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Short comments on exhibition

THE AZERBAIJANI STATE MUSEUM OF MUSICAL CULTURE
PERMANENT EXHIBITION


SECTION I
Prehistory

1. A tapestry by Elturan Avalov.
The scene is taken from a folk song called Guy Gulum Galsin ‘ay Nana (Grandmother, Let My Sweetheart Come). In the song a young girl begs her mother to open the door and let her sweetheart in, but her mother refuses.

2. A tapestry by Elturan Avalov.
The scene is taken from a folk song called Ay Giz, Kimin Gizidan (Whose Daughter Are You?). It depicts how a young man meets a girl, admires her cheeks which are red as the apples she’s carrying and he asks her to take one of the apples, cut it and give it to his, so that they can become acquainted.

3. Papier mache reproduction of Gobustani rock carvings.
Gobustan is located 60km south of Baku and is one of the earliest areas of human habitation in the world. A wealth of petroglyphs survives here and among the carvings are very early representations of dancers along with other depictions of Neolithic and Bronze Age aspects of life.

4. A photograph of Gaval Dash - the oldest surviving musical instrument in Azerbaijan.
It is located in Gobustan and formed naturally approximately 1-1.5 million years ago. It consists of a large sandstone block resting on top of two smaller blocks and appears to have been used as a musical instrument as early as in the Neolithic period.

5. 5 minted disks illustrating the principal types of Azerbaijani musical instruments - percussion, wind and plucked string instruments as well as those played with a bow.







SECTION II
Musical Instruments of the Past

This section of the museum is devoted to historic and folk music instruments. Most of the artefacts in the display are reconstructions of historic musical instruments used in Azerbaijan. They include, for example, gopuz, chang, rud and barbat. Most of these instruments gradually fell out of use after the Medieval period and were only resurrected through the work of Dr Majnun Kerimov.
Dr Kerimov researched historic instruments in medieval miniature art and 13th, 14th and 19th century images of musicians and musical performances. He also used references to music and instruments in classical Azerbaijani poetry by authors such as Nizami Ganjavi and Fuzuli and in historic travellers’ journals. He naturally also found much useful information in the writings of Azerbaijani musicologists, including Urmavi, who wrote in the 13th century, Maraghani, who lived during the 14th century, and Mir Mohsun Navvab - born 1833 and dead in 1918.
Following this research Dr Kerimov experimented with materials and building techniques until he had successfully reconstructed a rud in 1975. Over the following years he reconstructed a further eight different instruments.
Dr Kerimov has now built two copies of each instrument. One of each is on display here in the museum and the others are played by the State Ensemble of Old Traditional Musical Instruments. This ensemble was set up in 1988, in order to bring the sound of these lost instruments back to life.

1. Gopuz
The gopuz is a string instrument which appears to have its origins in a very early period. Archaeological excavations have provided evidence indicating that the gopuz is the oldest known Azerbaijani string instrument. This evidence includes a depiction of a musician who appears to be playing a gopuz, which has been dated to the 6th millennium BC.
The gopuz was used throughout the area now inhabited by Turkic speaking people but appeared in varying forms in different regions. Both two and three stringed variants of the instrument are known. The three stringed version is thought to be the ancestor of the modern saz.
The gopuz in the display was built by Dr Majnun Kerimov and its body is of wood, with the surface covered in wooden and leather membranes.

2. Chang
The chang is a type of harp. There is evidence that similar instruments were used in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and its use was widespread in the Medieval period. In Azerbaijan archaeological evidence suggests that it was in use from at least the 4th-3rd centuries BC. Medieval authors and miniature art indicate that the chang was mostly played by women.
This chang was built by Dr Kerimov. Its body is formed from wood and fish skin, with metal loops and wooden pegs for tuning the silk and gut strings.

3. Chagane
The chagane is a four stringed instrument in use in Azerbaijan until the 19th century, and it is often mentioned by classical Azerbaijani poets.
The chagane in the display was built by Dr M Kerimov in 1982. It is a complex construction with a body made up of nine sections of nut, sandal and beech wood around a metal rod which forms the core of the instrument. The sounding board is of pine.

4. Chogur
The chogur is a nine stringed instrument which was in use for about five centuries. Its use dates from the 12th to the 16th centuries and it was widespread in Anatolia and Persia as well as Azerbaijan. After this period it mostly disappeared, although a version of the instrument has survived until the present in Iraq. Historical sources suggest that this instrument was used in the Safavid army to inspire the soldiers.
The chogur in the display was built by Dr M Kerimov out of mulberry wood with nut wood for the head and neck.

5. Picture stand with a collection of copies of miniature paintings and other works of art, from museums throughout the world, which were used by Dr M Kerimov in his research into ancient and extinct musical instruments.

6. Carpet, Khalcha, provenance and date unknown

7. Gaval
The gaval is a percussion instrument which has a very long tradition of use in Azerbaijani music. Medieval art and poetry indicate that the gaval was frequently played at court in this period. It is still the essential accompanying instrument for a khanende - which is a master of mugham singing.
The gaval is usually made of walnut wood with a membrane of tanned sturgeon skin. Copper rings are added to the inside of the wooden frame.

8. Rud
The rud is a string instrument which is mentioned in sources from as early as the 9th century. It remained popular until the 16th or 17th centuries. It is thought that the rud derived its shape from the earliest versions of the instrument being made from pumpkins. It was played with the fingers and later also with a soft plectrum.
This particular rud was built by Dr M Kerimov and has a body of mulberry and apricot wood, with a half pine half fish skin face, while the neck and head are made from nut wood.

9. Rubab
The rubab is a plucked string instrument played with a plectrum. The 10th century Arab writer Al-Farabi recorded that the rubab is of ’Eastern origin’. It was widely used in Azerbaijan and Central Asia during he Medieval period, but gradually fell out of use by the 18th century and is no longer in use in Azerbaijan.
The rubab seen in the display was reconstructed by Dr M Kerimov and its body is made of mulberry, walnut and beech wood. The face of the body is made of fish skin and the neck is of nut wood. It has two pairs of twisted silk and gut strings.

10. Plate, with a scene showing a mugham trio. The poem on the plate states that ‘mugham can melt stony hearts and bring enemies of right to righteousness’, R. Huseynov, donated to the museum 16.02.1990

11. Setar
The setar is a three stringed wood instrument of the same family as the tanbur. It has a small pear-shaped body. The setar was used in the medieval period, as indicated by it being mentioned in the works of the classical Azerbaijani poets Nizami and Fuzuli.

12. Shirvan Tanbur
The Shirvan Tanbur is a pear shaped string instrument which can have two or three strings. The 10th century Arab writer Al-Farabi stated that the tanbur had pre-Islamic origins. It was popular throughout the Medieval period and although it gradually fell out of use in Azerbaijan it remains in widespread use in Central Asia. Some versions of the tanbur was played with a bow, but more usually it was plucked with the thumb and middle finger, or a plectrum.
This Shirvan Tanbur was built by Dr M Kerimov out of mulberry and pear wood, with a face of pine and neck and head of walnut.

13. Plate, with a scene shows a setar player entertaining a dignitary, R. Huseynov, donated to the museum 16.02.1990

14. Santur
The santur is a horizontally played string instrument. The sound is achieved by hitting the strings with light hammers.
According to legend the santur was created by the Hebrew king David, along with a number of other instruments, and it is thought to be mentioned in the Torah as ‘psanterin‘.
This version of the santur has 96 metal strings and 12 bridges, and its sound ranges from the ‘mi’ of the great octave to the ‘la’ sharp of the second octave. It can also have nine or 18 bridges. The strings are strung in a trapezoidal wooden frame, with top and bottom boards of nut wood. Many versions of the instrument were in use throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
This santur was built by Dr M Kerimov.

15. Tar
The tar is by many considered to be the national instrument of Azerbaijan. Its shape is unusual, with a figure-of-eight-shaped body. The face of the bipartite body is covered with tanned fish skin or the membrane of a cow’s heart. It is played with a plectrum, and the vibration of the sound is controlled by pressing the instrument to the chest for a chosen length of time.
The tar has gone through a long history of development and 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 stringed versions of the instrument are known, although the five stringed was the most frequently occurring. The tar is regularly mentioned in Medieval Azerbaijani poetry and included in medieval art.
The most important development of the tar is probably that carried out by Sadigjan. Mirza Sadig, who lived from 1846 to 1902, added six strings to the instrument - taking the total to 11. He also reduced the size of the tar and changed the playing position. Rather than playing seated with the instrument resting on the knee he played it held high on the chest. This allowed for better control of the sound vibration.
This particular tar was made in 1915-20 and belonged to the renowned Azerbaijani tar player Gurban Primov.

16. Barbat
The barbat is a plucked string instrument used primarily at the medieval Azerbaijani court. It fell out of use during the 16th-17th centuries. The instrument is thought to have originated in Saudi Arabia and the 12th century Azerbaijani poet Nizami stated that the barbat was invented by a well-known Arab musician, singer and composer called Barbed. Historical sources show that there were 3, 8 and 10 stringed versions of the instrument.
This barbat was built by Dr M Kerimov and its face has resonator apertures, in accordance with historic descriptions of the instrument.

17. Ud
The ud is a plucked string instrument which remains widespread throughout the Middle East, Turkey and Central Asia. The earliest mentions of the ud are found in the works of Ishag Ibn Ibrahim of Mosul, who lived 767-849 and Abu Nasr Farabi, who lived 870-950. A 13thcentury writer, Safiaddin Abdulmomin Urmavi, wrote that the ud was invented by one of the grandsons of the Prophet Mohammad, although other writers attributed it to the Greek philosopher Plato.
The ud was an important court instrument during the Medieval period and was often mentioned in poetry and depicted in art of the era. Poetry associated the four strings of the ud with the four elements of Nature. The ud came to Europe through Muslim Spain and developed into the lute there.
Over the centuries the instrument developed and a modern ud has 11 strings. It tends to be of complex build, with the body made up of numerous parts of sandal, walnut and pear wood and with a sounding board of pine.

18. Tulum
The tulum is a wind instrument similar to a bagpipe, with a bag made of tanned sheep or goat skin. The skin is taken whole from the animal and two of the legs are tied together, while pipes are attached to the other two - one for blowing air into the bag, and the other for two pipes producing the sound. The pipes are made of reed or bone and have seven apertures.
Most of the instruments in this display were court or high status instruments, but the tulum originated as a shepherds pipe. Although it is less widespread today than historically, it has never fallen entirely out of use.

19. Tutak
The tutak is an ancient woodwind instrument in the form of a pipe, usually made of a single piece of wood. The mouthpiece is integral to the pipe and is formed by inserting a plug to partially close up the mouth-end of the pipe. (It is similar to a western recorder in make-up.) In Azerbaijan it is mostly used as a solo instrument in folk music orchestras and it comes in various sizes.

20. Balaban
The balaban is a woodwind instrument and its wooden pipe has eight apertures, or keys, on the front and one on the back for regulating the sound produced. The mouthpiece is made of cane and is flattened on one side. Its sound is further regulated by a moveable clamp attached to the mouthpiece.
It is thought that the balaban gets its name from the Azerbaijani words ‘bala’ (small) and ‘ban’ (cockerel’s cry).

21. Gosha Naghara
The Gosha Naghara is a double drum with one larger and one smaller bowl-shaped drum tied together. (Naghara is the name given to a singe drum.) The membranes of the double-drum of the Gosha Naghara were traditionally made of tanned animal hide, while the bodies of the drums were of clay. They can now come also in wood or metal.
The Gosha Naghara is played resting on the floor or on a platform and is struck with wooden drumsticks. The instrument remains widely used today.
This example is from the 18th century.

22. Laggutu
The laggutu is a wooden percussion instrument hewn out of a block of wood with the upper part hewn deeper than the lower. This gives the instrument its particular sound. When played the laggutu is placed on a platform and struck with two wooden drumsticks. It is particularly frequently used in folk music from the southern parts of Azerbaijan.

23. Zurna
The zurna is a wind instrument which occurs is many forms throughout the Middle East and the Caucasus, and it has a very old history. Four types of zurna, for example, found in an archaeological excavation in Mingachevir, are though to be 3000 years old. The earliest examples found are made of horn, but they are most frequently made of wood today.
The zurna has a wide bell similar to a trumpet, eight apertures, or keys, for regulating he sound and a complex mouthpiece. There are a number of different types of zurna which all produce slightly different versions of its high pitched sound.

24. Dumbak
The dumbak is a percussion instrument which was much used in the southern part of Azerbaijan during the Medieval period. It took the form of a large goblet, usually made of fired clay, although wood and metal could also be used. The membrane of this drum was usually made of leather.
The dumbak is played suspended from the shoulder of the percussionist, who beats it with the fingers of both hands.
The instrument had fallen entirely out of use in Azerbaijan by the 20th century, but has now been resurrected and is widely used in folk music performances.

25. Carpet, from Gulabli, Karabagh, 1955. This carpet was a gift from the village of Gulabli in Karabagh to Gurban Primov on his 75th birthday (1880-1955).

SECTION III
The End of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries - Traditional Musicians and Khanendes (Mugham Masters)

This section of the exhibition is devoted to Azerbaijani folk music and folk music performers.
Mugham is a traditional mode of song and the archetypal Azerbaijani musical expression. It has been designated a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO. There are a number of different mugham schools, including Baku, Shirvan and Karabagh, with their own individual styles and traditions.
A master of mugham singing is known as a khanende and mugham is often performed by a trio, with the singer playing the gaval alongside a tar and a kamancha player.

1. Photograph of Mir Moshum Navvab
Mir Moshum Navvab was born in 1833 and died in 1918. He was a multi-talented man and a poet, artist, philologist and calligraphist as well as a scholar of music. His principal work on music was probably his treaties on the ‘Clarification of Figures in Music’, which he wrote in 1913. His works particularly focussed on the ancient music of the Middle East and he studied the aesthetics of music, as well as problems of performance and emotional influences on audiences. He was also interested in the healing properties of music. Navvab drew on ancient and medieval philosophers and Eastern musicologists such as Urmavi and Maraghani in his work.

2. Photograph of Mirza Sadig, also known as Sadigjan
Mirza Sadig was born in 1846 in Shusha, in Karabagh, and died in 1902. He was a tar player and is extremely important in Azerbaijani musical history as a reformer of that instrument.
Earlier, the tar was five stringed and played seated with the instrument resting on the knee.
Sadigjan added six strings to the tar, taking the total to eleven. He also made the instrument smaller and changed the playing position - holding it high on the chest rather than on the knee. This is the form the tar takes to this day.
Sadigjan was renowned throughout the Caucasus for his talented tar playing. It was because of this great talent, and the prominence he brought to the tar through its remodelling, that he was given the honorific nick-name Sadigjan.

3. The Azerbaijani National Tutek Players, from G. Primov’s archive

4. Photograph of a group of ashigs playing the saz

5. Photograph of Meshadi Jamil Kerbalai
Meshadi Jamil was born in Shusha in 1875 and died in 1928. He was a tar player and composer, and like many master musicians of his period studied under the famous musicologist Navvab. He was a versatile musician and in addition to the tar, he also played the garmon, kamancha, violin and piano. Meshadi Jamil studied music in Azerbaijan, but also in Istanbul, where he familiarised himself with Western musical tradition and learned to score music. Thus, in 1912, he became the first person to score the music of a mugham piece.
Meshadi Jamil composed operas and operettas and he conducted his own work in performances in Tbilisi.
He also worked to promote music teaching and over a long period of time worked to open a music school in Ganja. This finally happened in 1923. Before then, however, he ran a mugham course, where he taught such Azerbaijani musical giants as Said Shushinsky and Bulbul.

