Art Heritage in Uzbek Pop – Music

4 edition • 1936

Formation of the Uzbek pop-music as a new line within pop – culture can be related to the 50-60s of the XX c. Since then creation of the original national style of pop – music has been getting more and more vital. At that the synthesis of this, not traditional for Uzbek culture, field of art and traditions of folk music has become among important creative tasks. However, this art process was mixed and had its specific features. Thus, if the first creative experiences, on the style, reminded typical of that time “pseudo jazz”, in the 70s, in the connection with the growth of a number of song-instrumental groups, began practical adaptation of different fields of rock-music.

In formation and development of pop-music the important role belonged to pop-symphonic orchestra at the Republican Radio Committee as well as such leading song-instrumental bands as “Yalla”, “Synthesis”, “Navo” and others. For the practice of these groups is important the creative approach to tonal-rhythmic ground of Uzbek music and creation of original pieces of national pop-music basing on these grounds. Thus, the group “Yalla” was among the first who turned to the pop – arrangement of folk music and on this basis succeeded to create original national folk-rock. For example, such songs of the group as “Boychechak” (“Snowdrop”), “Yumalab – yumalab”, “Yallama – iorim”, “Majnuntol” (“Willow”), which have come into group’s gold fund. In addition, these creative searches have been crowned with a line of author’s songs in a genre of pop-music, including “Chaikhona”, “Uchkuduk”, “Dutor, tanbur yangrasa”, “The face of my lover” and “Shahrisabz” (1, 70 – 75 – bet).

Now Uzbek pop-music is surviving the difficult process in the style searching. Thus, the repertoire of famous in the republic pop-groups besides the traditional music includes some compositions in a style of rap, rave, techno-soul, few gin, scar, reggae and Latin rock. At the same time, they are inclined to “blind” imitations of European and Oriental rock-groups (2, 139 – 140 – bet). The field of pop-music has started to accumulate different, in a form and content, courses of intonations. In this process we can see a fact of positive experience in interpretation of national art style in some compositions of such groups as “Cars” (“Chiprodalli-dalli”, “Ior-ior, ioroney”), “Tashkent”(“Bedana”), “Manzur” (“Meni ior dema”), “Nola” (“Nazokat”, “Sensan sevarim”), “Shahzod”(“Kelinchak”), “Sideriz”(“Unutma”), “Asr” and others.

We should accent a point that creative approach to musical heritage in Uzbek pop-music is a fact standing out of particularly. From this point of view, the pop singers and groups that perform arranged versions of folk and classic (professional) music have enjoyed the sympathy of a large audience. At the same time interpretations of traditional music in Uzbek pop-music art are various and can be classified in following types:
a) arrangement of folk ritual and labour songs;
b) arrangement of vocal (ashula) and instrumental melodies created by bastakors (bastakor – creator, author of traditional music pieces);
c) arrangement of professional traditional music.

In musical practice the arrangements of folk music has been getting more and more stable. According to the experts, the young generation often meets oral traditions of folk and professional music exactly in this form. The same reason caused that “a field of pop-music absorbing genres of calendar songs and kushik, terma, lapar, yalla, ashula (“Iomgir-iogolok”, “Boychechak”, “Marvardir”, “Um-ufu”, “Majnuntol” and others) can be specified as original form of propagation and existence of folklore with urban environ” (3, 139 – 140 – bet).

For the years of Independence, the initiatives of “Yalla” group on creation of national pop style have found development in the work of young musicians, in particular, Ravshan Namazov, Saiera Kazieva and Mahmud Namazov.

It is worthy of note that “Yalla” has based their creative searches mainly on the Uzbek folk music of Fergano-Tashkent local area (4, p.53 – 55). In the work of R.Namazov, S. Kazieva and M. Namazov is seen the original interpretation of musical genres typical of Surkhandarya region. In particular, M. Namazov, intending “to bring amusing tunes of Surkhandarya not only to the heart of each person living in our country but to the people all over the world” (5, 153 – bet), in his creative work often turns to local versions of terma genre and to vocal “throat” manner of bakhshi. This founds the illustration in such his compositions (terma) as “Okhu-vo”, “Oybulak”, “Guldana”, “Kungiroti”, “Boy bola”, “Bedana chertmak”, “Gullari” and “Alamo”. Probably, close by their character to folk melodies the songs “Sevib sevilmagan kiz”, “Surkhnadrio kizi”, “Bakhsiona”, “Soginch”, “Yakhshi odamlar”, “Nigokh” and others, founding recognition among audience, have been also a result of fruitful style searches. Besides, M. Namazov in his work on creation of folk-rock uses such folk instruments as sibizga, changkabuz, sticks, shillauk, dombra and others. Some his arrangements (for example, the first version of “Guldana”) include typical jazz-rock elements.

