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Ethnomusicology Forum Vol. 14, No. 2, November 2005, pp. 165 /184

Forum Vol. 14, No. 2, November 2005, pp. 165 / 184 Musical Heritage and National Identity

Musical Heritage and National Identity in Uzbekistan

Alexander Djumaev

The author considers how the idea of musical heritage was explored by the different cultural powers and activists in pre-revolutionary Central Asia, and in Soviet and independent Uzbekistan during the 20th and early 21st centuries. Muslim enlighteners and intellectuals (jadids), prominent Uzbek Soviet writers, poets, musicologists and other intellectuals all dealt with musical heritage. Among them were important figures in the history of Uzbek culture: Abdurauf Fitrat and Abdulla Qodiriy (Kadiri), Viktor Uspenskiy and Evsei Cherniavskiy, Yunus and Is’hoq Rajabov and others. Special emphasis is placed on the key figure in the development of national musical identity in Uzbekistan, Abdurauf Fitrat (who was purged in 1938). Attitudes to heritage are shown through the struggle between ‘‘old’’ and ‘‘new’’ in pre-revolutionary times, in the framework of the Soviet political system and cultural policy, and in its use as a tool of national-ethnic mobilization in the current development of the nation state of Uzbekistan. In the contemporary period the new cultural powers are trying to re-establish a line of succession for national music linking ancient times to the present. Two main sources pertaining to national musical identity are considered in the article: written texts (historical manuscripts, contemporary national studies, samples of traditional music notated according to the Western staff system) and a body of ‘national’ melodies and the emotional images of the national spiritual world which they evoke.

Keywords: Tradition; Musical Heritage; National Identity; Central Asia; Uzbekistan

Alexander Djumaev received his PhD in music (musicology) from the Khamza Institute of Art Research of the Ministry of Culture of Uzbekistan in 1981 and headed the Department of Music History at the same institute from 1984 to 1993. From1997 to 2004 he was coordinator of the Arts and Culture Program at the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) / Uzbekistan. He is currently Regional Coordinator of the Program of the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia and member of the Sub-Board of the Arts and Culture Network Program of the Open Society Institute-Budapest. He is Liaison Officer of the International Council for Traditional Music. His research interests are music cultures of Central Asia; aesthetics, theory and history of the Maqamat; Islam and music; medieval written sources on music; cultural policy in Central Asia. Email: adjumaev@yahoo.com

ISSN 1741-1912 (print)/ISSN 1741-1920 (online) # 2005 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/17411910500329732

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The objectives of this article are to trace the evolution of the concept of ‘‘musical heritage’’ as it occurs in Uzbek musicology and to reveal the principal sources of the formation of a national musical identity in the public consciousness, artistic/creative work and emotional-aesthetic perception of a certain strata of the population of Uzbekistan. The period under consideration extends from the beginning of the 20th century, when heritage was looked upon as being based on commonly held Muslim cultural values, to the first decade of the 21st century. Particularly during the independence period, since 1991, musical heritage has been actively used as a tool to form a national self-consciousness and cultural identity. One could even say that a major part of the ‘‘musical heritage’’ concept took shape in the latter phase, when it has played an important role in the process of establishing a cultural identity for the nation as a whole. 1 I distinguish two main sources, which correspond to two principal layers of heritage. Together they shape the character of national musical identity in Uzbekistan. The first consists of written texts, including historical manuscripts, contemporary national studies and samples of traditional music notated according to the Western staff system. The second consists of a body of national melodies and ‘‘intonations’’, 2 as well as the emotional images of the national spiritual world which they evoke. Apart from these two main sources, other sources also mould national musical identity. I will assess all these sources after a brief review of the evolution of the concept of musical heritage.

The Evolution of the Concept of Musical Heritage

Appeals to heritage, its interpretation and the priority given to distinct layers changed during the course of the 20th century depending on the socio-political situation. In line with wider historical processes, three major stages can be identified in the process of an emergent national musical identity. These are the:

Pre-revolutionary, manifested in creative works of Muslim enlighteners, modern Central Asian intellectuals known as jadids 3 (see Khalid 1998; Sartori 2003) and official Islamic representatives in Central Asia.




Soviet, where cultural initiatives occurred within the policy and institutions of Soviet Uzbekistan and the other republics of Central Asia and Kazakhstan.


It should be kept in mind that the installation of the Soviet system, and subsequently that of the contemporary independent state of Uzbekistan, involved the demolition of the previous systems of cultural values (‘‘heritage’’), which became subject to destruction or radical critique, revision and adaptation. Nevertheless, one can observe through the whole 20th century the successive development of a single line represented in the idea of a national music tradition. A national music identity and national self-consciousness emerged on the basis of this idea.