6. Photographs of Mirza Faraj and Shirin Akhundov
Mirza Faraj was a prominent tar player, who was born in Baku in 1847 and died in 1927. He was one of the first musicians to adopt Sadigjan’s alterations to the tar and also studied eastern music in Iran. He became famous throughout Azerbaijan when he played in a mugham trio with Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu and Meshadi Gulu. Furthermore, he shared his knowledge by teaching the tar at the Eastern Conservatoire and the Baku Music Technical College.

7. Photograph of Meshedi Malik Mansurov
Meshedi Malik Mansurov lived between 1887 and 1967 and was born in Baku. He was a tar player and teacher. As a tar player he was a follower of the style of Sadigjan and taught at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire. As a teacher he was known as a skilled theorist of mugham and contributed to the scoring of several mughams.

8. Photograph of an Azerbaijani female tar player, who is playing in the old manner from before the reforms by Sadgjan.

9. Photograph of an ashig mejlis (meeting)

10. Photograph of Ashig Abbasgulu playing the saz, Gashim playing a baraban and Khanlar playing a nagara

11. Photograph of Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu and Meshedi Memmed Farzeliyev
Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu, who was born in 1861 and died in 1944. He was one of the great khanendes of his era. He sung with many of the most well-known 20th century mugham musicians, including Sadigjan and Mirza Faraj.

12. Photograph of the khanende Gadir bala Jabbarov (1871-1906)

13. Photograph of a mugham trio made up of Kechachi oghlu Mahammad, Sasha Oganezashvili and Gurban Primov, taken in Warsaw in 1912.
The khanende Kechachi oghlu Mahammad lived between 1864 and 1940. He was born in Shusha, in Karabagh, where he trained as a mugham singer. While a prominent performer, he also taught at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire from 1926.
The other members of this trio were also very popular musicians. Oganesashvili played the kamancha while Primov was a renowned tar player. In addition to performing traditional mughams Primov also worked as a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre and he played the tar solos at the premiere of the first Azerbaijani opera - Leyli and Majnun by Uzeyir Hajibeyov.

14. Mould for a gramophone recording from 1903 of Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu performing Gül Ashdi Bahar Oldu.
Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu, who was born in 1861 and died in 1944, was one of the great khanendes of his era. He sung with many of the most well-known 20th century mugham musicians, including Sadigjan and Mirza Faraj.

15. Photograph from Warsaw in 1912 showing Gurban Primov, Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu and Kechachi oghlu Mahammad.
These three were some of the most popular mugham performers of their time - Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu and Kechachi oghlu Mahammad as khanendes and Gurban Primov as a tar player.

16. Photograph of Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu and Gurban Primov with intellectuals of Lenkoran, taken in the Azerbaijani city of Lenkoran on 20 September 1908.
Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu was born in 1861 and died in 1944. He was one of the great khanendes of his era and he sung with many of the most well-known 20th century mugham musicians.
Gurban Primov was one of the best-known and well-loved Azerbaijani tar players of the 20th century. He was born in Gulabli, in Karabagh, in 1880 and he died in 1965. He was given the honour of performing the tar solos in the first ever performance of Leyli and Majnun in 1908. Leyli and Majnun was the first ever opera to be written and performed in the Muslim world, and blended the western operatic style with traditional Azerbaijani instruments and mugham singing.

17. Photograph of Gurban Primov performing a radio recording with other musicians
Gurban Primov was one of the best-known and well-loved Azerbaijani tar players of the 20th century. In addition to performing traditional folk music he was a soloist at the Azerbaijani Opera and Ballet Theatre. He was given the honour of performing the tar solos in the first ever performance of Leyli and Majnun in 1908. Leyli and Majnun, written by Uzeyir Hajibeyov, was the first ever opera to be written and performed in the Muslim world, and blended the western operatic style with traditional Azerbaijani instruments and mugham singing.

18. Gaval
This gaval belonged to the khanende Kechachi oghlu Mahammad. He lived between 1864 and 1940 and was born in Shusha, in Karabagh, where he trained as a mugham singer. While a prominent performer, he also taught at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire from 1926. Azerbaijan has a strong tradition of musical teaching and traditional singing and instruments have long been taught in schools and conservatoires in the country.

19. Gramophone record of Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu performing Mani Dari Kherati Zabyl, a Sport-record recording
Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu was born in 1861 and died in 1944. He was one of the great khanendes of his era. He sung with many of the most well-known 20th century mugham musicians, including Sadigjan and Mirza Faraj.

20. Photograph of Gurban Primov, Aliaga Vahid and Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu
Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu was born in 1861 and died in 1944. He was one of the great khanendes of his era and he sung with many of the most well-known 20th century mugham musicians.
Gurban Primov meanwhile was a renowned Azerbaijani tar player. He was born in Karabagh in 1880 and he died in 1965. He was given the honour of performing the tar solos at the premiere of the first ever Azerbaijani opera Leyli and Majnun in 1908. This opera blended the western operatic style with traditional Azerbaijani instruments and mugham singing.

21. Gramophone record of Kechachi oghlu Mahammad performing Rahab, a Pate recording
The khanende Kechachi oghlu Mahammad lived between 1864 and 1940. He was born in Shusha, in Karabagh, where he trained as a mugham singer. He was a prominent performer but also taught at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire from 1926.

22. Painting of Gurban Primov
Gurban Primov was one of the best-known and well-loved Azerbaijani tar players of the 20th century. He was born in Gulabli, in Karabagh, in 1880 and he died in 1965. He played with many other famous Azerbaijani musicians, including Jabbar Garyagdi oghlu and Kechachi oghlu Mahammad.
Primov was given the honour of performing the tar solos in the first ever performance of Leyli and Majnun in 1908. Leyli and Majnun was the first ever opera to be written and performed in the Muslim world, and blended the western operatic style with traditional Azerbaijani instruments and mugham singing.

23. Collection of Azerbaijani choir songs, produced in Baku 1901

24. Photograph of the khanende Islam Abdullayev (1876-1964) holding a gaval

25. Photograph of, from left to right: Bahram Mansurov, Meshadi Suleyman and Aga Malik, 1914

26. Photo of Haji Husu Niftaly oghlu
His birth date is unknown but he was born in Shusha into a family of hat makers. He received his early musical training in Kharrat Gulu’s school. He was one of the most famous mugham singers of the 19th century and was the favourite singer of the Azerbaijani poetess Natavan. He improved a number of classical mughams and also wrote some new ones. Haji Husu died in 1898.

27. Catalogue of recordings of mughams by Azerbaijani khanendes, by Extraphone, 1915

28. Catalogue of recordings by Kechachi oghlu Mahammad on Sport-record, from some time shortly after 1912
The khanende Kechachi oghlu Mahammad lived between 1864 and 1940. He was born in Shusha, in Karabagh, where he trained as a mugham singer. While a prominent performer, he also taught at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire from 1926.

29. Gramophone record with Islam Abdullayev, accompanied by tar and kamancha, performing Ey Gazel (tesnif), published in Tbilisi, first decade of 20th century

30. Book containing a stone-cut ink print of Moshaffarin Govhartac (The Attach on the Innocent Dancers) from the archive of Mir Movshum Navvab

31. Photograph of an ashig playing the saz, 1880

32. The Musical Art of Mir Movshum Navvab, a book published in Baku in 1913
Mir Moshum Navvab was born in 1833 and died in 1918. He was a multi-talented man and a poet, artist, philologist and calligraphist as well as a scholar of music. His principal work on music was probably his treaties on the ‘Clarification of Figures in Music’, which he wrote in 1913. His works particularly focussed on the ancient music of the Middle East and he studied the aesthetics of music, as well as problems of performance and emotional influences on audiences. He was also interested in the healing properties of music. Navvab drew on ancient and medieval philosophers and Eastern musicologists such as Urmavi and Maraghani in his work.

33. Catalogue of songs recorded on Sport-record by Meshadi Magamed Farzaliyev, with tar played by Gurban and kamancha by Sasha

34. General Tagiyev’s March, alto score, 1910

35. Photo of Mejid Behbud oghlu Behbudov
Mejid Behbudov was born in Shusha, in Karabagh, in 1878 and was famous as a khanende (a master mugham singer) in Georgia as well as Azerbaijan. He performed in operas and operettas by U. Hajibeyov and his voice is preserved in gramophone recordings from the early 20th century.

36. Catalogue of Persian records by the Pate Company Ltd of London, Tbilisi, 1910-11

36a. Catalogue of music by the London firm Gramophone, made in Georgia

37. Magazine cutting of an advertisement showing a picture of the wedding scene from the film Naft va Milyonlar Saltaratinda (In the Country of Oil and Millions), 1916

38. News paper cutting of an announcement of the film Naft va Milyonlar Saltaratinda (In the Country of Oil and Millions), 1916

39. Gramophone record of Mejid Behbudov performing the tesnif Buta, accompanied by tar and kamancha, recorded by Gramophone

40. Gramophone recording of Alesker Abdullayev performing the Avazi Shushtar mugham, accompanied by tar and kamancha, recorded by Gramophone

41. A number of possessions belonging to the famous tar player Gurban Primov: 1) pipe, 2) pitch pipe, 3) prayer beads, 4) tobacco pouch, 5) glasses, 6) watch, 7) money pouch, 8) case for glasses.

42. Photograph of the tar player Gurban Primov
Gurban Primov was one of the best-known and well-loved Azerbaijani tar players of the 20th century. In addition to performing folk music he worked as a tar soloist at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

43. The Programme of a celebratory performance in honour of the 25th anniversary of the artistic works of Gurban Primov, 1904-1929
Gurban Primov was one of the most popular Azerbaijani tar players of the 20th century. In addition to performing folk music he worked as a tar soloist at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

44. A stage costume which belonged to Bahram Mansurov
The tar player Bahram Mansurov was born in 1911 and became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1978. He worked at the Azerbaijani State Eastern Orchestra and led the Folk Instruments Ensemble of the State Radio. During his career he played with such great folk music singers as Jabbar Garyagdi Oghlu, Huseyngulu Sarabsky and Khan Shushinsky. He died in 1985.

45. Tar
The tar and kamancha are, perhaps, the primary national instruments of this country. They are traditionally used to form a trio along with the khanende (master mugham singer) in performances of the Azerbaijani music style mugham. Their use has however, been adapted through the 20th and 21st centuries and they are now also used, blended with instruments of the western musical tradition, in symphonies and operatic works.

46. Kamancha
The kamancha is a string instrument played with a bow. It has a small rounded body and a long neck and is played resting on the long thin stand attached to the bottom of the body. The face of the body is covered in tanned sturgeon skin.
The kamancha was already in use in Azerbaijan in the medieval period - as indicated by both poetry and depictions of musicians playing the instrument. Its use was widespread also throughout Central and Eastern Asia and it appears to have come in many different forms. There are still 3 and 4 as well as 5-stringed kamanchas.
This kamancha is from the 19th century and is decorated in the traditional Azerbaijani style with intricate mother-of-pearl inlay.

47. Tar
This tar is dated by the inlay on its body to 1908 and it belonged to Sherin Akhundov.
The tar is by many considered to be the national instrument of Azerbaijan. It has a figure-of-eight-shaped body and the face of the bipartite body is covered with tanned fish skin or the membrane of a cow’s heart. It is played with a plectrum, and the vibrations of the sound are controlled by pressing the instrument to the chest for a chosen length of time.

48. Bow for kamancha
This bow dates to the 19th century.

SECTION IV
Music Boxes and Gramophones

This section of the museum contains a number of mechanical music boxes and early gramophones. In the beginning of the 20th century, when musical recordings started to develop, performances by a number of Azerbaijani folk musicians and singers were recorded. Here you can see advertisements and record sleeves for some of these recordings. This part of the museum also contains a piano which belonged to the important Azerbaijani composer and teacher Muslim Magomayev.

1. Painted portrait of Mirza Sadig also known as Sadigjan
Mirza Sadig was born in 1846 in Shusha, in Karabagh, and he died in 1902. He was a tar player and is extremely important in Azerbaijani musical history as a reformer of that instrument.
Earlier, the tar was five stringed and played seated with the instrument resting on the knee. Sadigjan however, added six strings to the tar, taking the total to eleven. He also made the instrument smaller and changed the playing position - holding it high on the chest rather than on the knee. This is the form the tar takes to this day.
Sadigjan was renowned throughout the Caucasus for his talented tar playing. It was because of this great talent, and the prominence he brought to the tar through its remodelling, that he was given the honorific nick-name Sadigjan.
2. An oil on canvas portrait of the pianist Nadira Shah Mirza.

3. A cover for a record advertising the shop America which sold records and record players.

4. Record cover advertising the international and Soviet offices of the Gramophone Company Ltd of London.

5. Music Box by Zimmerman of Leipzig.

6. Music Box by Polyphone.

7. Music Box.

8. An American Phonotone gramophone with an external amplifying horn
This model uses a mechanical device to produce sound from gramophone recordings.

9. A gramophone by the British maker Gramophone
This model uses a mechanical device to produce sound from records.

10. Muslim Magomayev’s Piano
Muslim Magomayev was born in a village outside Grozny, Chechnya, in 1885 and he died in 1937. He is renowned as a composer, conductor, teacher and folklorist and was awarded the title of Honoured Art Worker of Azerbaijan in 1936.
He was a close friend and colleague of Uzeyir Hajibeyov and one of the founders of Azerbaijani professional theatre. His work as a folklorist and collector of folk songs had a profound impact on his development as a composer. Together with Uzeyir Hajibeyov and others, he developed a school of musical thought which strived to maintain the realistic tradition of traditional Azerbaijani folk music whilst creating in European classical music genres.
Muslim Magomayev’s most famous work is probably the opera Shah Ismayil, which holds an important place in the development of early Azerbaijani opera. His opera Nargiz was also a great success when it was first performed in Moscow in 1938, after his death.
The Azerbaijani State Philharmonic, which was started in 1936, now bears his name.

11. Four examples of record covers advertising shops and the record companies Pate and Gramophone.

12. A set of miniature instruments built by Kamil Ahmadov:
a) tar
b) gaval
c) kamancha
d) ud
e) saz
f) naghara
g) dumbek
h) gosha naghara
I) saz
j) tutek
k) balaban
l) ney (metal)
m) ney (wood)
n) zurna

13. Nagara
- a drum played with the fingers and palms of both hands and which was used mainly in folk music ensembles, together with zurna, balaban and other instruments. In earlier times the body of the nagara was covered on two sides with membranes of stretched skin.

14. Ganun.
The ganun is a string instrument held horizontally and played by plucking. It was widely used in the Near and Middle East, including in Azerbaijan. The ganun is made up of a rectangular flat wooden box with the bottom and sides built in birch, nut or other hard woods.

SECTION V
The Birth of Azerbaijani Classical and Professional Music

In this part of the museum you can see exhibits relating to the early years of Azerbaijani classical and professional music. The single most important person in the development of classical music in Azerbaijan was the composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov. He is known as the Father of Azerbaijani Professional Music. Other prominent persons were the composer Muslim Magomayev and the singer Bulbul. They contributed greatly to the development of a native Azerbaijani form of the Western classical music tradition and were instrumental in teaching the different genres of this musical tradition to following generations.

