ABSTRACT

T HE STAGE IS A GARDEN OF MULBERRY TREES SHORT AND CROOKED with wide-spread branches. The garden is enclosed in oval walls. There is only one door connecting this garden with the outside. From second-floor balconies around the garden hang carpets. These colorful pieces of paradise harmonize with the sound of mugham. Sitting under a tree makes me suddenly realize what I have missed for years in the spring far from my home city Baku. This something is mugham, inseparable from the first days of spring, the air full of the aroma of blossoming cherry and apple trees, the intense sunshine making the sky ring like the strings of a tar, and the light breeze of the Caspian Sea whispering its own soft melody. In early morning, walking through the narrow streets of the old city, one hears windows, balconies, and doors banging open and the sound of mugham coming from every house, bouncing off the walls. As the sun rises, women drape the balconies with their rugs, whose colors, women believe, reflect the warmth and glow of the day. The city wakes up, and the sound of mugham gradually embraces Baku, becoming its voice sounding in parks and gardens, on the radio and television, in private houses and concert halls.