Speech by Dr Sharofat Mamadambarova
Dear Distinguished Guests and Colleagues,
I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest respect to the memory of the author, Asan Kaybïlda uulu, for the publication of his work: Kyrgyz Küüs: Analysis, Thoughts, and Opinions, Volumes I and II.
It is a great contribution to the preservation of the musical heritage of Central Asia and through this work, the artistic and cultural heritage of our ancient people will enjoy a longer life. I am sure that these books will attract not only students and scholars in the region, but nations around the world with their originality, beauty, philosophy and an ocean of positive feelings and thoughts.
In Tajikistan, I have been involved in a similar effort. UCA has been supporting the publication of a multi-volume series on the ‘Musical Arts of the Pamirs’ written by the 87 year old Professor, Nizam Nurjanov, 86 year old Professor, Faizulla Karomatli and a younger colleague of theirs, Bahri Kabilova.
The books are a collection of folk songs and melodies, epic tales and musical and theatre works that existed in the Pamirs. Work on this book began in 1953 at the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography at the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan. Special art expeditions were organized and were sent to different regions of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan where the Tajik people lived.
It turned out that the Pamirs were the best place for collecting materials and a systematic study of the folk musical art of the Pamirs was initiated by the branch of Art History of the Tajik Academy of Sciences.
More than 40 years of comprehensive research in the whole territory of the Tajik Pamirs is being compiled into a 5- volume series. Through this body of work, the unique and ancient traditions of this special people that have been transmitted for many generations are now guaranteed to be preserved for the generations to come as well as provide insights into the cultural history of the region.
In January this year, the public of Tajikistan celebrated a big contribution to the intellectual life of the country in a similar event to launch the publication of the first three volumes.
Our two nations have much in common with respect to their historical, cultural and geographical contexts. Like the Kyrgyz, the Tajiks have a rich oral and written tradition; like the Kyrgyz, the Tajiks have rich instrumental and vocal traditional music as well as dance; these are intimately linked with the past nomadic and sedentary life in the high mountains of Central Asia.
It is a matter of great pride and joy for me that we are celebrating the second book launch ceremony of the University of Central Asia as part of its efforts to preserve the great cultural heritage of our peoples. Music has a great influence on shaping human society and history – it belongs not just within the performing arts but to all of humanity. We hope through this book launch and many more to come, we play our small role in contributing to this great cause.
Dr Sharofat Mamadambarova
Director, Aga Khan Humanities Project