1. Photo of Uzeyir Hajibeyov.
Uzeyir Hajibeyov was born 1885 and died in 1948. He was a composer, musicologist and teacher who was immensely important in the development of Azerbaijani music in the early 20th century. He studied at the Gori Teachers’ Seminary and at the St Petersburg Conservatoire and worked as the principal of the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire, where he taught many of Azerbaijan’s most prominent musical figures. Hajibeyov was also the first director of the Azerbaijani State School of Turkic Music, which opened in Baku in 1921. In 1938 he was awarded with the title People’s Artist of the Soviet Union, followed in 1941 by the State Prize of the Soviet Union.
Uzeyir Hajibeyov wrote operas, operettas, cantatas, overtures, romances and songs. He also wrote the National Anthem of Azerbaijan but is probably most famous for his operas Leyli and Majnun and Koroghlu. When Hajibeyov completed his first opera - Leyli and Majnun in 1908 he had not only written the first Azerbaijani opera - but the first opera in the Muslim world. It was also innovative in mixing traditional Azerbaijani mugham music with the classical European operatic tradition.
Hajibeyov was one of the principal driving forces in the development of Azerbaijani professional music in the early 20th century and in the adoption of European classical music genres, instruments and themes in Azerbaijan. For this he is known as the father of Azerbaijani professional music.

2. Photo of Huseyngulu Sarabsky (Rzayev).
Huseyngulu Sarabsky was born in 1879 and died in 1945. He was a singer, actor, director and teacher who received the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1932.
In 1908 he was a soloist in the Nidjat opera ensemble, run by the Hajibeyov brothers. Through this he received the role of Majnun in the premiere of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s opera Leyli and Majnun - the first Muslim opera. He came to perform this role more than 400 times during his career, the last time in 1941, four years before his death. In a speech at his funeral Uzeyir Hajibeyov praised his talent and dedication and described him as a ‘school and model for other artists‘.

3. Photo of a scene from Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s opera Leyli and Majnun in which Leyli is played by Hagigat Rzayeva and Majnun by Huseyngulu Sarabsky.
Leyli and Majnun was Hajibeyov’s first opera as well as the first opera to be written in Azerbaijan and the Muslim world. It was completed in 1908 and mixed Azerbaijani mugham music with the Western operatic tradition.

Hagigat Rzayeva was born 1907 and died 1969. She was a singer of opera and operetta as well as one of the first female mugham singers to perform on a large stage. She was awarded the title of People’s Artist of Azerbaijan and left a significant mark on the history of the nation’s musical culture.

Huseyngulu Sarabsky was born in 1879 and died in 1945. He was a singer, actor, director and teacher who received the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1932. He played the role of Majnun at the opera’s premiere and the role continued to form a part of his repertoire throughout his life.

4. Photo of the Hajibeyov Brothers’ Opera Ensemble.
This was an independent group of Muslim opera and operetta performers led by the brothers Uzeyir and Zulfugar Hajibeyov. Many of Azerbaijan’s most famous artists were members of this troupe and it performed in Baku and many other cities throughout the Caucasus. At the fall of the first Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan in 1920 the troupe was disbanded and the Union of Turkic Actors was created in its place.

5. Photo of a scene from Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s opera Leyli and Majnun showing Yavar Kalantarli in the role of Leyli’s Mother.
Yavar Kalantarli was born in 1902 and died in 1979. She was a singer whose first performance on stage took place in 1918 in the role of Asker in Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s operetta the Cloth Peddler. On the recommendation of Hajibeyov she also received mugham training from the famous khanendes Jabbar Garyagdi Oghlu and S. Shushinsky. In 1937 she was invited to join the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre. She earned the title Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan in 1940 for her wonderful voice.

6. Programme for Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s operetta Arshin Mal Alan - The Cloth Peddler.
The Cloth Peddler was Hajibeyov’s third and last operetta which he completed in 1913, while preparing his entrance exam for the St Petersburg Conservatoire. He wrote the libretto as well as the music for this work. Hajibeyov was an active campaigner for individual freedoms, including women’s rights, and against the then prevailing tradition in Azerbaijani society of young people having no influence on decisions about marriage. This is reflected in the story of the operetta which relates how a young man and woman strive to be allowed to marry the person of their choice.
The Cloth Peddler has been filmed a number of times, first in 1916 and then in 1917, 1945 and 1965.

7. Photograph of a 1913 performance of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s operetta The Cloth Peddler.
In this period female roles were played by men and from left to right you can see: Yalhya Ismayil as Telli, Rza Samadov as Vali, Aslan Hajiyev as Khala, Bey Azis as Soltan, Ali Mammadov as Asgar, Aga Oghlu Abdullayev as Gulshohra and Rzagulu Abdullayev as Suleyman. Rahim Rahimov is also pictured.
The story of this operetta follows one of Hajibeyov’s favourite themes - the rights of young people to marry a person of their choice. Hajibeyov was an active campaigner for individual freedoms, including women’s rights, and considered this an important issue.

8. Photograph of Muslim Magomayev
Muslim Magomayev was born near Grozny in Chechnya in 1885 and he died in 1937. He is renowned as a composer, conductor, teacher and folklorist and was awarded the title of Honoured Art Worker of Azerbaijan in 1936.
He was a close friend and colleague of Uzeyir Hajibeyov and one of the founders of Azerbaijani professional theatre. His work as a folklorist and collector of folk songs had a profound impact on his development as a composer. Together with Uzeyir Hajibeyov and others he developed a school of musical thought which strived to maintain the realistic tradition of traditional Azerbaijani folk music whilst creating in European classical music genres.

9. Poster of a 1926 performance of Muslim Magomayev’s opera Shah Ismayil
Shah Ismayil is probably Magomayev’s most famous opera. The subject of the opera is taken from medieval ashig stories about the life of the Persian Shah Ismayil. This is one of the most popular motifs for ashig stories and therefore exists in many different versions. It was completed in 1916 but did not have its premiere until 1919. When it finally premiered however, it did so to great acclaim. Reviews in the local press praised the staging of the opera and its rich and methodical style.

10. Poster for Muslim Magomayev’s opera Nargiz.
Magomayev’s opera Nargiz had its premiere on 24 December 1935 at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre. This opera is a revolutionary drama set during the Bolshevik take over of Azerbaijan. The heroine of the piece is the peasant girl Nargiz, who leads the people in rebellion against an evil feudal lord who oppresses his subjects. Another theme in the opera is the love between Nargiz and another of the leaders of the revolutionaries. This story ends with the overthrow of the feudal lord and a marriage between the lovers.

11. Photograph of Huseynaga Hajibababeyov in the role of Shah Ismayil in Muslim Magomayev’s opera of the same name.
Huseynaga Hajibababeyov was born in 1898 and died in 1972. He was a singer who generally performed female roles in mugham operas and operettas at a time when women on stage were still very rare. He was a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre from 1920-1962 and was awarded with the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan for his services to music.

12. Muslim Magomayev’s certificate from the Gori Teachers’ Seminary, in Georgia.
Magomayev studied at the Gori Teachers’ seminary from 1899 to 1904 and was a very high performing student who got top marks in all subjects.
He was a renowned composer, conductor, teacher and folklorist and a close friend and colleague of Uzeyir Hajibeyov as well as one of the founders of Azerbaijani professional theatre.

13. Photograph of Murtuza Mammadov who is more generally known as Bulbul.
Bulbul was born in 1897 and died in 1961. He begun his career working as a traditional mugham singer - a khanende, but decided to also train as a singer in the European classical tradition as well. He graduated from the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire in 1927 and then went to Milan to develop further as an opera singer. In his career he received many awards - including the State Prize of the Soviet Union and the title People’s Artist of the Soviet Union.
Bulbul received his nickname - which means nightingale in Azerbaijani - as a tribute to his amazing voice and he remains one of Azerbaijan’s most revered singers to this day.
Bulbul also worked as a teacher and founded the Azerbaijani Professional Singing School and is sometimes known as the Father of Azerbaijani Professional Song. He was also instrumental in ensuring that the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire opened a scientific research laboratory for the study of folk music.

14. Photograph of Bulbul and Maestro Niyazi during a rehearsal in 1939.
These two men are very significant in Azerbaijani musical history - Bulbul as a singer of opera as well as traditional music and Niyazi as a conductor and composer.
They performed together at the Ten-Day Festival of Azerbaijani Literature and Art held in Moscow in 1938. They also worked together for many years at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre and at the scientific research laboratory for music, where they studied folk music and musical folklore.

15. Photograph of Bulbul in the role Koroghlu - the principal character in Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s opera of the same name. Koroghlu is by many considered to be the most accomplished of Hajibeyov’s operatic works and the peak of Azerbaijani opera.
The libretto was written by M. Ordubadi and was based on the legend of the folk hero Koroghlu who leads the people in revolt against the oppressive rule of the Khan. Hajibeyov wrote the part of Koroghlu specifically for Bulbul and he was awarded the title People’s Artist of the Soviet Union for his performance of the role. The premiere of the opera took place in Azerbaijan in 1937 and it won the Stalin Prize in 1941.

16. Photo of Bulbul and Jabbar Garyagdi Oghlu.
They are two of Azerbaijan’s most well-known singers - Jabbar Garyagdi Oghlu as a folk music singer and Bublbul also as an opera singer. They worked together at the Azerbaijani scientific research laboratory for music collecting and recording folk music. Under the guidance of Bulbul Jabbar Garyagdi Oghlu spent 6 months providing the laboratory with 220 folk songs and about 70 extracts of folk music. They also recorded about 300 songs and tesnifs sung by Garyagdi Oghlu which were later scored on paper by the composer Said Rustamov.

17. Sketch for the staging of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s opera Koroghlu painted by F. Gusak.
Koroghlu is Hajibeyov’s most acclaimed opera and tells the tale of the folk hero Koroghlu and his struggle against the oppression of the people. The title role was written specifically for the singer Bulbul.

18. Bulbul’s identification card for travel to Italy.
Bulbul started his career as a traditionally trained mugham singer but later also studied to become an opera singer. Some of that training took place in Italy and he went on to become one of the most revered singers in Azerbaijan as well as an important teacher.

19. Photo of Bulbul as Asgar and Sona Mustafayeva as Gulchohra in Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s operetta The Cloth Peddler.
Hajibeyov wrote both the music and libretto of this operetta while preparing his entrance exam for the St Petersburg Conservatoire.

20. Photo of the famous singer Bulbul in his youth.
He went on to become an extremely popular singer of both opera and traditional folk music as well as a teacher and musical innovator.

21. Telegram sent by the well-known Azerbaijani tar player Gurban Primov about a performance by Bulbul in a concert in Teheran.

22. Programme of a performance of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s opera Leyli and Majnun in Baku.
Leyli and Majnun was Hajibeyov’s first opera and when it was completed in 1908 it was also the first opera in the Muslim world. It was innovative in mixing traditional Azerbaijani mugham music with the classical European operatic tradition. The libretto follows the tragic love story of Leyli and Majnun which is known from both Arabic and Persian versions. Hajibeyov however, based the words of his opera on the Azerbaijani language version by the poet Fuzuli.

23. Book of M. Fuzuli’s Azerbaijani language poem Leyli and Majnun with stone cut ink prints. It was produced in Tabriz in 1850.

24. Libretto of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s opera Leyli and Majnun, signed by Tufanov.
Leyli and Majnun was Hajibeyov’s first opera and when it was completed in 1908 it was also the first opera in the Muslim world. It tells the tragic love story of Leyli and Majnun and was based on the words by the Azerbaijani poet Fuzuli.

25. Commemorative medals and a commemorative plaque dedicated to Uzeyir Hajibeyov - the composer, teacher and musical figure also known as the father of Azerbaijani professional music.

26. Programme of the Centenary Celebration of the birth of the writer and dramatist Mirza Fatali Akhundov, who was born in 1812. The Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre is named after him.

27. Programme of a charitable event arranged by Neshr Maarif, which in English translates as the Enlightenment Publishing House.
The event was the seventh Muslim evening for the benefit of the Society for the Dissemination of Literacy among Muslims and it was held on the 13th of February 1916.

28. The book of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s operetta O Olmasin, bu Olsun - If Not That One Then This.
This operetta, like the two others which Hajibeyov wrote, light heartedly deals with the issue of young people’s right to chose who to marry. This appears to have been a theme very close to the heart of the composer as were other aspects of social reform and personal liberty. The music in the operetta plays an important dramatic role and furthers the natural unfolding of events on stage and helps to deepen the characters of the main protagonists. The piece premiered in Baku in 1911.

29. Programme of a performance by the singer Huseyngulu Sarabsky who was a hero of Turkic opera, held on 13th February 1916.
Sarabsky was an important singer and actor who also worked as a director and teacher and received the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1932.

30. Handwritten score for Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s work Lezginka from 1932.
This piece was first performed at the Azerbaijani State Museum of Musical Culture in 2003, 71 years after it was written following its discovery in the museum archives.

31. Libretto for Muslim Magomayev’s opera Shah Ismayil from 1912.
This was written by the Turkic poet Abdul-Kadir Ismayilszade in 1912-13 in close collaboration with Magomayev. It tells the life story of the Persian Shah Ismayil.

32. Programme of the Great Eastern Concert held at the M. F. Akhundov Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre.
The first Eastern Concert was held in Shusha in 1901 and the first one in Baku was held in 1902 with participation from such prominent performers as the ashig Hajafgulu and khanendes Jabbar Garayagdi Oghlu and Kechachi Oghlu Mahammed. The second Eastern Concert followed quickly in 1902 and a third was held in 1903.

33. Photo of Muslim Magomayev with the ensemble after a performance of his opera Shah Ismayil in 1926.
Magomayev was a renowned composer, conductor, teacher and folklorist. He was also a close friend and colleague of Uzeyir Hajibeyov and one of the founders of Azerbaijani professional theatre.

34. Muslim Magomayev’s birth certificate.
Magomayev was a renowned composer, conductor, teacher and folklorist. He was also a close friend and colleague of Uzeyir Hajibeyov and one of the founders of Azerbaijani professional theatre.

35. Letter written by Muslim Magomayev in 1926 to T. Guliyev who was the National Commissar for Education and who also dealt with culture.
In the letter Magomayev complains that the end of the opera season leaves him very short of money at a time when his children are unwell and doctors have recommended a change of climate to improve their health. He therefore asks that his salary for the new opera season is settled, or if that is impossible, that he be given a loan. He also promises to work on a new composition for the stage during the year.

36. A commemorative medal for the centenary of the composer Muslim Magomayev’s birth in 1985.
Magomayev was a renowned composer, conductor, teacher and folklorist. He was also a close friend and colleague of Uzeyir Hajibeyov and one of the founders of Azerbaijani professional theatre.

37. Four medals commemorating the centenary of the singer Bulbul’s birth.
Bulbul started his career as a traditionally trained mugham singer but later also studied to become an opera singer. Some of that training took place in Italy and he went on to become one of the most revered singers in Azerbaijan as well as an important teacher.

38. A Collection of Azerbaijani Turkic folk songs from 1927.
The book was edited by Uzeyir Hajibeyov and Muslim Magomayev. It contains a collection of 33 folk songs recorded and harmonized by Magomayev, Hajibeyov and Hajibeyov’s brother Zulfugar with the help of the khanende Jabbar Garyagdi Oghlu. This collection was one of the earliest of its kind and helped to lay the foundations for musical folklore studies in Azerbaijan.

39. Photograph of the famous Azerbaijani singer Bulbul in the role of Aliar in Muslim Magomayev’s opera Nargiz.
This opera has a typically Soviet theme of a peasant revolt against a feudal lord during the Bolshevik take-over of Azerbaijan.

40. A Book called 50 Azerbaijani Folk Songs which was published in 1938.
The songs in this book were sung by Jabbar Garyagdi Oghlu and recorded with the help of Bulbul at the Azerbaijani Scientific Research Laboratory for Music. The composer and folk music researcher Said Rustamov then scored the songs on paper for the publication.