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The search for symbols of national music identity started in the pre-revolutionary period (the end of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century). This was facilitated by publication of materials on Muslim culture (musulmon madaniyati ), architectural monuments and customs and traditions of the peoples of the Central Asia region. These vernacular editions, which included newspapers and magazines named Tarjimon, Vaqt, Shuro and Aina, were printed in Kazan, Ufa, Orenburg, Bakhchisarai and in towns across Central Asia. These publications, as well as the special works of the jadids and the representatives of canonical Islam, did not yet conceptualize the notion of ‘‘heritage’’ or ‘‘musical heritage’’. Instead, the culture of the past was regarded as the traditions and customs ‘‘of our grandfathers’’ (ota- bobolaridan qolgan) (see, for example, Bukhoro Qozi Kaloni 1908; Anon. 1914; Bukhari 1914). Even in the middle of 1920s, Abdurauf Fitrat (1927, 71), author of the first special work on Uzbek music (see below), writes on the ‘‘historical value of our music’’ (musiqiymizning tarikhiy boiligi ), but does not refer to the term ‘‘heritage’’. Although the Muslim culture of pre-revolutionary Central Asia is often characterized as an internally contradiction-free, unified phenomenon, oppositions started to emerge due to the activities of the jadids. Two of these are especially worth mentioning: first, there appeared an opposition between the ‘‘old’’ (qadim) and the ‘‘new’’ (jadid), encompassing different spheres of culture and artistic creativity (poetry, music, theatre, etc.) (see Sami‘ 1914); 4 second, some jadids began to identify an opposition between particular languages and related cultures; for example, ‘‘Turkic’’ was opposed to ‘‘Persian’’. In music and poetry, the presence of the ‘‘old’’ and the ‘‘new’’ was perceived rather distinctly and definitely. The poet Khislat (Said Haibatullah Khadja ibn Arifkhadja Ishan Tashkandi, 1880 /1945), a compiler of a bayoz (a collection of poems by different poets) for a famous Tashkent singer Mulla Toichi Khan Hafiz ibn Tash Muhammad Tashkandi (Mulla Toichi Tashmuhamedov, 1868 /1943), writes in a foreword to his publication Armughoni Khislat (literally, ‘‘Khislat’s gift’’): ‘‘It is known that bayozes have been repeatedly published, but this one for the first time does not contain old, already-heard ghazals [kuhna va eski eshitilgan ghazallardin], previously published in bayozes, but includes ghazals entirely unheard and unknown before’’ (Khislat 1912, 4). The division of a cultural heritage formerly shared between nations was a result of the second, linguistic, opposition. This opposition was enhanced due to the cultural influence of Turkey in this epoch, which was expressed through the cultural policy of Ataturk and the Unity and Progress organization. (The latter was a Turkish bourgeois and nationalistic organization, founded in 1889, which aimed to struggle against absolutism.) One of the most prominent and active jadids, Abdurauf Fitrat, who became a father of the national model of Uzbek musical culture and a founder of the concept of national identity in musical culture, was a partisan of the Turkish model of cultural construction. Yet ‘‘cultural values’’ were not yet linked to or divided among concrete nations. Instead, culture was considered the common property of Muslims (ahli Islom),

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a Muslim community (musulmon jamiyati) or ‘‘the Islamic nation’’ (millati Islom), even if, in individual cases, certain aspects were identified as belonging to separate Muslim peoples / Persians, Arabs, etc. Art works, created within the frame of Islamic culture, were often called by a general term sanoi nafisa or, according to Fitrat (1993:

36) gozal san’atlar (fine arts). Like ‘‘heritage’’, they were often presented as examples of a category of Islamic culture that stood in opposition to European civilization. The idea of a total cultural heritage with its multiple variations, be it literary, architectural, manuscript or musical heritage, developed as a result of Soviet cultural policy. The term ‘‘cultural heritage’’ was actively employed in society at the very beginning of Soviet cultural building in Uzbekistan. 5 It claimed a certain amount of space in magazine editions in the 1920s and ’30s, which were published first in Arabic script and then later in the Roman alphabet. The concept of ‘‘heritage’’ was applied to music later than its use with regard to the other arts. It was previously used, it seems, to refer to forms of old literature and above all for classical court poetry and related styles. For instance, examples of creative literary works (mostly poetry), compiled and published by Fitrat (1928: v) were characterized as ‘‘old cultural heritage’’ (eski madaniy meros). Still, as has been already mentioned, the notion of ‘‘heritage’’ (meros) is totally non-existent in Fitrat’s book of 1927, which assesses Uzbek classical music and its history. Instead, he refers to notions like ‘‘old-new’’ (eski-yangi) and related expressions: ‘‘our old melodies’’ (bizning eski kuilarimiz), ‘‘our old tambur players’’ (eski tanburchilarimiz), ‘‘our old music scholars’’ (eski musiqashunoslarimiz ) and the ‘‘historical value of our music’’ (musiqiymizning tarikhiy boiligi) (Fitrat 1993:

