ABSTRACT

A SIMPLE GEOMETRIC FIGURE IS REPEATED AGAIN AND AGAIN ON THE field of the Azerbaijanian carpet. The repetitiveness of the pattern captures one's eyes, draws one's mind to rest and contemplation when suddenly the exactness of this design breaks, appears illusive. One's eyes catch irregularities and imperfections in each reflection of the same motif. Changed colors, added dots, curves, or lines, new accents define an internal dynamic of the overall design, while the repetitions seem endless, appearing to cross the carpet's border. Likewise, a short musical motif spinning into a chain of its own repetitions, slightly extended, abbreviated, and ornamented, forms a never-ending sound arabesque. Stopped at any time, it can be at any time continued. In the same way, old stories are told and retold numerous times, each version based on and interpreting a general archetype. Over a hundred known versions of Leili and Majnun depict different places and times, emphasizing different characteristics of the heroes and situations. Every rendition is valuable as a unique piece of art. All together they form a literary continuum. In his songs, the poet re-tells an old story. Yet it is always new,

At the intersection of new and old in the early twentieth century Azerbaijanian music composed music was born. It history began with the 1908 premiere of Leili and Majnun, National symphonic music originated thirty years later in association with another Hajibeyov opera, Keroglu (1938), whose overture followed the classical sonata form and laid the ground for the native symphony (Zokhrabov and Kasimova, 1987: 199). Another ten years passed after Keroglu before the first mugham-symphonies, Shur and Kurd Ovshari, were performed. This delay in the assimilation of the symphonic genre in Azerbaijanian music can be explained by

specifics of the two genres in relation to the traditions of native music and musical perceptions of native audiences.