Festival of Bakhshiwas Held in Turkmenistan


In Yzgant village of Geokdepe etrap, it was held song and music festival “School of tutorship - the spiritual heritage of the people”. This creative action was organized jointly by the Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan and Ahal Velayat Municipality. 

Well-known masters-virtuosos, whom the Turkmen respectfully call “halypa”, their young and talented students as well as popular folk singers of the regions and Ashgabat take part the festival. 

From time immemorial, we have reached a multi-faceted art of Bakshi - a whole layer of Turkmen culture, example of high professionalism, which was formed on the basis of centuries-old artistic traditions and perfected by each new generation in living performing practice. 

Names of Turkmen musicians are mentioned in the works of scientists- historians of the past, telling about the famous people, who have left a deep mark in various fields of science and culture of the Medieval East. The famous Venetian traveler Marco Polo, who left his data about bakhshi of the end of XIII century showed great interest to their creativity. Works of art and movies are devoted to them. 

At all times, the art of bakhshi enjoyed in our country special honor and respect, because, it reflected the people's life, their soul. Singing and tales of bakhshi contained truthful and excited story of the joys and sorrows, the beauty of feelings, the hopes of their countrymen. 

It is noteworthy that the venue of the festival is Ahal province, which natives were many masters of Turkmen folk music: Kelbakhshi, Sary bakhshi, Tachmamed Suhankuliyev, MyllyTachmyradov, Purli Sariyev and others. The glory of them walked across whole Turkmen land. They visited different regions of the country with concerts, performed at meetings arranged by music lovers, holidays, tea houses, yurtas and under open air before numerous audience. Here, it was originated the talent of Sahi Jepbarov, whose popularity has overstepped the limits of his native land. Connoisseurs of this art form especially highlight the performance by Sahy Jepbarov of destans “Shasenem and Garib”, “Leyli and Mejnun” and songs to the verses of classical poets. 

People still keep in memory the names of prominent bakhshi, composes about them the legends and songs. Performances of famous performers of Turkmen epics and destans, songs to the verses of Mahtumkuli Fragi, Seydi, Zelili, Kemine, Mollanepes were included in “golden fund” of the national musical culture. 

Turkmen national instruments sound today as part of various orchestras, and dutar still occupies a leading position in the national musical culture. It was also expanded the repertoire of dutar players, which consisted of music of other peoples of the world, including the classic, making a unique originality in the concert programs. 

Creativity of famous virtuosos inspires the professional and amateur musicians and singers - successors of the best traditions of the legendary Turkmen bakhshi. Everybody, who were at the Cultural Palace named after Myalikguly Berdimuhammedov in “Yzgant” village, could make sure of it. 

Replacing each other, the representatives of the national musical and song art of all provinces and the Turkmen capital appeared on the stage. Each performance contained several numbers - instrumental music, fragments of destans as well as the singing art. 

Festival participants demonstrated excellent possession not only of dutar, but also gijak, garry and dilli tuyduk. The audience also enjoyed to melodies of other ancient instruments. 

There were destans and songs created to the lyric verses of prominent Turkmen poets. As is known, destan performer, trying to convey the whole range of characters’ moods, can cause to themselves and others, various and intense feelings - from deep sadness to lift of mood and real ecstasy. And this is another miracle, created by the silvery sounds of dutar, the creative genius of the Turkmen people. 

The recognized masters were always surrounded with dozens of students – so, it was formed the schools, formed the original directions in singing and instrumental performance. Present generation of “populists” preserves and develops traditions of the Turkmen folk music, equaling to its creators and custodians that was excellently demonstrated by young bakhshi, glorifying the creative spirit of the prosperous epoch of the powerful state. 

Participants warmly welcomed the group of women-bakhshi from Ashgabat. It is known a lot of folk tales and legends about the outstanding abilities of Turkmen women in singing and playing the dutar in which they are often superior to the famous performers-men. 

Poetic, spectacular, rich in emotions musical mini-performances, reflecting the peculiarities of the national melody, were appreciated worthily by the audience, who awarded the concert participants with applauses. 

The final number of the festival program was a joint performance of the creative group of Akhal province, ensemble of dutar players of the Turkmen National Conservatoire, ensemble of tuydukchi of the Turkmen State Special Musical School named after D. Ovezov as well as group of folk musicians of the Special Music boarding school. 

At the end of the concert, it was held a solemn awarding ceremony of the winners of the festival, who received special diplomas and memorable gifts.



15.04.2016.                                                                                                                    State News Agency of Turkmenistan, 
                                                                                                                                      photo by Hasan Magadov