41. Programme of a concert with the famous singer Bulbul and a Symphonic Orchestra at the Moscow Philharmonic.
Bulbul started his career as a traditionally trained mugham singer but later also studied to become an opera singer. Some of that training took place in Italy and he went on to become one of the most revered singers in Azerbaijan as well as an important teacher.

42. Book about the staging of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s opera Koroghlu during the Ten-Day Festival of Azerbaijani Literature and Art in Moscow in 1938.
Koroghlu was Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s most accomplished work and it tells the tale of the folk hero Koroghlu who leads the people in an uprising against an oppressive khan. The libretto was written by M. S. Ordubadi with active participation from Hajibeyov. The theme of the opera, which was written at the height of the Stalinist oppression, fitted well with communist ideology but it has been argued that Hajibeyov in fact modelled his repressive khan on Stalin.

43. Shawl which was used by Fatma Mukhtarova when she performed Carmen in the mid 20th century.
Fatma Mukhtarova was born in 1893 and she died in 1972. She trained as a singer at the Saratov Conservatoire and performed at theatres in Moscow, Saratov, St Petersburg, Kiev and other places in Russia and the Soviet Union. She was also a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre from 1938 to 53 and was awarded the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan.

44. Spanish stage gun used by the well-known opera singer Fatma Mukhtarova in a performance of Carmen.

45. Make-up box for theatre performances.

46. Inscribed silver plaque presented to Vasily Alekseevich Nikolsky by the ensemble of the Azerbaijani Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Vasily Alekseevich Nikolsky was born in 1882 and died in 1967. He trained as a singer at the Moscow Conservatoire from which he graduated in 1907. He worked as a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre and was rewarded for his talent with the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan.

47. Silver vase holder presented to Gurban Primov by the ensemble of the Azerbaijani Opera and Ballet Theatre in 1929.
Gurban Primov was one of the best-known and well-loved Azerbaijani tar players of the 20th century. In addition to performing folk music he worked as a tar soloist at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

48. Fayence statuette made by the sculptor E. Abdullayev for a performance of Gara Garayev’s ballet Seven Beauties in 1952.

49. Silver glass holder presented to Gurban Primov by Uzeyir Hajibeyov in 1929.
Gurban Primov was one of the best-known and well-loved Azerbaijani tar players of the 20th century. In addition to performing folk music he worked as a tar soloist at the Azerbaijani Opera and Ballet Theatre.

SECTION VI
Azerbaijani Opera and Ballet

This part of the exhibition contains displays highlighting the composers and performers who followed in the footsteps of Uzeyir Hajibeyov and his compatriots. They include a number of famous opera and ballet performers such as Shovkat Mammadova and Fatma Mukhtarova and innovative composers. Prominent among them are Afrasiyab Badalbeyli who wrote the first Azerbaijani ballet and Jovdat Hajiyev whose symphony Socialist Azerbaijan was the first symphony created in the country. Gara Garayev is also a composer who holds a prominent position in Azerbaijan’s 20th century musical history.

Fikret Amirov, whose ballet work is highlighted in this section is also important because he invented a new musical genre - known as symphonic mugham and which mixes mugham instruments and musical patterns with the western symphonic tradition.

1. Photograph of Fatma Mukhtarova as Carmen in Bizet’s opera.
Fatma Mukhtarova was born in 1893 and she died in 1972. She trained as a singer at the Saratov Conservatoire and performed at theatres across Russia and the Soviet Union. She was also a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre from 1938 to 53 and was awarded the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan. Mukhtarova had an exquisite voice and a spirited stage presence and some called her the best Carmen in the world.

2. Photograph from 1951 of Agababa Bunyadzade as Graf de Luna in Verdi’s opera Troubadour.
Bunyadzade was born in 1915 and died in 1974. He studied to become an opera singer in Baku and at the Gnesin Music School in Moscow. At the beginning of this career he sung in the choir at the Baku Philharmonic and from 1938 he worked as a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre. He also performed as a concert singer.

3. The sketch by F. Gusak of female clothing for Afrasiyab Badalbayli’s opera Nizami.
Badalbayli was a composer, conductor and musicologist who was born in 1907 and died in 1976. He was the creator, in 1940, of the first Azerbaijani ballet Giz Galasi - Maiden’s Tower in English. The opera Nizami, based on the life of the poet Nizami, is one of his two operas. He became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1960.

4. Photograph of soprano Shovkat Mammadova in the roles of Paj in Mieyerber’s opera Huguenots and as Shahsenem in Reingold Gliere’s opera of the same name.
Shovkat Mammadova was the first professional female opera singer in Azerbaijan and the first woman to perform unveiled on stage in the Muslim world. In 1912, at the age of 15, she sang unveiled for the first time in Baku but the audience was so hostile to her performance that she had to be whisked away by the back door of the theatre and kept in hiding for a number of days before retuning to her native Georgia. Her career took off anyway and she performed in Tbilisi, Kyev, Moscow, Paris and Milan. She did return to Baku and in 1934 she performed in Reingold Gliere’s opera Shahsenem which was written for her. In 1939 she became director of the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Baku and she also founded the Theatrical College (now the Arts University) and the Musical Notes Publishing House, both in Baku. She was honoured with the title People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1938.

5. Photograph of the soprano Shovkat Mammadova and the tenor H. Hajibababayov in Gliere’s opera Shahsenem.
Gliere wrote this opera for Mammadova and she was the principal performer of the lead role.
Shovkat Mammadova was the first professional female opera singer in Azerbaijan and the first woman to perform unveiled on stage in the Muslim world. She had a very successful perfo4ming career appearing on stages in Tbilisi, Kyev, Moscow, Paris and Milan as well as Azerbaijan. In 1939 she became director of the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Baku and she also founded the Theatrical College (now the Arts University) and the Musical Notes Publishing House, both in Baku. She was honoured with the title People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1938.
Hajibababayov was born in 1898 and died in 1972. He started his career playing female roles in operas and operettas because in the early 20th century in Azerbaijan women were not supposed to perform on stage. Later, once women started playing female roles he branched out to play make roles too. He was a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre from 1920 to 1962.

6. Photo of Bahram Mansurov and Zeynab Khanlarova.
Mansurov was a tar player who worked as a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre and became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1978.
Zeynab Khanlarova meanwhile, was a soprano who won the awards of People’s Artist of both Azerbaijan and the Soviet Union. In addition to opera she also sung folk music from Azerbaijan and other parts of the world. She was a soloist of the ensemble of the State Radio under the direction of Ahmed Bakikhanov. She was also a deputy of the Azerbaijani parliament for a number of years.

7. Drawing of the M.F. Akhundov Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre building, from 1915.

8. Sketch by Filipov from 1949-50 for the stage setting of Maestro Niyazi’s opera Khosrov and Shirin.
Maestro Niyazi Tagizade Hajibeyov was a nephew of Uzeyir Hajibeyov and a world renowned conductor. He worked as the artistic director and principal conductor of the Azerbaijani State Symphonic Orchestra and was also a talented composer who wrote in a number of different genres. Khosrov and Shirin was his only completed opera.

9. Photograph of Leyla Vakilova and Konstantin Batashov in Afrasiyab Badalbayli’s ballet Maiden’s Tower.
When this work was completed in 1940 it was the first ballet to be written in Azerbaijan and as such is one of Badalbayli’s most important works. He was a composer, conductor and musicologist who also wrote operas and other music during his career. He won the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1960.
Leyla Vakilova was a ballet dancer and teacher who was born in 1927. She had a distinguished career and was awarded the title People’s Artist of the Soviet Union for the quality of her dancing. She died in 1999.
Konstantin Nikolaevich Batashov was born in 1918 in Tblisi. He trained as a ballet dancer at the Baku Choreography School and worked at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre. His dancing was very highly regarded and he became both a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan and a laureate of the State Prize of the Soviet Union.

10. Photograph of the artistic team behind the ballet Legend of Love.
First on the left is the acclaimed painter Simon Virsaladze. He was a People’s Artist of both Russia and Georgia and a laureate of the State Prize of the Soviet Union. The stage design for this ballet was based on his art.
Then comes Nazim Hikmet - the Turkish poet and playwright who wrote the libretto.
The famous conductor and composer Maestro Niyazi conducted the piece and Yury Nikolaevich Grigorovich was its ballet master. Grigorovich trained at the Leningrad School of Choreography and won the title Honoured Artist of Russia.
Furthest to the right we have Arif Melikov - the ballet’s composer. He was born in 1933 and studied composition at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire under the famous Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev. Melikov’s work too was awarded with honorary titles in both Azerbaijan and the Soviet Union.

11. Photograph of the composers Jovdat Hajiyev and Akshin Alizade.
Hajiyev was born in 1917 in the Azerbaijani town Sheki and he died in 2002. He studied folk music under Uzeyir Hajibeyov and was encouraged by him to take up the violin. That kindled his passion for classical music and he came to study composition at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire and at the Moscow Conservatoire under the world famous composer Dmitry Shostakovich. Throughout his career he maintained a close friendship and working relationship with Gara Garayev and they composed pieces together, including an opera. He worked as the artistic leader of the Baku Philharmonic and won the Stalin Prize twice for his compositions.
Akshin Alizade was born in 1937 and composed in many classical genres. He won the accolades People’s Artist of Azerbaijan and Laureate of the State Prize of Azerbaijan.

12. Photo of Gamar Almazade and Konstantin Batashov dancing the principal roles in Gara Garayev’s ballet Seven Beauties.
Garayev based this ballet on the poem by Nizami which tells the tale of the life of the Sassanid king Bahram V.
Gamar Almazade was born in 1915 and died in 2006. She was a prima ballerina, ballet master and teacher who became a People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1959. She studied at the Leningrad School of Choreography and became the first female professional dancer in Azerbaijan. Almazade’s importance for dance in the country extends further as she was also one of the creators and leaders of the dance ensemble of the Azerbaijani State Philharmonic and for many years the ballet master of the State Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Konstantin Batashov trained as a ballet dancer at the Baku Choreography School and worked at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre. His dancing was very highly regarded and he became both a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan and a laureate of the State Prize of the Soviet Union.

13. Photo of Konstantin Batashov in the role of The Vizier and Raisa Ismayilova as Mehmenebanu in Arif Melikov’s ballet Legend of Love.
Ismayilova was a ballet dancer and ballet master while Batashov trained as a ballet dancer at the Baku Choreography School and worked at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

14. Photograph depicting Leyla Vekilova in the title role in Soltan Hajibeyov‘s ballet Gulshen.
The composer of the ballet, Soltan Hajibeyov, came from the same prominent musical family as his famous cousin Uzeyir Hajibeyov and was also a highly regarded composer. He became a People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1973.
Vakilova was a ballet dancer and teacher and her distinguished career was crowned with the title People’s Artist of the Soviet Union.

15. Sketch by F. Gusak from 1951 of a costume for the vizier in Gara Garayev’s ballet Seven Beauties.
This ballet is based on the poem by Nizami which tells the tale of the life of the Sassanid king Bahram V.
Gara Garayev was born in 1918 and died in 1982. His illustrious career started in Baku where he studied composition under G.G. Sharoev and Leopold Rudolf. He then went on to study under the world renowned composer Dmitry Shostakovich in Moscow. During his career he became an Academician of the Azerbaijani Academy of Sciences and a People’s Artist and laureate of the State Prize of the Soviet Union. Teaching music was important to Garayev and he was the principal of the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire between 1949 and 1953. He led the Composers’ Union of Azerbaijan for a period and was the Secretary of the Composers’ Union of the Soviet Union for some years too.

16. Sketch by F. Gusak from 1951 of a costume for Gara Garayev’s ballet Seven Beauties.
This ballet is based on the poem by Nizami which tells the tale of the life of the Sassanid king Bahram V.
Garayev’s illustrious career started in Baku where he studied composition under G.G. Sharoev and Leopold Rudolf. He then went on to study under the world renowned composer Dmitry Shostakovich in Moscow. During his career he became an Academician of the Azerbaijani Academy of Sciences and a People’s Artist and laureate of the State Prize of the Soviet Union. He also taught at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire. He led the Composers’ Union of Azerbaijan for a period and was the Secretary of the Composers’ Union of the Soviet Union for some years too.

17. Photograph of the composer Jovdat Hajiyev.
Hajiyev was born in 1917 in the Azerbaijani town Sheki and he died in 2002. He studied folk music under Uzeyir Hajibeyov and was encouraged by him to take up the violin. That kindled his passion for classical music and he came to study composition at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire and at the Moscow Conservatoire under the world famous composer Dmitry Shostakovich. Throughout his career he maintained a close friendship and working relationship with Gara Garayev and they composed works together, including an opera. He worked as the artistic leader of the Baku Philharmonic and won the Stalin Prize twice for his compositions.

18. Photograph of a group of prominent Azerbaijani composers, including Jahangir Jahangirov, Tofig Guliyev, Azer Rzayev, Said Rustamov, Soltan Hajibeyov, Niyazi and Gara Garayev.
Jahagirov’s contributions to choir music are particularly significant while Guliyev brought variety music to Azerbaijan and composed musical comedies and many popular songs. Azer Rzayev was a violinist as well as a composer and the director of the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre between 1972 and 87. Said Rustamov was a prominent musical folklorist in addition to a well-known composer. Soltan Hajibeyov was a highly regarded composer and Maestro Niyazi is best known as a conductor although he also composed and Gara Garayev taught composition in addition to his great contribution to Azerbaijani music as a composer.

19. Photograph of a group of Azerbaijani composers, including Tofig Guliyev, Ashraf Abbasov, Ganbar Husseynli, Suleyman Alasgarov, Haji Khanmammadov and Zakir Bagirov.
Guliyev brought variety music to Azerbaijan and composed musical comedies and many popular songs. Both Ashraf Abbasov and Suleyman Alasgarov were conductors and teachers in addition to composers. Khanmammadov studied composition under Gara Garayev at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire before beginning his career as a composer. Zakir Bagirov wrote operas and operettas among other works and also taught at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire.

20. Newspaper invitation to Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s opera Asli and Karam from 1923.
This opera, which premiered in 1912, is perhaps one of the lesser works of the great composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov but continued to form a regular part of the opera repertoire in Azerbaijan for many years.

21. An invitation to Hajibaba Sharifov’s opera Tahir and Zohra, from September 1919.

22. Handwritten libretto in Arabic to Hajibaba Sharifov’s opera Tahir and Zohra, from 8 September 1919.

23. Book about Reingold Gliere’s opera Shahsenem.
It was published in Moscow in 1938.
Gliere was a Soviet composer, conductor and teacher who was given the title People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1938. He completed the opera in 1927 and he wrote the title role for the soprano Shovkat Mammadova.

24. Unfinished handwritten score to Jovdet Hajiyev and Gara Garayev’s opera Aina.
These two composers studied together under Dmitry Shostakovich in Moscow and wrote a number of compositions together, as well as both being renowned composers in their own right.

25. Letter written by the composer Gara Garayev to his teacher G.G. Sharoev in Moscow in 1938.
The letter speaks of Garayev’s great respect for and gratitude to his teacher and thanks him for his generous attention and assistance.

26. Photograph of the composer Gara Garayev.
Garayev was born in 1918 and died in 1982. His illustrious career started in Baku where he studied composition under G.G. Sharoev and Leopold Rudolf. He then went on to study under the world renowned composer Dmitry Shostakovich in Moscow. During his career he became an Academician of the Azerbaijani Academy of Sciences and a People’s Artist and laureate of the State Prize of the Soviet Union. Teaching was also very important to Garayev. He led the Composers’ Union of Azerbaijan for a period and was the Secretary of the Composers’ Union of the Soviet Union for some years too.

