National Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Mugam of Azerbaijan

  • Project budget:
    • US$ 123,283
  • Source:
    • Japan Funds-in-Trust
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 01/01/2006 - 01/12/2009

Benefitting country(ies): Azerbaijan


Like the Mugham sung elsewhere in the region, the Azerbaijani Mugham is characterized by a high degree of improvisation in singing and playing. Today, master practitioners train students in the fine art of interpretation to ensure the variety of this artistic expression.

The project seeks to give an incentive to the transmission of skills and knowledge to the younger generations and to promote of the value of this living tradition among the Azerbaijani community at large, and to raise awareness of the importance of the Mugam’s safeguarding. The project focuses on:

  • training of young performers and support to Masters,
  • public performances,
  • documentation, archive preservation and training, and (inventory) promotion and awareness raising.

The activities include in particular four series of master classes organized in major towns of Azerbaijan’s provinces, following which a summer school will be organised in Baku. In the capital, a series of concerts are organised in various locations of Icheri Sheher, Baku’s Old Town in order to help re-establish such Mugam performances in a small and intimate setting. In addition, support will be provided to the National Archives for the digitisation of old recordings which date back to as far as the beginning of the 20th century. These activities aim at ensuring the viability of the Mugam by addressing both practitioners and the audience, and at enhancing the capacities relating to documentation and archiving.

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