Monday Music: Bardic Divas: Women’s Voices in Central Asia

Kenjegul Kubatova Kyrgyz songs.  Image from Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

Kenjegul Kubatova singing Kyrgyz songs.
Image from Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

Today’s Monday Music post comes from a 2007 Smithsonian Folkways release entitled “Music of Central Asia Vol. 4: Bardic Divas: Women’s Voices in Central Asia.”

Focusing on diverse styles of women’s music throughout central Asia, the series is part of a 10 cd set and is a co-production of the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia, a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

This short clip comes from the accompanying DVD and features ten women singers explaining the roots of their craft, the role of music in marking stages of life (birth, weddings, deaths) and how, in many cases, such traditions were once dominated by men.

You can order the cd and DVD here. 


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Monday Music posts are semi-weekly features on the Boiled Down Juice, exploring music that both unites the past with the present and articulates (overtly or subtly) where we’ve been and where we want to go. And sometimes it’s just about sharing a song we love. We’d love to hear about the songs you love.