Chapter 9 - Central Asian Music

Chapter 9 - Central Asian Music - Music of Central Asia and...

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Music of Central Asia and the Caucasus: I. Introduction Introduction Arriving at Zartnots airport in Yerevan, Armenia, the captain of the plane warns passengers that the landing will be a bit bumpy. The runway, like all the roads in Armenia, reveals the results of almost daily earthquake tremors. Soviet-era vehicles make their way through the densely populated streets. Merchants sell Soviet-era "antiques" of toasters, rugs, pottery, and cigarette cases in Yerevan's open-air market, Vernisage , while duduk players tease with haunting sounds of the past. Music and culture blend beautifully in this soundscape. Considering the concept of the soundscape (setting, sound, and significance), this chapter will ask the questions 1. Why do different cultures favor different types of music? 2. How is music used in other cultures? 3. Why is learning about different cultures a valuable tool for critical thinking? Ethnomusicology does not simply study musics of a particular culture, but studies it from various perspectives. Music is looked at in context and in relation to the cultures that make it. One of the essential characters of ethnomusicology is fieldwork. Traveling to learn about people around the world is what many people find enthralling about ethnomusicology. Indeed, this curiosity could have drawn you, the student, to an introductory course on world music. Fieldwork allows for new ways for learning and creates an atmosphere where challenges take many forms. Aga Khan Music Initiative Central Asia Mountain Music from Kyrgyzstan: Erke Kyz (The Spoiled Girl) as recorded by Ensemble Tengir-Too Classical Music of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan: The Shashmaqam: as recorded by The Academy of Maqâm Armenian: Soorp Badarak: Parekhosootyamp "Hymn of Censing" as recorded by Choir of Holy Etchmiadzin Georgian Polyphonic Secular Song: Bindisperia sopeli (Twilight Land) as recorded by Tsinandali Ensemble II. Central Asia and the Caucasus Diverse Identities
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Central Asia includes many countries with diverse identities, such as Mongolia and Northwest Muslim China, Afghanistan, and the former Soviet Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. The Caucasus are also often grouped with Central Asia and include the nations of Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, the contested region of Norgorno-Karabagh, and portions of Russia. Landlocked Central Asia is a vast landscape that many of the most eager travelers would agree is at times inhospitable. The extremes of temperature, from the seemingly endless Siberian tundra to the sweeping hot sands of the Gobi desert, make this a difficult landscape in which to prosper. Though once closed to much of the world because of Soviet rule in the twentieth century, the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus are now open - some more so than others. While impossible to cover all of the musical cultures of this vast landscape, this chapter will discuss case studies from specific countries to offer students a glimpse into the lives of these wonderfully diverse peoples. From Central
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Chapter 9 - Central Asian Music - Music of Central Asia and...

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