The Music of Central Asia

The Music of Central Asia

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This beautiful and informative book offers a detailed introduction to the musical heritage of Central Asia for readers and listeners worldwide. Music of Central Asia balances "insider" and "outsider" perspectives with contributions by 27 authors from 14 countries. A companion website ( provides access to some 189 audio and video examples, listening guides and study questions, and transliterations and translations of the performed texts. This generously illustrated book is supplemented with boxes and sidebars, musician profiles, and an illustrated glossary of musical instruments, making it an indispensable resource for both general readers and specialists. In addition, the enhanced ebook edition, which is so comprehensive it had to be split into two ebooks, contains 180 audio and video examples of Central Asian music and culture. A follow-along feature highlights the song lyrics in the text, as the audio samples more

Product details

  • Hardback | 703 pages
  • 203 x 254 x 38.1mm | 2,086.52g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 456 color illus.
  • 0253017513
  • 9780253017512
  • 427,498

Review quote

"The Music of Central Asia is an encyclopedic page turner! This is essential reading for all performers, composers, ethnomusicologists, students, scholars and culturally engaged people everywhere. There has never before been one book that so expertly, vividly, and deeply unites the past, present, and potential future of an entire swath of the world's musical landscape." -David Harrington, Kronos Quartet "This magnificent book has been many years in gestation, but it has been worth the wait.... No prior knowledge is required to enjoy it. And enjoy is the word. The chapters are short, vivid, and packed with human interest." -BBC Music Magazine "The Music of Central Asia is like its subject: vast, variegated, resonant, and rich in musical traditions that have remained all too closed to outsiders for centuries. The book is both authoritative and innovative, ringing with regional voices and dozens of well-chosen examples of cultural riches to be sampled and savored by both specialists and students." -Mark Slobin, Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music, Wesleyan Universityshow more

About Theodore Levin

Theodore Levin is Arthur R. Virgin Professor of Music at Dartmouth College and Senior Project Consultant to the Aga Khan Music Initiative. He is the author of Where Rivers and Mountains Sing: Sound, Music, and Nomadism in Tuva and Beyond (IUP, 2006) and The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York) (IUP, 1996).Saida Daukeyeva is a Georg Forster Research Fellow (HERMES) at Humboldt University in Berlin. She is author of Philosophy of Music by Abu Nasr Muhammad al-Farabi.Elmira Kochumkulova is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Central Asia in Bishkek. She is author of Respect Graces the Living, Lamentation Graces the Dead: Kyrgyz Funeral Lamentations (in Kyrgyz), and Kyrgyz Herders of Soviet Uzbekistan: Historical and Ethnographic Narratives (in Kyrgyz and English).show more

Table of contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsAccessing Music Examples OnlineA Note on Music TerminologyGuide to TransliterationTimeline of Central Asian HistoryPart I: Music and Culture in Central Asia1. Music in Central Asia: An Overview / Theodore Levin2. Musical Instruments in Central Asia / Theodore LevinPart II: The Nomadic WorldPrologue: Who Are the Nomads of Central Asia? / Theodore Levin3. Introduction to Oral Epic / Elmira Kochumkulova4. The Epic Manas / Elmira Kochumkulova5. Oral Epic in Kazakhstan: Korughly and a Dynasty of Great Jyraus / Uljan Baibosynova6. Music of the Karakalpaks Part I: The Epic World of the Karakalpaks: Jyrau and Baqsy / Frederic Leotar Part II: Qyssakhan: Performer of Written and Oral Literature / Kalmurza Kurbanov and Saida Daukeyeva7. The Art of the Turkmen Bagshy / Jamilya Gurbanova8. The Turkmen Dutar / David Fossum9. Kyrgyz Wisdom Songs: Terme Yrlary / Elmira Kochumkulova10. Aqyns and Improvised-Poetry Competitions among the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz / Elmira Kochumkulova and Jangul Qojakhmetova11. Singing Traditions of the Kazakhs / Alma Kunanbeava12. Kyrgyz Funeral Laments / Elmira Kochumkulova13. Kyrgyz Wedding Songs / Elmira Kochumkulova14. Narrative Instrumental Music: Kazakh Kui and Kyrgyz Kuu / Sayra Raymbergenova and Nurlanbek Nyshanov Profile: Abdulhait Raiymbergenov / Theodore Levin Profile: Nurak Abdyrakhmanov / Elmira Kochumkulova15. Kyrgyz Jaw Harps / Nurlanbek Nyshanov16. The Kazakh Qobyz: Between Tradition and Modernity / Saida Daukeyeva17. Dombyra Performance, Migration, and Memory among Mongolian Kazakhs / Saida DaukeyevaPart III: The World of Sedentary-DwellersPrologue: Patterns of Culture: Sedentary-Dwellers / Theodore Levin18. Maqom Traditions of the Tajiks and Uzbeks / William Sumits and Theodore Levin Profile: The Academy of Maqom / Abduvali Abdurashidov Profile: Turgun Alimatov / Theodore Levin19. The Uyghur MuqaZ / Rachel Harris20. New Images of Azerbaijani Mugham in the Twentieth Century / Aida Huseynova Profile: Alim and Fargana Qasimov / Theodore Levin21. Popular Classics: Traditional Singer-Songwriters in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan / Theodore Levin22. Religious Music and Chant in the Culture of Sedentary-Dwellers / Aleksandr Djumaev23. Sufism and the Ceremony of Zikr in Ghulja / Mukaddas Mijit24. Dastan Performance among the Uyghurs / Rahile Dawut and Elise Anderson25. Female Musicians in Uzbekistan: Otin-oy, Dutarchi, and Maqomchi / Razia Sultanova26. Music in the City of Bukhara / Theodore Levin and Aleksandr Djumaev Profile: Ari Babakhanov / Aleksandr Djumaev27. Music and Culture in Badakhshan / Theodore Levin28. The Maddoh Tradition of Badakhshan / Benjamin Koen Music Example: Maddoh / Theodore Levin29. Qasoid-khon in the Wakhan Valley of Badakhshan / Chorshanbe Goibnazarov30. Falak: Spiritual Songs of the Mountains Tajiks / Faroghat AziziPart IV: Central Asian Music in the Age of Globalization31. Revitalizing Musical Traditions: The Aga Khan Music Initiative / Theodore Levin Nurturing Local Talent, Creating Global Connections / Fairouz Nishanova The Genesis of Rainbow / Theodore Levin32. Cultural Renewal in Kyrgyzstan: Neotraditionalism and the New Era in Kyrgyz Music / Raziya SyrdybaevaMusical Instrument GlossaryGlossary of TermsInventory of Audio and Video ExamplesList of ContributorsIndex33. Popular Music in Uzbekistan / Kerstin Klenke34. Innovation in Tradition: Some Examples from Music and Theater in Uzbekistan / Aleksandr Djumaev35. Tradition-Based Popular Music in Contemporary Tajikistan / Federico SpinettiMusical Instrument GlossaryGlossary of TermsAudio and Video ExamplesIndexshow more