyes while doing military service in Iran. While
he thinks about his lover, and upon returning to Turkmenistan writes down his
thoughts in the form of this song. It is said that when his lover heard
this song she immediately knew that he was its composer.
9) A Bichare (despair)
An old song of Turkmenistan.
It depicts the figure of a man, whose life has been a total failure, who is
mourning that he cannot go on living.
10) Gyzyl Boruk (gold colored
A song in praise of the
mother country, often played at weddings.
11) Garry Saityk (old Saityk)
comprise one of the ethnic groups of Turkmenistan. This piece is the
last of five variations on this theme.
12) Gyzy1 Inzhik
The title is the name of
a bird. It is a song about love.
is a person's name, and "Golak" means
missing both hands. Long ago in Turkmenistan there lived a
famous dutar player named Khazhy.
Hearing of Khazhy's reputation, the king of Uzbekistan
tried to persuade Khazhy to become his court musician
by offering treasures and beautiful women. Not wanting to leave his
homeland, however, Khazhy turned down the offer.
Enraged that Khazhy's disregard for his
authority, the king brought Khazhy to the palace
and force him to play. Afterwards, he cut off both of Khazhys
arms and set him free, saying, "Go and play wherever you please."
The night before going to the king's palace, Khazhy
had a premonition of danger. He stayed up all night writing this piece,
which he entrusted to his apprentice.
Dzhumaev Charyyar (Kargy-tyuidyuk)
at the National
and the National Educational Institute
of Arts of Turkmenistan.
Presently, in addition to performing activities, he teaches dutar and kargy - tyuidyuk at the National Ovezov Music
School. Countries in
which he has performed include Cambodia, Hungary, Turkey, Afghanistan.
Ataev Allaberdi (gidzhak)
member of the Folk Music Ensemble for two years starting in 1979. From 1983 to 1986 he was a member of the Turkmen
Republic Folk Instrumental Ensemble. He now belongs to the group with which
he came to Japan,
Ensemble. Countries in which he has performed include Turkey, Jordan and Syria.
Annamuradov Annaseiit (dutar)
graduating in 1981 from the National
Ovezov Music School
he became a teacher of dutar there. He is active as
a soloist. His father is also a famous dutar
translated by Larry Richards
And Designed By:
Dr. Farzad MARJANI, Civil Engineer, Ph.D.