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PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal

Song creativity of Suleiman Aleskerov

Niftiyeva Ulfat Namig

Dissertation, Department of Music Theory, Baku Music Academy named after Uzeyir Hajibeyov

AZ1000, Azerbaidzhan, g. Baku, Azerbaidzhan, ul. Ul. Sh. Badalbeili, 98








Abstract: The subject of the research is the study of the specific stylistic features of the songwriting of the outstanding composer Suleiman Aleskerov, who played an exceptional role in the prosperity and development of the musical art of Azerbaijan, the study of the role of vocal music in the composer's work, the identification of the main features of his songs by analysis. The object of the study is the songwriting of Suleiman Aleskerov. In this context, the object of the study is to study the composer's attitude to the sources of song creativity, to the sources of folk music, to identify the national characteristics of the musical language of his songs, its originality. His songwriting is analyzed from the point of view of thematic and genre diversity, special attention is paid to the study of musical form, rhythm, mugham, melodic language of his songs. The main results of the study are that, despite the fact that Aleskerov's songs differ in musical structure, textural features, the definiteness of the national mugham is clearly expressed in them, the content of the melody, the intonation core is revealed. The author's special merits in studying the topic are that the main feature manifested in the melodies of songs is associated with the appearance of such mughams as shchur, segah, shushtar, bayat shiraz, which occur above the harmonic structure of a major or minor. Although his lyrical songs show the qualities inherent in folk songs, they differ in musical language. So, here the peculiarities of the romance genre come to the fore, and not folk songs. This is especially evident in the widely developed, smooth melody, which in its style is associated with mugham. The scientific novelty of the research lies in the fact that the songwriting of Suleiman Aleskerov was studied, the musical language of his songs and the stylistic features of the composer were revealed. The composer's songs in various genres were analyzed, the themes of his work, genre features, creative attitude to folk music and mugham were revealed.


Suleiman Aleskerov, composer, song, music analysis, verse, chorus, lad, rhythm, mugam, style

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

The outstanding composer Suleiman Aleskerov, who played an exceptional role in the development and prosperity of Azerbaijani music, a worthy successor, devoted to the musical traditions of the founder and creator of Azerbaijani professional music Uzeyir Hajibeyov, composed interesting works in many genres, and gained fame. He was born on February 22, 1924 in the city of Shusha, Nagorno-Karabakh. S. Aleskerov graduated from the class of Professor Boris Zeidman at the Department of Composition of the Azerbaijan State Conservatory in 1948. His work dates back to the second half of the XX century. S. Alekskerov, who had a rich musical heritage, composed musical works in many genres of Azerbaijani professional music. The genre of operetta occupies the main place in his work. He is the author of 12 musical comedies ("The Star", "We know ourselves", "The Beggar son of a millionaire", "Where are you bachelor life", "Sevindik is looking for a girl", "Hamishakhanum", etc.). S. Aleskerov's operas "Bahadur and Sona", "Leading Flowers", symphonies "Youth" and "Motherland", symphonic mugham "Bayaty - Shiraz", symphonic poem and suites, 3 concerts for tar, up to 200 songs and romances, "Tarantella", "Toccata Dances", "Rondo", "Ashuk Song" and other works are the pearls of Azerbaijani music. Suleiman Aleskerov died on January 21, 2000.

As you know, the song genre in Azerbaijan has passed a long way of development. This genre occupies a significant place in Azerbaijani music due to its artistic, aesthetic and stylistic features. The variety, content, breadth of themes, genre and style features of folk songs are expressed in the composer's songs and are further enriched. Our composers, who have different creative styles, musical worldviews and attitudes, continuing folk traditions, have created works that meet all the requirements of the song genre.