10, 27, 35, 51). This usage is not by chance. Fitrat treats an old tradition as a live developing tradition, which should be integrated into modern culture under new historic conditions. The direct source of the term ‘‘heritage’’ may lie with the well-known Russian music ethnographer, folklorist and composer Viktor Alexandrovich Uspenskiy (1879 /1949) who came to Russian Turkestan (Central Asia) before the Revolution. In the early 1920s Uspenskiy was invited by Fitrat to assist his projects in the sphere of preservation of musical traditions. From then until the middle of 1930s they both dealt with the same musical-historical materials and stayed in close collaboration (Djumaev 2000a). Uspenskiy introduced the phrase ‘‘musical heritage’’ (‘‘the heritage of the past’’) into academic usage in Uzbekistan, employing it in specific reference to Uzbek music in his early (1927) article ‘‘Classical music of the Uzbeks (towards resources for studying classical music poems-maqoms)’’, published the same year as the above-mentioned book by Abdurauf Fitrat. The widespread adoption of the notion of heritage by scholars and commentators in the region was stimulated for three different reasons. First, at the beginning of the construction of a new socialist proletarian culture there was a corresponding necessity to work out an attitude towards the enormous body of traditional Muslim culture. This required the distinct definition and differentiation of cultural layers, and a process of cutting away those that did not totally meet the new requirements (among them, those with religious texts or themes) and the selection of those which might be

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EKUAL] At: 15:15 3 February 2009 Ethnomusicology Forum 169 Figure 1 Abdurauf Fitrat with Two Unknown

Figure 1 Abdurauf Fitrat with Two Unknown Persons in Bukhara (Central State Archive of Film and Photo Documents of Uzbekistan, No. 0-72648).

used in the new society, after special treatment and clearance. Second, an interest in heritage emerged from an ongoing struggle with what were seen as alien ideologies. Pertinent here was the expulsion of historiographical schools of Russian ‘‘bourgeois scholars’’ (for example, the school of Vasiliy V. Bartold), which were charged with having rejected or underestimated the rich cultural and historical heritage of the local peoples (see, for example, Gurevich 1934). The valorization of this heritage was seen

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as an antidote to fascist racist ideology during the Second World War. Also subject to criticism were the bourgeois concepts of European and American scholars, which were felt to exaggerate the role of Arab, Persian and other external cultures and to minimize the cultural achievements, independence and originality of Central Asian peoples. Third, under the socialist system it was considered necessary to provide a stimulus for national pride and a basis for construction of new culture by dividing heritage ‘‘equally’’ between the various fraternal Central Asian peoples. Already during the Bukharan People’s Soviet Republic (BPSR) (1920 /4) the necessity of working out an attitude to the large cultural inheritance of the past had occurred to the jadids. For instance, Faizulla Khodjaev (1896 /1938), a leader of the BPSR and later Head of the Government of Soviet Uzbekistan, viewed the heritage of Bukhara as old Arab-Iranian culture that had remained from the past (eskilikdan iborat bolib qolgan arab-iron madaniyati) (Khodjaev 1926, 9). For him and for those who shared his views (among the first of whom was Abdurauf Fitrat), it was important to translate this heritage into terms that made it fully part of the culture of the new Uzbek socialist nation. This was no easy task / already during the first years of Soviet power (and to a lesser extent during the following decades) approaches towards cultural heritage were made from the point of view of class struggle and the need to change socio-economic formations. An example is offered by a poem by Ghairati (1926) entitled ‘‘Tanburchi qizga’’ (‘‘To a girl playing the tanbur’’), published in a woman’s magazine Yangi yol (New Way), which served the women’s section of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan. The poem is a call to break and throw away the tanbur, to listen not to its melancholic tunes, but to the factory whistle. At the same time, in the 1920s, this new ideological perspective did not prevent the publishing of musical and poetic texts in large-scale volumes. Such editions, as a rule, gave a critical appraisal in their introductory articles or notes. The necessity of studying the cultural heritage was assumed to be beyond doubt, even if that study proceeded from new critical positions. In an introductory article to Fitrat’s book Ozbek adabiyoti namunalari (1928, v) Communist Party member Atadjan Khashimov wrote on the necessity ‘‘to know well the old cultural heritage’’ (eski madaniy merosni yakhshi bilish). The introduction of the notion of ‘‘musical heritage’’ was a turning point in the development of musical culture in Uzbekistan. As has been suggested already, the idea of heritage in a European sense was not a characteristic of Central Asia culture. It reflected instead the European cultural situation, in particular the formation of national art schools (in the creative works of the romantics) and more broadly the making of nation states. An author’s individual approach and the idea of struggle led to a change of styles and trends, with a great variety of personal expressions forming the basis of European artistic experience at this new time. In the course of this process, a distinct division arose between classical and modern art, and heritage and innovation, among other similar oppositions. The aesthetics of identity in the urban Muslim culture of Central Asia also displayed the presence of different schools and traditions, and so there existed a

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concept of authorship in the sphere of musical creativity. But the latter was not a matter of principle, and was not protected by strictly fixed musical texts (scores), let alone laws on authors’ rights. A piece of art might remain ‘‘of the present’’ for a long time (potentially endlessly) in various performance versions and variants, without entering the category of heritage. On the other hand, when it disappeared from the physical memory of musicians it was forgotten by the tradition bearers and so did not qualify as respected heritage then either. The antagonism between ‘‘old’’ (qadim) and ‘‘new’’ (jadid), which became sharp during the activities of jadids, drew some attention to this opposition but did not lead to a change in the understanding of the concept of heritage across the nation as a whole. For example, a well-known enlightener, Hamza Hakim-zade Niyazi (1889 /1929), was the first to try to renew the contents of the textual and musical parts in his songs, yet his action was widely looked upon as revolutionary and as destructive of centuries-old canonic foundations. The division of musical culture of Uzbekistan into ‘‘modern creativity’’ and ‘‘heritage of the past’’, then, brought a new contradictory element into it. Not only did this contradiction significantly complicate the process of cultural development, but it also communicated its inner dynamism to musical culture. At the same time, heritage came to be seen as national property, the principal element of national culture and national (ethnic) identity, an attitude that had always existed within Soviet cultural policy (in open or hidden form). 6 Such an approach left open the opportunity to re- think artistic heritage in the future. A huge layer of ‘‘cultural material’’, collected and restored in the Soviet time, was actively re-thought and used in the formation of national identity following independence.

