Rhythms of Azerbaijani Dances (Traditional music of Azerbaijan)
National dance melodies are part of life of every Azerbaijani since childhood. Adult men and women, young people, elderly and children dance to these melodies at the weddings, private parties, festive events or, simply, when they are in a good mood and the body starts responding to a special, inviting rhythm. In these cases the Azerbaijani say sümüyüme düshdü, which can be roughly translated as “my bones cry out for a dance”.
National dances are performed by both amateurish and professional dancers. In the past, most Azerbaijani khans and major feudal lords kept professional female and male dance groups in their palaces. Group and collective walk-around dances halay and yalli are the most ancient among the numerous forms and genres of Azerbaijani folk dances. Ancient women’s group dance halay is most popular in the southern regions of Azerbaijan in the area of Talish Mountains. It is performed by two groups of women, dancing and singing at the same time, to the accompaniment of gaval and naghara. Another ancient collective dance yalli is popular in many regions of Azerbaijan. The melodies of yalli usually consist of two (Moderato – Allegro) or three (Andante – Moderato - Allegro) parts, where the same piece of music is played in different meter. They are performed by an instrumental ensemble, which mostly includes two zurna (horn) and one naghara (drum), although different combinations of other folk wind and percussion instruments are possible.
Women’s solo dances are very popular in every part of Azerbaijan. Slow, gentle, lyrical dance melodies, which often include mugham in the middle, are in harmony with their smooth choreography. Women’s dance melodies, especially, dance of townswomen are performed to the accompaniment of balaban and naghara, or naghara and gharmon (Azerbaijan key accordion), while in the villages in the open air weddings women may dance to the accompaniment of zurna and naghara.
Like any other folklore, Azerbaijan dance folklore stores information about the previous historical culture layers even after their disappearance and transformation. Finally, rengs and diringi form a separate group of dance rhythms included in the big cyclic Mugham composition called dastgah. Both rengs and diringi are performed by an instrumental ensemble (consisting of tar, kamancha, naghara, often balaban and other traditional instruments). However, reng is an independent instrumental composition while short diringi can be included within the mugham melody to give a short break to the singer, at the same time maintaining his emotional state and boosting his animation.
In this anthology of unissued tracks you can find example of the most significant dances of Azerbaijan played by the most important soloists and ensembles active in both folk and classical field today.
1. Elshad Abdulrahimov, naghara
2. Mirjavad Jafarov tar, Elnur Mikayilov kamancha, Shirzad Fataliyev balaban, Kamran Karimov naghara
3 - 4. Abuzer Gülaliyev zurna solo & drone zurna, Ramin Abdullayev naghara, Ramil Asadov gosha-naghara
5 - 6. Aliagha Sadiyev tar, Elshan Mansurov kamancha, Shirzad Fataliyev balaban, Kamran Karimov naghara
7 – 8. Aydin Aliyev gharmon, Elshad Abdulrahimov naghara
9. Joshgun Sadigov tutek, Kamran Karimov naghara
10. Elchin Hashimov tar, Elnur Ahmedov kamancha, Kamran Karimov naghara
11. Kamran Karimov solo naghara, Usameddin Azizov naghara & davul, Eyvaz Hashimov gosha-naghara, Ruslan Hajiyev naghara, Telman Akbarli gosha-naghara & dovul
12. Nadir Talibov balaban & drone balaban, Kamran Karimov naghara
13. Nadir Talibov clarinet & drone clarinet, Kamran Karimov naghara
14. Hakim Abdullayev balaban & drone balaban, Elshad Abdulrahimov naghara
15. Hasanagha Sadigov balaban & drone balaban, Elshad Abdulrahimov naghara
16. Shirzad Fataliyev balaban & drone balaban, Shohrat Aliyev naghara
17. Shirzad Fataliyev zurna & drone zurna, Shohrat Aliyev naghara, Kamran Karimov naghara