The Educational Role of "Shashmaqom" at the Present Time

Essay by dal4ik March 2007

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How does shashmaqom influence the listener? Everyone likes to listen to music. Without music it is difficult to live because it is very connected to our life. And now I am going to introduce you with one of the beautiful and interesting kinds of music that you will know what music is this. It is shashmaqom, the Tajik national classical music. The name is interesting. “It was named shashmaqom because it consist of six maqoms, they are “buzruk”, ”rost”, “navo”, “dugokh”, “segokh” and “iroq”.” It is a famous classical music in Tajikistan.. Today even in the world people know the Tajik artists of shashmaqom and respect them, and foreigners are going to learn and play it. It has a beautiful sound, it is performed by an ensemble, and “he main instruments that are used in shashmaqom are tanbur, dutor, nay, kashnay, ghijak, chang, kashgar, rubob and dayra.” It is an immaterial genre that came through teacher to his pupil orally.

It had not note, but it had only after 1950 that was done by great Tajik artists of shashmaqom, whose name are Fazliddin Shahobov, Bobokul Faizuloev and Shohnazar Sohibov. It has a long history; it was appeared in time of live of Borbad, the great musician in the middle of ix-x century. It was very famous even in time of Borbad and today it did not lose its value. It is a Sufi music. It is very pleasant to listen to it. After listen the Sufi music of shashmaqom, the listener feels the divine and veritable sense. Before to get to this feeling, first person should listen to it carefully.

Shashmaqom is very famous today in Tajikistan. Today the artists of shashmaqom and the Ministry of Culture of Tajikistan pay more attention to the development of shashmaqom genre. Shashmaqom as a classical genre influence to the listener, after when s/ he listen to it, it makes him/her to think what all these phrases mean, and he will try to find the answer to get the meaning. Besides he also feels one of other important thing that is a divine sense. The divine sense makes him close to god because shashmaqom is a Sufi music and it is clear who Sufi is, is the person who is on the way of God, find way to be close to his God, always remind the name of god-“Allah”. He will feel some strength on his/her heart; he will remind the name of God. And then he will get to know what the meaning of those phrases or poems is. After to listen to it, person also feels some important things and s/he will try to choose the right way of live. Why all these happened because it is a classical genre and great poems are performed, that were written by great Tajik-Persian poets. Most of all the poems of Hofiz, Saadi, Rumi, Jomi and others. The poems are very philosophical and that is why it is very influential. Some people can not understand the main meaning.

In spite of these shashmaqom is so great music because it cures and helps the listener. Those people who have a psychical illness, they can cure themselves through listening to shashmaqom but here I have not any scientific proof, and as I heard from my teacher of history that in old time in ix-x centuries the great scholars made an experiment and found that it could cure this illness. As a deserved and famous artist of shashmaqom of Tajikistan Muzaffar Muhiddinov says: “shashmaqom is so great that cure the different human illnesses for example psychical. There is special poem that is performed in shashmaqom and cure this illness. Also it is very pleasant to listen to it because it makes your brain silent when you are breakdown.” Here the artist says the reality, because if you listen shashmaqom you will feel all these on yourself.

Also shashmaqom educates the listener. The educational role of shashmaqom is so great. Those listeners who understand the meaning of shashmaqom can feel this education. After to listen to shashmaqom it makes you be as pure person and you will not be going to do bad thing because you will feel the answer or the mistakes of bad ways. It makes you be honest, not to lie only to say the truth because you will get to know that it is not good to lie, and you will feel that you are mistaking, after to listen to shashmagom. These words make be careful in life, to be away from mistakes of life, to choose the right way, as so the great poets felt and saw all these in their life and wrote them in their poems for education of future people. For example, a famous artist of shashmaqom of Tajikistan Furkat Saidov says: “I interred to this, I saw the wonderful world of art. It is a music that helps one get to his goal. I touched the rope of God on the right way”. It means that Furkat Saidov really felt all those things and he found the reality of art when he interred to this music. I believe his ideas because I saw this sense not only in this person but also in other people, too.

