Discovering the Beauty of Tajikistan Folk Music

Discovering the Beauty of Tajikistan Folk Music – a blog about my experience learning and enjoying traditional Tajik music.


Tajikistan is a country located in Central Asia with a population of over 8 million people. The official language spoken here is Tajik, however Russian is also widely used. The majority of the population is Muslim and the currency is the somoni.

The music of Tajikistan has been influenced by its Central Asian neighbors, as well as Persia and Russia. The two main types of music are folk and classical. Tajik folk music often includes the use of string instruments, such as the dutar and nay, as well as percussion instruments. Classical music, on the other hand, is more similar to that of Persia and features instruments such as the tar and setar.

In this article, we will be focusing on Tajikistan folk music. Keep reading to learn more about this fascinating topic!

The history of Tajikistan folk music

Tajikistan folk music is a genre of music that is often overlooked. The music is rich with history and has been passed down from generation to generation. The music is a reflection of the people and the culture of Tajikistan.

The origins of Tajikistan folk music

Tajikistan folk music has its origins in the music of the ancient Persian Empire. Tajikistan is situated in Central Asia, between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The people of Tajikistan are predominantly Muslim, and the music reflects this influence.

Tajikistan folk music is characterized by its use of the dutar, a two-stringed instrument similar to the lute. The dutar is used to accompany vocalists, who sings epic poems called dastans. These poems recount the history and legends of Tajikistan, and are often passed down from generation to generation.

Tajikistan folk music has a wide range of styles, from the upbeat and cheerful to the more tragic and emotive. The music is often used to express the emotions of love, loss, and joy. It is an important part of Tajik culture, and helps to keep the country’s rich history alive.

The influence of Tajikistan folk music

The music of Tajikistan has a long history and is deeply rooted in the country’s culture and heritage. Tajikistan folk music is particularly influenced by the music of Central Asia, Persia, and the Middle East. In recent years, Tajikistan folk music has also been influenced by Western music, resulting in a unique and distinctive sound.

Tajikistan folk music is traditionally performed by solo vocalists or small groups of musicians. instruments used in Tajikistan folk music include the dutar (a two-stringed instrument), the tabla (a percussion instrument), and the sitar (a plucked string instrument).

Tajikistan folk music varies depending on the region of the country. For example, Garmi music from the Pamir Mountains is characterized by its use of extended vocal techniques, while Badakhshani music from southeastern Tajikistan features intricate rhythms and melodic patterns.

Tajikistan folk music has undergone a resurgence in popularity in recent years, thanks in part to the efforts of the Tajik government to promote and preserve the country’s musical heritage. In addition, Tajikistan’s increasing tourism industry has helped to bring Tajikistan folk music to a wider audience.

The different genres of Tajikistan folk music

Tajikistan is a country located in Central Asia with a rich culture and history. One of the aspects of this culture is music. Tajikistan folk music is a type of music that is traditionally performed by the people of Tajikistan. This music is typically characterized by its use of traditional instruments, such as the dutar and nai, and its focus on vocal performance. There are a variety of different genres of Tajikistan folk music, each with its own unique style and sound.


Shashmaqom is one of the many genres of Tajikistan folk music. It is a highly stylized and ornamented form of music, usually performed by a solo singer with accompaniment from one or more string instruments. The lyrics of shashmaqom are typically focused on religious or moral themes, and the music often has a mystical or spiritual quality.

Sufi music

Sufi music is a genre of Tajikistan folk music that is devotional and contemplative. It is often based on the poetry of Sufi mystics and often features singing and instruments such as the rubab (a type of lute).

Sufi music is popular in Tajikistan, particularly in the Gorno-Badakhshan region. It is sometimes performed at Sufi shrines or in sufi gathering places called “khanasqahs”.

One of the most famous Sufi musicians from Tajikistan is Majnoona Shamsiddinova, who was born in Gorno-Badakhshan in the early 20th century. She was a master of the rubab and helped to popularize Sufi music in Tajikistan.

Pamiri music

The Pamiri people live in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region in southeastern Tajikistan as well as in parts of Afghanistan, China, and Kyrgyzstan. Their music is characterized by the use of long melodic phrases, similar to those found in Kyrgyz folk music. The instrumentation includes the Chapman stick, a type of long-necked lute, as well as the rubab, a kind of three-stringed lute. The music of the Pamiri people has been influenced by both Central Asian and Middle Eastern traditions.

The instruments used in Tajikistan folk music

The music of Tajikistan has been shaped by the music of its neighbors. Central Asian music is influenced by Persian music, and Tajikistan music is no different. The instruments used in Tajikistan folk music are a mix of Persian and Central Asian instruments.

The dutar

The dutar is the primary instrument used in Tajikistan folk music, and it is said to be the country’snational music instrument. The dutar has two strings that are usually tuned to the same note, and it is played with a plectrum. This instrument is used to accompany solo vocalists as well as to provide accompaniment for traditional dances.

The dutar is related to the Iranian tar, and it is also sometimes called the dotara or doytar. This instrument has been used in Tajik music for centuries, and it remains an important part of Tajik musical culture today.

The rubab

The rubab (Tajik: рубоб, Persian: روباب‎) is a lute-like musical instrument originating from Central Asia. It is mainly used by Tajiks and Uzbeks, and in some parts of Afghanistan. Tajik rubabs often have a softer, sweeter tone in comparison to Afghan rubabs. The instrument consists of three main parts – the resonator (dam), the neck, and the head. The resonator is made of wood, usually mulberry or walnut. The neck and head are often carved out of a single piece of wood. The strings are made of nylon or gut.

The instrument is played with the right hand while the left hand supports the neck. The player plucks the strings with his right hand fingers while simultaneously pressing down on different strings with his left hand to change the pitch. There are generally three strings on Tajik rubabs and up to six on Afghan rubabs.

The sitar

One of the most popular instruments used in Tajikistan folk music is the sitar. The sitar is a traditional string instrument that has been used in the country for centuries. The sitar is commonly used in folk music, but it can also be found in classical and popular music. The sitar is a very versatile instrument, and it can be used for a wide range of genres.

The sitar is a long-necked, dragon-headed instrument that has a wooden body and skin head. The sitar has seven main strings and eleven sympathetic strings. The sitar is played with a plectrum, and the player plucks the strings with his right hand while he presses down on the strings with his left hand to create different pitches.

The sitar produces a very unique sound, and it is often used to create an ethereal atmosphere in music. The sitar is a very popular instrument in Tajikistan, and it is often used in traditional folk music.

The popularity of Tajikistan folk music

Tajikistan’s folk music is unique and has a long history. The music is a mix of Persian and Central Asian influences. It is very popular in the country and is often played at weddings and other celebrations. Tajikistan’s folk music is also very popular with tourists.

Tajikistan folk music in the modern world

Tajikistan folk music has long been appreciated for its unique sound and intricate melodies. In recent years, the popularity of this genre has grown tremendously, with artists from Tajikistan and around the world incorporating it into their own music.

One of the most well-known Tajikistan folk music groups is Garmoniya, which was formed in Dushanbe in the early 2000s. The group has won numerous awards and accolades, and their music has been featured on television and radio programs across Central Asia.

In addition to Garmoniya, there are many other Tajikistan folk music groups that are making a name for themselves in the modern world. These groups are bringing new life to an old genre, and their music is sure to be enjoyed by audiences for years to come.

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