Written Texts as the Source of National Musical Identity

Two key figures who created texts concerning musical culture, Abdurauf Fitrat (1886 /1938) and Abdulla Qodiriy (1894 /1940; in Russian transcription / Kadiri), played a major role in the development of Uzbek national self-consciousness and national identity. They were both purged during the Soviet period following accusations of ‘‘bourgeois nationalism’’ and ‘‘pan-Turkism’’, but their contributions remain crucial even today. Fitrat’s research provided a scholarly grounding for the notion of a national music (see Djumaev 1993, 1997, 2000a), whereas Qodiriy’s historical novel created a profound artistic interpretation of music in the spiritual life of traditional Uzbek society. Abdurauf Fitrat wrote his main work in the sphere of musicology O‘zbek klassik musiqasi va uning tarikhi (‘‘Uzbek classical music and its history’’) in 1926. Published in Samarkand-Tashkent in Arabic script in 1927, it was re-published in Tashkent in 1993 in Cyrillic. In this work Fitrat built the basis of a national musicology, which reflected four principal aspects:

1. He was the first to try to define the place of Uzbek national music in the context of the culture of the Muslim world (showing commonalities, differences and the

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impact of the music of Uzbeks, Arabs, Persians, Turks, Azerbaijanis, Indians and other peoples), in comparison to European musical culture and to wider global processes.

2. Fitrat grounded a concept of Uzbek ‘‘classical music’’, incorporating its historical and theoretical bases and accentuating its Turkic components and origins.

3. He integrated within this Uzbek tradition many achievements of the past, which were part of common Muslim, Persian or local traditions (for example, those of Bukhara and Khorezm).

4. He formulated the principles for the study of Uzbek traditional music, resting on a combination of knowledge of medieval written sources, a study of the works created by traditional masters (ustods ) and an implementation of the achieve- ments of Turkish, European and Russian-Soviet musicology.

After the dissolution of the Bukharan emirate and the foundation of the Bukharan People’s Soviet Republic BPSR, Fitrat became the nazir (minister) of Education of the BPSR and made energetic efforts to preserve and ‘‘nationalize’’ the once common Bukharan heritage, the Bukharan Shashmaqom . He published transcriptions of this repertoire without poetic texts (the vast majority of which were in the Persian-Tajik language). The transcriptions were made by Victor Uspenskiy from prominent Bukharan musicians, keepers of Bukharan Shashmaqom. It is interesting to note that this work was started before the foundation of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, evidence of Fitrat’s subtle political intuition. The Bukharan Shashmaqom appeared as the result of the cooperation of musicians from different ethnic groups and nationalities (Jewish, Iranians, Turkmens, etc.) alongside the contributions of Tajik and Turkic (Uzbek) musicians. All of them lived in the urban polyethnic and multicultural atmosphere of Bukhara where nationality was not strongly defined. During the previous centuries the Shashmaqom existed as a supra-national cultural phenomenon. After the 1920s the Bukharan Shashmaqom became a tool in the political-national struggle between the new political and cultural elites in Soviet Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Fitrat’s specifically ‘‘Uzbek way’’ manifested itself in his effort, on the one hand, to establish a liaison of Uzbek national music with ancient Turkic roots and, on the other hand, to present the works of some medieval Arabic and Persian language theoreticians of music as part of the Uzbek heritage. For example, he names a well- known Persian-language Bukharan scholar-musician Najm ad-Din Kawkabi (killed in 1531) who was in the service of an Uzbek ruler (Sheibanid Ubaidullah-khan) as ‘‘an Uzbek scholar of music’’ (Ozbek musiqiy olimi) (1927, 6). This tendency to integrate common Central Asian and other musical heritage into the culture of Uzbekistan would become fundamental to the work of subsequent decades and especially after Uzbekistan gained independence. Meanwhile, Fitrat omits any mention of Tajiks or Tajik music. The approach of Fitrat is comparable with the reformist activities of a number of personalities in the countries of the Muslim world from the end of the 18th until the beginning of the 20th century, when national music schools were in a

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EKUAL] At: 15:15 3 February 2009 Ethnomusicology Forum 173 Figure 2 Victor Uspenskiy with Bukharan Musicians.

