Azerbaijan mugham music makes revival





Once threatened with extinction, Azerbaijan's most ancient form of music is enjoying a renaissance. Mugham - a unique genre blending throaty song with a special trio of instruments - is being revived by the government through a series of festivals and school activities, as the BBC's Tom Esslemont discovers.

Mugham is part of Azerbaijan's rich culture. The country sits on the crossroads between Iran and the Caucasus mountains at the confluence of the Islamic world and Christendom.

The genre itself has roots in prayer and lullaby and is passed on from mother to baby in this way.

But there are hundreds of varieties. Some songs sound more like war chant. Other mugham songs use the lyrics of famous Azeri literary figures like the 12th Century poet, Nizami Ganjavi.



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