Along with folk songs that have remained in the memory of our people for a long time, our composers, who have kept oral traditions since the beginning of the last century, have created an incredible number of beautiful, memorable and popular songs. After the genius of Uzeyir Hajibeyov, who developed this genre with his colorful, highlevel songs with a national flavor and played an important role in the spiritual education of many generations, composers Jahangir Jahangirov [1. pp. 23-28], Suleiman Aleskerov, Said Rustamov [2. pp. 473-487], Tofiq Guliyev [3. pp. 36 - 37], Haji Khanmamedov [4. pp. 20-23], Emin Sabitoglu [5], Ramiz Mirishli [6. pp. 73-83], Ogtay Kazimi [7. pp. 28-33], Elsa Ibragimova [8. pp. 113-116] and others.

The composer S. Aleskerov almost turned to the song genre for all his creativity, and created melodies with a variety of themes that reflect various themes in songs. The composer, based on poems reflecting the most important issues of his time and day, turned in his work to those poems that correspond to the peculiarities of the song genre. From this point of view, he composed very beautiful and diverse, rich songs with a national spirit on the words of such outstanding poets of Azerbaijan as Mirza Alakber Sabir, Mikail Mushfiq, Suleiman Rustam, Mamed Araz, Mamed Rahim, Hikmet Zia, Nariman Hasanzade, Aliaga Kurchayly, Ahmed Jamil, Ajdar Giyasly and the words of other poets.

S. Aleskerov's songwriting coincides with the works of Soviet composers Anatoly Novikov, Alexander Alexandrov, Isaac Dunaevsky, Vladimir Zakharov, Arkady Ostrovsky, Alexandra Pakhmutova, Serafim Tulikov, Eduard Kalmanovsky and others. A special place in the works of composers of this period was occupied by songs-memories of the Great Patriotic War, songs of the struggle for peace, songs about the Motherland, lyrical and labor songs, youth songs, etc.

S. Aleskerov, who admired the culture and art of the Motherland since childhood and adolescence, he mastered mughams and folk songs with great enthusiasm, successfully used them in his work.

People's Artists of the USSR - Bulbul, Rashid Behbudov, Lutfiar Imanov, People's Artists of the Republic of Azerbaijan - Shovkat Alekperova, Gulaga Mammadov, Flora Karimova, Mobil Akhmedov, Aygon Bayramova, Samir Jafarov, Honored Artists Yashar Safarov, Zakir Aliyev and others performed songs by S. Aleskerov.

The songs he composed were published as a collection in various years. The titles of the collections are as follows: Lyrical songs, Songs, Song of the border guards, We are connected with this land, Songs of labor and courage, Long live the master, My Homeland, I'm waiting, Wait for me, etc. Let's take a closer look at the analysis song creativity of Suleymn Aleskerov.

The composer's songwriting can be grouped according to the content of the theme and the idea:

Songs about the motherland; songs on a love theme; songs embodying the nature of Azerbaijan and its magical beauty; songs dedicated to the heroes of labor; wedding songs; songs on a youth theme; holiday songs; children's songs.

Speaking of songs about the Motherland, one can list such songs of the composer as The Banner of your labor (words: M. Rahim), Karabakh (words: S. Rustam), This is the motherland (words: B. Keserli), Bread of our motherland (words: I. Safarli), My Homeland (words: H. Zia). Love for the Motherland and for the people is the main line in the composer's works. Suleiman Aleskerov in his song "My Homeland" to the words of Hikmet Zia speaks of insatiability with beauty, the sun, springs, the air of his homeland [9. pp. 91-93]. The song is written in the tempo of Moderato con moto, with a note of Mi and with a 6/8 size, which is based on the Shikesteya - farce section of the mugama Segyah [10, 13]. If you pay attention to the musical analysis, you can see that the song consists of an introductory part, a verse and a chorus [9. pp. 91-93]. First of all, you should pay attention to the introductory part, where the melody is provided in two phrases - A + A1. The phrase A, which consists of 4 parts and the phrase A1, which covers 4 parts in a relatively variable form, is performed on the piano as a solo. In the last two parts of the introductory phrase, the process of preparing for the performance of the verse takes place (see example 1).