So we mentioned many important things of shashmaqom. Today it is one of the great genres. It did not lose its educational value from ix century till the present time. Today many people who like it listen to it, respect it. Not only Tajik people listen but also the foreigners listen to it too. Here it shows the great influence of shashmaqon on education.

This beautiful genre performs by ensemble. Today there are many ensembles of shashmaqom in Tajikistan. They are very famous not only in Tajikistan but also in abroad. They participated in many concert ceremonies of abroad and show the performance. For example as it was written in a newspaper;” one of the concerts that was performed in England, there they were warmly received, and the most important thing was that there Aga Khan and the people from the English Government participated. Our concert was very clear and interesting for the audience.” From these phrases we know that the ensemble of shashmaqom singers is famous even in abroad today.

Having listened to this kind of music, the foreigners became interested and were going to learn it. Today we see foreigners in the National Conservatory of Tajikistan or in the State Philharmonic of Tajikistan. They practice there and want to learn to perform shashmaqom. It is the influence of an educational role of shashmaqom that they prefer to play shashmaqom. Even today in many concerts of shashmaqom there you can see the foreigners that are participating.

It shows the great role of shashmaqom. It is the main branch of the art of Tajik. It shows the greatness and richness of art and culture of a Tajik nation. And I also want that my nation to pay more attention to shashmaqom, spend their time to listen to shashmaqom more than to the modern music, and once when I asked my friend that do you listen to shashmaqom?, he answered rarely because I can not understand the meaning, but those that I understand I listen to them. Today we have many great singers of shashmaqom who have a beautiful voice that one like to listen to them attentively and pleasantly. For example: Jurabek Murodov, Mastona Ergashova, Sabohat Najmidinova, Afzalsho Shodiev, Abdullo Sultonov and other.

Today in Tajikistan the people listen to it but not everyone, especially the young people do not listen to it. They prefer to listen to the modern music more. They respect the singers of modern music more than the shashmaqom singers. It shows uneducated of young people. Shashmaqom is the classical music and helped to the development of art of Tajik nation during all its existence. But the modern music can not reach the level of shashmaqom, because as a deserve artist Muzaffar Muhiddinov says:” this modern music is for four and five days, but shashmaqom has a long history, it did not lost, today it exist, but modern music change and disappear.” Today many modern singers prefer higher than the shashmaqom singers. The teachers of art estimated some of modern music performers that they have not any talent, they make mistake; in phrases, some of their song have not a meaning, some of them did not study in any college of art. Today these modern singers are known in Tajikistan as “the stars of Tajik”. For example one of the famous shashmaqom singers Furkat Said says: “some of new flying stars know our genre as an old, even in one of their debate they said:” Goodbye old genre, welcome to the new genre” . Here Furkat Said mention about those singers who do not respect their teacher, their art-shashmaqom and consider themselves to be talented.

Even these singers use sometimes some symposium or by other word maqom of shashmaqom in their song, as I mentioned in the up that shashmaqom has six maqoms and each maqom have its own style of performing. It was mentioned about these new singers in the newspaper that” in the last years there are many new singers by name “the new stars’ of outside and bees of after rain took the beautiful scene of arts, and made the bright light of art to the dark” . This example show that some of today singers have not a talent of singing, but today most of all they perform in the concert hall. They give their concert in the big concert hall and attract the attention of audiences and the listeners lose the interest to listen to shashmaqom.

