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Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia


Music of Central Asia vol.9: In the Footsteps of Babur: Musical Encounters from the Lands of the Mughals

4 mins 06 secs (27 MB)

"In the month of Ramadan of the year 899 [June 1494] and in the twelfth year of my age, I became ruler in the country of Ferghana." Thus begins the remarkable autobiography of Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur, the precocious Central Asian nobleman whose journey of conquest through Afghanistan and Hindustan – the northern part of the Indian subcontinent – laid the foundation of the Mughal Empire. Fusing cultural influences from Persia, Central Asia, and India, the Mughals created a brilliant intellectual and artistic efflorescence whose legacy remains strong today.

In the Footsteps of Babur represents a modern-day encore of Mughal artistic synthesis. Inspired by visual images and literary descriptions of exuberant music-making in the Mughal courts, the Aga Khan Music Initiative brought together musicians from Afghanistan, India, and Tajikistan with the aim of merging their talents, traditions, and musical instruments to create new sounds.

Music of Central Asia is a co-production of the Aga Khan Music Initiative, a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The aim of the series is to present leading exponents of Central Asia's rich and diverse musical heritage to listeners outside the region.

Year of Recording: 2009

To order, please visit the Smithsonian Folkways website.

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