Example 1. S. Aleskerov. The song "My homeland".

The verse of the song written in the Shikestei - farce section of the mugama Segah with the note Mi consists of 3 phrases (A + A1 + B). Each phrase consists of 4 parts. At the same time, the melody changes in the singing part, set in 2 phrases (C + C1) and justified by the Shikestei farce section [9. pp. 91-93].

Longing for the land and homeland was a wound for Suleiman Aleskerov. This longing was expressed in the song "Karabakh", whose words belong to Suleiman Rustam [9. pp. 3-8]. The whole song consists of 3 verses with 6 half-verses. The composer, who was inspired by the words of the poet, who inhaled the fragrance of the flowers of his native land, subscribed to a beautiful song about heroism. In a certain song, in every note of which homesickness was felt, and Shusha sounds a certain call and faith in patriotism and victory. The composer, who enriched his work with mughams in this song, also remained true to his traditions. The composer used mugham Shushter with the maye-tonic "do" and Rast with the maye-tonic "do" and "E flat" for the song "Karabakh" [10, 13]. The song, written with a 6/8 size, consists of an introductory part and three parts, which attracts attention with the subtlety of mugham.

The songs dedicated by the composer of the Second World War turned out to be relevant for each period of time. This composer, in whose songs the notes of the heroism of our soldiers during the Great Patriotic War sounded, of course, could not remain indifferent when the people stood face to face with the enemy force, and when the earth breathed fire. The composer, who was inspired by the military feat, reflected the desire to win, and love for the motherland in such songs as "The Ballad of the Unknown Soldier" (words: H. Zia), "We are connected with this land" (words: A. Aslanov), "Wait for me" (words: A. Shirzad), "Veterans (words: M. Yagub), Hero" (words: M. Aslan), We must win" (words: G. Musayev), Soldier's March" (words: B. Orujogly), I'm waiting" (words: Z. Jabbarzade) and in other songs.

Songs written on a love theme occupy an important place in the work of Suleiman Aleskerov. Such songs as You are my star (words: T. Eyyubov), Let my beloved know (words: N. Ganjeli), Gray-eyed (words: R. Rza), First Memories (words: I. Safarli), Eyes song" (words: I. Gokchayly), If I knew that you would come (words: Z. Gamidoglu), I came (words: F. Hajiyev), Song about a star (words: S. Rahman), When two hearts merge (words: A. Giyasly), If you won me (words: Sh. Mehdiyev) and numerous other songs are distinguished by their subtlety, beauty and lyricism. Despite the fact that his lyrical songs show such qualities that are characteristic of folk songs, they are much different due to the language of music, since here the peculiarities of the romance genre come to the fore than folk songs. This is especially connected with mugham due to its style, which manifests itself in a melody with a wide scope. In particular, the mood and intonation resulting from the mugham mainly affects the structural features of the melody. One of the samples on the love theme is the song romance "Gray-eyed" to the words of Rasul Rza [11. pp. 3-6]. In particular, the song is given in a simple form with a lyrical expression. If we pay attention to the musical analysis of the song, we witness how two mughams are intertwined here in the form of Segyah and Bayat-Shiraz [10, 13]. The song consists of an introductory part, a verse and a chorus [11. pp. 3-6]. First of all, the introductory part, given with the performance on the piano, is based on the melody. It seems to make up the storyline, the leitmotif of the song (see example 2). In the introductory part of the song, written at the tempo of moderato cantabile and with a 6/8 size, the phrase consisting of 5 bars is set with the participation of a point in the bass voice, including in the melody with one voice and three voice texture.

Example 2. S. Aleskerov. The song is a romance "Gray-eyed".

