Turkestan Chinois. le Muqam Des Dolan: Musique Des Ouïgours Du Désert De Taklamakan / Chinese Turkestan. the Muqam of the Dolan: Music of the Uighurs from the Taklamakan Desert

By Harris, Rachel | Yearbook for Traditional Music, January 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

Turkestan Chinois. le Muqam Des Dolan: Musique Des Ouïgours Du Désert De Taklamakan / Chinese Turkestan. the Muqam of the Dolan: Music of the Uighurs from the Taklamakan Desert


Harris, Rachel, Yearbook for Traditional Music


CENTRAL ASIA

Turkestan chinois. Le muqam des Dolan: Musique des Ouigours du desert de Taklamakan / Chinese Turkestan. The Muqam of the Dolan: Music of the Uighurs from the Taklamakan Desert. 2006. INEDIT / Maison des Cultures du Monde W 260126. Distributed by Naïve. Recorded and annotated by Pierre Bois. 27 pp. of notes in French and English. French translation of lyrics by Mukaddas Mijit. English translation by Frank Kane. 2 colour, 7 b/w photographs. 1 compact disc, 9 tracks (58:45).

There are some ten million Uyghurs living in the beautiful but troubled desert and mountainous region of Xinjiang in distant northwest China. Although they mainly live within the borders of the People's Republic of China, the Uyghur language is closer to Turkish than Chinese, and their culture is basically Central Asian. Many aspects of Uyghur music demonstrate its place as part of the wider Islamic musical world.

The Muqam are the Uyghurs' most highly valued musical traditions: less a modal entity than a pre-existing suite of songs and instrumental music, several regional Muqam traditions are practised by the Uyghurs. Some of them, like the better known Twelve Muqam, have their roots in court traditions. Since the mid-twentieth century they have been professionalized and are most often found in large-scale staged troupe performances, but the Dolan Muqam have until very recently been maintained as village traditions, performed as part of the mäshräp festivities held regularly by villagers.

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