Presently, the erection of this monument is an appearance of the attitude
of the Azerbaijani people
to his historical past and culture.
İlham Aliyev


By author

One of the leading bearers of Azerbaijani folk professional music of the oral tradition are ashygs, the sincretical type of epic griots, skilled poets of verbal and musical art.

History and destiny of proverbial wisdom bearers, their verbal and musical works, as well as bard skills performed a very special role in formation and devel-opment of Azerbaijani national culture, as a basic part, overall historical memory of the Azerbaijan people, belonging in its turn, to the universal cultural heritage of the globe.

Handed down from generation to generation aurally and authorly, the ashyg art preserved vivifying ground of the millennial history of the Azerbaijani people, took the direct participation in creation, conservation and system development of traditional knowledge and value system of practical experience and aesthetic perception of the outside world, accumulated human experience – experiment of a formative and creative man.

Methods of gathering, record and conservation of traditional music culture, including Azerbaijan ashyg folk professional creativity, is a living and actual subject. Considerably grown interest to poorly studied realm of the nonliterate whole artistic culture, betterment of scholarly apparatus of the native ethnical musicology, quantitative and qualitative publications, researches reasoned by practical studies, testify, to a certain degree, on breadth and many-sidedness of the problem.

Over the course of the past century, music folklore throughout its genre variety has been covered in the columns of considerable number of published music in Azerbaijan. These «mute» documents of public spiritual culture are brought in scientific, as well as educational pedagogic use. Nevertheless, undiscovered scope of this peculiar occurrence of artistic culture is still covered with « blind-spots». This is natural, for music folklore, closely connected to surroundings, causing conditions for creation and delivery of traditions, continues its particular dynamic life, extends the sphere of influence on mind and consciousness of people, and emotionally enriches their activity.

This book includes 600 articles touching upon the ashyg creative activity, the peculiarities of its local, regional and ethno-cultural versions. But, as the book is of dictionary destination, we didn’t set a goal to speak comprehensively about specific aspects of the professional folk music with oral traditions.

This book provides detailed information about the musical-poetic terms of the ashyg art in an alphabetic order, the names of ashyg melodies and poetic forms, including the traditional schools, as well as the theoretical and practical aspects of the ashyg lexicography classical directions.

This book is envisaged for use by a widen auditory of specialists, i.e. ethno-musical experts, culture experts, the folklorists, specialists on oriental studies, specialists in Turkic philology, medievalists, professors and students of the higher and high schools, including for each person interesting in oral tradition’s professional music art, its cultural heritage and modern cultural traditions. Hereby we would like to express our deep respect to everyone who has contributed to the publication of this book.

Tariyel Mammadov