The basis of the song is Bayaty - Shiraz with maye-tonic "re". The verse consists of two phrases with 4 parts and is given in the form of a period. The period is divided into phrases with two parts. The first phrase ends in the fa tonic with repeated sounding over the mugham Segyah in the form of repetition (see example 3 a). The second phrase is built over a completely distinctive melody. Already the melody here returns to Bayaty Shiraz with the maye-tonic "re" (see example 3 b).

Example 3. S. Aleskerov. The song is a romance "Gray-eyed".

The chorus is based on a new melody (see example 4). The first 6 bars are based on the mugham of Bayat shiraz with the maye-tonic "re". In the transition to a new melody of the chorus, a monotonous interlude sounds. It is interesting that in the next part of the sentences there is a change of frets. So, if the first four bars of the chorus are played in bayati shiraz with the "si" tonic, then the remaining four bars are completed by the supporting steps ("la") of the shikastei - farce section in mugham segah with the "fa" tonic.

Example 4. S. Aleskerov. The song is a romance "Gray-eyed".

Songs embodying the nature and beauty of Azerbaijan occupy a special place in the songwriting of Suleiman Aleskerov. For example, such songs are Gek-gel (words: A. Ziyatai), In Naftalan (words: G. Vekilov), Mingacheur (words; N. Ganjeli), My Agdam (words: A. Giyasly), Beautiful Shusha" (words: Sh. Gurbanov), In Nakhichevan" (words: A. Talyshoglu) and others. From this point of view, the song "In Naftalan", written to the words of G. Vekilov, should be particularly noted [9. pp. 26-31]. If you pay attention to the words of the song, you can see that the poet says that beauty, the spring of life, the corner of mercy, and medicine are in Naftalan. S. Aleskerov, turning these words into the language of music, created a beautiful song with great love thanks to his compositional spirit. If we pay attention to the musical analysis, it can be noted that the song written in the tempo moderato con moto consists of an introductory part, a verse and a chorus with a 2/4 size and is based on mugam Segah with a section of Maya [9. pp. 26-31].

In the works of Suleiman Aleskerov, there are numerous such universal, educational themes as labor, love of the earth, hard work, to live by honest labor, and to see the fruit of this labor. For example, the song "Master Mamed" (words: A. Agayev), dedicated to the Hero of Socialist Labor Mammad Huseynov, "The song about Yagub Rustamov" (words: N. Hasanzade), "Sevil" (words: A. Kurchayly), "The Ballad about cotton grower Solmaz and about the driver mechanic Nazil" (words: A. Kurchayly), Rachel" (words: A. Jamil), Oilman of the Caspian Sea" (words: A. Jamil), Zarifa" (words: M. Alim), Aibeniz" (words: R. Zeka), Nail" (words: R. Ismailova) and others. Every worker, after listening to these works, sees the attitude to his work and even more adheres to work while being inspired by musical sensations. One of the songs from the cycle dedicated to the work and composed in this subject is the song "The Desire of the Earth" to the words of Tahir Taisogly [9. pp.14-20]. In the words of the song, the poet revived the artistic image of the hero of socialist labor Sadraddin Akhmedov. If you pay attention to the musical analysis, you can see that the composer chose two mughams Shushter and Rast for this song. This is one of the features that makes this song interesting. The sound of the above situation in the song with the help of lyrical notes, provides us with a melody in a beautiful form. As if in a song there is an alternation of mughams R ast and Sh ur with a section of Maya. The first verses of the introductory part of the song, consisting of the introductory part, verse and chorus, are presented with a piano structure with a one-voice texture. The next four verses present us with a more detailed melody with the texture of the chord. This sound is repeated with a variant consisting of a quatrain (see example 5). The verse consists of two parts: A+B. Each part is based on different mughams. The first part is written in the lada R ast, and the other in the lada Sh usht e r. Dividing part A into two sentences, it can be noted that the first sentence begins from the upper third of the tonic ("re") and develops with a harmonious melody and temporarily stops in the tonic ("si"). The second sentence is then given as a variant repetition of the same first sentence. In Part B, the musical intonations of the Teerkib magam Shushter section are very clearly visible. This part is also represented by two sentences. The first sentence ends in a half cadence of the tonic, in the second sentence the repetition options in the tonic are given in the form (see example 6). The chorus also consists of two parts. Here the two-part variability of frets is manifested. The first part is built in the rasta mugama, the second part in the Shushter mugama (see example 7).

