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«Afrasiyab Badalbeyli and modern Azerbaijan music terminology»

professor Shahla Mahmudova

Researches in the field of terminology features in musicological heritage of Afrasiyab Badalbeyli, one of the brightest representatives of Azerbaijani musical art of the XX-th century.

Terminological questions today cover at once a circle of the most interesting and intricate challenges of Azerbaijan musicology. Terminology represents the research direction constantly varying, updated, demanding periodic reconsideration of hundreds concepts and terms. Not casually in 50th years of the last century Afrasiyab Badalbeyli was entrusted with difficult and responsible job on creation of music - terminological base in the Azerbaijan language.

Graduating from the East faculty of University majoring in "linguistics", possessing the field of music theory and history, A.Badalbeyli fine owned encyclopaedic knowledge both in the Russian, and the east languages; he well knew both east, and the West-European literature. He was a perfect "aesthete" of native Azerbaijani language.

By then, when A.Badalbeyli began the long-term job in the field of terminology, he has already had time to save up a wide experience both as a composer, and a critic, publicist, journalist, translator. All that was the correct orientation of his terminological searches and huge achievements in this area.

Not denying the fact of sufficient development of Azerbaijan musicology (i.e. in the Azerbaijani language) we are compelled to recognize that "confusion" in translation of terms from Russian and other languages A.Badalbeyli wrote about in the middle of the last century, exists today, as well.

I think we know the most correct translation of the terms not unified till now only from A.Badalbeyli.

Examples resulted by me, are the most used both in scientific and in the educational literature. We can take, for example, the term "leading note" translated into Azerbaijani as "aparıcı ton". Neither from the point of view of Russian, nor from only musical position (i.e. from the point of view of function of the given tone) this translation cannot be counted correct. A.Badalbeyli translates it as "chatdiriji ton" i.e. "entering tone" having chosen the most expedient word meaning "introduction", he thus finds the most correct word in which the function of the VII-th step "leads" into Tonic.

The term "detention", which we translate as "gejikma", A.Badalbeyli more correctly translates as "langima"; "non-chordal tones" which in Azerbaijani we use as "geyri-akord tonlar", also the best are translated by A.Badalbeyli - "akorddan kharijh tonlar", i.e. "off chord tones". "Passing tone" is expedient for translating not as "êåchiji ton", but in the way A.Badalbeyli does - "aralıq ton", i.e. "mediate tone", as this variant expresses mesne function of these tones more precisely; moreover, in German in the variant of this term "durchgangston" the part "durch" stands for "by means of".

The term "predyom" which our musicologists, not finding the correct translation, use only in Russian till now, A.Badalbeyli translates it as "gabagjhases", i.e. "proleptic (anticipatory) sound". Although sounding of this word does not correspond to laws of the native language, but it correctly opens the value of the term. "Deviation" which we understand as "yonelme", A.Badalbeyli translates as "sapma", disclosure this term value resulting the Farsi variant of translation (enheraf).

This translation ("sapma") subtlety is that unlike the term "yonelme" (it is literally - "direction"), "sapma" characterizes the transition process from one tonality into another from the point of view of the basic one, i.e. the first tonality. What in German is called "ausweichung" ("aus" means "from") - in accuracy corresponds to the term "sapma". There is a mess while translating the terms "triad" and "3-voice", because Russian words both "sound" and "voice" in Azerbaijani are translated as "ses", i.e. "sounding". In result the "triad" is translated as "uchsesli" (or "uchseslik") "3-voice" done as "uchsesli".

A.Badalbeyli translates "3-voice" as "uchseslilik", and "triad" does as "hemsada". Not denying some desuetude and complexity of the given variant, we should recognize in this case just the particle "hem" expresses the value, which in the word "sozvuchiye", i.e. "accord" is expressed through the particle "so", i.e. "with" that is an accord, harmonicity. All these examples show that A.Badalbeyli while translating terms acts first of all from a musician's position and tries to find the optimal variant revealing the value of any term, its function, essence.

Examples brought here represent only a scanty part of terms, which have no unified translation in works of our musicologists till now.

Certainly, we cannot reject the terms developed through years strongly included in our musicological lexicon being guided only with A.Badalbeyli's "Dictionary". But we are able and obliged to consider his position correct while working out musical terminology in the Azerbaijani language. In my opinion, each musicologist dealing with translation of terms into the native language, should be guided A.Badalbeyli's main principle trying to find such a variant, which precisely opens its essence, value just in musical process. Only in this way we can resolve many problems of the terminological order.

        © Musigi Dunyasi, 2007