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«Music Dictionary» by Afrasiyab Badalbeyli.

The lecture discourse by the author:
Jamila Hasanova the Professor Assistant of the "History and Theory of Azerbaijan National Music" Chair, the Candidate of Art Criticism.


Afrasiyab Badalbeyli entered the history of Azerbaijani Music as a famous composer, the author of the first national ballet and so many musical compositions of various genres, as well as an academic musicologist, linguist, publicist, and a translator.

Afrasiyab Badalbeyli is an author of multitudinous and invaluable scientific op-ed (opinion-editorial) pieces and booklets, lectures and speechifications, devoted to history and theory of Azerbaijani music, outstanding cultural figures of Azerbaijan. First of all, this pictures him as a wide-ranging and erudite scientist, capable to distinguish and solve so many problems of musical art.

On speaking about Afrasiyab Badalbeyli, we primarily mention his "Music Dictionary", the widely spread scientific-cognitive edition, having become a table-top book for researchers of original musical culture of Azerbaijan, as well as for mass music public.

"Music Dictionary" is a result of intense creative searches of Afrasiyab Badalbeyli as an academic musicologist. His longstanding investigations on music art and history of mugham, knowledge in the field of linguistics, interpenetration in niceties of Arabic, Persian, Russian and native Azerbaijani languages, obtained due to attainments of translation activity, ability of laconic presentment of his scientific ideas, confirmed by means of ideological and philosophical outlook on musical art in the whole - all that was reflected in "Music Dictionary".

A.Badalbeyli titled his work "Explanatory Monographic Music Dictionary". This was logical, because, starting from the front pages of the edition, the author attracted reader's attention to various encyclopedic information on musical art in the whole.

The "Music Dictionary" consists of the following sections: From the author, Structure of the Dictionary, Abbreviations, Azerbaijani Music Terms, Music Terms, Foreign Words and Terms, occurred in music literature, Remarks, Clarifications, and Monographic information. Similar sections can be found in the other publications of this kind, as well, but the point is in riches of the informative material itself.

The each of the listed sections of the "Music Dictionary" can be characterized as a significant step in the field of studying of the definite problematics of the music science.

In this aspect, "From the author" section is so interesting. A.Badalbeyli recapitulates tasks and objectives of musicology foreshorten of the contemporary period of development of music science and art, points out a wide spectrum of its scientific application - theory of music, history of music, music ethnography, knowledge of instruments, musical acoustics, music psychology, and music critics.

In the same section A.Badalbeyli makes historical and theoretical studying of Azerbaijani musical heritage as a corner-stone of the priority task. Thoughts on history of mugham development and classification of national music genres are notable, as well.

He makes a retrospective journey into the history of Azerbaijani music, the art of mugham, data on music medieval treatises, historical periods of mugham's development, including centuries XIX to XX. Founded on scientific heritage of Azerbaijani and Iranian musicologists, A.Badalbeyli interpreted their ideas in the context of relative musicology.

Surely, his thoughts brought immaculate commitment engagement in scientific guidelines on Azerbaijani music. Developed by him music terms, related to professional music of Azerbaijan oral tradition and bibliographical note about music representatives both of the past and the present, provided fertile ground for the deep studying of unique character of Azerbaijani music and, in turn, programming numerous investigations.

In the "Dictionary" A.Badalbeyli presented the fullest list of mughams, their consistent parts, popular in musical art of Azerbaijan medievalism in the XIX-XX cc. These materials are unique, as the plenty of existing mughams suffered considerable changes, and one may say, they actually happen to be forgotten, rarely applying in the modern practice of the mugham art. Certainly, the "Music Dictionary" by A.Badalbeyli is one of those exclusive scientific sources of knowledge, informing us on the past epochs.

"Music Dictionary" by A.Badalbeyli also comprises terms, widely applying in musical practice, and their spelling in various languages, along with translations into the Azerbaijani language. All that is very important for music science, as the wrong interpretations of specific music terminology occur in scientific literature sometimes.

A.Badalbeyli in the Introductory part of the "Music Dictionary" clarified strategic purpose of his investigation: "Lack of literature in the Azerbaijani language on history and theory of musical art, illegibility in the terminology use in music textbooks, different interpretations of the same music ideas on the pages of periodical press and radio broadcasting, formal translations, appeared in books of printed music, etc. require unification of music terms, bringing this problem to the forefront as an urge task of our music life and practice". As is clear from the cited passage, A.Badalbeyli enlightened existing up to now problems of native music's knowledge in close-up view.

Incontestable is the fact that Azerbaijani musicology in the XX century was based on progressive traditions of the Russian Soviet music science. Certainly, A.Badalbeyli adhered to these traditions, as a son of his time, however, he repeatedly pointed out, and sometimes he emphasized emergency of widening of investigations sphere on history and theory of music just in the native Azerbaijani language.

As though anticipating the present day's events, A.Badalbeyli strategically defined the highway of Azerbaijani music science, attracting attention to creation of the integrated music terminology base in the language of fathers and mothers of the Azerbaijani people. He adjusted this actual subject in the each page of the "Dictionary". To develop and glorify the Azerbaijani musical culture, we, musicologists, should continue his activity.

Translated and presented by Sevda Huseynzadeh.

        © Musigi Dunyasi, 2007