Development of Uzbek Music in Modern Age

Okilkhon Ibragimov

During the years of independence in musical culture of Uzbekistan, along with other spheres of culture there are big positive changes: necessary conditions are created for development of musical art and increase of musical culture of the society, serious work in education of the younger generation on the basis of classical national and world musical art is carried out. For this purpose in the republic more than 280 new children’s schools of music and arts were created. Now 330 of such schools, 4 specialized academic musical lyceums, 13 colleges of arts function and a new beautiful building of the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan has been specially built in the center of the capital of Uzbekistan. All these educational institutions equipped according to modern requirements have gained importance in education and preparation of comprehensively developed generation based on advanced pedagogical technologies.
Today the Uzbek musical art which has absorbed all the wealth of ancient traditions and modern trends develops in many directions. Traditional folk musical art and folk amateur performance, classical musical heritage and folk composing, professional composer’s art and variety art represent all richness of modern Uzbek musical art. In all these directions developing according to the canons of musical art there is a tendency of a peculiar connection of spirits of the times and traditions, an opportunity to preserve and develop samples of folk and classical professional music in the spirit of the present time and widely represent it not only on republican, but also on world stages. In this regard the great value has been gained by the International Music Festival “Sharq Taronalari” (“Melodies of the East “) which is held in ancient Samarkand every two years since 1997. Thanks to this festive action our invaluable national music, on the one hand, boldly rushed to the international stage, where has gained recognition of the world community, and on the other hand – a wide road has been opened for convergence of various oriental musical traditions filled with spiritual beauty and strengthening of creative ties between peoples of the world. Traditionally the festival is participated by not only representatives of the East countries, but also by the famous musical figures of many other countries (France, Poland, Germany, the USA, England, Australia, etc.) as ambassadors of peace and friendship. Therefore we can safely say that “Sharq Taronalari” Festival became a cultural event of global scale.
Thanks to “Sharq Taronalari” Festival there is a possibility of wide promotion of samples of the Uzbek professional classical music (songs, melodies, makoms, etc.). So, in 1997 the Honored Actress of Uzbekistan Munozhot Yulchiyeva, and in 2005 the Honored Actress of Uzbekistan Dilnura Kadyrdzhonova participating in this festival, won the first places. In 1999 the Honored Actress of Uzbekistan Nasiba Sattorova was awarded the first prize – “Grand Prix” of the II International Music Festival “Sharq Taronalari”.
In 2003 the UNESCO International Organization declared “Shashmakom” the pearl of the world intangible heritage. In 2008 at the 3rd session of the Intergovernmental committee on non-material heritage “Shashmakom” was included in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and a special program for its preservation and promotion was adopted. Thus, the classical music of the Uzbek and Tajik people “Shashmakom” sounds in concert halls of many countries of the world.
The world fame of the Uzbek national musical instruments and master performers plying on them grows everyday. So, the People’s Artist of Uzbekistan Turgun Alimatov awarded the Order “Buyuk Khizmatlari Uchun” (“For great merits”) and his son Alisher Alimatov in duo demonstrated their skill of playing on the national musical instruments dutar, tanbur and sato in the USA (1991), Germany (1993), England (1995-1997) and France (1997). Now creative traditions of the Alimatovs’ dynasty are continued with honor by the grandson of Turgun Alimatov – Abror Zufarov who in 2013 at the IX International Music Festival was awarded the third place.
The state chamber orchestra of folk instruments “Sogdiana” started its activity in 1991 in order to continue common traditions of musical culture of the East and West. Prior to that, the orchestra headed by the Artistic Director and Conductor F. Abdurakhimov visited with concert tours Germany, France, Holland, Spain, Egypt, Turkey where along with the Uzbek melodies they also performed samples of world classics. The repertoire of the ensemble includes works of such Uzbek composers as F. Alimov, M. Bafoyev, H. Rakhimov, N. Norkhuzhayev, D. Saydaminova and A. Mansurov written especially for this group.
In musical art of Uzbekistan of modern age the creative process of synthesis of eastern and western musical traditions has risen to a new level, noteworthy works has been appeared in such difficult genres as symphony, musical drama, opera, ballet in which centuries-old traditions of our people, dream of our ancestors and deeds of historical heroes are sung. For example, these are the symphonic works composed by I. Akbarov, M. Tozhiyev, T. Kurbonov, M. Bafoyev, M. Makhmudov, R. Abdullaev and D. Yanov-Yanovsky, such operas as “Alisher Navoiy” by M. Burkhanov, “Amir Temur” by A. Ikramov, “Sky of my love” (“Sevgim samosi”) by M. Bafoyev, musical dramas “Congratulations to the wedding” (“Tuylar Mubarak”) by M. Makhmudov, “Nodirabegim”, “Yusuf and Zuleykha”, “The died became dear” (“Ulding, aziz bulding”) by F. Alimov, “Destiny”, “Alpomysh’s Return”, “Melancholy of Babur” by B. Lutfullayev, ballet “Khumo” by Anvar Ergashev, as well as TV opera “Sacred Bukhara” and TV ballets “Nodira”, “Ulugbek’s constellation” and “Ray from the past” by M. Bafoyev.
We should especially note the merits of the Honored Actress of Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan, the winner of a number of international competitions, the owner of the Order “Buyuk Khizmatlari Uchun” Muyassar Razzakova in promoting of the Uzbek academic vocal art in the world. By the unique voice and amazing performance skills she made a big contribution to development of opera art of our country and became a laureate of international competitions of vocalists held in Latvia (1990), Hungary (1992) and Italy (1997). The main parts of the Uzbek and world classical operas, which she performed at concerts in Italy, Russia, the USA, Germany, Hungary France and South Korea, brought her fame of the opera singer. Now M. Razzakova is a Professor of the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan.
