Investigation of Azerbaijan folk music principles is of
great significance for the further flourishing of the musical art in
Azerbaijan. It represents the important field of scientific-research
and musical-theoretical works in the Eastern musicology.
Azerbaijan folk music is understood not only by Azerbaijani.
It is within the reach of many nations of the Soviet Union. It is especially
close to the peoples of the Caucasus and Central Asia. Therefore any
kind of research on the main principles and regularities of musical
art of the Azerbaijan people is of great importance.
I began my investigations into the principles of Azerbaijan folk music
in 1925. There was lack of any written sources, special textbooks or
manuals on the theme chosen. Therefore, I should rely only on my own
observations, scrupulous study, and thorough analysis of all the samples
and forms of Azerbaijan folk music.
In the course of my long years of research, I made occasional scientific
reports open to scientific discussion for musicians and connoisseurs
of Azerbaijan music. My goal was to excite opponents who could prove
the groundlessness of my arguments. They should destroy the defense
of my views on the solution of various problems concerning the main
points of Azerbaijan music. Harmonious system of strict consequence
of Azerbaijan modes’ scales (quart structure, quint structure, structure
of minor and major sixths), on which I reported, seemed to some musicians
incredible, artificial and intentionally distorted. But I proved the
correctness of my suppositions by examples, illustrating folk music.
In order to verify the correctness of the principles to compose music
in Azerbaijan modes (which I put forward in the II part of this book),
I advised the musicians to compose melodies in these modes. They should
follow the given rules. Composed melodies pointed that suggested principles
were defined precisely and to required details.
All the conclusions and rules of this book are results repeatedly tested
researches and analyses, which required scrupulous work for years.
This is a theoretical textbook to learn the main principles of Azerbaijani
folk music. In addition it is a practical creative guide for composers
to write music based on Azerbaijan modes.
As a scientific work, I believe that it will attract attention of musical
scientists to the following phenomena:
1. the quart, quint and sixth consequence in the structure of scales;
2. the origin of increased second;
3. new types of tetrachords;
4. four ways to combine tetrachords.
I believe that all above is of interest for musicology. It may enlighten
those problems of ancient music that are still unsolved, due to no traces
of these peoples’ practical music are available. And above principles
are direct conclusions from practical music of Azerbaijan folk.
For me, as a composer, my work to learn principles of
Azerbaijan music was of great practical importance. It initiated me
to compose my opera "Koroglu".
Strict laws and rules forming the basis of Azerbaijan musical art (which
1 followed while composing my opera) did not suppress my creative ideas.
On the contrary, they encouraged me greatly as a strong foundation.
They lightened the vast endless space of my free, creative fantasy.
Despite informality of its composition and complicated musical texture,
the opera "Koroglu" is more understandable to Azerbaijan audience
than some other musical compositions based on Azerbaijan national melodies
and tunes. The reason was that it was composed in the native musical
language of the folk.
The great attention and interest shown to "Koroglu" by non-Azerbaijan
audience proves the fact that the national character of this opera does
not serve an insulating barrier. On the contrary, it brightly demonstrates
its international significance.
Ancient philosophers teach us not to lose touch with folk in order not
to fall in Antaeus state torn off his mother—the Earth. This instruction
refers to those composers, who, unfortunately, subjectively approaches
to their creative task and forget about the people whom they are to
Hajibeyov. Baku, 1944