Azerbaijan’s rich music art has a centuries-old history of development. The first information about this music was obtained from a number of monuments obtained during archeological excavations, rock paintings from Gobustan (XVIII-III millennia BC) and Gamigaya (III-I millennia BC). In “Kitabi – Dada Gorgud” (VII century), in the works of Nizami, Fuzuli, rich information about medieval music life, musical genres, musical instruments is given.

The treatises of famous Azerbaijani scholars such as Safiaddin Urmavi (XIII century), Abdulgadir Maragai (XIV century), Mirzabey (XVII century), Mir Mohsun Navvab (XIX century) revealed the high level of development of medieval music culture and performance, developed theoretical problems of Azerbaijani music.

The presence of a number of pieces related to music in the epos “Kitabi-Dada Gorgud”, our first written literary monument, and the names of various musical instruments throughout the saga are a clear proof of the antiquity of our music.

Mir Mohsun Navvab Karabakh

Mir Möhsün Nəvvab
Mir Mohsen Nawwab

Our first written music samples date back to the 13th century. The development of musical-theoretical thought of the Near and Middle East in the XIII-XV centuries is connected with the names of two great Azerbaijani scientists and musicians Safiaddin Urmavi (1217-1294) and Abdulgadir Maragai (1353-1435).

Urmavi’s treatises Kitab al-Adwar and Sharafiyya laid the foundation of music science in Azerbaijan and laid the foundation for its future development. He entered the science of music as the founder of the “Systemism” school, as the founder of the tablature. The music system created by Urmavi, the scoreboard was the most perfect music system and tablature of that time.

Many of the complex theoretical problems that formed the basis of Oriental music theory were no longer posed in the treatises that arose after Maragha, and although they were partially posed, they were repeated in various variants. The main value of these treatises was their practical significance. Among the treatises of this period are Maragai’s youngest son Abdulaziz Chalabi’s treatise Naqawatil Adwar and his son Mahmud Chalabi’s Magasid al-Adwar.

One of the interesting treatises created in South Azerbaijan at the beginning of the 17th century is Mirza Bey’s treatise “On Music”.

Mirza Sadiq (Sadiqjan)

Mirzə Sadıq (Sadiqcan)
Mirza Sadiq (Sadiqjan)

Since the end of the 19th century, music meetings, societies and circles have been organized in a number of cities of Azerbaijan (Mahmud Agha in Shamakhi, Harrat Gulu Mahammad oglu in Shusha, Mir Mohsun Navvab, Mashadi Malik Mansurov in Baku). Aesthetic problems of music, performance, mugam art were discussed in the “Assembly of Musicians” created by MM Nawwab together with the famous singer Haji Husu in the 80s of the XIX century.

Famous singers and musicians Mashadi Jamil Amirov, I.Abdullayev, S.Shushinsky, Sadykhjan and others took part in the meeting. was included. One of the prominent representatives of Shusha vocal art was Haji Husu, a student of Harrat Gulu.

He was a musicologist and scholar who knew mughams, improved a number of mughams and created new mughams.

Mirza Sadig Asad oglu (Sadigjan) was a great tar master of the XIX century, reconstructed tar and was the creator of modern tar.

Mashadi Zeynal Mashadi Jamil Amirov, Shirin Akhundov, Gurban Primov are the successors of this school.

Məşədi Cəmil Əmirov
Mashadi Jamil Amirov

There are several cities in the world where music permeates every stone, fortress and atmosphere. Among such cities are Vienna, Austria, Naples, Italy, and Shusha, Karabakh, Azerbaijan.

There is even a popular saying among the people, “Babies in Shusha cry over mugham in such a way.”

The Shusha Caucasus Conservatory has rightly earned its definition and designation. Bright representatives of the Shusha Conservatory have brought fame to Azerbaijani music on all continents with dignity.



