Uzbek music is the result of an enriching mixing of different
cultures. Uzbekistan's independence dates indeed only back to 1991, date
before which the country was a melting pot of Iranian populations and
Turkish nomads who influenced the local music heritage. The Sufi circles,
very conservative, contributed to preserving the traditional rhythms, sounds
and singing. One of the popular songs is called "Shash Maquam".
It consists of an instrumental intro followed by six songs. This singing
art form has been transmitted from generation to generation. Among the numerous instruments
of Uzbek musicians, there are the Ghijak hurdy-gurdy, the lute, the tambur (long
neck lute with 3 metal strings), the zither...
One of the country's stars is Yulduz Usmanova (a blend of techno and traditional Uzbek music).
-700. Founding of what later became Samarqand.
4th century BC. Conquest of Central Asia by Alexander the Great.
From 5th to 10th century. Arab then Turk influences in the country. The great trade routes already ran across Uzbekistan. (Silk road in the south)
13th century. The Mongols invaded all Uzbek territories and sacked Samarqand and many other cities.
Early 18th century. The Russians started coveting the territory.
From 1865. The Russians progressively settled.
1924. The country became the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, part of the USSR.
1991. Independence of Uzbekistan. Islam Karimov, the old leader of the Uzbek Communist party, won the election.
1995. Karimov was re-elected. He was the only real candidate as the opposition groups were not really given freedom of speech.
1999. Attempt of a putsch by the Islamist groups. They settled on the country's borders.
11th September 2001. Uzbekistan put their territory at the disposal of the American army so as to help them carry out operations in Afghanistan.
Present day. Shavkat MIRZIYAYEV has been Prime Minister since 2003. Karimov still is head of State.
1st January: New year's day.
14th January: Orthodox New Year.
8th March: International Women's Day.
21st March: Zoroastrian New Year.
April: Orthodox Easter.
2nd May: Birth of the Prophet.
9th May: Bank holiday.
9th May: Victory Day.
1st September: Independence Day.
8th December: Constitution Day.
31st December: Day of Sacrifice.