Shashmaqam is the best known of a series of classical vocal and instrumental repertories that flourished in the great cities of Central Asia: Samarkand, Bukhara, Tashkent, Khiva, Qoqand. The roots of Shashmaqam are linked most strongly with historically multicultural cities where performers and audiences have included Tajiks, Uzbeks and Central Asian (Bukharan) Jews.
With its Sufi-inspired texts, lyrical melodies and austere instrumental accompaniment, Shashmaqam comprises music of great refinement and profound beauty that spans the entire gamut of traditional social life from prayer to dance.
Transformed during the Soviet era into a cantata-like genre performed by a choir and small orchestra of indigenous instruments, Shashmaqam is presently undergoing a restoration whose vitality comes from the rediscovery and reanimation of older more authentic performance styles.
In Tajikistan the leader of this movement is Abduvali Abdurashidov who, with support from the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia (AKMICA) created his Academy of Shashmaqam to offer rigorous training to a highly select group of talented young performers. Source: Aga Khan Music Initiative
Other Tajik musical genres include Khalqi and Khalqi Klassiki.