Archive for the ‘Traditional music’ Category

   Traditional music in Kazakhstan has changed few times during some historical events. Starting from the time of Shingys Khan, then 19th century which gave birth to many talented traditional singers and peformers, music changes in Soviet time till new arrangements and soundtracks of traditional music. What kind of news or some changes will be in our traditional music? What we should expect from the future?

     Today I think, traditional music is developing very well. There are lots of young people who interested in traditional music, many programms and magazines about traditional music appeared on mass media, there are some notion of young traditional musicians and many new video, audio or CD materials of traditional music appear. I hope that in the future this kind of good news will continue, will be successful and kazakh songs and kuis , great composers,and kuishies heritage of our people will be a spiritual gladness of our independent state!!!!!!!!!!!


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   “Alem-art” is the first Republic music TV contest among young traditional singers and kui performers on new level for Kazakhstan. The main goal of the project is to support interest of youth to traditional Kazakh music. Moreover, “alem art” will give opportunity for young talented musicians to show their endowments to the whole Kazakhstan. The general sponsor of this real patriotic contest is bank “Turan Alem”. www.alemart.kz     

          It is similar to TV project “Superstar KZ”. Famous jury members chose only best musicians from all regions of our country. Chosen 12 contestants will live in house together and prepare to concerts with famous musicians and stylists. At the end on TV project people will chose only one contestant through voting with sms and calls.  But the differences are “alem art” is in Kazakh language and there performed only folk songs with traditional kuis. It is time to choose real talented performers of traditional music!  

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      When the art of kui had been strengthened, the traditional schools were formed in Kazakh region according to geographical, historical and cultural factors. From the geographical point of view and traditional similarities they are divided into several cultural areas. According to this traditional schools are in following territories : West, Arka and Zhetisu. Such kind of dividing are because of art of kui is divided into two big traditions according to http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0385-2342(1994)53:1%3C97:FAFIK%3E2.0.CO;2-T. In performance style they are called tokpe and shertpe. In tokpe tradition are performed music of West region which  are strong and burst in Arka. In tokpe tradition are peformed music of west region which are strong  , The term “tokpe” came out from the word  “togu” (to spill).,i.e to play with enormous power.   Shertpe is belong to Arka(central, northern, eastern Kazakhstan regions), Zhetisu, Southern or Karatau regions’ schools. The kuis of this tradition are calm in stress and full of mystery ideas and deep thoughts.  http://www.homestead.com/prosites-kazakhembus/zhaimov.html     

       Nation instrumental traditions in different regions of Kazakhstan historically developed like performance school, as a rule it is connected with favourite creative personality. It won’t be overstatement to say , that every well-known figure , gifted musician can be the head of the whole stream, direction or a new schools as it had done Kurmangazi, Tattimbet, Kazangap, Dauletkerei, Sugir. There are 8 dombyra traditional schools:

    First, it is school of Kurmangazi(grandfather of kui) and his follower(grandmother of kui). This is tradition of western Kazakhstan. Creative work of Kurmangazi presents obvious features of innovation and style of Western Kazakhstan traditional kui tokpe. His famous kuis as “Aman bol sheshem aman bol”, “Kairan sheshem”, “Kisen ashkan” and others have autobiographical character. Kuis “Saryarka”, “Adai”, “Balbiraun” reflected powerful movement of collective life and soul of people; they became musical symbols of Kazakhstan. The main pecularity of kuis of Kurmangazi are energy, dynamics and powerful gust.(www.peoples.ru/art/music/national/sagyrbaev)

Dina Nurpeisova is kuishi, who combined the tradition of 19-20th centuries on her

 creative work, dynamism of Kurmangazi school, philosophic and aristocratic traditions of Dauletkerei. Her popular kuis are “Asem konyr”, “Bulbul”, “Zhiger”.        Second shool is connected with the name of kuishi Dauletkerei. He made great contribution to Kazakh instrumental music. And his kuis called “tore kuis” among people, because they philosophically concentrated and deep on thoughts. (www.asylmura.kz)    

    Third school is founded by Kazangap. His legacy in a great volume takes great stand in Kazakh classical instrumental music of 19, th 20th centuries. It is considered

 that exactly Kazangap performed all sixty-two “Akzhelens”. Akzhelen  is a designation of instrumental piece of genre.   

    Fourth School is devoted to original instrumental tradition of Western Kazakhstan, tradition of Mangistau. It is characterized by high level of instrumentalism development and considerable peforming and creative pecularity. Names of Mangistau composers Abyl, Esbai, Esir, Kulshar, Oskenbai and Murat Uskenbayev are well-known to the world of Kazakh instrumental music. 

     Fifth school is the tradition of Arka. Arka is large region in the centre of Kazakhstan. A central figure of instrumental tradition of Arka is Tattimbet. A legendary appearance of him is founded not only due to several dozens of his brilliant kuis, but also traditions and original historical information. Lyrical music of Tattimbet kuis generalizes at high levels human emotions and spiritual experience. His kuis “Kosbasar”, “Sari Zhailau”, “Bilkildak”, “Silkildak”, “Bestore” took natural place of classic of Kazakh musical culture.  

     Sixth school is Eastern Kazakhstan. Instrumental tradition of Eastern Kazakhstan is broad and little studied in musical relation region is reach and varied. The form and structure of this region’s kuis reflect an ancient basis of musical creature a sound system of natural structure. We can say that Baizhigit’s school of kui is leader among kuishies in the East Kazakhstan. There are a lot of old tunes in his kuis.

