On the other hand, traditional Azeri music features “monody,” which refers to a solo vocalist singing one melody line, giving the vocalist a chance to improvise intricate rhythms and melodies. Ancient Azeri music draws substantially from musical forms found in Persia, though the melodic structures, known as “muǧams,” have much to do with the Turkish “makams,” which are series of notes placed in relation to one another to
convey a particular emotion. An Azeri monodic singer will likely play a daf frame drum and alternate between different muǧams, sometimes with accompaniment by a târ (a lute) and a kemânche (a fiddle). (Listen here to clips of Azeri tar improvisations by Hâji Bâbâ Huneynov.) Azeri muǧams are a bit more free-flowing than maqamat from other parts of the region, and in their freedom have a lot in common with Western jazz. (Watch a performance of Azeri muǧam/jazz from a 2008 jazz festival in Baku.)

More about Azeri music:
Wikipedia on the muǧam: “It is a highly complex art form that weds classical poetry and musical improvisation in specific local modes” | All you’d ever want to know about the East-meets-West symphonic and operatic music of Azerbaijan | Forget the past! A
song from Azerbaijan wins the 2011 Eurovision contest
(What? Azerbaijan in a European song contest? Look above for the “are the Southern Caucasus in Asia or Europe” debate. And, what? How could Ell and Nikki possibly have beaten Jedward?)

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