Reference Pieces for The Hajibeyli International Composition Competition

Uzeyir Hajibeyli

Uzeyir Hajibeyli

Uzeyir Hajibeyli was born in Azerbaijan on September 18, 1885, and grew up in the cultural capital of the ancient Azerbaijani Khanate of Karabakh — Shusha. 

Major accomplishments include:

  • establishing a unique tonality of the Azerbaijani classical music by combining Eastern and Western musical traditions
  • linking the language of the Azerbaijani mugham (intricate art form that ties poetry and music in distinct modes) with Western forms and genres
  • writing the first opera in the Islamic world in 1908 and the first operetta in 1910
  • founding the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire (now the Baku Academy of Music) in 1920
  • establishing the Orchestra of Azerbaijani Folk Instruments in 1931
  • publishing the first Azerbaijani music theory book (The Principles of Azerbaijani Folk Music) in 1945 and many others

Surely, most of all, as the American music historian, composer, pianist Robert Greenberg puts it: “what is of greatest importance is his music, which is a delight. It is tonal, infused with energy and a folk sensibility but extremely refined and well written.”

“Contending Urbanization Through Satire: Late Imperial Baku as Seen in Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s If Not That One, Then This One In 1806, the city of Baku was a sleepy port town of about 3,000-5,000 Turkic and Persian Muslims, governed by a local Khan who swore fealty to the Qajar state. Compared to the cities of Shamakha to the north and Shusha to the west…” Read more

If Not That One, Then This One

If Not That One, Then This One (commonly known as “Mashadi Ibad”) is an operetta in four acts describing the Azerbaijani society of the time, written in 1910 by Uzeyir Hajibeyli.

1Song of Mashadi Ibad
pp. 20 – 23 (in full score)
00:22:17 (in Azerbaijani)
00:21:20 (in Russian)
2Deyirlər ki, toy olacaq choir
pp. 32 – 37 (in full score)
00:33:13 (in Azerbaijani)
00:32:03 (in Russian)
3Gedək, gedək qazıya deyək choir
pp. 88 – 92 (in full score)
01:25:59 (in Azerbaijani)
01:22:39 (in Russian)

If Not That One Then This One (in Azerbaijani)

If Not That One Then This One(in Russian)

“O Olmasin, Bu Olsun (If Not This One, That One) Composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov (1885-1948) was a multi-talented genius who excelled in depicting the social issues of his day. The musical comedy, “O Olmasin, Bu Olsun” (often called by the name of its protagonist, “Mashadi Ibad”)…” Read more

Arshin Mal Alan

Arshin Mal Alan (lit. The Cloth Peddler) is a romantic operetta written in 1913 by Uzeyir Hajibeyli.

4Aria of Asker
pp. 11 – 19 (in full score)
00:03:50 (in Azerbaijani)
00:01:08 (in Russian)
5Choir of Girls
pp. 47 – 50 (in full score)
00:24:40 (in Azerbaijani)
00:22:22 (in Russian)
6Aria of Gulchohra
pp. 58 – 69 (in full score)
00:30:40 (in Azerbaijani)
00:31:44 (in Russian)
7Song of Asya
pp. 101 – 105 (in full score)
00:57:09 (in Azerbaijani)
00:58:42 (in Russian)

Arshin Mal Alan (in Azerbaijani)

Arshin Mal Alan (in Russian with English subtitles)

Arshin Mal Alan (The Cloth Peddler) The music in Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s comedy “Arshin Mal Alan” [1913] has been described as the most optimistic music of pre-Revolutionary Azerbaijan [prior to 1920]. No work expresses more…” Read more


Koroglu (lit. The Blind Man’s Son) is an opera in five acts based on the epic of the same name presented in 1937 written by Uzeyir Hajibeyli.

pp. 1 – 2 (in full score)
9Aria of Nigar
pp. 46 – 47 (in full score)
10Aria of Koroglu
pp. 64 – 66 (in full score)

Koroglu opera by Uzeyir Hajibeyli

“Booklet of Uzeyir Hajibeyli’s “Koroglu” opera Uzeyir Hajibeyli’s “Koroghlu” opera is considered one of the unique samples of the world’s classical operas. The opera has been composed in 1932-1936 and…” Read more