The International Maqom festival will be held in the homeland of Amir Temur, in the south of Uzbekistan in the ancient city of Shakhrisabz, located 80 km from the pearl of the East – Samarkand.
According to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic, the new international festival will be called upon to popularize the oldest unique variety of vocal and instrumental music that appeared in the territory of modern Central Asia back in the pre-Islamic era.
Maqom in Uzbek and Tajik music represents a large vocal-instrumental cycle or a kind of suite of 20-45 instrumental and vocal parts. As a rule, a composition of 6 maqoms, forming a shashmaqom, is always performed, which is comparable in duration to the European opera. Education shashmaqom as, however, all other local musical genres until the 30-th of the last century was oral, without notes, a method of recurrence for the teacher. The classical ensemble of Shashmaqom traditionally consists of two Tanburs, Dutar, Gujak and Doira, including 2-3 vocal performers.
The “Central Asian opera” was always performed by both Muslims and Jews. Experts believe that until the beginning of the twentieth century, its main bearers were Bukharian Jews, thanks to whom, since the 1970s, with the beginning of emigration flows, the Shashmaqom has become popular in the United States, Israel and other countries. In 2003, Shashmaqom was recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage of mankind. At the same time, a great role in preserving this unique cultural heritage belongs to Soviet musicologists. The first note recording of the Shashmaqom was made in 1923 in Uzbekistan by the famous music teacher Viktor Uspensky. It is no accident that today only in the Tashkent Conservatory you can get a classical education in the specialty of Shashmaqom.
Shahrisabz was chosen as the venue for the new international festival. If the poppy is one of the cultural traditions that unite Central Asia, this green city, and this is how its name is translated, has been an important link on the Great Silk Road connecting the East and the West since ancient times. Here the Italian traveler Marco Polo stayed, the troops of the Persian kings Darius and Cyrus, the great Alexander of Macedon, passed. Ancient Shahrisabz in the Middle Ages was called Kesh, and even earlier Nautaka. In historical manuscripts, the city wore magnificent epithets “Dilkesh” (“Rejoicing Heart”), “Kubbat al-ilm wa al-adab” (“The Dome of Science and Education”). He reached a special heyday in the era of Temur, who gathered here many skilled craftsmen who built many palaces, mosques and mausoleums, which today are architectural monuments of antiquity. The city is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.