The young singer Zhenisbek Piyazov, the Honored Artist of Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan, the owner of the medal “Shukhrat”, the prize-winner of the contest “Nikhol” possesses a peculiar bass baritone voice and also successfully performs at the international competitions. He is the owner of “Grand Prix” of the XIII Moscow International Competition of Young Performers of Russian romances, the international contest of vocalists “Byulbyul” in Baku (2010), the International Competition of Vocalists named after Muslim Magomayev in Moscow (2012). At the same time Zhenisbek Piyazov performed in Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Malaysia, China, South Korea, Russia, Portugal, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, where he was accepted with delight by admirers of art.
Participation of our young performers in the project “Voice. Children” (the 2nd season) in 2015 held in Moscow became one more clear evidence of the fact that the talented generation grows up in our country. In this project the schoolgirl of the Republican Specialized Musical Academic Lyceum named after V. A. Uspensky Sabina Mustayeva became the winner.
The variety music which takes the worthy place in the Uzbek musical culture has gained new development. The variety song art differing in the variety of directions and styles especially thrives and draws attention of experts, fans of pop music and mass audience.
Musical art in our country occupies an important place in society. For this reason many decrees of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan I. A. Karimov and other regulations were adopted in this field. These are the Presidential Decrees “On measures to support and stimulate the further development of theatrical and musical art in Uzbekistan” (1995), “About formation of a tour-concert association “Uzbeknavo” (1996), “On improvement of music education, activity of educational institutions of culture and art in the republic” (1996), “On further development of variety and song art” (1998), “On the state program of strengthening of material and technical resources and further improvement of activity of children’s music and art schools for 2009-2014″. For this period a number of actions in these directions have been also carried out. For example, at the Tashkent State Conservatory (nowadays – the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan) the Variety Music Faculty was opened, variety branches were opened in secondary specialized educational institutions, in 1996 the Republican Variety and Circus Studio was transformed to the Tashkent Variety and Circus College. Thus, the important step for training of professional personnel in the sphere of variety has been taken.
For material and spiritual encouragement of crooners of various generations and familiarizing of our people with their creativity such prizes and awards as “Ofarin”, “Ona zamin yulduzlari” and “Nihol” were instituted. The circle of subject of melodies in the Uzbek variety song was also expanded. The youth in their songs sings about such high human feelings as love, devotion and friendship. It is encouraging that there are more songs devoted to patriotism, which is especially important for education of the younger generation in the spirit of devotion to the people and love for the country. For this purpose since 1996 the republican song festival-contests “Uzbekiston-Vatanim manim” (“Uzbekistan is my Homeland”) is carried out.
Among the best models of the Uzbek musical art of modern times we should noted “Vatan azizdir” (Homeland is dear) by A. Nazarov, “Yurt ishkida yonaman” (I love my country) by F. Zakirov, “Yolvorma” (Do not beg) by R. Ganiyeva, “Vatan – yagonadir” (Homeland is one) by S. Saftarova, “Hey, Aziz Yurtim” (My dear country) by R. Khalikov, and “Shaytanat” by A. Mullakhonov. A big contribution to development of the variety genre is also made by such Uzbek composers as N. Norkhodzhayev, R. Abdullaev, H. Rakhimov, A. Mansurov, A. Rasulov, D. Omonullayeva, M. Otazhonov and H. Khasanov.
Important creative art innovation in mass song art is editing of examples of musical heritage of great ancestors (Yallas, folk songs, lapars) in a variety form. There are two types of editing: arrangement of folk songs and editing of classical pieces of music in a variety form (1, page 228-234).
Folk songs in a variety manner were sung for the first time by the “Yalla” group. Among them there are such national songs as “Yumalab, Yumalab”, “Yallama-yorim”, “Kargalar”, “Boychechak”, “Gayra-gayra”, “Mazhnuntol” performed by the group in folk-rock style. A worthy place in the listeners’ hearts was found by national songs performed by Nasiba Abdullaeva, Gulomzhon Yakubov, Kozim Kayumov, and Kumush Razzokova.
At the present stage this tendency in the Uzbek variety art has gained further development – it is processing of samples of folklore from all districts and regions of the republic in a variety manner. For example, in the songs sung by such favorite by the people singers as Ozodbek Nazarbekov, Gulsanam Mamazoitova, Ravshan Komilov, Alisher Turdiyev, Nuriddin Khaydarov, Mukhriddin Kholikov, Ilkhom Farmonov, as well as the singers of such groups as “Toshkent”, “Shofayz”, “Nola”, and “Shakhzod” one can notice elements of national songs of Fergana and Tashkent regions. Some samples of yalla genre, which is popular in the Fergana Valley have received new sounding in performance by G. Mamazoitova (“Azhab, azhab”, “Olicha”), Larisa Moskalyova (“Shoda-shoda marvarid”), Malika Egamberdiyeva (“Uynasin”) and Alisher Turdiyev (“Bilmadingizda”).
Peculiar folk music works of Surkhandarya give a unique charm to the songs performed by Mahmoud Namozov, Ravshan Namozov and Sayyora Kaziyeva. Among them these are such songs as “Okhu-vokh”, “Oybulok”, “Surkhondaryo kizlari”, “Bakhshiyona”, “Soginch”, “Yakhshi odamlar”, “Kungiroti”, “Boybola”, “Bedana chartmak”, “Nigokh”, “Kha dursi”, “Yaku yak”, and “Lolacha”. The similar tendency is observed also in other regions of the country that demonstrates that development of modern musical art of Uzbekistan is closely connected with the socio-political transformations which are implemented in our country.

1. Khonandalik san’ati: zhakhon va uzbek milliy an’analari. Toshkent, 2009.

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