         Seventh school is devoted to an instrumental tradition of Zhetisu. For this tradition absolutely represents an interesting and rich regional instrumental style, it has not yet got a proper fame and recognition. The tradition of Zhetisu is closely connected with the tradition of Eastern Kazakhstan and culture of Kazakhs, who live in China and Mongolia.     

     The eighth school is instrumental tradition of Karatau region. This instrumental tradition shertpe, without doubt, successfully connected with the tradition of Arka, heritage of Tattimbet, Toka and Dairabai. According to site http://dombradukazakhstan.calabashmusic.com/ a central figure of this tradition is Sugur, brilliant musician, who left a deep trace in the history of Kazakh instrumental tradition.   

   In conclusion, each of these traditional schools is like big, unreachable ocean where a great musical heritage is.       



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The Republican museum of national instruments opened in 1980, is one of the few similar in the world. Now museum is situated in the building of the former House of the officer assembly constructed in 1908 by architect A.Zenkov. In front of the museum you can see the sculptural image of a national musical instrument NARKOBIZ. In museum save over 1000 exhibits, here it is collected more 60 kinds of types and versions of the Kazakh national musical instruments which used singers, poets and composers Abay, Birzhan, Zhambyl, Seytek, Dina, Kyzyl Zhirau, A.Zhubanov, K.Azerbayev, A.Khasenov, M. Ержанов and others.

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    Traditional  Musicians who haven’t any musical education and learned from ancestors through traditional way asserted that during the time of USSR kazakh traditional “kui” music lost its roots, because almost all traditional music transfered to classical european notation. In this system It is impossible to learn the whole traditional composition with its special characteristics and emotions, different speed and technique which are not written on notations. Musical notation is like bones without meat. Today the notation system are taught in almost all musical schools and institutes. But some musicologists as A. Raimbergenov offer orally based approach teaching of traditional music in schools. More about it on www.akdn.org/Music/Musicin.htm#kazakhstan.

    Another theme of discussion is peforming traditional music with modern arrangement. Defenders of traditional music think that with arrangement we are losing our tradition. But new generation of musicians supposed that with this modern arrangement traditional music obtain new look and it will be popular among youth.

   Moreover, on site www.artsoffive.wordpress.com/ Natalie started another actual problem of our music industry as peforming with phonogram. Today some traditional music peformers also use a phonogram. In my opinion, the problem exist because of lack of professional qualitative musical equipments to peform alive , our audience don’t required live sound from musicians and musicians themselves used to peform with phonogram.

    In conclusion, I want to say that despite of some debate situations in music our traditional music is developing and I believe to its bright future.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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          Tradition is peculiarity of each nation, of each culture. They have own type of traditional music, traditional instruments. And what is the traditional music of Kazakhstan??

       There are several types of kazakh traditional music.  When we say about kazakh tradional song , then “Aitys” is very popular type of music. In other words it is peformance competition of two musicians who are called “akyn” . They improvised, created words immediately against each other and sing about social , political problems. According to site www.answers.com/topic/music-of-kazakhstan usually they accomponied music with traditional string instruments “Dombyra” or “kobyz”

    Another type of song is called “terme”. “Termeshi” is the person who sing terme about morality of people, problems between rich and poor, good and bad people, they teach to be morally good.

    The art of kui is like a big branch of national art. It is musical composition peformed in traditional instruments as dombyra, kobyz, sibizgi, shankobiz, zhetigen etc.  In kui we can hear soul of the nation, sounds of nature and animals, braveness of men and beauty of girls.

    In conclusion, one of the important spiritual treasures of kazakhstan which was entrusted from generation to generation is musical heritage. As one musicologist said,  kui peformed with great excitement, songs as terme and aitys with emotion and mysterious and lively melodies. Kuis, songs and melodies which make kazakh heart speaks and show their soul, sadness and joy, their dream and hope are like the monument presenting great image of nation’s inspiration.


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     According to the book “kuy kainari” (A. Raimbergenov 1990)  The history of traditional music of kazakhs closely interconnected with great musician Korkyt. It is proved by historical materials found in South part of Kazakhstan. But it is difficult to say the exact time when the traditional music was appeared in our country. Because, all the musical heritage of kazakhs was not written(note), it came to our days through hearing from generation to generation. Many of “kuys”(traditional musical composition) were forgotten and lost.I think, if our musician ancestors put their compositions into notes , we would have more musical heritage.

     The development of traditional kuys was in 19th century in the time of famous musicians and talented “kuishi” as Kurmangazi, Mahambet, Tattimbet, Kazangap, Dina, Sugir etc. They continued traditional way to new generation and created their own compositions which became classical music of kazakhs. I suppose, 80-90% of compositions what came to our days created by these musicians.

    In site  www.wikipedia.org/wiki/music_of_kazakhstan written about traditional music during USSR time and its reseachers and change. Yes, In the time of USSR most of kazakh musical heritage was explored by reseachers as Zataevich, Zhubanov, Aravin, Erzakovich, Mergaliev etc. They explored music from villages and put, write music into books with notes. Thanks to these reseachers traditional music in Kazakhstan is alive and developing. Today what we learn,play and hear from traditional music are works of these reseachers.


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