Example 5. S. Aleskerov. The song "The Desire of the earth".

Example 6. S. Aleskerov. The song "The Desire of the earth".

Example 7. S. Aleskerov. The song "The Desire of the earth".

With. Aleskerov also turned to wedding songs in his songwriting. Such songs include Vagzaly is performed (words: T. Bayram), Let him dance (words: M. Vagif), Girls lighting a lamp (words: T. Elchin). The song Vagzaly is performed to the words of T. Bayram, being an attribute of wedding ceremonies, sounds like a symbol of parents' blessing for the young [12. pp. 53-57]. The music written for the lines Happiness floats from one house to another house, uniting two families, thanks to the love of two young people, instills happiness, love, unity, communication and these lyrical notes, educating humanity according to their characteristics, adorns the whole humanity. The most interesting nuance is that S. Aleskerov writes in his memoirs that he dedicated this song to his daughter Kenul. If you pay attention to the analysis of the music, then you can see that the song is written under the rhythm of the mugham of the Rasta section of Mayei. The verse of the song is written in the form of a reprise. If the melody of the verse is taken as B and B1, then here we become witnesses of melodic harmony. In the phrase B, the end of the first 4 parts ends in the fifth of the department in the mugam Rast. This department is called the Shikestei fars section [10, 13]. The phrase B1 is given in a variable form and ends in the Shikestei farce section. Both phrases are repeated. Naturally, referring to the Shikestei farce section, the melody of the middle part repeats for us the melody in the introductory part. Here, the first phrase ends with "fa" in the Shikestei farce section, the second phrase ends in the Mayei mughama Rast section.

Suleiman Aleskerov turned to youth themes in his work. For example: Song of the Star (words: S. Rahman), "Where are you a brave guy? (words: A. Aslanov), A call to unity (words: A. Giyasly), Peaks (words: T. Mutallimov) and others. In these songs, the composer, who educates the younger generation from a moral point of view, and who has armed them with high moral qualities, calls on young people to courage, unity, and struggle.

Our people have been celebrating the Spring Novruz holiday for centuries with great spiritual enthusiasm and zeal. In our musical folklore, there are songs and dances of various spectrum that relate to this holiday. Suleiman Aleskerov, in turn, dedicated songs to such wonderful customs and traditions. For example, a song of this type is the song Festive Song of Spring". This song, written to the words of Hikmet Zia, who is the joint author of numerous songs, as if before our eyes creates a festive scoreboard, while reviving the grandiose nationwide fun.

The composer, who deeply knew child psychology, did not forget children and composed numerous songs for children. An example for these songs can be The Song of schoolchildren (words: G. Fazli), I subscribe (words: I. Safarli). The composer tried to give enthusiasm to children, while embodying in his compositions the joy and joy of children with sublimity.

S. Aleskerov's songs are also relevant for modern times. Because in his songs the pulse of time is combined with such desires as life, to live and to create, after which it finds its way to the hearts of listeners and these songs are learned by heart.

The article explores the musical form, rhythm, mugham and melodic language of the music of the songs of the famous composer S. Aleskerov. The compositional structure of the songs is based on a three-part and verse form. The structure of the form is often related to the structure of the poetic text. The melodic features of the songs we are considering are related to the basis of mugham.


