- Jean During
Country in the Caucasus of Central Asia of 86,600 km², with an estimated population of 7·83 million (2000). Since 1828 Azerbaijan has consisted of two parts; one forms a province of Iran, whilst the other, which was a Soviet socialist republic from 1920 onwards, became independent in 1991.
The varieties of music found in Azerbaijan can be found across an area which extends to Kurdistan in the south and Zanjan and Ghazvin in the east. In terms of ethnicity, culture, religion and politics the Azeri are musically much closer to Iran than Turkey. Their mugam music also formed part of the Armenian repertory for a long time. However, there has been a tendency among the Armenians for some decades now to reject this music because of the growth in nationalism on both sides which resulted from the geopolitical division of Transcaucasia in 1917. Moreover, some popular bards (...