Webinar ‘Maqom and Modern Music’

Lecture, Master-Class and Live Performance by “USTAZODA” Ensemble (Tashkent) – 30th April 2021

On 30th April 2021, the Embassy of Uzbekistan in the UK in collaboration with and sponsorship of the British-Uzbek Society held an online forum ‘Maqom and Contemporary Music’ with a live performance of the well-known Uzbek Ensemble Ustazoda. The event was supported by the Committee on Interethnic Relations and Friendly Relations with Foreign Countries, which in August 2020, signed a joint Memorandum of Cooperation with the British-Uzbek Society. The representatives of the Research Centre ‘School of Maqom’, based in Tashkent delivered a lecture on the history of maqom, its origins and the main stages of formation and flourishing in the Central Asian region.  During the Master class, the Head of the Research Centre ‘School of Maqom’, Abror Zufarov performed the main types of maqombuzruk, navo, duhog, segoh and irok.  He demonstrated the main differences between traditional and modern maqom, including sound, whilst playing on various types of tanburs.

In her brief presentation, Ezoza Umurzakova, the Head of the Design Centre of the Maqom School, talked about activities of the Centre, where musicologists strive to restore the unique classical features of maqom and its musical notation, which was practically lost in Soviet times after the transition to the European musical system.

It was emphasised that the Centre not only seeks to revive a unique musical heritage, but also to adapt and synthesize traditional music with modern. The growing interest of young people in maqom is especially noted – if earlier 5-6 students studied maqom in conservatories, today their number exceeds 200.

In the final part of the online forum, attendees were able to enjoy the virtuoso live performance of both classical and synthesised musical compositions and lyric songs, such as Bozurgoni, Samoi Dugokh, Hino Tanavor, Garduni Dugokh, Guluzorim and Sarakhbori Buzruk. The mesmerizing melodies of the maqom and the amazing skills and voices of the lead vocalists of Ustazoda Ensemble- Sahiba Abdullayeva and Abror Zufarov – drew enthusiastic responses from the British listeners, evident during the Q&A session.

To view the video recording of the webinar, please follow the you-tube link.