Figure 2 Victor Uspenskiy with Bukharan Musicians. From Right to Left (Front Row):

Uspenskiy, Ata Jalal Nasirov, Ata Ghiyas Abdughani, Unidentified Person, (Second Row) Damulla Halim Ibadov, Ma‘rufjan Tashpulatov. Bukhara, 1923.

stage of formation: Mikhail Meshaka (Mshaka, 1800 /88) in Egypt, Ruhallo Haleki in Iran, Rauf Ekta-bei (Yakta-bei) and Subhi Ezgi in Turkey, among others. Some of their works were well known to Fitrat and he was guided by them (especially by those of Rauf Ekta-bei) (Fitrat 1993, 37). Fitrat formulated a notion of Eastern or Eastern- Muslim music (sharq Islom musiqasi) as a tradition, opposed to Western (European) music. The very first phrase of his work on music states: ‘‘We have, as an opposition to [the notion of] ‘Western music’, a notion [soz] of ‘Eastern music’ [sharq musiqasi].’’ According to Fitrat, the system of maqamat served as common basis for Eastern music. The activities of Fitrat in this direction coincided with the beginning of a division into separate nations in Central Asia and the enhancing of nationalist moods there (Djumaev 2000b, 222 /3). Despite the withdrawal of Fitrat’s book from circulation in the mid-1930s and his purging in 1938, the book played a key role in the development of a national Uzbek ‘‘musical self-consciousness’’. It was well-known among specialists, its ideas enjoyed fame and popularity, and it continued indirectly to influence musicological development. Copies were kept in private collections by some musicologists, musicians and composers (Viktor Uspenskiy, Victor Belyaev, Mutal Burkhanov, Tolibjon Sadikov, Doni Zakirov, Faizulla Karomatov, Is’hoq Rajabov, Mahmud Ahmedov and others), as well in the largest scholarly libraries of Uzbekistan (for example, a copy was held at the Fundamental Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, even when Fitrat himself was purged). A certain ethical code came into existence: acknowledgement of Fitrat’s work turned into a criterion of scholarly decency; for example, the reputed musician and composer- bastakor 7 Doni Zakirov expressed his perplexity that Faizulla Karomatov had used

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[TÜBTAK EKUAL] At: 15:15 3 February 2009 174 A. Djumaev Figure 3 The Cover of Shest’

Figure 3 The Cover of Shest’ muzykal’nyh poem (maqom). Zapisannyh V.A. Uspenskim v Bukhare (Six Musical Poems Written by V.A. Uspenskiy in Bukhara). Moscow, 1924.

the data on the tanbur from Fitrat’s book without making reference to the book itself in his work on Uzbek instrumental music (Ahmedov 1995, 198 /9; cf. Karomatov 1972b, 135 /40). Fitrat was referred to by famous Russian musicologists in their works and reports (most unpublished) even during the second half of the 1930 and in the 1940s (Romanovskaya, Belyaev, Uspenskiy). In the 1960 and 1970s Fitrat’s name and his book appeared briefly on the pages of musical-historical books and articles written by Uzbek musicologists (Is’hoq Rajabov and others). But at the same time the official attitude to Fitrat was very careful and suspicious. For this reason, his name was removed by the official censor from published texts, not only in the 1930s and 1940s but even in the first half of the 1980s. 8

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Fitrat’s works were rehabilitated and acknowledged in full only after the declaration of independence in Uzbekistan. In recent years Fitrat’s personality has achieved a sanctified status. Some other representatives of the national intelligentsia purged in the 1930s have also achieved the same destiny. In modern national literature academics of this epoch are quite often labelled with the Muslim term shahid (martyr), and special societies, museums and exhibitions have been established in order to perpetuate their creative contributions. 9 Any effort to consider the creativity and scholarly heritage of Fitrat critically is now very much perceived in a negative way, as an encroachment on ‘‘a national sacred object’’. 10 In the period of independence the scholarly and musical heritage of Fitrat has thus become not only a subject for thorough study but, above all else, an object for ideological manipulation in the activation of a national self-consciousness. In the decades following the 1930s, and despite his personal repression, the development of Uzbekistan’s musical culture followed the way paved by Fitrat’s work. This became particularly obvious in the early 1970s, when some changes took shape in Soviet cultural policy. For instance, the problems of national cultures were partially attended to by the opening of the Eastern Music department in Tashkent State Conservatoire (1972) and large musicological symposia were held on such issues as the maqamat. The practice of transcribing the essential monuments of the national music heritage, such as the classical music of the maqoms (for example, the above- mentioned Bukharan Shashmaqom), which was strongly developed later, is linked to Fitrat. This fact, among others, permits us to say that notations of musical heritage, transcribed from magnetic tape to notation or written down during the performance itself, belong to the written heritage. Indeed, their ‘‘unsounded’’ (written) status is no less important than the real music, which exists in the practice of musicians. The understanding of a text as symbol of a fixed national heritage has been present in Uzbekistan since the publication of the Bukharan Shashmaqom , initiated by Abdurauf Fitrat. The publication itself symbolized the legitimatization of the Bukharan Shashmaqom as an inseparable part of Uzbek national musical culture. During the following years a five-volume collection of ‘‘Uzbek National Music’’ edited by Yunus Rajabi (see below) gained almost the same quasi-sacred significance (O‘zbek khalq musiqasi I, 1955; II, 1957; III, 1959; IV, 1958; V, 1959). A prominent Uzbek philologist Is’hoq Rizkievich Rajabov (1927 /82) became a direct follower and successor of the line Fitrat started in musicology. Rajabov was descended from a family of important Tashkent musicians (see Djumaev 1985, 1995; Abdusamatov 1996; Yunusov 1997). His uncle, an academician named Yunus Rajabi, had collected and transcribed the five-volume series on ‘‘Uzbek National Music’’, which, in a subsequent edition by F.M. Karomatov, was renamed the Shashmaqom (omitting reference to their Bukharan origin). This work represented a significant contribution in the making of a national maqom. Is’hoq Rajabov was among the few scholars who fearlessly referred to Fitrat’s works when the latter had not been officially rehabilitated / see, for example, his fundamental study in Uzbek, Towards

