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The twelve Mukam

Famous throughout China and abroad is the ancient uygur “twelve _part Mukam”Mukam means “music” or “musical chapter” in Arabic language it is  a development of  uygur folk music towards the cyclical form and a treasure of artistry that perfectly integrates uygur music and dance .people call it the greatest treasure in the orient musical history which has been passing on for thousands of years and uygur people considered it as the mother of music and the light of  life. from this point we can see how important the twelve _part Mukam  in the uygur people’s life .

   Mukam is the name of   all the Islam music ,the twelve parts of it  all named in Islamic or Persia language .all kinds of Mukam in Xinjiang are formally formed during 16th century after popularing in folkways and after the hardworking of musicians of   Yarkant to compile and create it. meanwhile make it more integratly  and various even better in the form. the twelve part Mukam can be mainly divided into three parts: the first part is called “qionglakeman” which is first of all  make the music and then the performers following the music to sing and dance ;the second part named “dasitan” when the performance begin there not only have music but also have songs however, according to the old rules the dancers are not allow to sing  while the singers are not permitted to dance . “maixirap” is the third part which mainly based on dancing, this part is also the best and lively part . Mukam poplar throughout north and south xinjiang . it includes over 340 ancient narrative songs ,suites of narrative folksongs ,dance tunes and impromptu melodies .

   There are five  forms of Mukam in xinjiang such as the “Kashgar Mukam” “Yili Mukam” “Hami Mukam” “Daolang Mukam”and “Turpan Mukam”which are all named after the places they are originated .although all the kinds of Mukam have many common features they also have their own characteristics. especially the “Turpan Mukam” is very different from the Mukam which is populared in the southern Xinjiang. In Turpan Mukam there are some tunes are very similar to the tunes of  Han music style ,why do they  have common feature? As matter of fact this is not difficulty to understand because from Han Dynasty  Turpan is one of important towns on the ancient silk road and its also the hub of communication between Xinjiang and the inland of china so when the different kinds of music meet together they will influenced each other. In every part of Turpan Mukam the musicians will used many different kinds of musical instruments making very complex melodies and at the end the atmosphere is very high and happy .In Turpan the hometown of twelve-part Mukam is Lukeqin township over there they formed a Mukam group to promote the ancient music, up to now there are 42 members in the group even though only few people can do the Mukam in order to protect it not to extinguished from the world the people’s government and all musicians and all other people work together to apply UNESCO list for it through this way we can let more people know it and protect it.

   At the end of 2005  the twelve-part Mukam is listed on the UNESCO list .The twelve-part Mukam has been to abroad from the year of 2004 the musicians of  Mukam are regularly invited to western countries to perform so we can say that the twelve-part Mukam is pearl of Xinjiang and is the crystallization of uygur people .

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