RHYTHMICAL PECULIARITIES OF AZERBAIJANI MUSIC
According to its metrical and rhythmical structure, Azerbaijan
folk music is divided into music with conspicuously expressed metrical
measure and music without any meter. Music with conspicuously expressed
measure is represented by the folk songs, all types of folk dances and
also tasnifs (vocal music) and ranghs (instrumental music). The meter
of these forms is quite ordinary, i.e. 6/4, 4/4, 3/4, 2/4, 4/8, 5/8,
There is no such meters as 7/8 and 5/4, which are encountered in music
of other Eastern peoples. Meter 4/4 is more typical for Azerbaijan music
The example below is a typical pattern of music with the meter 4/4.
The four-parted bars may be expressed in this way too:
In the meter 6/8 grouping, as a rule, consists of two
parts (per 3/8 each), but the peculiarities of the metrical and rhythmical
structure of Azerbaijan dance music, and some songs with the features
of dance music require quite a different grouping. This grouping consists
of the alternation of two parted bas with three-parted one, for example:
In the above examples (194, 195) all the bars are played without change
of tempo. In example 195 second and the fourth bars must not be played
with tension, which is inherent to syncope, i. e. they are not to be
played in the following way:
(there arc 3, but not 2 accents in this bar)
The exact performance of these examples requires from the player intuitive
understanding of the character of the above popularities of Azerbaijan
The vocal and instrumental improvisations in the modes
refer to the music without any measures. In these improvisations the
musical phrases are not confined to any one bar. The grouping of notes
here presents the use of some tones or melismatic colours, for example:
The forcible confinement of the performed improvisation into certain
bars leads to an inexact recording of the performed improvisation and
to a departure from the style of improvised music.
In practice one may encounter incidental mistakes of incorrect
recordings of the examples of Azerbaijan folk music.
1. In recording music with measure 6/8 the third peculiarity
of alternation of two-parted and three-parted bars is not observed.
It leads to the distortion of music as the weak quotas fall into the
strong period of the bar, and on thc contrary, strong quotas fall into
the weak period of the bar. For example, instead of:
The second and the fourth sounds in example 199, which
are situated in the relatively strong part of the bar, fall into the
weak part of the bar in example 200. The third sound, which is in the
weak part of the bar in example 199, falls into the strong part of the
bar in example 200, which leads to incidental distortion of music.
2. In example 201 the measure 2/4 even with a slow tempo shows that
the bar is of two quotas, while it requires four quotas but with a rapid
Example 202 is a grammatical correction of example 201
from the point of view of correct arrangement of bar lines, but even
in this case there appears a discrepancy between the bar accent and
the accents of percussion instruments. The strong strokes of the instrument
fall on the weak bars which generally leads to a rhythmical confusion.