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World Music CD of the Month

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The Participant Observer World Music CD of the Month is Munadjat Yulchieva and Ensemble Shavkat Mirzaev.

Munadjat Yulchieva is Uzbekistan's most renowned vocalist who sings in the Shashmaqam, or Six Maqams, tradition found in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In 2003 it was declared a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral in Intangible Heritage of Humanity.The tradition consists of songs (lyrical and intrumental, poetry with roots in traditional Jewish, Sufi and Persian classical music. It developed in the ancient city of Bukhara in what is now known as Uzbekistan. A major trade stop on the silk road, Bukhara life was once very cosmopolitan and influenced by many cultural traditions. Shashmaqam is a modal form of music similar in structure to Persian classical music but the lyrics are often derived from Uzbek and Tajik classical poetry. It was originally a form of court music. During the Soviet era only Western classical music was taught in schools because it was written down but eventually Shashmaqam was transcribed which increased the ease in which it could be taught. Since the end of the Soviet Era the music and dance has florished and become a key aspect of Uzbek cultural identity. The music is now performed at most celebrations, large and small. The music stands as a testiment to a time when Jewish and Muslim cultures actively harmonized with each other.

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