"Living cultural relics" in Xinjiang-- Muqam

Source: Global Times [17:11 March 17 2011]

Muqam is a kind of musical phenomenon spreading among those nationalities that mainly depend on agriculture and farming in oasis in Xinjiang. Apart from Xinjiang in China, there are also various forms of Muqam music in more than 20 different countries. However, the Muqam music in Xinjiang boasts the biggest composition, longest history and richest forms among all the extant Muqam music.

Have you ever heard a concert that takes one day and one night to play? The 12 Muqam of Xinjiang's Uygur people has 360 melodies, 4,000-plus lines of lyrics, and the whole set needs 24 hours to finish.

Muqam of Xinjiang serves as a witness of cultural exchanges between the east and the west. Being the communication hub en route the Silk Road, Xinjiang experienced collision and melting of eastern and western cultures. Consequently, the development of Muqam, originated from the local people, has greatly taken on the influence of multi-culture, presenting a scene of radiant splendours.