Jabbar Garyagdi oglu

Cabbar Qaryağdı oğlu
Jabbar Qaryagdi oglu

Shusha – Mir Mohsun Navvab, Harrat Gulu, Haji Husun, Sadikhja, Mashadi Isi, Abdulbaghi ​​Zulalov, Jabbar Qaryagdioglu, Kechaji oglu Mammad, Mashadi Mammad Farzaliyev, Islam Abdullayev, Seyid Shushinsky, Bulbulin, Bulbul, Zulfi, Zulf It is the homeland of Pirimov, composers Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Zulfugar Hajibeyov, Fikret Amirov, Niyazi, Afrasiyab Badalbeyli, Soltan Hajibeyov, Ashraf Abbasov, Suleyman Alasgarov, singer Rashid Behbudov. This is not a complete list of Shusha musicians.

In the early twentieth century, in the conditions of socio-political and cultural development, U.Hajibeyov laid the foundation of modern Azerbaijani professional music culture and created a synthesis of folk art with traditional oral folk art. This led to the active interaction of Eastern and Western cultures. In 1908, U. Hajibeyov laid the foundation of opera not only in Azerbaijan, but in the whole Muslim East with the opera “Leyli and Majnun” staged by HZ Tagiyev in the theater, and became the creator of the mugam-opera genre. Realizing that it would be difficult for the Azerbaijani listener to understand the new genre, U.Hajibeyov appealed to Fuzuli’s poem “Leyli and Majnun” and folk music genres (mugam, song, dance), created a play that resonated with the mood of the time and the spiritual needs of the people.

Uzeyir Hajibeyli

Üzeyir Hacıbəyli
Uzeyir Hajibeyli

U.Hajibeyli is also the creator of the genre of musical comedy in Azerbaijan. In musical comedies on social issues (“Husband and wife”, 1910; “Let it be, let it be”, 1911; “Arshin mal alan”, 1913), the composer is based on folk songs and dance music. His musical comedy “Arshin mal alan” (staged in 1913) became especially popular. The work is available in English, German, Chinese, Arabic, Persian, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Georgian and others. Translated into (about 70) languages, Moscow, Istanbul, New York, Paris, London, Tehran, Cairo, Beijing, Berlin, Warsaw, Sofia, Budapest, Bucharest, etc. It was staged in 120 theaters and repeatedly screened (in Baku in 1916-1917 in the United States in the 1930s, in Soviet Azerbaijan in 1945 and 1960). Singer Rashid Behbudov (1915-1989), who played the lead role, this work brought world fame. People’s Artist of the USSR R. Behbudov was an invaluable performer of folk and composer songs, the role of Balash from F. Amirov’s opera “Sevil”. He was also the founder and director of the Song Theater.

Hajibeyov’s other famous operetta, “Let It Be”, was screened in Yalta in 1919, and for the second time in 1956 at the Azerbaijanfilm film studio.

The 30s of the XX century are characterized as a new period of growth of Azerbaijani music. During these years, new performing groups, symphony orchestra (1920, now U.Hajibeyov Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra), choir (1926), first-note Folk Instruments Orchestra (1931), dance ensemble (1936), M.Magomayev. Concentrated at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic (1936), the Union of Composers of Azerbaijan (1934), the Musical Comedy Theater (1938, now named after Sh. Gurbanov), the House of Folk Art (1939), the Azerbaijan State Conservatory. research music cabinet (1931) was organized.

Muslim Magomayev

Müslüm Maqomayev
Muslum Maqomayev

In the 1920s, RM Glier wrote the opera “Shahsenam” (performance 1927) based on the epos “Ashig Garib”, making extensive use of Azerbaijani folk music. This opera was the first initiative to create a classical opera based on the examples of Azerbaijani folk music, taking advantage of the achievements of world music culture.

U.Hajibeyli created the monumental folk heroic epic “Koroglu” (USSR State Prize, 1941). Distinguished by its high craftsmanship and true innovation, this opera reflects the national spirit and psychological depth. U.Hajibeyov achieved organic unity of composer’s features of classical opera in the opera “Koroglu” on the basis of genre, composition, moment-intonation of national music, created a masterpiece of national opera. The monumental folk scenes reflecting the image of the people in the opera “Koroglu”, the multifaceted characteristics of the main heroes are organically woven into the dramatic line of the work. The image of Koroglu was created by the classic performer of this role, Bulbul. He has played this role more than 400 times.

