UCA News - Issue 99
University of Central Asia launches an original two-volume publication on Kyrgyz music
An audience of over 400 representatives of academic, cultural, international and government institutions and students of music attended the launch of Kyrgyz Küüs: Analysis, Thoughts, and Opinions, Volumes I and II, hosted by the University of Central Asia (UCA) at the Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre in Bishkek on 5 October 2011.
Published by UCA, the two-volume publication in Kyrgyz language on Kyrgyz küü - instrumental music played on the three-stringed komuz instrument - presents history, narratives and analysis by renown Kyrgyz ethno-musicologist and komuz player Asan Kaybylda uulu, based on over 20 years of original ethnographic research and careful restoration of komuz melody recordings.
Author’s wife Totu Sydykova presenting the Kyrgyz Küüs book to Head of the President’s Administration Mr Emilbek Kaptagaev.
Mr Emilbek Kaptagaev, Head of the President’s Administration, said in his welcoming remarks, “Today’s event represents a significant contribution to the preservation of the Kyrgyz cultural heritage and has given a new life to komuz melodies.” The audience was treated to performances by nine well-known musicians and two ensembles that played pieces from the publication, as well as a video interview of Asan Kaybïlda uulu, who passed away in October 2010.
“Asan Kaybïlda was a true patriot of his country and deeply cared about the Kyrgyz language and traditional music. I am very happy that the great work of my late husband, is finally being recognized today and so many have gathered to pay tribute to him and celebrate his life-long achievement,” said the author’s wife, Mrs Totu Sydykova.
UCA’s mission includes a commitment to preserve cultural traditions and heritages in Central Asia as assets for the future, and the volumes are part of the UCA Cultural Heritage Publication Series. “There is much discussion today about the need to develop Kyrgyz cultural heritage. But it has to be stressed, and this is especially an appeal to young people - appreciate cultural diversity and understand that developing culture requires more than declarations. To thrive, culture must be studied, researched, documented, interpreted and this must be done at a professional level. This requires education, and a great deal of hard work and dedication. Asan Kaybïlda uulu spent 20 years of his life studying Kyrgyz melodies, and today we have in hand, the product of his efforts,” said UCA Director General Dr Bohdan Krawchenko.
The Akak ensemble serenading the audience with their melody Ibarat by K Orozov.
Mr. Ernis Tursunov, Distinguished Poet of Kyrgyz Republic, who also served as the content editor, commented in his remarks, “This fundamental two-volume work presents information on all Kyrgyz traditional instruments, classification of all küüs and their genres, descriptions of various komuz players and regional komuz schools, various themes as well as narrative histories of old and popular folk melodies. It contains narratives of each komuz melody including major historical events and well-known personalities.”
Other presenters at the launch included Professor Turdubay Abdrakhunov from Bishkek University of Humanities and Dr Sharofat Mamadambarova, Head of UCA’s Aga Khan Humanities Project, based in Tajikistan.
The two volumes include rich historical material, documenting ancient melodies as well as Soviet and post-independence adaptations, and the accompanying CDs contain over 100 melodies, providing a written and audio archive of a traditionally orally transmitted cultural legacy that otherwise would have been lost.
“The publication provides a rare marriage of scholarly written analysis with artistic oral traditions, making it a unique resource for musicians, academics and those interested in Kyrgyz culture” said scholarly editor and UCA Senior Research Fellow, Dr Elmira Köchümkulova, who worked for over two years to compile the book, securing this distinctive heritage for future generations.
Kyrgyz Küüs: Analysis, Thoughts, and Opinions, Volumes I and II and accompanying CDs can be ordered by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org
. UCA also offers opportunities for donars to sponsor the distribution of the books to the wider community, including music schools, secondary schools and public libraries throughout the Kyrgyz Republic. Donors’ contributions will be acknowledged using an ex libris (book plate) on the inside cover of the donated books. Please send requests for sponsorships to: email@example.com
UCA is grateful to Mr Laurent Guye, Resident Representative of the Swiss Cooperation Office in the Kyrgyz Republic, and Mr Giorgio Fiacconi, Honorary Consular of the Italian Republic to the Kyrgyz Republic, for purchasing bulk copies of the Kyrgyz Küu book to distribute to schools.
For more information:
University of Central Asia’s Cultural Heritage Publication Series promotes understanding across cultures and generations by supporting Central Asian scholars conduct original and high-quality research and publish and disseminate their work to regional and international audiences. Other books in the series include The Musical Arts of the Pamirs, Volumes I, II, and III (Russian, 2011), Ancient Monuments of the Tien-Shan (Russian, 2011), and Archaeological Map of Tajikistan (Russian, 2008). Forthcoming publications include: Music in Central Asia: an Introduction, Cities of the Dead: The Ancestral Cemeteries of Kyrgyzstan, Islam, Nomadic Heritage, and Kyrgyz Identity, Musical Arts of the Pamirs, Volumes IV & V, Archaeological Map of the Eastern Pamirs, and Kyrgyz and Kazakh Nomadic Culture through Proverbs.