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Abdulla Majnun - JPop.com
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Abdulla Majnun

Abdulla Majnun

Abdulla Majnun


Abdulla Majnun is a Muqam master from Xinjiang. He learned the classical Uyghur Twelve Muqam suites in his native Khotan, an old city on the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert, first studying with family members and subsequently apprenticing himself to Khotan’s leading musicians. He performs on three different long-necked Central Asian lutes: the traditional tanbur and dutar, and his own innovation, the extraordinary double-necked diltar, which is both bowed and plucked. Read more on Last.fm
Abdulla Majnun is a Muqam master from Xinjiang. He learned the classical Uyghur Twelve Muqam suites in his native Khotan, an old city on the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert, first studying with family members and subsequently apprenticing himself to Khotan’s leading musicians. He performs on three different long-necked Central Asian lutes: the traditional tanbur and dutar, and his own innovation, the extraordinary double-necked diltar, which is both bowed and plucked. Abdulla Majnun’s adopted name means “crazy lover”, denoting intoxication or infatuation, most famously in the tragic epic tale of Leila and Majnun, which came to Central Asia from the Arabic. Among the Uyghurs, a majnun is a type of musician akin to the dervishes.

The infatuation of these majnun is understood in the Sufi sense of longing for the divine, but they are also feared, said to frequent graveyards at night, and set apart from normal society. The intoxication of the majnun borders on madness. During the chaos of the Chinese Cultural Revolution Abdulla Majnun wandered for several years with ashiqs, the religious beggars who sing for alms in the region’s bazaars and shrine festivals. “My music has the flavor of the ashiq,” says Abdulla. “Where does the flavor come from? It comes from people’s minds, from history, from the heart.

If people sing without passion, the music has no flavor.” In the 1980s, he joined the Muqam Research Group in Urumchi and began work on the task of reconstructing and recording the full set of Twelve Muqam suites. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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