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Makom – Uzbek National Music

One may carry on an endless conversation about heritage of Uzbek culture, spirituality, especially music. Today we are going to talk about “makoms”.

This traditional musical and singing genre formed as far back as in the middle of the century and took a place of honour in Uzbek professional music.

Some researchers find “makoms” to be a development of the Zoroastrianism culture came into long before  Islam.

Probably, initially the guards on changing had to perform above the gates a special ritual music called “makom” translated from Arabic as “location”.

“Makoms” that are a cycle of vocal-instrumental plays the poetic base of which is masterpiece of ancient folk poetry and classical literature, namely Jami, Hafiz, Navoi and many others.

Based on stylistic peculiarities the makoms are divided into:Bokharan and Khivan cycles. Bokharan cycle “Shashmakom” consists of six cycles named Buzruk, Rost, Navo, Dugokh, Irok and Segokh.

Each makom consists of two parts: instrumental and vocal ones.Herewith each instrumental part consists of several plays – Tasnif, Gardun, Tardji, Sakip and Mukhammas which differ in its melodic composition.

Main instruments for performing makoms traditionally are tanbur and doira.The important role in achieving integrity and dynamics of makom cycle is played by usuls – rhythmic inserts drummed on doira or nagara-drum.

Both Khoresmian cycles of makoms and Bokharan ones consist of six parts and contain several original melodies.Tempo and melody change is allowed.

As it was said above the makoms cab be discussed on and on.That’s why you should visit Uzbekistan and hear live performance of these melodies.