Bulbul (Murtuza Mammadov)

Bülbül (Murtuza Məmmədov)
Bulbul (Murtuza Mammadov)

In the 20s and 40s, a new generation of composers entered the creative path.
In the early 30s for symphony orchestra (U.Hajibeyov “Solemn march”, M.Magomayev “In the steppes of Azerbaijan”, “Free woman’s dance”, “Azerbaijan radio anthem RV-8”), for orchestra of folk instruments (U.Hajibeyov 1st and 2nd fantasies) are written.

The theme of heroism and patriotism born in the war of 1941-1945 in songs, works written for folk instruments (U.Hajibeyov, S.Rustamov), in the opera “Vatan” by G.Garayev and J.Hajiyev (1945; USSR State Prize, 1946), G. It is reflected in the First Symphonies of Garayev, J. Hajiyev and S. Hajibeyov (the first examples of the symphonic genre in Azerbaijani music). Niyazi’s opera “Khosrov and Shirin” (1942), U.Hajibeyov’s romantic ghazals “Sensiz” and “Sevgili canan” are also products of the war years. The creator of the new ghazal-romance genre, U.Hajibeyov, translated speech and poetry into music with high mastery in these works, and created a synthesis of cantilever-type melody with declamation. During the years of the Great Patriotic War, the genre of mass song underwent a special development in accordance with the requirements of the time.

In the post-war years, national music is experiencing a new period of growth. Azerbaijani music is gaining great prestige both in our country and abroad.

Gara Garayev

Qara Qarayev
Gara Garayev

Garayev’s ballet “Seven Beauties” (1952, based on Nizami’s poem of the same name, choreographer PA Gusev; Azerbaijan Opera and Ballet Theater) became a new stage in Azerbaijani music. “Seven beauties” laid the foundation of a new musical dramaturgy in the art of ballet in Azerbaijan, the work played an important role in the evolution of the ballet genre.

In 1958, Garayev’s ballet “Lightning Roads” (Lenin Prize, 1967; based on the novel of the same name by P. Abrahams; choreographer KM Sergeyev) was staged at the Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theater. Raising the tragic love of the protagonists to a sharp conflict, the composer created a unique play with a contemporary, musical solution to the theme. The work is distinguished by a clear musical concept, bright characters, and a masterful use of South African music folklore.

Soltan Hajibeyov

Soltan Hacıbəyov
Soltan Hajibeyov

S.Hajibeyov wrote the ballet “Gulshan” (1950, USSR State Prize, 1952) about the life of our contemporaries. F. Amirov’s operettas “Gozun aydin” (1946), S. Rustamov’s “Durna” (1947), S. Alasgarov’s “Ulduz” (1948) are examples of this genre.
The 1950s saw a special development in the field of symphonic music. Important socio-political themes of the period are reflected in the symphonic works of various composers.

F. Amirov is known in the history of music as the creator of a unique symphonic mugam genre. The composer artistically developed the moment, theme and other stylistic features of mughams. The colorfulness of the orchestral colors of Amirov’s symphony, the variety of genres, the richness of images are reflected in the works written during this period.

J.Hajiyev’s symphonic images are distinguished by a deep psychological direction of thought, intense drama of musical development, wide epic of melody. In S. Hajibeyov’s symphonic works (2nd symphony; 1946) the theme of the Great Patriotic War was opened in a dramatic way, and the music of other symphonic works was infused with bright genre colors.

Jahangirov composes vocal-symphonic works (poem “On the other side of the Araz” 1949, USSR State Prize, 1950; cantata “Fuzuli”). The vocal-symphonic poem “Beyond the Araz” was a new genre that combines the features of both symphonic and cantata-oratorical music. The rise of the song genre is closely connected with the work of S.Rustamov, T.Guliyev, R.Hajiyev, J.Jahangirov, G.Huseynli, A.Rzayeva. During this period, music was composed for a number of movies and dramas, and the performing arts became widespread. The first State String Quartet in 1957 [A.Aliyev, M.Taghiyev, R.Seyidzade, S.Aliyev; Laureate of the International Competition of the 6th World Festival of Students and Youth (1957, Moscow)]. People’s Artists of the USSR F.Ahmadova (singer), L.Vakilova (ballerina), Honored Art Worker Ch.Hajibeyov (conductor) and others. A new generation of performers is growing. In 1956, the first congress of the Union of Composers of Azerbaijan (since 1990, the Union of Composers and Musicologists of Azerbaijan) was held.