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the Issue of the Maqoms (Rajabov 1963, 6). Still his importance is not primarily in his references to Fitrat, but above all in his active continuation of Fitrat’s earlier and now interrupted conceptual line. The works of Rajabov, especially Towards the Issue of the Maqoms, are also comparable to works of the above-mentioned reformers and fathers of new musicological theories across the Muslim East, such as Meshaki in the Arab world, Ruhallo Haleki and Mahdi Barkeshli in Iran and Rauf Ekta-bei in Turkey. Is’hoq Rajabov and his uncle, the principal figures in the development of national Uzbek musicology, attained a determining significance after Uzbekistan became independent. Their significance was such that special lectures devoted to the

significance was such that special lectures devoted to the Figure 4 Is’hoq Rajabov, 1970s (Photo by

Figure 4 Is’hoq Rajabov, 1970s (Photo by Dmitry Mikhailov, Tashkent).

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Rajabovs, ‘Rajabiykhonlik’, were among the first symbolic actions in the field of musicology during the first years of independence. Upon opening one such event, the musicologist To‘khtasyn Gafurbekov remarked: ‘‘As you know, in Uzbekistan ‘Pushkin lectures’, ‘Esenin lectures’ and, at our Institute for Arts Research, ‘Masson lectures’ and ‘Belyaev lectures’ have been conducted until the present. Now let us give thanks that we have the chance to hold ‘Navoi lectures’ and ‘Babur lectures’, ‘Yassavi lectures’ and ‘Khazini lectures’’’ (1994, 4). Nevertheless, the addition of new lecture series is not in itself enough to integrate the wider Eastern heritage into the national music of Uzbekistan. The kind of problem that results reveals itself vividly in a construction Gafurbekov employs to suggest a coherent succession of musical enquiry from the 10th to the 20th centuries, that is, ‘‘from Farabi to Fitrat’’ (1997, 19). Developing this idea, the author even connects it directly to the gaining of independence (Gafurbekov 1998, 49). As these remarks suggest, Fitrat and Rajabov have become symbols of Uzbek national musicology and national musical culture. The opinions of both scholars are currently held as being absolutely true, competent and final within each issue considered by them. The unity of a huge cultural heritage within the national culture is endorsed by their authority. At the present time, a stable conceptual trinity for modern national musicology has been drawn up: treatises about music by medieval authors (in different languages), the works of Abdurauf Fitrat and the works of Is’hoq Rajabov.

National Melodies

The notion of ‘‘national melodies’’ (milliy ashulalar) emerged for the first time before the Revolution. A famous poet-reformer and revolutionary activist named Hamza Hakim-zade Niyazi (1889 /1929) was probably the first to have introduced it into social usage. He prepared and published a series of eight issues of poetic texts of ‘‘national melodies’’, which were already popular and widespread among the people and in the sphere of musicians. The series was entitled National Poems for National Melodies (Milliy ashulalar uchun milliy sherlar) (Niyazi 1915 /19; see further Karomatov 1959, 1972a). Still, Hamza did not intend to attribute the ‘‘national melodies’’ to a concrete nation-state, as in today’s interpretation. The same principle was kept as found in the above-mentioned bayaz collection of the poet Khislat, where titles of melodies popular in Central Asia are listed for each new poem. The majority of these are parts and sections of the Ferghana-Tashkent maqoms, as well as other classical tunes. Both editions, Hamza’s and Khislat’s, witness first and foremost that certain emotional-aesthetic codifications of selected popular melodies existed in the consciousness of the peoples of Central Asia. These melodies were preserved by ear, and there was no need to record them in notation. It was sufficient simply to cite their titles so that the reader-listener-musician could evoke an image of their sound and style. Thus one can speak of the formation of a kind of ‘‘circle of listening’’ (by