27. Photograph of Jovdat Hajiyev and Gara Garayev with their teacher Dmitry Shostakovich who sits in the middle.
Hajiyev and Garayev were young Azerbaijani composition students when they came to study under the world famous composer Shostakovich in Moscow and they both went on to become highly acclaimed and well-known composers themselves.

28. Badge from the Music Week celebrating the 70th anniversary of the birth of Gara Garayev which was held in Baku in 1988.
Garayev learned his trade as a composer under a number of illustrious composers, including Dmitry Shostakovich. When this event was held Garayev had been dead for six years but he was and still remains one of Azerbaijani’s most well-known and highly regarded composers.

29. Photograph of Rafiga Akhundova performing the role of the most beautiful beauty in Gara Garayev’s ballet Seven Beauties.
Garayev based this ballet on the poem by Nizami which tells the tale of the life of the Sassanid king Bahram V.
Akhundova was born in Baku in 1931 and trained at the choreographic school in this city. She was a ballet dancer and ballet master who worked at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre and was awarded the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1970.

30. Programme of a performance of Gara Garayev’s ballet Seven Beauties.
This ballet was completed in 1949 and was first performed at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre in 1952. Garayev based this ballet on the poem by Nizami which tells the tale of the life of the Sassanid king Bahram V. It is considered an outstanding example of Azerbaijani musical art.

31. Documents which belonged to the famous Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev. They are:
a) his certification as an Academician of the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences
b) and his membership card for the Azerbaijani Composers’ Union.
Garayev, who studied composition under Dmitry Shostakovich was an Academician of the Azerbaijani Academy of Sciences and a People’s Artist and laureate of the State Prize of the Soviet Union. He was also a keen teacher and led the Composers’ Union of Azerbaijan for a period as well as becoming the Secretary of the Composers’ Union of the Soviet Union.

32. Signed photograph of Afrasiyab Badalabayli.
Badalbayli was a composer, conductor and musicologist who created the first Azerbaijani ballet Maiden’s Tower in 1940. Among his other works are two operas. He became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1960.

33. Programme for Afrasiyab Badalbayli’s ballet Maiden’s Tower.
When this work was completed in 1940 it was the first ballet to be written in Azerbaijan and as such is one of Badalbayli’s most important works. He was a composer, conductor and musicologist who also wrote operas and other music during his career. He was awarded the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1960.

34. Photograph of Fikret Amirov.
Amirov was born in 1922 and died in 1984. He studied at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire and wrote operas and symphonies and other works. He is probably best known though as the creator of a new musical genre - symphonic mugham. This style of music blends Azerbaijani mugham themes and instruments with the western symphonic tradition. Amirov was also the first Azerbaijani to write vocal chamber music. An additional contribution to Azerbaijani musical history was that he scored a number of mughams which had previously only been transmitted between performers orally.

35. Photograph of Soltan Hajibeyov.
Soltan Hajibeyov came from the same prominent musical family as his famous cousin Uzeyir Hajibeyov and was also a highly regarded composer. He was born in 1919, became a People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1973 but died the following year.

36. Photograph of Rashid Behbudov in the role of Balash and Elmira Akhundova as Dilbar in Fikret Amirov’s opera Sevil.
This opera was written in 1953 and took the emancipation of Azerbaijani women as its theme.
Rashid Behbudov was born in 1915. He was a tenor and one of the most popular singers of his time, who sung both opera and popular music. He was also important in the development of Azerbaijani music as the founder of the Azerbaijani State Song Theatre, which he led until his death in 1989.
The soprano Elmira Akhundova was born in 1911 and she worked at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre between 1934 and 1959 and from 1938 also at the Musical Comedy Theatre.

37. Programme of a performance of Soltan Hajibeyov’s ballet Gulshen in Moscow in 1959.
Hajibeyov wrote the opera in 1950 and it was first performed in 1951. It takes as its theme the hard work and feats of endurance of the cotton-growers and builders of the Mingechevir hydroelectric power station.

SECTION VII
Gara Garayev’s Piano

The central position in this section of the museum is held by the piano which belonged to the composer Gara Garayev. He is considered to be one of the most accomplished composers to come out of Azerbaijan. The rest of this display shows portraits of Azerbaijani musical figures and posters of performances.

1. Piano belonged to the composer Gara Garayev.
Garayev was born in 1918 and died in 1982. He studied composition at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire and at the Moscow Conservatoire, where he studied under the world famous composer Dmitry Shostakovich. Garayev composed in a wide range of genres, including opera, ballet and symphony and he wrote film music. He was awarded with the title Honoured Artist of the Soviet Union for his work in 1959. His most famous work is probably the ballet Seven Beauties.
Teaching was another important part of Garayev’s life’s work and he taught composition at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire, schooling many of today‘s best Azerbaijani composers and musicians. He became an academician at the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences and at different times held the offices of Head of the Azerbaijani Composers’ Union and Secretary of the Composers’ Union of the Soviet Union.

2. Photograph of Gara Garayev.
Garayev was born in 1918 and died in 1982. He studied composition at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire and at the Moscow Conservatoire, where he studied under the world famous composer Dmitry Shostakovich. Garayev composed in a wide range of genres, including opera, ballet and symphony and he wrote film music. He was awarded with the title Honoured Artist of the Soviet Union for his work in 1959.
Teaching was another important part of his career and he taught composition at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire.

3. Graphic art portrait of the composer Fikret Amirov by the artist Elturan Avalov.
Fikret Amirov was born in 1922 and died in 1984. He studied at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire and wrote operas and symphonies and other works. His most important contribution to Azerbaijani music is perhaps the creation of a new musical genre - symphonic mugham. This style of music blends Azerbaijani mugham themes and instruments with the western symphonic tradition.

4. Oil on canvas is called Uzeyir’s Room and is a portrait of Uzeyir Hajibeyov painted by the artist Shakir Huseynov.
Hajibeyov is the single most important person in the development of Azerbaijani music in the early 20th century and he is known as the Father of Azerbaijani professional music. He initiated the creation of western style classical music compositions in the country and wrote the first opera in Azerbaijan and the Muslim world.

5. Photo portrait of the singer Bulbul which was donated to the museum by his wife Adila Mammadova.
Bulbul is by many considered one of the most talented singers ever born in Azerbaijan and was very significant to the development of Azerbaijani music in the 20th century. He initially trained as a khanende - a singer of the Azerbaijani folk music genre mugham but later also trained as an opera singer. He is sometimes known as the founder of Azerbaijani professional song.

6. Posters of musical performances:
a) Gara Garayev’s ballet Seven Beauties
b) Fikret Amirov’s opera Sevil
c) A Alizade’s opera Babak
d) Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s musical comedy The Cloth Peddler - advertising the last performance of this piece in Shusha before that city was occupied by Armenian forces during the Karabagh war.
e) The Azerbaijani State Song Theatre
f) The Gara Garayev Festival of 20th Century Music
g) Gara Garayev’s ballet The Path of Thunder
h) The Azerbaijani State Symphonic Orchestra
I) Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s musical comedy The Cloth Peddler, in Turkey
j) An Evening of Vocal Music with Fidan Gasimova and Khuraman Gasimov
k) Fikret Amirov’s ballet 1001 Nights.

SECTION VIII
Maestro Niyazi

This honoured place in the centre of the museum is dedicated to Maestro Niyazi Tagizade Hajibeyov. He was a nephew of Uzeyir Hajibeyov and a world renowned conductor, who worked to spread awareness and understanding of Azerbaijani music throughout the Soviet Union and beyond. He was also a talented composer who wrote an opera as well as other work in the symphonic genre. He also wrote a number of popular mughams.

1. Sketch of the M.F. Akhundov Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre from 1915.

2. Bas-relief sculpture of Maestro Niyazi by Namik Dadashov.
Maestro Niyazi Tagizade Hajibeyov was born into the famous Hajibeyov musical family in 1912 and followed in the family’s musical footsteps. He became a world renowned conductor but was also a composer in his own right. Niyazi was the principal conductor and artistic director of the Azerbaijani State Symphonic Orchestra on an off from 1938, but also worked in theatres in Azerbaijan and many different parts of the world. He was awarded with the title People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1959 and he died in 1984.

3. Sketch is by M. Abdullayev and illustrates Niyazi’s ballet Chitra.
This ballet is perhaps Niyazi’s best known composition. It was based on poetry by the Indian poet Rabindanat Tagore and Niyazi won the Nehru Prize in India in 1971 for this work. The ballet premiered in 1961 at the Kuybishev Opera and Ballet Theatre and was performed to great acclaim on the Kremlin State Theatre stage. In 1971 however, the Maestro revisited his score and made substantial changes. The new version of the piece opened at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre in April 1972.

4. The 1971 score for Niyazi’s ballet Chitra.
This ballet is perhaps Niyazi’s best known composition. It was based on poetry by the Indian poet Rabindanat Tagore and Niyazi won the Nehru Prize in India in 1971 for this work. The ballet premiered in 1961and was performed to great acclaim. In 1971 however, Niyazi revisited his score and made substantial changes. The new version of the piece opened at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre in April 1972.

5. Gold watch presented to Niyazi for his 60th birthday by the Azerbaijani Theatre Society.
Maestro Niyazi Tagizade Hajibeyov was born into the famous Hajibeyov musical family in 1912 and followed in the family’s musical footsteps. He became a world renowned conductor but was also a composer in his own right. Niyazi was the principal conductor and artistic director of the Azerbaijani State Symphonic Orchestra on an off from 1938, but also worked in theatres in Azerbaijan and many different parts of the world. He was awarded with the title People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1959 and he died in 1984.

6. Conductor’s stand which was given to Maestro Niyazi by the ensemble of the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre in 1972.
Maestro Niyazi was born into the famous Hajibeyov musical family in 1912 and followed in the family’s musical footsteps. He became a world renowned conductor but was also a composer in his own right. Niyazi was the principal conductor and artistic director of the Azerbaijani State Symphonic Orchestra on an off from 1938, but also worked in theatres in Azerbaijan and many other parts of the world. Niyazi conducted many performances at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

7. A ney which is a type of flute and it was given to Maestro Niyazi by admirers.
Maestro Niyazi was a world renowned conductor and also a composer. Niyazi was the principal conductor and artistic director of the Azerbaijani State Symphonic Orchestra on an off from 1938, but also worked in theatres in Azerbaijan and many different parts of the world. He was awarded with the title People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1959.

8. Programme of a performance of Niyazi’s ballet Chitra at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre.
This ballet is perhaps Niyazi’s best known composition. It was based on poetry by the Indian poet Rabindanat Tagore and Niyazi won the Nehru Prize in India in 1971 for this work. The ballet premiered in 1961 but in 1971 the Maestro revisited his score and made substantial changes. The new version of the piece opened at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre in April 1972.

9. Poster advertising Niyazi conducting the Azerbaijani State Symphonic Orchestra.
Maestro Niyazi was a world renowned conductor and also a composer. He was the principal conductor and artistic director of the Azerbaijani State Symphonic Orchestra on an off from 1938, but also worked in theatres in Azerbaijan and many different parts of the world.

10. Poster advertising a concert by the Azerbaijani State Symphonic Orchestra, led by Niyazi and with Zakhra Rahimova and Kamal Kerimov as soloists.
Maestro Niyazi was a world renowned conductor and also a composer. He was the principal conductor and artistic director of the Azerbaijani State Symphonic Orchestra on an off from 1938, but also worked in theatres in Azerbaijan and many different parts of the world.

SECTION IX
International Instruments

This display contains instruments from around the world. There are instruments from various parts of Europe, many from China which were generously donated by the Chinese Embassy to Azerbaijan and Indian instruments given to the museum by the Indian Embassy to Azerbaijan.

Indian Instruments, donated by the Indian Embassy to Azerbaijan
1. Veena from Southern India.
This is a seven-stringed musical instrument which is played by plucking. It has very old traditions and is today mostly used in Southern India.

2. Sitar
The sitar is an Indian instrument which is thought to have its origins in the 17th century, although some argue that it is as old as the 12th century. It has undergone much development and refinement since then, especially through the addition of strings. It is now mostly used as a solo instrument or for solo accompaniment.

3. Bansuri flute
This Indian flute is a very old type of instrument now generally made out of bamboo.

4. Shehnai
This is an Indian wind instrument which for the last 50-60 years has been used as a solo instrument in classical concerts.

5. Santoor
In the last 30 years or so this instrument has spread from Kashmir to be used all over India. It is widely used in Kashmiri folk as well as professional chamber music. Small alterations have been made to this Northern Indian instrument in order to adapt it to classical music.

6. Sarod
It is thought that the sarod developed out of the Afghan rubab and it has a stronger sound than that instrument. In India it is always used as a solo instrument but sometimes together with other instruments to accompany singers and dancers.

7. Tanpura
It is thought that this Indian instrument existed already in the medieval period and it is usually played together with the string instruments sitar and veena. One of the most important elements of this instrument is that the little balls placed between the strings and the bridge help to create high keys.

8. Mridangam
This is an Indian double sided percussion instrument. It is the Southern Indian version of the pakhavaj, only differing in that it is generally more barrel-shaped.

9. Pakhavaj
The pakhavaj is an old two-headed percussion instrument and is the Northern Indian version of the mridangam. It also closely resembles the tabla.

10. Dholak
This is a North Indian double headed percussion instrument which is generally used to play folk and other informal music.

11. Tabla
The tabla is a percussion instrument consisting of a pair of hand drums. The earliest reliable evidence for this type of drum comes from the 17th and 18th centuries and today it is the most important percussion instrument in India.

African Instruments
12. African string instrument

13. African harp

Chinese Instruments, donated by the Chinese Embassy to Azerbaijan.
14. Chen,
15. Cimbala / Tsimbala?, string instrument
16. Jinghu / Tszin Khu, string instrument similar to the Azerbaijani kamancha
17. Sunhu / Sun Khu
18. Guan shen / Khuan shen, wind instrument
19. Chinese bamboo flute
20. Xiao, wind instrument
21. Jun juan, string instrument
22. Pipa, string instrument

Folk instruments from different countries
23. Highly decorated sitra from Germany
24. Highly decorated sitra from Germany
25. Experimental kumiz from Dagestan which is three instruments in one
26. Mandoline from Italy
27. Bandura from the Ukraine
28. Klavesin, from Germany
29. Violoncello
30. Maruaz. This is a miniature baraban which is a folk music instrument from Qatar.

SECTION X
Musical Ensembles of Azerbaijan

The works of Azerbaijani professional musicians and ensembles are illustrated here. These range from mugham trios, over choirs and dance troupes to the national symphonic and philharmonic orchestras and the soloists who performed with them.
The ashig tradition is also highlighted in this display. The ashig is a singer, musician and storyteller who travels around the country performing at weddings and other events. Most ashigs perform traditional songs and tales but some, such as Borchali Huseyn Sarajli and Ashig Pana also composed their own songs and tales. This art form is considered so significant that national conferences of ashigs are regularly held in Azerbaijan in which issues relating to this art are discussed.

1. Photograph shows the first Azerbaijani orchestra to work from written scores.
It was lead by Uzeyir Hajibeyov who is considered to be the father of Azerbaijani professional music. This orchestra was formed in 1932 and originally consisted of 22 musicians. One of Hajibeyov’s students, the composer Said Rustamov, assisted him as conductor and concert master and in 1935 he took over as leader of the orchestra. Rustamov added a piano to the ensemble and during his leadership the number of musicians increased to 40. The orchestra participated with great success in music competitions in both Moscow and Leningrad in 1937. Fikret Amirov, Niyazi, Suleyman Alasgarov, Ashraf Abbasov, Soltan Hajibeyov and Jahangir Jahangirov and other composers all created original works for this orchestra.

