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
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
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
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.