Various Artists

Oral Traditions of Uzbekistan

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Uzbekistan is one of the small Russian republics surround in the south by Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other republics such as Turkmenistan, Tadjikistan, Kirghizstan, and Kazakhstan. The source of Uzbekistan musical tradition is Arabic. The main type of oral tradition is the maqâm, which is an old court music. Maqâm are found almost everywhere around Central Asia. In the case of the Uzbek maqâm, they have been composed from poems by a 15th century poet, Nawai'î, and are generally love and sad songs. We hear only excerpts, because a maqâm can get lost for hours. A most unusual music for our Western ears, but a real treat for those in search of exotic music.

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