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"Bayawan" is the common name for Muqam music used by the Dolan people. Bayawan, or Dolan Muqam, is a unique form of folk music and one of the most important cultural heritages of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China. Generally speaking, Muqam is a form of large-scale suites which include songs, dances, and instrumental sections, in which the development of music often features a significant degree of improvisation. The Muqam of the Uyghurs is characterized by its diversity of musical styles. Apart from the classical Twelve Muqam, there are also multiple folk Muqam traditions with distinct regional characteristics, including Kumul Maqam, Turpan Muqam, Dolan Muqam, and Ili Muqam. Among them, Dolan Muqam is often considered as the wildest, if not the uncanniest tradition that 
still exists. 

"Dolan" is the name of a people, typically considered as an ethnic sub-group of the Uyghurs, who historically inhabits the banks of the Yarkand and Tarim rivers on the northwest edge of the Tarim Basin. Dolan Muqam has been circulating by and large in the Dolan region—which now mainly includes Makit County and Maralbexi County in Kashgar Prefecture, and Awat County in Aksu Prefecture—and its influence has also reached places such as Kargilik, Poskam, Kuqa, Korla, Turpan, and Kumul.
The Dolan people refers to the Muqam music they play as "Bayawan", which literally means "the desert and the wildland". Bayawan, in their common language, is not something to be sung, but rather to be "shouted out". 

It is said that there were originally twelve sets of Dolan Muqam, three of which have now been lost. Each set of Dolan Muqam is approximately six to nine minutes in length. The remaining nine sets last about one and a half hours in total. Dolan Muqam is marked by its simple, unadorned instrumentation, strong and intense grooves, and a distinctively hoarse, air-rending style of singing. The lyrics draw from folk songs and oral poetry, maintaining an overall sense of rugged raw beauty. A unique and rare cultural treasure worldwide. In May 2023, the Mekit Dolan Muqam Group performed at the 7th Tomorrow Festival in Shenzhen. Taking this chance, we invited the artists to a session at Liu Ying Studio, which gave birth to this one-of-a-kind record. This was our great good fortune. We wish these magnificent sounds and voices travel far and reach more ears. 

Cat. number: OH 041
Year: 2024

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