2. Photograph of the Said Rustamov Folk Instruments Orchestra led by Nariman Azimov.
Said Rustamov, after whom the orchestra is named, was a prominent musical folklorist and composer.

3. Photograph of Said Rustamov and an ashig.
Said Rustamov was born in 1907 and died in 1983. He studied the tar at the Baku Specialist Music School and went on to become an important composer, teacher and musical folklorist. His work focussed on musical language, the mugham and ashig traditions and song folklore but he also wrote musical comedies and songs. Between 1935 and 1975 he was the artistic leader and conductor of the Folk Instruments Orchestra which later took his name.

4. Photograph of Habib Bayramov, Ahmed Bakikhanov and Khan Shushinsky in 1946.
Bayramov was a tar player who played mostly mughams and worked in the Folk Music Ensemble of the State Radio Committee, which later became the TV and Radio Committee. In 1973 he became the leader of this ensemble, following the death of its first leader Ahmed Bakikhanov. Bakikhanov was also a tar player and taught at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire.
Khan Shushinsky meanwhile, was a khanende who excelled in performing mughams and tesnifs.

5. Photograph of Abulfat Aliyev, Sara Gadimova and Bahram Mansurov taken in Baku in 1951.
Abulfat Aliyev was a singer born in 1926 who died in 1990. He was a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Philharmonic and is considered to have been one of the best performers of the role of Majnun in Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s opera Leyli and Majnun.
Sara Gadimova was a soprano who became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1963. She worked as a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Philharmonic and at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre. Her versatility meant that she was able to sing with folk music orchestras as well as in opera ensembles.
The tar player Bahram Mansurov was born in 1911 and became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1978. He worked at the Azerbaijani State Eastern Orchestra and led the Folk Instruments Ensemble of the State Radio. During his career he played with such great folk music singers as Jabbar Garyagdi Oghlu, Huseyngulu Sarabsky and Khan Shushinsky. He died in 1985.

6. Photo of Arif Babayev, Bahram Mansurov and Elman Badalov taken in 1980.
Babayev was born in 1938. He is a singer but also a teacher and became the first professor of mugham as well as the Head of the Mugham Department of the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire.
Mansurov meanwhile, was a tar player who worked at the Azerbaijani State Eastern Orchestra and who led the Folk Instruments Ensemble of the Azerbaijani State Radio.
Elman Badalov was born in 1929 and died in 1991. He played the kamancha and studied at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire. During his career he was also a member of the Folk Instruments Ensemble of the State TV and Radio Committee.

7. Photograph of the dancer Roza Jalilova.
Jalilova was a great performer of Azerbaijani as well as Iranian, Indian and other Eastern folk dances. After she graduated from choreography school she worked at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre and with the Azerbaijani State Song and Dance Ensemble. She also taught at the Iraqi Choreography school and worked as a ballet master at the Scientific Methodical Centre for Folk Art, the Mugham Theatre and for international touring performances.

8. Photograph of the Ahmed Bakikhanov Folk Instruments Orchestra led by Habib Bayramov.
Bakikhanov, whom the orchestra is named after, was a tar player and teacher at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire and the first leader of this orchestra. Bayramov was also a tar player who took over as leader of the ensemble at Bakikhanov‘s death.

9. Photograph of the singer Shovkat Alakbarova.
Alakbarova was born in 1922 and received her early education at the Baku Music Technical School where she studied under the famous singer Huseyngulu Sarabsky. She sung with the Azerbaijani Song and Dance Ensemble between 1938 and 1945, when she became a soloist at he Azerbaijani State Philharmonic. She stayed there until the end of her life. Mughams, tesnifs and traditional Azerbaijani songs were on her repertoire and teaching music and singing was also an important part of her life’s work.

10. Sketch of the Azerbaijani State Philharmonic Building from 1936 by I. Mammadov.

11. Poster of a performance by the Azerbaijani State Song and Dance Ensemble with the Uzbek Philharmonic in Uzbekistan.

12. Poster is for a performance by a mugham trio in Sweden on 16 July 1989.
The performance was called Music from Azerbaijan.

13. Commemorative medal celebrating the 180 anniversary of the birth of Ashig Ali.
Ali Mirza oghlu, better known as Ashig Ali was born in 1800-01 and was a celebrated performer in the Ashig tradition. He composed verses on themes of patriotism, love of the Fatherland and beauty. He also created new songs for the saz.

14. Commemorative medal for the 4th congress of Ashigs held in 1984.
This Congress provided significant new impulses for the development of the Ashig tradition which is a popular genre of Azerbaijani musical folk art.

15. Photograph of the Azerbaijani State Song and Dance Ensemble.
One of the creators of this ensemble was the ballet dancer and ballet master Gamar Almazade. She was born in 1915 and was the first Azerbaijani woman to become a professional dancer. Almazade played an important role in the development of ballet in the country, not only as one of the founders of this ensemble, but also as the principal ballet master of the State Opera and Ballet Theatre for many years.

16. Photograph of Amina Dilbazi.
This ballet dancer, ballet master and teacher was born in 1919. Her career begun in 1935 and as early as 1936 she became a soloist at the Song and Dance Ensemble of the Azerbaijani State Philharmonic. In 1939 she became the leader of the dance troupe of this ensemble. She was honoured with the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1959.

17. Photo of Haji Mammadov and Gabil Aliyev.
Mammadov was born in 1920 and died in 1981. He was an independently taught tar player who worked at the Azerbaijani Folk Instruments Orchestra and who became a soloist at the State Philharmonic. He was the first tar player to use this instrument in classical and western works.
Gabil Aliyev meanwhile played the kamancha and he too was a soloist at the State Philharmonic from the 1950s. He specialised in playing mughams and other folk music.

18. Photograph of the ashig Teymur Huseynov from 1960.

19. Photograph which was taken at the III Congress of Ashigs which took place on the 27 and 28 of April 1961.
It was held in Baku and brought together 150 ashigs from all over Azerbaijan and Georgia to discuss the state of the art form and its future direction. Many well-known performers spoke at the Congress but the talk by the famous singer Bulbul received particular attention.

20. Photograph which was taken at the III Congress of Ashigs which took place on the 27 and 28 of April 1961.
It was held in Baku and brought together 150 ashigs from all over Azerbaijan and Georgia to discuss the state of the art form and its future direction.

21. Photograph of Said Shushinsky, Gurban Primov and Haggiget Rzayeva.
Said Shushinsky was a khanende and teacher who was given the titles People’s Artist and Honoured Teacher of Azerbaijan for his services to music and education.
Gurban Primov was one of the best-known and well-loved Azerbaijani tar players of the 20th century.
Haggiget Rzayeva was born in 1907 and was one of the first Azerbaijani women on the opera stage. She studied mugham at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire under Jabbar Garyagdi Oghlu and Said Shushinsky and was a soloist at the State Opera and Ballet Theatre between 1927 and 1952. She also worked as a teacher and a singing coach at the State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

22. Photograph of Yavar Kalantarli, Bahram Mansurov and Talat Bakikhanov.
Yavar Kalantarli was a singer and soloist at the Azerbaijani Radio between 1932 and 37 and then at the State Opera and Ballet Theatre. She trained as a khanende but also performed in musical comedies and earned the title Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan in 1940. Kalantarli died in 1979.
Both Bahram Mansurov and Talat Bakikhanov were tar players.

23. Programme of an Eastern Concert held on 24 April 1920.
This concert was the first concert in Azerbaijan and Caucasus of an Eastern Symphonic orchestra of folk instruments. It consisted of 50 musicians and was led by the conductor Ivan Suni. The famous performer Huseygulu Sarabsky, the best folk singer in Azerbaijan - Said Shushinsky, the tar player Gurban Primov and the kamancha player Sasha Oganezashvili, among others, also participated in the concert.

24. Poster-programme of a Farewell East concert held at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

25. Photograph of Zulfugar Adigozalov.
Adigozalov was a khanende born in 1898. He performed at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre and was a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Philharmonic. He became an Honoured Artist of Azerbaijani in 1943 and died in 1963.

26. Tobacco pipe which belonged to the great khanende Khan Shushinsky.
He was particularly acclaimed for his mugham singing but he also wrote new songs and tesnifs. He was born in 1901 and died in 1979.

27. Image which shows a mugham trio.

28. Photograph of Hajibaba Huseynov.
This khanende was born in 1919 and died in 1993. Particular achievements of his career were the many songs he wrote.

29. Photograph of Jahangir Jahangirov.
Jahangirov was a composer, choirmaster and teacher who was born in 1921 and who became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1950. He was particularly interested in choir music and contributed greatly to the development of this genre in Azerbaijan while also writing cantatas, an opera and other pieces of music. He died in 1992.

30. Photograph of the ensemble of the Azerbaijani State Philharmonic.

31. Photograph of, from left to right: Rubaba Muradova, Aliaga Guliyev, Sara Gadimova, Fatma Mekhraliyeva, Shovkat Alakbarova and Bahram Mansurov among others.
Rubaba Muradova was a mezzo-soprano who was a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre and became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1971.
Aliaga Guliyev was a tar player who accompanied many famous khanendes.
Sara Gadimova was a soprano who became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1963. She worked as a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Philharmonic and at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre. Her versatility meant that she was able to sing with folk music orchestras as well as in opera ensembles.
Fatma Mekhraliyeva was another mezzo-soprano who started her career in the Sazchi Gizlar ensemble but later worked as a soloist. She died in 2000.
Shovkat Alakbarova studied song under the famous singer Huseyngulu Sarabsky. She sung with the Azerbaijani Song and Dance Ensemble between 1938 and 1945, when she became a soloist at he Azerbaijani State Philharmonic. Mughams, tesnifs and traditional Azerbaijani songs were on her repertoire and teaching music and song was also an important part of her life’s work.
The tar player Bahram Mansurov was born in 1911 and became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1978. He worked at the Azerbaijani State Eastern Orchestra and led the Folk Instruments Ensemble of the State Radio. During his career he played with many great folk singers.

32. Photograph of Alibaba Abdullayev and Amina Dilbazi.
Abdullayev was a ballet dancer and ballet master who was born in 1915 and died in 1980. He took part in the formation of the Azerbaijani State Dance Ensemble.
Amina Dilbazi was a ballet dancer and ballet master and also a teacher. She was born in 1919 and her career took off in 1936 when she became a soloist at the Song and Dance Ensemble of the Azerbaijani State Philharmonic. In 1939 she became the leader of the dance troupe of this ensemble. She was honoured with the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1959.

33. Brochure about the Azerbaijani State Song and Dance Ensemble published by Azernezr in 1941.
The dancer and People’s Artist of the Soviet Union Gamar Almaszade was among the founders of this ensemble.

34. Programme of a performance by the Honoured State Song and Dance Ensemble of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan for a Ten-Day Festival of Art and Literature in Moscow.

35. A Booklet about Ashig Izzatli
His full name was Mahamed oghlu Zulfugarov. Ashig Izzatli was born in 1920 in the village of Shamli in the Shamakha area. He took part in the Culture and Art days of Azerbaijan in Moscow in 1959.

36. A booklet about the Ashig Veli Kedabeksky.
He was born in 1890 in the village of Mishkinli in the Kedabegh region.

37. A booklet about Ashig Salakhli Pasha.
His full name was Pasha Yunis oghlu Pashayev and he was born in the Kazakh region. His melodies were very deep and with significant content.

38. A booklet about Ashig Mahammed.
He was born in 1884. At the age of 25 he acquired a saz and his brother Ashig Asad taught him how to play it.

39. A booklet about Ashig Islam.
He was born in 1893. He mastered the Ashig art in his youth and became famous very quickly.

40. A booklet about Ashig Agalar.
Ashig Agalar was born in the village of Gashad in Shamakha in 1913, into a poor family. In his youth he was influenced by classical poets and the ashig art to start writing verses.

41. A booklet about Ashig Imran.
This ashig was born in 1928 and he continued the tradition of classical ashigs such as Abbas Tufarganli and Ashig Alasgar and others.

42. A booklet about Ashig Khaspolad.
Ashig Khaspolad was born in 1919 into a poor family in the village of Abdal in Agdam district. He became a professional ashig in 1948.

43. A booklet about Ashig Panah.
He was born in 1926 and was given the title Honoured Art Worker of the Republic of Azerbaijan. He knew 32 traditional ashig pieces for the saz and also wrote 18 new ashig songs.

44. Booklet about Ashig Akper.
This ashig was born in 1933 in the village of Bozalganli in the Tovuz region. He showed great interest in the ashig art already at the age of 12-13 and became a professional ashig in 1954.

45. A booklet about Ashig Ahmed.
His full name was Adil oghlu Rustamov and he was born in 1921 in the village of Jarli in the Region of Kurdamir. He knew more than 100 works of different types.

46. Book which called Azerbaijani Folk Instruments, which was written by Saadat Abdullayeva and published in 2002.

47. Photo of Ashig Mikhail Azafli.
This ashig was born in 1924 and became a honoured Art Worker of Azerbaijan in 1986 and his book of poetry called Goja Gartal was published the year after this and he always strived to promote and enrich ashig music.

48. Photograph of Ashig Panah and his ensemble.
Ashig Panah was born in 1926 and was given the title Honoured Culture Worker of the Republic of Azerbaijan. He knew 32 traditional ashig pieces for the saz and also wrote 18 new ashig songs himself.

49. Photo of the Ashig Huseyn Sarajli.
He was born in 1931 and died in 1987. Sarajli was given the title Honoured Culture worker seven years before his death and was able to perform more than 40 dastans and 74 classical ashig songs among other works.

50. A saz from 1931 which belonged to the Ashig Huseyn Sarajli
The saz is the essential accompanying instrument of the ashig - the ancient Azerbaijani version of a travelling minstrel who sings, recites poetry and epics and dances. The saz is known from 16th century poetry and it has been an important instrument in the Turkic musical tradition ever since that time.
The body of this string instrument, which is played with a plectrum, is usually built from mulberry wood with a thin wooden sounding board and a neck of nut wood with 16 to 17 frets. A Jura saz can have 4, 5 or 6 strings.
Huseyn Sarajli, to whom this saz belonged, lived between 1931 and 1987. He received the title Honoured Culture worker seven years before his death and in addition to performing as an ashig he also wrote new pieces in this art form.

51. The Jura saz.
The Jura saz is the smallest version of this string instrument which is played with a plectrum. It is the essential accompanying instrument of the ashig - the ancient Azerbaijani version of a travelling minstrel who sings, recites poetry and epics and dances. The saz is known from 16th century poetry and it has been an important instrument in the Turkic musical tradition ever since then.
The body of a saz is usually built from mulberry wood with a thin wooden sounding board and a neck of nut wood with 16 to 17 frets. The Jura saz has 4 to 6 strings, while the larger orta saz has 6 or 7 strings and the largest Tavar saz has 8 or 9 strings.

52. Saz which was belonged to Ashig Khanlar.
The saz is the essential accompanying instrument of the ashig - the ancient Azerbaijani version of a travelling minstrel who sings, recites poetry and epics and dances. The saz is known from 16th century poetry and it has been an important instrument in the Turkic musical tradition ever since then.
The body of this string instrument is usually built from mulberry wood with a thin wooden sounding board and a neck of nut wood with 16 to 17 frets. It is played with a plectrum and the Jura saz has 4 to 6 strings, while the larger Orta saz has 6 or 7 strings and the largest Tavar saz has 8 or 9 strings.

53. Poster of an artistic evening of performances by Borchali District ashigs. The evening was dedicated to the memory of Ashig Amrakh and Ashig Huseyn Sarajli.