Azerbaijani music of the 60s and 80s was distinguished by the creative activity of the older generation of composers, the emergence of new composers, significant successes in all genres, and the expansion of international relations.

Opera and ballet are becoming popular genres of Azerbaijani composers. A.Malikov’s “Legend of Love” (1961), F.Amirov’s “The Epic of Nasimi” (1973; State Prize of the Azerbaijan SSR, 1974), “A Thousand and One Nights” (1979; USSR State Prize, 1980) ballets are gaining wide popularity.

Symphonic and chamber music of Azerbaijani composers began to be widely performed abroad. F.Amirov’s “Shur” and “Kurd ovshari”, Niyazi’s “Rast” symphonic mugams, G.Garayev’s and U.Hajibeyov’s symphonic works were performed and praised in a number of countries. In the 80s, the works of A.Malikov, H.Mirzazade, A.Alizade, F.Alizade, F.Garayev, J.Guliyev and others were successfully performed in European, American and Asian cities. Azerbaijani performers often tour abroad.

Rashid Behbudov

Rəşid Behbudov
Rashid Behbudov

People’s artists R. Behbudov, Niyazi, Z. Khanlarova, M. Magomayev and others. have gained widespread fame. Singers F. Gasimova (1977, Italy, 1st prize), H. Gasimova (1981, Athens, 1st prize; 2nd prize of the 8th International Competition named after PI Tchaikovsky (1982, Moscow)) , pianist F.Badalbeyli (1967, Gradets-Kralove, USSR; 1968, Lisbon, Portugal, 1st prize), young pianists M.Huseynov, M.Adigozalzade and others. are winners of various competitions. Our conductors – R.Abdullayev, J.Jafarov, Y.Adigozalov, T.Goychayev, G.Imanova, R.Mustafayev, N.Azimov and others are currently working to deliver the works of our composers to the listeners and spectators. labor must be shown.

People’s artists Kh.Shushuinski, R.Muradova, Sh.Alakbarova, A.Aliyev, S.Gadimova, F.Mehraliyeva, T.Ismayilova, A.Babayev, I.Rzayev honored artists Z.Adigozalov, H.Huseynov, G.Rustamov, J.Akbarov, A.Gasimov, people’s artists from tar players A.Bakikhanov, H.Mammadov, B.Mansurov, A.Guliyev, R.Guliyev, honored artists A.Dadashov , M.Muradov, F.Alakbarov, kamancha players People’s Artist H.Aliyev, honored artists H.Mirzaliyev, T.Bakikhanov, Sh.Eyvazova, F.Dadashov, drummer honored artist Ch.Mehdiyev, accordionists Abutalib (A.Yusifov), Kor The services of Ahad, Karbalai Latif, T. Damirov, A. Israfilov, composer A. Nasibov and others should be especially noted.

Tofig Guliyev

Tofiq Quliyev
Tofiq Quliyev

Azerbaijani pop and jazz music is also developing successfully. T.Guliyev, R.Hajiyev composed works for the Azerbaijan State Jazz Orchestra established in 1941 (artistic director Niyazi, music director T.Guliyev). P.Rustambeyov (saxophone), A.Bunyadzade, D.Bagirbeyova and others. were the first performers of the orchestra. In 1956 the Azerbaijan State Variety Orchestra (artistic director R.Hajiyev), in 1957 the variety ensemble “We are from Baku”, in 1960 the Variety Orchestra of the Azerbaijan Television and Radio (artistic director and conductor T.Ahmadov), 60 “Gaya” quartet (later vocal-instrumental ensemble, artistic director honored artist T.Mirzayev), Azerbaijan State Song Theater in 1966 (artistic director and soloist R.Behbudov), Azerbaijan State Variety Symphony Orchestra in 1975 ( soloist and artistic director M. Magomayev) and played an important role in the development of Azerbaijani pop art. In the post-war years, opera singers (R. Atakishiyev, L. Imanov) had an impact on the rise of the artistic level of pop art. The work of R. Behbudov and M. Magomayev enriched pop art.