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analogy with a ‘‘circle of reading’’) among Central Asia’s urban population. A certain Uzbek national model repertoire was arranged later on this basis. The ‘‘circle of listening’’, then, consisted of a number of famous melodies which had specific significance during the entire 20th century and became part of Uzbek national music, and thereby inseparable components of the Uzbek national musical identity. Most of these songs are permeated with profound moods, chiefly a sense of a tragedy, separation and the unattainability of happiness; sadness, deep feeling and compassion; and the feeling of being both doomed and reconciled with that destiny. Their tight linkage with a national psychological personality type, a nostalgically idealized former modus vivendi and events of national history gives a special nuance to the act of listening to these songs in present-day Uzbekistan. This national culture of listening has not yet been thoroughly explored by musicologists, but examples of its operation are found in the creative works of Uzbek poets and writers of the first half of the 20th century. As mentioned above, Abdulla Qodiriy and his historical novel O‘tgan kunlar (Past Days) are of particular importance among them. Qodiriy’s book displays music as a natural part of the spiritual life of individuals in the context of a traditional society, where it appears as the symbol of a national spirit. Uzbek intelligentsia of elder and middle generations associate this work with a deep philosophic-poetic understanding of Uzbek national music. 11 The novel is abundant with subtle observations on music and its place in life of the people, but one of its key episodes charting the deep emotional feelings of the main character Otabek is titled Navo kui (Navo melody) (see Qodiriy 1980, 205 /8). The melody called ‘‘Navo’’, considered to be one of the most beautiful and expressive in the repertory, was chosen as the leading melody for the episode. It is necessary to note that Navo is a polysemantic term used with various meanings in traditional Central Asian musical practice (both Persian-Tajik and Turkic). In general it has a common meaning, covering all ordinary instrumental or vocal melodies. In the system of classical music (maqamat) Navo is known as one mode in the old modal system (parda, maqam). Navo is also the third in the cycle of the six Bukharan maqoms (Shashmaqom). Musicians pay special attention to this maqom, and consider it the most beautiful and expressive. Although Qodiriy names Navo as a ‘kuu’ (Uzbek-Turkic: melody) one may suppose that he means the Maqom Navo. This episode in the novel renders a profound and complete consonance between the state of the hero and the music. Such correspondences between the character of maqom and the emotions of the listeners were described in Central Asian treatises of the Middle Ages on music (written in Persian). Drawing on examples like this in the Uzbek literary tradition, including memoirs, 12 the studies of musicologists and other sources, one might try to name the principal tunes that form the fundamental layer of a national musical identity. First of all, the following melodies (in both instrumental and vocal-instrumental formats) should be mentioned: Tanovar, Munojot, Navo, Ushshoq, Chuli Iroq, Segoh, Ajam, Nasrulloi, Chorgoh, Eshvoi, Qaro quzum, Bayot, Gir’ya, Q‘oshchinor and Qalandar. Not only are the tunes of these melodies known to connoisseurs of

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national music, but also the associations they bear are believed to be fitting to the national tradition. Apart from the most famous melodies, other aspects of the sound world of Uzbek music also operate as symbols of a national identity. These include the sounds of various national instruments, above all the tanbur, with its system of melodic ornamentations, rhythmic formulas (known as usuls) and other characteristics. The melodic and rhythmic richness of the repertoire enabled musicians to build a coherent sonic world which has achieved wide recognition as national heritage in the years following independence, as activists sought to construct a national musical identity. Following on from this project, the national press and other official institutions have in recent years held discussions on the protection of national music (here meaning mostly light music and pop music) against alien (foreign) influence (including the imitation of Turkish, Indian, Arab or other national traditions). In this process, some performers (with female singers prominent among them) have been sharply criticized. One may suppose that female singers take a special place in contemporary Uzbek pop music, and their influence on the young audience is much stronger than that of their male counterparts.

Other Sources of Identity

Based on the sources already referred to, as well as on personal observation over some decades, it is clear that Uzbek musicology is heading towards the restoration of traditional contexts of music culture. During the years since 1991, the quantity of material (articles, studies) that actively discusses the issue of national culture has grown markedly. Publications dedicated to issues of national ideology, national statehood, nation building and music are worth special mention (for example, Olim 1997; Abdullaev 2002; Yunusov 2002). Musical art has occupied a very important place in the resumed process of the construction of the Uzbek nation. The following themes can be distinguished in this musicological work and surrounding discourses:







the search for a proper national musical identity

the question of how to manage the return of Islamic cultural values and components of religion as symbols of national identity, a matter which impacts on aesthetic perception in traditional music as well as on the creativity of composers and the stance of musicologists

the increasing use in modern creative works of imagery from national mythology, and images and events of the historic past, whether ancient, medieval or recent

the restoration of the lost sacred status of traditional music, especially that of the maqomat

research into the reconstruction and restoration of the traditional semantic basis of music making

the broader study and revision of musical terminology

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. the integration of the common cultural musical heritage of Central Asia, the Middle East and Iran into the process of nation building.