54. Zurna from 1924.
The zurna is a wind instrument which occurs is many forms throughout the Middle East and the Caucasus, and it has a very old history. Four types of zurna, for example, found in an archaeological excavation in Mingachevir, are though to be 3000 years old. The earliest examples found are made of horn, but they are most frequently made of wood today.
The zurna has a wide bell similar to a trumpet, eight apertures, or keys, for regulating he sound and a complex mouthpiece. There are a number of different types of zurna which all produce slightly different versions of its high pitched sound.

SECTION XI
Operetta - Musical Comedy

Operetta or musical comedy as this musical style is also known is one of the most popular musical genres in Azerbaijan and this part of the museum is dedicated to this art form. Uzeyir Hajibeyov started this tradition and his brother Zulfugar was also instrumental in its early development in Azerbaijan. They had many followers, such as Fikret Amirov, Tofig Guliyev and Rauf Hajiyev whose works are presented here too.

1. Photograph of a performance of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s operetta If Not That One Then This, with Lytfali Abdullayev as Meshadi Ibad and Mammad Sadikh Nuriyev as the Servant.
Abdullayev worked at the Azerbaijani Musical Comedy Theatre from 1938 to the end of his life in 1973. He received the Stalin Prize for his role in the 1945 film of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s operetta The Cloth Peddler.
Mammad Sadikh Nuriyev was an actor.

2. Photograph of a performance of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s operetta If Not That One Then This, with Lytfali Abdullayev as Meshadi Ibad and Mobil Ahmedov as Server.
Abdullayev worked at the Azerbaijani Musical Comedy Theatre from 1938 to the end of his life in 1973. He received the Stalin Prize for his role in the 1945 film of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s operetta The Cloth Peddler.
Ahmedov meanwhile was an actor and singer who received the title Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan.

3. A 1985 illustration by the artist Elturan Avalov for Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s operetta If Not That One Then This.

4. Sketch shows a design for the costume of Gulshohra in Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s musical comedy The Cloth Peddler.

5. Sketch of a design for the costume of Asgar in Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s musical comedy The Cloth Peddler.

6. Sketch is of the Azerbaijani State Musical Comedy Theatre building. It was drawn by the artist I. Mammadov.

7. Photograph of a performance of Shikhali Gurbanov’s musical comedy Mammadali Is Going to the Health Resort with Shafiga Gasimova playing Asli, Azizaga Gasimov playing Khanmammad and Lytfali Abdullayev as Mammadali.

8. Photo of Zakir Bagirov’s operetta Mother-in-Law in which Najiba Zeynalova plays Jannat Khana and Hajibaba Bagirov plays Ali.
Najiba Zeynalova is an actress who was born in 1917 and who became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1967 and a laureate of the State Prize in 1974. She worked at the Azerbaijani State Musical Comedy Theatre from 1971.
Hajibaba Bagirov was born in 1932 and died in 2007. He too was a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan and an actor at the Azerbaijani Statre Musical Comedy Theatre. He became the director and artistic leader of this theatre in 1996. Bagirov was also the director of the Baku theatre he started himself.

9. Photograph of Suleyman Alasgarov.
This composer, conductor and teacher was born in 1924 and he died in 2000. Alasgarov studied at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire under B. Zeydman and composed in many different genres, including operetta, opera and symphonic mugham. He became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1974.

10. Photograph from 1967 of Najiba Zeynalova performing a role in Suleyman Alasgarov’s operetta Where Are You My Bachelor Years?.
Zeynalova is an actress who was born in 1917 and who became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1967 and a laureate of the State Prize in 1974. She worked at the Azerbaijani State Musical Comedy Theatre from 1971.

11. Photograph of Lytfali Abdullayev as the Orchestra Director in Suleyman Alasgarov’s operetta Where Are You My Bachelor Years?.
Abdullayev worked at the Azerbaijani Musical Comedy Theatre from 1938 to the end of his life in 1973. He received the Stalin Prize for his role in the 1945 film of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s operetta The Cloth Peddler.

12. Scene from the musical comedy Ulduz which Suleyman Alasgarov wrote in 1948.
Alasgarov was a composer, conductor and teacher who was born in 1924 and died in 2000. He studied at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire and composed in many different genres, including operetta, opera and symphonic mugham. He became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1974.

13. Photograph of the musical comedy Sevindik Is Looking for a Girl. The role of Kheyransa is played by Najiba Zeynalova and that of Sevindik is played by Hajibaba Bagirov.
Zeynalova is an actress who was born in 1917 and who became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1967 and a laureate of the State Prize in 1974. She worked at the Azerbaijani State Musical Comedy Theatre from 1971.
Hajibaba Bagirov was born in 1932 and died in 2007. He too was a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan and an actor at the Azerbaijani State Musical Comedy Theatre. He became the director and artistic leader of this theatre in 1996. Bagirov was also the director of the Baku theatre he started himself.

14. Photograph of Rauf Hajiyev.
This composer was born in 1922 an he died in 1995. He played an important role in the development of Azerbaijani musical comedy and wrote many pieces in this genre. He became a People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1978.

15. Photograph of a performance of Rauf Hajiyev’s musical comedy Mother, I’m Going to Marry which he wrote in 1976.
The composer Rauf Hajiyev was born in 1922 an he died in 1995. He played an important role in the development of Azerbaijani musical comedy and wrote many pieces in this genre. He became a People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1978.

16. Libretto to Mir Mahmud Kasimov’s operetta Vur Kha Vur.

17. Programme for a production of Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s musical comedy If Not That One Then This from 18 November 1956.
This operetta, like the two others which Hajibeyov wrote, light heartedly deals with the issue of young people’s right to chose who they marry. This appears to have been a theme very close to the heart of the composer, as were other aspects of social reform and personal liberty. The music in the operetta plays an important dramatic role and furthers the unfolding of events on stage as well as helps to deepen the characters of the main protagonists. The piece premiered in Baku in 1911.
This operetta was filmed once in 1919 and a second time in 1956.

18. Catalogue of Suleyman Alasgarov’s musical comedy Married Bachelor.
Alasgarov was a composer, conductor and teacher who was born in 1924 and died in 2000. He studied at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire and composed in many different genres, including operetta, opera and symphonic mugham. He became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1974.

19. Programme celebrating 30 years of Azerbaijani opera, including works by Uzeyir Hajibeyov.

20. Stage Décor for Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s musical comedy The Cloth Peddler.

21. Photograph of the composer Ramiz Mustafayev.
He was born in 1926 and studied vocal art and composition at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire. He was the artistic leader of the choir of the Azerbaijani TV and Radio Committee and he wrote operas and operettas as well as other works. Mustafayev was awarded the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1987.

22. Photograph of Ramiz Mustafayev’s musical comedy There Is a Guy in the Neighbourhood with Najiba Behbudova as Kushvar and Imamverdi Bagirov as Ali Imran.
Bagirov was an actor who was born in 1913. He worked in theatres both in Baku and Tblisi and he was awarded the title Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan in 1964.
Najiba Behbudova too became an Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan for her services to the acting profession.

23. Photograph of Said Rustamov.
Rustamov was born in 1907 and died in 1983. He studied the tar at the Baku Specialist Music School and went on to become an important composer, teacher and musical folklorist. His work focussed on musical language, the mugham and ashig traditions and song folklore but he also wrote musical comedies and songs. Between 1935 and 1975 Rustamov was the artistic leader and conductor of the Folk Instruments Orchestra which later took his name.

24. Programme for Said Rustamov’s musical comedy Durna.
Rustamov was born in 1907 and died in 1983 and was an important composer, teacher and musical folklorist. His work focussed on musical language, the mugham and ashig traditions and song folklore but he also wrote musical comedies and songs.

25. Photo of Elmira Akhundova in the role of Naz-naz in Said Rustamov’s musical comedy Five Rouble Bride.
Elmira Akhundova was a singer born in 1911 who studied at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire under the famous singer Bulbul. She was a soloist at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre and made her name acting in operas and operettas. She also taught at the Zeynali Baku Music School and was rewarded with the title Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan in 1958. She died in 1998.

26. Photograph of the composer Emin Sabitoghlu.
Sabitoghlu was born in 1937 and died in 2000. He studied under Y. Shaporin at the Moscow State Conservatoire and his work was rewarded with the title Honoured Art Worker of Azerbaijan. He wrote musical comedies but is perhaps best known for his songs.

27. Programme of a performance of the musical comedy Hijran composed by Emin Sabitoghlu. The libretto was written by Sabit Rahman.

28. Programme of Suleyman Alasgarov’s musical comedy Ulduz from 1967.
Alasgarov was a composer, conductor and teacher who was born in 1924 and died in 2000. He studied at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire and composed in many different genres, including operetta, opera and symphonic mugham.

29. Photograph of a scene form Suleyman Alasgarov’s 1967 operetta Ulduz. Gulumsarov is played by Bashir Safaroghlu and Nazila by R. Aliyeva.
Bashir Safaroghlu was an actor born in 1925 who worked at the Azerbaijani State Musical Comedy Theatre from 1942 until his death in 1969. He became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1968.

30. Handwritten score by Suleyman Alasgarov to his musical comedy Ulduz.
Alasgarov was a composer, conductor and teacher who was born in 1924 and died in 2000. He studied at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire and composed in many different genres, including operetta, opera and symphonic mugham.

31. Programme cover for Suleyman Alasarov’s musical comedy Gezun Aydin.
Alasgarov was a composer, conductor and teacher who was born in 1924 and died in 2000. He studied at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire and composed in many different genres, including operetta, opera and symphonic mugham.

32. Book in a small format called Tofig Guliyev. It was written by L. Meltkova and signed by Tofig Guliyev.

33. Photo of a performance of Said Rustamov’s operetta Durna. You can see Alihuseyn Gafarli as Kerim, Shafiga Gasimova as Durna and Minavvar Kalantarli as Nisa.
Minavvar Kalantarli was an actress born in 1912 who began her stage career in 1933. She won the Stalin Prize in 1946 and became a Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan in 1959. She died in 1963.

34. Programme of Suleyman Alasgarov’s musical comedy We Shall Solve It Ourselves.
Alasgarov was a composer, conductor and teacher who was born in 1924 and died in 2000. He studied at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire and composed in many different genres, including operetta, opera and symphonic mugham.

35. Handwritten manuscript by Tofig Guliyev to his operetta Gold Prospectors.
Guliyev was born in 1917 and died in 2000. He was a composer and pianist and one of the driving forces in bringing variety to Azerbaijan. He became a Peoples’ Artist of Azerbaijan in 1964. When composing he leaned on tradition but brought something new to the genres he approached. He wrote a large number of popular songs and several musical comedies.

36. Programme to Tofig Guliyev’s musical comedy Good Morning, Ella.
Guliyev was born in 1917 and died in 2000. He was a composer and pianist and one of the driving forces in bringing variety to Azerbaijan. He became a Peoples’ Artist of Azerbaijan in 1964. He leaned on tradition when composing but brought something new to his music. Guliyev wrote a large number of popular songs and several musical comedies.

37. Tar from 1916. The date is inlayed in mother-of-pearl on the body of the instrument.
The tar is by many considered to be the national instrument of Azerbaijan. It has a figure-of-eight-shaped body and the face of the bipartite body is covered with tanned fish skin or the membrane of a cow’s heart. It is played with a plectrum, and the vibration of the sound is controlled by pressing the instrument to the chest for a chosen length of time.
Historically the tar generally had 5 strings but during the later 19th century it underwent significant change. Sadigjan instigated this change by adding six strings to the instrument - taking the total to 11. He also reduced the size of the tar and changed the playing position. Rather than playing seated with the instrument resting on the knee he played it held high on the chest. This made it easier tp control the sound vibrations.

38. Fragments of musical instruments from the workshop of Bahram Mansurov.
The tar player Bahram Mansurov was born in 1911 and became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1978. He worked at the Azerbaijani State Eastern Orchestra and led the Folk Instruments Ensemble of the State Radio. During his career he played with such great folk music singers as Jabbar Garyagdi Oghlu, Huseyngulu Sarabsky and Khan Shushinsky. He died in 1985.

39. Experimental saz built by V. Zimov in 1930.
This miniature instrument can be played but it is disguised as a walking stick when the cover is fitted - as you can see from the photograph in the display.
The saz is as string instrument played with a plectrum and it is the essential accompanying instrument of the ashig - the ancient Azerbaijani version of a travelling minstrel who sings, recites poetry and epics and dances. The saz is known from 16th century poetry and it has been an important instrument in the Turkic musical tradition ever since then.
The body of a saz is usually built from mulberry wood with a thin wooden sounding board and a neck of nut wood with 16 to 17 frets.

40. Photograph of experimental saz built by V. Zimov in 1930 with the cover fitted to disguise it as a walking stick. This miniature instrument is playable.

41. Kamancha and bow built by Dr Mejnun Kerimov and decorated with wood carving.
The kamancha is a string instrument played with a bow. It has a small rounded body and a long neck and is played resting on the long thin stand attached to the bottom of the body. The face of the body is covered in tanned sturgeon skin.
The kamancha was already in use in Azerbaijan in the medieval period - as indicated by both poetry and depictions of musicians playing the instrument. Its use was widespread also throughout Central and Eastern Asia and it appears to have come in many different forms. There are still 3 and 4 as well as 5-stringed kamanchas.

42. Tar built by Dr Mejnun Kerimov and decorated with wood carving.
The tar is by many considered to be the national instrument of Azerbaijan. It has a figure-of-eight-shaped body and the face of the bipartite body is covered with tanned fish skin or the membrane of a cow’s heart. It is played with a plectrum, and the vibrations of the sound are controlled by pressing the instrument to the chest for a chosen length of time.

43. Garmon built by Islam Suleymanov.
The garmon is the Azerbaijani version of an accordion. It is a keyed wind instrument with bellows and free metal reeds. It was imported into this country in the 19th century and quickly became a popular instrument for playing folk music. It is usually built of wood with leather bellows and metal keys. The right hand plays the melody while the tonic of the appropriate key is held by the left hand. The Azerbaijani garmon differs from the Russian in its chromatic scale.

SECTION XII
Modern Azerbaijani Music

This section of the museum focuses on more recent musical developments in the country, including the introduction of jazz and variety and modern performers such as Rashid Behbudov and Muslim Magomayev. Vagif Mustafazade - the founder of jazz-mugham also holds a prominent position in this display.

1. Photograph of the composer Tofig Guliyev.
Guliyev was born in 1917 and died in 2000. He was a composer and pianist and one of the founders of Azerbaijani variety. He became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1964 for his services to music. He composed over a hundred songs during his career and a number of musical comedies.

2. Photograph of Muslim Magomayev.
Muslim Magomayev was born in 1940 and was the grandson of the Azerbaijani composer of the same name and a highly acclaimed singer. He is sometimes known as the Soviet Sinatra and that tells you something about his fame, especially within the countries that made up the Soviet Union. He trained for a period at La Scala in Milan and sung both opera and popular songs. Magomayev was also a laureate of a series of international music competitions and became a People‘s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1973.

3. Photograph of the Azerbaijani State Variety Orchestra.
The history of the radio and TV Variety Orchestra is closely linked to that of jazz music in Azerbaijan. Due to his organisational talents Tofig Ahmedov was given the responsibility in 1955 of finding suitable staff and set up a radio and TV variety orchestra. He succeeded in bringing together a group of very talented performers and this orchestra won a gold medal at the international music festival for youths and students held in the Bulgarian capital Sofia in 1968.

