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Songs of Turkmenistan




    The vocal pieces are sung by a performer who both sings and plays the dutur, but quite often the another dutur player aud a gidzhak player are added to make a trio. This CD features the female singer Djamar and male singer Rusturn - for the first half and second half of the disc respectively - and two groups who play in ensemble with them.
    The vocal use of the throat is quite unusual and the characteristic is in its staccato- ornamentation - it sounds as if the singers hold their breath for very short intervals.
    Many songs started off in melismatic style with prolonged high notes. Irregular and free rhythms are also characteristic.
    The musical instruments used here are common throughout Central and Western Asia, but no drums are used here.
    The dutur is the most popular instrument in Turkmenistan. It has a small, pear-shaped body and a long neck. Two steel strings (they used to be made of silk) are plucked by the fingers. The strings are tuned a fourth apart - for example re/so/do - and the parallel fourths have their own characteristic timbre. Also, one of the strings is often used as a drone. In Persian, du means "two" and tar means "string." This type of long necked lute can be found all over Central Asia.
    The gidzhak is a 3-or-l-stringed bowed instrument also tuned in fourths. The neck has no frets and it is held in a horizontal position. On this CD, the inellow and rich timbre of the gidzhak follows the melody made by the dutur. The same kind of instruments are used in Iran and Azerbaijan too.
    At the present time, new music featuring synthesizers with mechanically set rhythms is gaining in popularity and an electric dutur has even made its appearance, but as much as possible this music follows the rules of traditional music.
    This is a recording of musicians who came to Japan for a concert entitled "A
    Musical Voyage Along The Silk Roa, V111 -1,.'pic Ballads from Afar," which was held in March and April of 1993, and this CD can be called a sequel to "Instruniental Music Of Turkmenistan- which has already been released in the World Music Library series.


    A love Song by Turkmenistan classic poet Zelili.

    A Turkmenistan folk song based on epic called "Leili ve (and) Mejnun." This epic is a tragic love story akin to Romeo and Juliet. (Mejnun means a hinatic.) Since olden times, the art of story-telling flourished in Central and Western Asia and similar stories can be found in those areas. "Leili ve Mejnun" is the one of those stories and was originally based on an Arabian legend.

    This is a song of love.

    A love song by Gul Baba, a Turkmenistan poet.

    A love song by Kemine (1770-1840), a poet in Turkmenistan.

6) OBADAN GELIN (Beautiful Bride)

    A traditional love song.

8) BIVEPARARDAN (Betrayal)
    A song of warning to the Turkmenistan people based on a poem by Maxtumkuli Fragi (1730-1782). In the eighteen century, Turkmenistan poetry developed greatly, as did the music, and Maxtumkuli is a poet who is sometimes called "the father of modern Turkmenistan literature."

9) CHARDI CITDI (Come and Gone)
    Another song by Maxtumkuli, giving a lesson of life. "Everybody is born and, sooner or later, will die."

10) AK YUZLI MARALYM (You Are My Beautiful One)
    A love song made by DUrdy,a baxshi who was active at the turn of the twentieth century.

11) SHIRMAIY DORAK (Ivory Comb)

    A folk song based on an epic called "Shasenern ve Garip." "Aman Aman" is an interjection.

13)YATAN BORIP (You Can't Live Without Money)
    Another lesson-of-life song by Maxtumkuli.


Djemal Saparova (vocals and dutar)

    After learning at Gahla Sentriev Music School in Ashkhabad, the capital, she graduated from M. 1. Kalinin University then joined the Ashkhabad Ensemble. She also established Djemal Saparova Studio and has been working with her own group. She has played concerts in European and Asian countries.

Allaverdi Ataev (gidjak)
    He once belonged to the Folk Music E.nsemble studio (1979-1981), then played as a member of the Folk Instruments Ensemble of the Turkmen Republic from 1983 to 1986. After that, he joined Djemal Saparova Musical Ensemble. He has also played concerts in Western Asian countries.

Rustam Bairamov (vocals, dutar)
    He used be a member of the Turkmenistan Science Academy and is no", a member of Djemal Saparova Musical Ensemble.

Annaseijt Annamuradov (dutar)
    After graduating from the National Music School in Obezov in 1981, he became a dutar teacher at the school. At the same time, he has played actively as soloist. His father is a famous dutar player as well.

    Written by:Uramoto Yuko
    (translated by Mogi Takeshi)




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