People’s artists Sh. Alakbarova, G. Mammadov, M. Babayev, F. Karimova, E. Rahimova, Y. Rzazade, O. Agayev, I. Guliyeva, honored artist A. Ganiyev, as well as H. Hadiyev, A. Islamzade and b. They actively contributed to the promotion of pop songs.

Vagif Mustafazade

Vaqif Mustafazadə
Vaqgf Mustafazada

Composer and pianist V.Mustafazadeh played an exceptional role in the development of Azerbaijani jazz music. V.Mustafazade was the leader of “Sevil” and “Mugam” ensembles organized by him, he was awarded the 1st prize at the 8th International Jazz Competition (Monte Carlo, 1978). R.Babayev, V.Sadigov, A.Huseynov, J.Zeynalli, A.Mustafazade and other jazz performers are also known.



The current political situation in the country, the constant threat of war, the works dedicated to the Karabakh war, which glorify the Motherland and call for the defense of the Motherland, are an important part of the composer’s work.

Among them are V. Adigozalov’s “Karabakh Tragedy” and “Caravan of Sorrows” (1999) oratorios, T. Bakikhanov’s “Karabakh Harayi” (2001) symphony, A. Alizade’s “Mother Earth” (1993) room, N. Mammadov’s Khojaly events 7th Symphony (1998), R.Mustafayev’s cantata “Truth is with you, Azerbaijan” (1992), H.Khanmammadov’s poem “White instruments in my hand” for folk instruments (1991, dedicated to the martyrs of Karabakh), S.Ibrahimova’s “Martyrs of the Fatherland” (1990) for cantata, tar and string orchestra, “I miss you, Shusham” (1999), etc. takes a special place.

In 2002, the first performance of A.Alizade’s ballet “Journey to the Caucasus” based on the work of A.Duman took place. During these years, T. Bakikhanov’s one-act ballet “Good and Evil” (1990), H. Mammadov’s “Sheikh Sanan”, O. Zulfugarov’s “Alibaba and 40 Thieves” (1990) were written.

During the period of independence, the opportunities for Azerbaijani composers to participate in various music festivals, international competitions, prestigious cultural and music projects abroad, to represent and promote Azerbaijani music in the world are expanding.

A.Malikov, V.Adigozalov, H.Mirzazade, A.Alizade, T.Bakikhanov, F.Garayev, I.Hajibeyov, F.Alizade, J.Guliyev, E.Dadashova, R.Hasanova, G.Mammadov, F. Huseynov’s works have been published in Turkey, Norway, the Netherlands, Cyprus, the United States, Switzerland, Germany, Thailand and others. They have won prestigious competitions in many countries. The premieres of the works of A.Malikov (Symphony No. 7), V.Adigozalov (“Canakkale” oratorio), T.Bakikhanov (“Seasons of Northern Cyprus”, “Suite of Northern Cyprus”) and others were held in Turkey. Works by F.Garayev (“Khutba, Mugam, Sura”, “Babylon’s Doomsday” 2000), F.Alizade (“Ilgim”), R.Hasanova (“Sema”) were performed in the Netherlands. The participation of F.Alizade (“Dervish”) and J.Guliyev (“Caravan”) in the “Silk Road” project was successful. F.Huseynov won the competition held by UNESCO and Japan (Concert for Symphony Orchestra “Journey to Time”) and was awarded the UN Prize (oratorio “Let there be peace in the world”).

In 1999, the talented mugam singer A. Gasimov was awarded the UNESCO Gold Medal for his achievements in the development and improvement of the art of mugam. Works by U.Hajibeyov, G.Garayev and F.Amirov were successfully performed by the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra (artistic director and conductor, People’s Artist R.Abdullayev) at the International Festival in France. The brilliant performance of the Azerbaijan State Chamber Orchestra, the State Song Theater, the State Dance Ensemble and a group of artists at the Expo-2000 International Exhibition in Germany was also in the focus of the musical life of this age.

In 2003, the premiere of V. Adigozalov’s opera “Khan gizi Natavan” (December 2003) dedicated to the Azerbaijani poet Natavan took place. This work of our outstanding composer has taken a worthy place in the history of the development of national opera.

Today, rich Azerbaijani music is experiencing a new era. We expect new great victories, wonderful works and brilliant talents from him.