4. Photograph shows the composer Tofig Guliyev and the singer, composer and former Minister of Culture Polad Bulbuloghlu.
Guliyev was a composer and pianist and one of the founders of Azerbaijani variety. He became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1964. He composed over a hundred songs during his career and a number of musical comedies.
Polad Bulbuloghlu is the son of the famous Azerbaijani singer Bulbul but is also a composer and singer in his own right. He received the title Honoured Art Worker of Azerbaijan in 1973 and People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1982. He also served as the nation’s Minister of Culture for some time and then as a representative to TURKSOY. He studied at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire under Gara Garayev and has composed a number of popular songs, film music and pieces in classical genres.

5. Photograph of Rashid Behbudov with other artists.
Rashid Behbudov needs no introduction to Azerbaijanis and he is considered one of the nations greatest ever singers. This tenor was born in 1915 and he became a People‘s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1959. His career was based on singing operetta and popular songs, often by Azerbaijani composers, and he starred in a number of music films based on operettas. Behbudov also started the Azerbaijani Song Theatre in 1966 and led this institution until his death in 1989.

6. Photograph is of the Azerbaijani State Jazz Orchestra, led by Rauf Hajiyev.
The composer Rauf Hajiyev was born in 1922 and he died in 1995. He played an important role in the development of Azerbaijani musical comedy but he also composed classical pieces such as ballets and cantatas. He became a People’s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1978.

7. Photograph of composer Tofig Guliyev and the singer Rashid Behbudov.
Guliyev was a composer and pianist and one of the founders of Azerbaijani variety. He became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1964. He composed over a hundred songs during his career and also a number of musical comedies.
Rashid Behbudov is considered one of the most talented singers ever born in Azerbaijan. He became a People‘s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1959 and his career was based on singing operetta and popular songs, often by Azerbaijani composers. He starred in a number of music films based on operettas. Behbudov also started the Azerbaijani Song Theatre in 1966 and led this institution until his death in 1989.

8. Poster advertising the Azerbaijani State Jazz Orchestra led by T. Guliyev.
Guliyev was a composer and pianist and one of the founders of Azerbaijani variety. He became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1964. He composed over a hundred songs during his career and also a number of musical comedies.

9. Photograph of the then President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev together with Zarifa Aliyeva, the singer Muslim Magomayev and Tamara Sinyavskaya.

10. Poster for the Azerbaijani State Song Theatre.

11. Bust of Rashid Behbudov created by the sculptor Ibrahim Zeynalov.
Rashid Behbudov is considered one of the most talented singers ever born in Azerbaijan. He became a People‘s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1959. His career was based on singing operetta and popular songs, often by Azerbaijani composers, and he starred in a number of music films based on operettas. Behbudov also started the Azerbaijani Song Theatre in 1966 and led this institution until his death in 1989.

12. Photograph of the singer Rashid Behbudov.
Rashid Behbudov is considered one of the most talented singers ever born in Azerbaijan. He became a People‘s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1959. His career was based on singing operetta and popular songs, often by Azerbaijani composers, and he starred in a number of music films based on operettas. Behbudov also started the Azerbaijani Song Theatre in 1966.

13. Photograph of, from left to right: N. Tchenenko, the then Azerbaijani president Heydar Aliyev, Niyazi, the Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev, Muslim Magomayev, L. Imanov and Rashid Behbudov.

14. Photograph of a meeting between the then General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev and Azerbaijani art workers.

15. Programme of a Rashid Behbudov concert in Turkey.
Rashid Behbudov is considered one of the most talented singers ever born in Azerbaijan. He became a People‘s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1959 and his career was based on singing operetta and popular songs and he starred in a number of music films based on operettas. Behbudov also started the Azerbaijani Song Theatre in 1966.

16. Photograph from the Days of Azerbaijani Culture and Art held in Moscow in 1959.

17. Photograph of Rashid Behbudov and the Indian actors Raj Kapoor and Nargiz.
Rashid Behbudov is considered one of Azerbaijan’s most talented singers and he became a People‘s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1959. His career was based on singing operetta and popular songs, often by Azerbaijani composers, and he starred in a number of music films based on operettas. Behbudov also started the Azerbaijani Song Theatre in 1966.

18. Poster of the Azerbaijani State Song Theatre.
This theatre was started in 1966 by the famous Azerbaijani singer Rashid Behbudov who also led the theatre until his death.

19. Photograph of Vagif Mustafazade.
Vagif Mustafazade was born in 1940 and died in 1979. He was an extremely talented pianist and composer and was highly significant in the development of modern Azerbaijani music because of his innovative approach to jazz. He created the musical style known as jazz-mugham. As the name suggests this merges the Azerbaijani mugham tradition with jazz and this musical style is still developing today. He led a number of different jazz orchestras, including the jazz-trio Kavkaz, the female vocal-groups Leyli and Sevil and the instrumental orchestra Mugham. He composed many jazz and jazz-mugham pieces but also worked in classical genres.

20. Photograph of Vagif Mustafazade and the jazz group Sevil by Baku’s Maiden Tower.
Vagif Mustafazade was a pianist and composer who was highly significant in the development of modern Azerbaijani music because of his innovative approach to jazz. He created the musical style known as jazz-mugham. As the name suggests this merges the Azerbaijani mugham tradition with jazz. He led a number of different jazz orchestras and composed many jazz and jazz-mugham pieces but also worked in classical genres.
In 1970 Mustafazade started the female vocal jazz group Leyli which came to embody the spirit of the time and became very popular in Baku. However, a number of reasons led to changes to the group’s line-up and its name was changed to Sevil. In this new form the vocal group became even more popular. One of the members of the group was his wife Elza Mustafazade.

21. Photograph of Vagif Mustafazade and the vocal and instrumental jazz group Sevil.
Vagif Mustafazade was a pianist and composer who was highly significant in the development of modern Azerbaijani music because of his innovative approach to jazz. He created the musical style known as jazz-mugham and also led a number of different jazz orchestras and composed many jazz and jazz-mugham pieces but also worked in classical genres.
Mustafazade started the female vocal jazz group Leyli in 1970 and this later became Sevil. This jazz orchestra was very popular and Mustafazade led them sensitively and competently. One of the members of the group was his wife Elza Mustafazade.

22. Photograph of Vagif Mustafazade and the vocal and instrumental jazz group Sevil during recording in a studio.
Vagif Mustafazade was a pianist and composer who created the musical style known as jazz-mugham. He led a number of different jazz orchestras and composed many jazz and jazz-mugham pieces but also worked in classical genres.
Mustafazade started the female vocal jazz group Leyli in 1970 and this later became Sevil. This jazz orchestra was very popular and Mustafazade led them sensitively and competently. One of the members of the group was his wife Elza Mustafazade.

23. Photograph of Muslim Magomayev during rehearsal.
Magomayev was the grandson of the Azerbaijani composer of the same name and highly acclaimed singer. He is sometimes known as the Soviet Sinatra and that tells you something about his fame, especially within the countries that made up the Soviet Union. He trained for a period at La Scala in Milan and sung both opera and popular songs. Magomayev was also a laureate of a series of international music competitions and became a People‘s Artist of the Soviet Union in 1973.

24. Cover for a record by the group Sevil.
Sevil was a female jazz vocalist group stared by the composer and jazz musician Vagif Mustafazade and included his wife Elza Mustafazade.

25. Photograph of Chigiz Sadikhov and Rafig Babayev.
Chingiz Sadikhov is a pianist who has accompanied many famous singers.
Rafig Babayev meanwhile was a uniquely talented pianist and composer. He was born in 1936 in Baku and became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1993. He was invited by Rashid Behbudov to become the musical leader of the Azerbaijani State Song Theatre when it was started in 1966. He created many collections of jazz compositions as well as pieces and songs in different genres and film music. He also created compositions which used folk instruments and were enriched with unusual harmonies. In 1991 he started the folk-jazz group Jangi. Babayev tragically died, along with many others, in an explosion in the Baku Metro system caused by Armenian extremists in 1994.

26. Photograph of the Azerbaijani State Variety Orchestra.

27. Photograph of Tofig Guliyev and Vagif Mustafazade.
Guliyev was a composer and pianist and one of the founders of Azerbaijani variety. He became a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1964. He composed over a hundred songs during his career and also a number of musical comedies.
Vagif Mustafazade was a pianist and composer who was highly significant in the development of modern Azerbaijani music because of his innovative approach to jazz. He created the musical style known as jazz-mugham and composed pieces in this style as well as traditional jazz but also worked in classical genres.

28. Photograph of the vocal quartet Gaya.
The members of this group are Rafig Babayev, Arif Hajiyev, Teymur Mirzoyev and Lev Yelisavetsky.
Gaya was a jazz vocalist group which when it started was the first such quartet, not only in Azerbaijan, but in the whole Soviet Union. The group was the first to bring vocal jazz performances to Azerbaijan and it became enormously popular throughout the Soviet Union. Gaya performed and won prizes in many international competitions and the group was rewarded at home by being given the title Honoured Artists of Azerbaijan. In 1972 the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan named it the State Variety Orchestra Gaya. By then the original line-up had changed and the group had acquired more members.

29. This is an album by Rafig Babayev given to the museum by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
Rafig Babayev was a uniquely talented pianist and composer. He was invited by Rashid Behbudov to become the musical leader of the Azerbaijani State Song Theatre when it was started in 1966. He created many collections of jazz compositions as well as pieces and songs in different genres and film music. Babayev tragically died, along with many others, in an explosion in the Baku Metro system caused by Armenian extremists in 1994.

SECTION XIII
The President Heydar Aliyev and Azerbaijani Musical Culture
The President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, who led the country after it gained independence at the beginning of 1990s until his death in 2003, devoted substantial energy and interest to the preservation and development of the nation’s culture. As a part of this he supported musicians and museums, as can be seen in this display.
The work of promoting and preserving Azerbaijani musical traditions continues, as can be seen by the diploma commemorating that Azerbaijani mugham music was designated a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 2003.

1. Photograph of President Heydar Aliyev
Heydar Aliyev was born in 1923 in Nakhchivan, an autonomous republic within Azerbaijan.
Aliyev worked for the Committee of State Security of the Soviet Union in Azerbaijan (also known as the KGB). He rose to the rank of Major-General and became the Chairman of the Azerbaijani KGB.
Aliyev held the post of First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Azerbaijani Communist Party between 1969 and 1982, after which he became a member of the Politburo - the leading body of the Soviet Union. He retired from this post in 1987.
After leaving office he spent some time in retirement but in 1991, the same year that Azerbaijan gained its independence from the Soviet Union, Aliyev was elected Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Azerbaijani Republic of Nakhchivan. He held this office until 1993, when he became the president of Azerbaijan. Aliyev remained the president of the country until shortly before his death in 2003.
During his tenure as president he instigated reforms to the musical life of Azerbaijan and ordered the creation of a number of house-museums, including that of the conductor Niyazi, which is affiliated to this museum.

2. Photograph of a meeting between President Heydar Aliyev and Azerbaijani musical art workers.
From left to right you can see Tofig Guliyev, Fikret Amirov, Heydar Aliyev, Gara Garayev, Rauf Hajiyev (standing), Serafim Tulikov, Maestro Niyazi, Elmira Abbasova (standing) and Shovkat Mammadova.

3. Photograph of the then President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, at the opening of the Niyazi House Museum in 1994.

4. Photograph from 1998 President Heydar Aliyev meets the Old Musical Instruments Ensemble.
This ensemble is attached to the Azerbaijani State Museum of Musical Culture.

5. Collection of CDs with recordings of Karabagh khanende. It was compiled by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and donated to the museum by that organisation.

6. Photograph from 2000 shows President Heydar Aliyev and the current President Ilham Aliyev together with the world famous ballerina Maya Plisetskaya and a ballet troupe.

7. Photograph of the former President Heydar Aliyev meeting young talent in 2000.

8. Photograph of Mstislav Rostropovich and Farkhad Badalbeyli.
Mstislav Rostropovich was born in Baku in 1927 and he died in 2007 following an exceptionally distinguished career as a cellist and conductor. He participated in many all-union and international performance competitions and he taught at the Moscow Conservatoire. From the 1960s he also worked as a conductor.
The pianist Farkhad Badalbeyli is the son of Shamsi Badalbeyli and he was born in 1947. He graduated from the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire in 1969 and started teaching at that institution in 1971. He became a professor in 1985 and its principal in 1991. His services to music were rewarded with the title People’s Artist of Azerbaijan in 1978 and of the Soviet Union in 1990.

9. Photograph of President Heydar Aliyev alongside the People’s Artists of the Soviet Union Fidan Kasimova and Khuraman Kasimov, the pianist and People’s Artist of the Soviet Union Farkhad Badalbeyli and the conductor, People’s Artist of Azerbaijan and Laureate of the State Prize Rauf Abdullayev.

10. Photograph of President Heydar Aliyev at the opening of the Musical Comedy Theatre in 1998.

11. Photograph of President Heydar Aliyev and the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.
Mstislav Rostropovich was born in Baku in 1927 and he died in 2007 following an exceptionally distinguished career as a cellist and conductor. He participated in many all-union and international performance competitions and he taught at the Moscow Conservatoire. From the 1960s he also worked as a conductor.

12. Photograph of the world famous cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and the composer Firangiz Alizade during a concert.
Mstislav Rostropovich was born in Baku in 1927 and he died in 2007 following an exceptionally distinguished career as a cellist and conductor. He participated in many all-union and international performance competitions and he taught at the Moscow Conservatoire. From the 1960s he also worked as a conductor.
Firangiz Alizade was born in Baku in 1947. She is a composer, pianist, conductor and music educator. She graduated from the famous composer Gara Garayev’s composition class at the Azerbaijani State Conservatoire in 1972 and from that time her career has gone from strength to strength. She has participated in a number of international festivals and collaborations and her compositions have been performed in many parts of the world, for example in Germany, the USA, Turkey and naturally Azerbaijan. In 1999 Alizade was the first woman to receive the status of composer-in-residence of the Swiss music festival Internationale Musikwochen, held in Lucerne. She has also written many publications about music, including a book about her teacher Gara Garayev. Alizade is currently the Chairperson of the Composers’ Union of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani state has rewarded her for her services to music by making her an Honoured Art Worker and a People’s Artist of Azerbaijan as well as giving her the Order of Glory. UNESCO made her an Artist for Peace in 2007.

13. Photograph of the current President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

14. Diploma commemorating that the Azerbaijani musical art form mugham was designated a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 2003.
The diploma was presented to the museum by the then Minister for Culture of Azerbaijan Polad Bulbuloghlu on 5th January 2006.

SECTION XIV

1. Wooden bas-relief portrait of Ashig Alasgar by R. Gurbanov.
Ashig Alasgar Almamed was born in 1821 and he died in 1926. He was a very prominent representative of Azerbaijani Ashig art. He studied under Ashig Ali and was thoroughly knowledgeable about the traditions of ashig music. Love poetry was the most popular part of his performance repertoire.

2. Jura saz.
The Jura saz is the smallest version of this string instrument which is played with a plectrum. It is the essential accompanying instrument of the ashig - the ancient Azerbaijani version of a travelling minstrel who sings, recites poetry and epics and dances. The saz is known from 16th century poetry and it has been an important instrument in the Turkic musical tradition ever since then.
The body of a saz is usually built from mulberry wood with a thin wooden sounding board and a neck of nut wood with 16 to 17 frets. The Jura saz has 4 to 6 strings, while the larger orta saz has 6 or 7 strings and the largest Tavar saz has 8 or 9 strings.

3. Set of four caricature sketches of Azerbaijani composers by H. Hagverdiyev.
The composers are Said Rustamov, Soltan Hajibeyov, Fikret Amirov and Jahangir Jahangirov.








 
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