Shakili Alasgar

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Shakili Alasgar pictured with a daf

Shakili Alasgar (Azerbaijani: Şəkili Ələsgər), born Alasgar Abdullayev (1866 in Shaki – 1929 in Baku) was an Azerbaijani folk musician and mugham singer.

Life and career

Alasgar Abdullayev was born to a poor family in Shaki (hence his pseudonym, which literally means "Alasgar of Shaki"). At an early age, he worked as a mason in his hometown. He soon started studying mugham (classical music of Azerbaijan that is usually a suite with poetry and instrumental interludes) with a particular emphasis on its Bayati-Shiraz and Segah varieties. At this early stage, he often performed at weddings and parties along with his instructor.[1]

He gave his first concert in Baku in January 1902. The concert given by him the following year gained him great fame. In 1912 he performed Bayati-Shiraz in Warsaw, where a vinyl recording of his performance was made, the first ever for Azerbaijani folk music.[2] Another vinyl record was produced in 1914 during Shakili Alasgar's concert in Tiflis.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 (Russian) Shakili Alasgar.
  2. A Home for Azerbaijani Folk Music: Museum of Traditional Instruments by Jala Garibova. Azerbaijan International. Summer 2000, #8.2