Academic journal article Yearbook for Traditional Music

Heroic Songs of Manas: Saiakbai Karalaev (1894-1971)

Academic journal article Yearbook for Traditional Music

Heroic Songs of Manas: Saiakbai Karalaev (1894-1971)

Article excerpt

CENTRAL ASIA

Heroic Songs of Manas: Saiakbai Karalaev (1894-1971). 2007. Ethnic Series. PAN Records PAN 2054. Annotated and produced by Nazim Nadirov. 15 pp. of notes in English. German to English translation by Bernard Kleikamp, Kyrgyz to Russian translation by Malika Abduvalieva. 3 b/w photographs, 2 illustrations, 1 drawing. 15-item bibliography, glossary. 1 compact disc, 7 tracks (72:45). Recorded in 1969 by Kyrgyz Radio.

Heroic Songs of Manas contains re-mastered recordings of master bard Saiakbai Karalaev from Kyrgyz Radio. Since audio from the former USSR is often difficult to access in the West, this album represents an important contribution to available recordings of Central Asian music. It combines four tracks of Karalaev performing solo recitation of the Kyrgyz epic Manas (tracks 1, 3, 5, and 7), interspersed with instrumental tracks of short tunes by Kyrgyz composers performed on the jygach ooz-komuz (jaw harp, tracks 2 and 4) and on the komuz (plucked lute, track 6). The vocal tracks that comprise the bulk of the disc are highly representative of Kyrgyz epic performance with its somewhat guttural vocalization, small range of pitches, and incorporation of a repetitive motive that lasts for four pulses (usually six or seven syllables). This motive varies and alternates with less rigid iterations of rapid heightened speech and longer drawn-out tones. …

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