In the program of S.Kazieva the key place belongs to ritual and folk songs of Boysun, Surkhandarya viloyat. For example, the songs “Ha dursi” (arranged by B. Mingliev) performed in a process of grape pressing, “Lolacha” (arranged by B. Mingliev) for tulips picking, “Yaku-yak” (arranged by U.Azim) for exorcism and extrusion of diseases, “Khalinchak” – Boysun wedding song “Ior-Iori”, (arranged by B. Mingliev), “Boychechak” (arranged by M. Bekmuradov), “Dogi-dog” (arranged by M. Bekmuradov), “Koshkinangiz kamonli jonim” (arranged by R. Mahmudov) and “Begona kilib” (arranged by R. Mahmudov) successfully synthesized Boysun folk music and elements of pop-music. S.Kazieva, like M. Namazov, often turns to timbres of folk instruments (sibizga, nai, dumbira, doira), what again emphasizes features of this local area.

It should stated that in Uzbek pop-music is forming such tendency as turning to art heritage of bastakors as well as to repertoires of famous singers-khafizes. In particular, now pop versions of classic songs of bastakors Yunus Rajabi (“Kuigai”, singer Aziz Rajabi), Mukhtardjan Murtazaev (“Fargona tong otguncha”, singer Tulkin Khaidarov), Arifkhan Khatamov (“Khokh inon”, “Nola” band; “Oh, kim”, “Sarbon” band and “Koshi iosinmu deyin”, singer Ulugbeg Atadjanov), Doni Zakirov (“Hey sabo”, singer Salakhiddin Azizbaev) as well as songs of khafiz Kamildjan Ataniyazov (“Dogiman”, singer Jahangir Atadjanov) and famous singer Tavakkal Kadirov (“Fasli navbakhor”, singer Ilkhom Ibragimov and “Ukhshaidiku”, singer Avaz Alimov) and others can be heard.

For the last years, a share of pop-music in different public ceremonies, mainly wedding, has much increased. At such ceremonies, traditional performance of vocal parts of makoms in pop style as well as of the other vocal genres of professional music is getting typical. Such arrangements are getting dominative on the republican television and radio and, unfortunately, often exactly in this form high classic music reaches a large audience. In this view, rather illustrative is the program of “Kukhna okhanglar” (“Old Melodies”) transmitted by television channel “Ioshlar”. At the first look, the name of the program implies propagation of traditional music but in fact, the most time of transmitting is occupied by pop arrangements of the classic music. Pieces of professional music, created by our great ancestors, at the result of different modern interpretations in pop style, often loose their deep content and, subsequently, their high art value.

In addition, inaccuracy of such arrangements occurs at the time of studio recording. As we know, generally a part of accompanist (rhythm – section) is programmed on keyed instruments and then folk instruments are added; at the result, natural sounding of folk instruments starts to depend on rhythmic background and becomes a part of general “mechanized” sound current. If the parts of rhythm-section (guitar, bas-guitar, the keyed and percussions), like folk instruments, sound naturally in fact of recording, I think, the creative results will be much improved.

The next negative aspect directly relates to “potential” of singers, which do not have special skills in performance of traditional music. It obtains a strong accent when pop singers perform pieces of professional music. Traditional music requires from a singer high skills and deep spiritual culture as well as knowledge of grounds of traditional school of “ustaz – shagird” (master – prentice). Turning of pop-music to genres of musical heritage is extremely important and complicated process, therefore its practical solution is a responsibility of high skilled artists.

Thus, today the practice of creative arrangement and use of art elements of traditional music has been keeping especially vital task for Uzbek pop – music. This process, in addition to knowledge of ancient traditions of art heritage, demands of an artist a good awareness in the field of modern pop – music art. Invaluable experience of world pop – music is a bright evidence for that.

Author: Davlat Mulladjanov

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