But here I should mention the big problem. It is the lack of education of modern young people. Today many young people have not enough knowledge on literature. It is very difficult to get the meaning of shashmaqom because I mentioned before about the great eposes or poems that these eposes have a deep philosophical meaning and were written by famous and great poets of Tajik literature. According to one of the famous shashmaqom singer Kurboni Abdullo “shashmaqom is a science and professional art. If to understand shashmaqom, you should study its science.” From this point of view it is already clear for me that shashmaqom is a great music. I hope if the young people study the literature hard because literature is too connected to its science, then they will be able to get the meaning of poems, as the shashmaqom performers advice. Today there are people who understand and have interested listen to shashmaqom and respect it. According to the famous and deserved artist of shashmaqom of Tajikistan Muzaffar Muhiddinov “shashmaqom has not any secret, if a person studies its science s/he can get the main meaning of poems of shashmaqom. He says that we should educate the young people to listen to this classical music and pay more attention on the meaning of shashmaqom. For this they should study the science of shashmaqom. Soon in a few days the six new books of shashmaqom with the sheet-music will be published”. From the speech of deserved artist I hope that these books will help to the future young people to learn the science of shashmaqom,to listen to it attentively, to pay attention to the melody, and I hope they will listen to shashmaqom after when they will get the meaning of poems of shashmaqom. Sometimes people listen to such kinds of music and cannot understand the meaning.

So here is the problem why they can not or do not listen to shashmaqom, but listen to modern music. The problem has already been clear. Many young people listen to Iranian, Russian and English music because they get the main meaning of this music. They feel what about this music is about. I prefer young people first to pay attention to this classical genre more because it is their national music. It is a national music of Tajik nation, so why today young people do not pay attention. If they do not know its science, they can study and learn this science. This classical genre has the important meaning. If we study and learn the science of shashmaqom we get those important things. For example, one of the most important things that I have also mentioned before is a divine sense. It is very close to our life. We should know more about divine power. Today 90% of Tajikistan is Muslim. They should not forget the name of God. They should have some spiritual knowledge. I hope if they listen to shashmaqom carefully and pay more attention, they can get to their god or can feel the power of god in their heart, and because shashmqom is a Sufi music and it is clear that . That is why it is very important for today young people to listen to shashmaqom. Look from here that shashmaqom has a great education even in divine. Or another important thing which I mentioned it too in before is a veritable sense. Of cause you will feel it after when you listen to shashmaqom. As I mentioned about famous singer of shashmaqom Furkat Said, when he interred to this art, he felt the veritable sense and he believed that shashmaqom is really great.

At the end I would like to say that shashmaqom is really art. I believe to the influence and educational role of shashmaqom because from the facts that I brought in the up already it is clear how it influence. The sense that we can get through listen to shashmaqom is very important in our life because through this sense we can find mistakes of our live. I like that every nation first respect its culture and art. I wish that today young people listened and payed attention to shashmaqom more. I prefer shashmaqom the father of art of Tajik nation, because shashmaqom has a history about 1000 year, it helped to the development and improvement of art of Tajik very, and today we see Tajik people have a great and rich culture, and among other nations Tajikistan is famous with its rich art.

To collect information/date to support my research work I have used the different methods. That to convince the reader believe at my research work I took an interview, this interview was taken from the deserve artist of shashmaqom. Besides I have also used the newspapers of “Art and Literature”, there I found the main ideas and important facts which could support my research paper. And I liked that Tajik art-shashmaqom became known for all other nations. Besides, I try to prove how shashmaqom is great and today Tajik young people knew it and listen to it. It was a little be difficult for to find the material, I went to National Library of Firdavsi, and to the National Conservatory to take interview, there I found a few people who were the shashmaqom artist.

8Bibliographya) Muhiddinov, Muzaffar. Personal Interview. 2006. 14 Decb) Said, Furkat. ”Candle that does not switch off” People Vote. Dushanbe: 2002. 22 Mayc) Abdullo, Kurbon. “Music Requires the Spirit.” Art and Literature. 2003. Dec. 26d) Kholbek, F. “I Touched the God rope on the Right way.” Tajikistan. 2003. JULE 25. PP16e) Abdurashidov, A. “Classical music at the Present Time.” Art and Literature. Dushanbe: 2005. June 2.