The musical instruments of Samarkand in the epoch of the Temurids

Issue #3-4 • 2868

In the epoch of Amir Temur, the serious attention was paid to the instrumental music along with the other arts. The special “nogorakhona” and observation platforms for spectators – “tarobkhona” were installed above the gate of the Sohibkiran’s palace. The musical instruments used in the military campaigns of Sohibkiran, in particular, percussive and wind instruments had the developed dynamic properties.

These are different “nogoras”, which were widely used in the period of the Sassanians, copper “koranai” (karnai), “naiy rumi”, “bug”, “nodir” as well as the musical instruments used by the Turkic peoples for rituals and ceremonies – “Chabchig” and “shon”. N. Fermer informed that “chabchig” had the special status “in military campaigns” of Sohibkiran (it directed the movement and was an original herald – Author) (1.4; 142). The military musicians were specially trained. The system “teacher – pupil” was widely applied. This tradition was continued by the Amir Temur’s successors in Samarkand – Shahrukh, Ulugbeg, Husein Baiqara, in the period of Babur – in Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva, Herat, Balkh, Kabul and the other cities.

Sohibkiran caused to gather the eminent musicians and artists to Samarkand. In particular, famous musicologist Abudkadir Murony was brought from Baghdad. He was an expert in the theory of music and created over 200 musical works, many of which were unfortunately lost. The works “Zar-al-Fath”, “Charhor-zarb”, “Davri shohi” and styles of Tasnifi khodja Abdul Kodir, Amali-taron, Amali-buston Amali-guliston and Amali-horiston are from them (1.3).

The styles of “Zar-al-Fath” and “Charhor-zarb” are still popular in Samarkand and Bukhara. Sohibkiran paid the serious attention to the professional skills of his musicians. He personally appointed the chiefs of musical groups. The public holidays and military parades (bozor-ishob) in the month of ramazan were held at the Samarkand bazaars at the high level.

French historian Lusien Kere wrote: “Besides various holidays, Amir Temur arranged the celebrations, which inspired the warriors. These celebrations were held as the troops parades. The solemn sounds of “nogora” accompanied the parade, observed personally by Sohibkiran. The celebrations lasted more than two days (1.2; 65)”. Sohibkiran gave the military status to percussions. He wrote about that in his manuscript “Amir Temur tuzuklari” in the section about “distribution of the standards and nogoras”: “I order to hand one standard and “nogora” to each the 12th senior emir. Amur-ul-umaro should be given the standard, “nogora”, “tug” and “chortug”. Mingboshi should be given “tug” and “karnai”. (1.1; 82).

Author: Said Saidiy

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