'Mugham incident’ on Russian TV
A few days ago, a Russian singer Larisa Dolina said after a performance by Alexey Chumakov in a TV show ‘One and the Same’: “It is very difficult to sing mugham. Few people have mastered that. Many people try to learn it, but they fail to succeed… Only the Armenians can sing mugham; and the Azerbaijanis also sing mugham well.” The incident caused indignation of spectators who knew that mugham was a form of the Azerbaijani folk music and deeply rooted in the culture of the nation.
Chingiz Huseynov, a writer and literary critic, told Vestnik Kavkaza that “television must be in the lead on such issues. One should be careful and sensitive. The ‘mugham incident’ emerged, basically, because of a nonsense. It was necessary to explain clearly to the very talented singer Dolina that she just showed incompetence in her judgment, when she decided to show off that she knew what mugham was. Chanson has nothing in common with the mugham genre which is a special classical line in the art of music. The instrument plays a huge role in mugham. And there is also a vocal part, but it plays a subordinate role. Chanson is also a very interesting but lower genre. However, instead of explaining this to Dolina calmly, a flurry of indignation erupted. Moreover, it should have been mentioned that the Armenians dominated in this particular situation.”
It turned out that Alexey Chumakov whose mother is an Armenian, sang a song by Boki (Boris Davidyan), an author of chansons, and one of the jury members was Tigran Keoasyan. “They should have not started talking about Baku, Azerbaijan, and mugham at all,” Chingiz Huseynov believes.