I shall briefly overview just one of these issues, which is the question of post- independence attitudes towards Islamic cultural values as an essential element of national artistic culture. An appeal to Islam is taking place in all layers and spheres of Uzbek musical culture, whether in the creativity of modern composers (who address the sacred sound and textual elements of Islam), in the sphere of traditional music (which is seeing renewed performance in religious and other ritual contexts) and in music scholarship, where the partial return of religious-aesthetic instructions has stimulated efforts to unite academic and religious knowledge. As a rule the use of religious symbolism is interpreted in two ways: as a sign of belonging to national culture and as a suitable and fresh expressive and philosophical ‘‘resource’’. Different approaches to Islamic sacred material, from direct citation of the azan and surahs of the Koran to their profound metaphoric re-thinking, can be found in the works of contemporary composers. The eldest of Uzbekistan’s composers, Mutal Burkhanov (1916 /2002), merits mention as the first and most consistent of several who have incorporated Islamic elements in their music. Burkhanov was the first to introduce reading of a Koranic surah in his opera Alisher Navoiy. Another of his compositions, Requiem: Abadiy khotira (1997), begins with a choral singing of the azan and ends with Farukh Zakirov’s reading of a surah. Elements of the Koran, the azan as well as rich Sufi heritage have been widely employed by Mystafa Bafoev, Dilorom Saidaminova and other modern Uzbek composers as well. In the mid-1990s, scholarly studies were revitalized in Uzbekistan, and efforts were made to integrate elements of religious consciousness into musicological study, to explain secular science as part of religious knowledge, and to interpret traditional musical-historic phenomena (especially the art of the maqomat) in terms of sacred and divine revelation and/or the doctrines of Sufism. All these attempts are based on an extremely nationalistic, but hidden motivation. The musicologists Oqil Ibraghimov and Tokhtasin Gafurbekov have proved to be especially consistent in this line. The endeavour to interweave religious and scholarly knowledge may be observed in particular in references in some editions regarding the dependence of all knowledge on the will of Allah, and the public exhibition (in the foyer of the Research Institute of the Arts, and according to the Director’s order) of hadith (tradition; accounts of what the Prophet said or did), which explain the meaning of scholarship from the point of view of religion: ‘‘There are two types of knowledge, the one, in the heart, is useful, whereas the other one is on the tongue and its harm shall be demonstrated in the presence of the Creator’’ (Ilm ikki hildir, biri qalbdagi ilm bo‘lib, u foidalidir. Ikkinchi tildagi ilm bo‘lib, u Tangri huzurida banda zarariga dalil bo‘ladi. The material reviewed above provides evidence that the musical culture of Uzbekistan has entered a new stage in its development, one which entails acts of restoration and a search for a national musical identity. Although there are some

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continuities with preceding experience, this new phase presents a complex and polysemantic synthesis of different cultural accumulations with an emphasis given to what are taken as authentic indigenous traditions. One of the essential principles of the formation of a national musical identity is the integration and re-thinking of cultural systems and achievements of the preceding epochs, including a cultural model of the collapsed international community. Tearing away and adaptation, ‘‘purification’’ and re-thinking remain, as ever, constants within this intricate process.


[1] For an account of cultural policy and the new situation in musical culture in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan at the beginning of the independence period, see Levin (1993, 1996) and During (1998, 103 /46; 2001). [2] ‘‘Intonation’’ is a theoretical notion which was developed by the Soviet musicologists. Its founder was the prominent Soviet Russian scholar academician Boris Asafiev. Usually it includes the initial parts of melody / groups of sounds, rhythm or other elements / possessed of certain semantic meanings. Musical intonation can be connected with the lines of movement of human speech. [3] Uzbek and Persian-Tajik are transcribed here in accordance with the rules used in the national writing in contemporary Uzbekistan with some exceptions (modern Uzbek ‘‘x’’ we transcribe as ‘kh’’, ‘‘g‘’’ as ‘‘gh’’. [4] The key and earliest work devoted to this matter in Central Asia was Fitrat’s book Munazara (Dispute) written in 1909 in Bukhara and published in Istanbul in 1911 (see Fitrat 2000, 46 /98). [5] For example, Evsei A. Cherniavskiy, a Turkestani amateur musician and cultural activist, wrote: ‘‘The people of Turkestan have a certain high culture of their own but as a heritage from the past’’ (1922, 5). The same idea was also developed by other authors at this time, and several publications arose devoted to different kinds of heritage in Uzbekistan, such as Adabiy meros (Literary Heritage). [6] Contrary to the present dominant opinion in national literature, I hold the view that the heritage of the past was widely studied in the Soviet period. Such study was very often masked by an official demonstration of ideological loyalty: almost all publications on heritage began with reference to the works of Marx and Lenin, though the material under publication might lie far from socialism. Heritage was viewed in a double way in this period:

as both the material for building and developing a new musical culture and as part of national culture itself. [7] Bastakor (in Persian: basta / to tie; kor / work, job, etc) / this term was introduced in the Soviet period, and refers to composers who create vocal and instrumental pieces (songs, musical dramas, etc.) in traditional style (in general monodic). [8] Tokhtasyn Gafurbekov writes about it as follows: ‘‘The article ‘Zafarnoma’ written by academician I. Muminov and already type-set was excluded from vol. IV of the O‘zbek Sovet entsiklopediyasi (1973), as well as the chapter on Abdurauf Fitrat in the book Muzykalnaia kritika v Uzbekistane (1984)’’ (1997, 22). [9] See, for instance, an article devoted to the opening of the shahids’ museum in Tashkent by Abdullaev (2002). [10] See, for example, Nazarov (1997, 5) for serious objections to the interpretation of Fitrat’s musical ideas and activity made in my article (Djumaev 1997).

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[11] The prominent Uzbek dutar player Abdurahim Hamidov told me that he considers Qodiriy’s novel the best writing about Uzbek music ever written (personal communication, 2001). [12] Among memoirs, see, for example, Qodiriy (1974, 98, 99), Yuldashbaeva (1972, 92) and Saidnosirova (1994, 121).


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