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After the collapse of the USSR, professional scientific and musical ties with the former Soviet republics gradually began to weaken and even completely lost. The subject "Musical culture of the peoples of the USSR" was abolished in Russian musical institutions, and in the newly formed states Russian and Soviet music was almost immediately transferred to the status of "foreign" with a minimum number of hours to study it. All this did not contribute to cultural interactions and the replenishment of knowledge about the latest musical history and musical science in the former republics of the USSR. In addition, the translation of writing from Cyrillic to Latin in many new states created a difficult transition period in which the scientific staff of the older generation could not write in Latin, and the youth could not read in Cyrillic. For these and some other reasons, any new article or monograph in Russian about music and musicians from the republics Russia's closest neighbors is a priori welcomed and encouraged. Especially when it comes to the famous Azerbaijani composer and conductor, professor, People's Artist of the Azerbaijan SSR Suleiman Aleskerov (1924-2000). It is known that he is the author of two operas, twelve operettas, numerous symphonic works, cantatas, plays, two hundred romances and songs, as well as a number of textbooks for secondary schools. Suleiman Aleskerov's songs were published several times back in Soviet times, but they did not receive scientific understanding, as far as is clear from the reviewed text. The author talks about the themes that the famous Azerbaijani composer raises in his songwriting, gives a long list of the names of poets with whom he collaborated, tries to analyze musical texts, finding "traces" of traditional mughams in them. Noting that S. Aleskerov's songs were created at the same time when Anatoly Novikov, Alexander Alexandrov, Isaac Dunaevsky, Vladimir Zakharov, Arkady Ostrovsky, Alexandra Pakhmutova, Serafimm Tulikov, Eduard Kolmanovsky and others were creating, the applicant writes about the thematic coincidences of their songs. These were songs-memories of the Great Patriotic War, the struggle for peace, songs about the Motherland, lyrical, labor, youth songs, etc. Recognizing the importance of the work submitted for review, it should be noted that it must be rewritten into Russian. Almost half of the article is written "not in Russian", with expressions similar to these: "in 1948, he graduated from the class of Professor Boris Zeidman at the Department of Composition of the Azerbaijan State Conservatory"; "Composer S. Aleskerov almost turned to the song genre for all his work, and created melodies with a variety of themes that reflect different themes in songs"; "he mastered mughams, folk songs with great enthusiasm, successfully used them in his work", "The composer, based on poems reflecting the most important issues of his time and day, turned in his work to those poems that correspond to the peculiarities of the song genre"; "The composer's songwriting can be grouped according to the content of the theme and idea"; "The song is written in the tempo of Moderato con moto, with a note of Mi and with a 6/8 size, which is based on the section Shikesteyi - farce of mugama Segyah", etc. The analysis of musical texts does not stand up to criticism, revealing a lack of mastery of modern analytical methods. The expression "If you pay attention to musical analysis" occurs seven times in the text, which has become almost an author's idiom. The numerous typos "Kalmanovsky" instead of "Kolmanovsky", "Suleimna" instead of "Suleiman", "single-active" instead of "one-stroke", etc. are upsetting. Numerals are given without the usual Russian written instructions for their ending: "from 4 parts". The verbal lyrics of the songs are called "words" instead of "verses". Unfortunately, it is often also announced from the stage: "The composer is so-andso, the words are so-and-so," thereby belittling the work of poets. The author of the article failed to upload musical examples, which also reduced the quality of perception of the text. Once again, we emphasize the importance of the topic under consideration by the applicant. I would like to hear what was the peculiarity of the melodic and rhythmic language of Suleiman Aleskerov's songs? Why didn't his songs appear on the All-Union stage? What place do they occupy in the modern culture of Azerbaijan? Are covers of these songs being created? What is the semantic meaning of the mugham elements used in Suleiman Alaskerov's songs? Which of them correspond to certain song genres? It seems that the answers to these and other questions will help make the article more informative and interesting. Comments of the editor-in-chief dated 02/04/2022: "The author has fully taken into account the comments of the reviewers and corrected the article. The revised article is recommended for publication"
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