Department of Kobyz and Bayan

History of Department

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The Department of Folk Instruments of the Almaty Conservatory was established in September 1945, the founding academician and founder of the Kazakhstan professional school of folk instruments for teaching and learning was Akhmet Kuanovich Zhubanov. The great musicians’ aims were to bring the Department of Folk Instruments up to the highest level, to educate world-famous musicians, to bring wonderful works and to show folk music to the world. During the Great Patriotic War, prominent professors of the Moscow Conservatory who moved to Almaty and prominent folk music performers of famous, kuyshi, dombra players from the country were invited to teaching work.

In 1980, when the Department of Folk Instruments was established, one of the three departments of the Faculty was formed, and the Department of Kobyz and Bayan was established. In different years the department has been actively involved in the development of the Kazakh art, cultural figures and teachers.

The legendary Korkyt's ancient kobyz has been used as tools of zhyrshy, zhyrau and others during the many centuries, but has not been widely practiced in traditional music. In the nineteenth century the famous kobyzshy Ykylas produced their own kui. But during the Soviet era, this sacred instrument was completely ignored. For the modernization of the traditional kobyz in the twentieth century prominent kobyz players from the people Zhappas Kalambayev and Daulet Motykbaev were invited to the department. They have preserved the national heritage of our forefathers for centuries and conveyed to their descendants the next generations. Bazarkhan Kosbasarov one of the first graduates of the department, later taught at the Conservatory specializing in Kobyz, increasing the number of teaching staff of the Almaty Conservatory and laid the foundation for the knowledge of Kazakh musical and pedagogical performers.

The main person of the kobyz school of Kazakhstan is Honoured Artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Professor Balgaeva Fatima Jumagulovna - an outstanding kobyzshy and teacher of the 20th century. The skill and creative taste developed in close creative relationships with people such as А.К. Zhubanov, M. Tulebaev, L.A. Hamidi, E.G. Brusilovsky, S.I. Shabelsky, B.Sh. Sarybaev, F.Sh. Mansurov, Sh.S. Kazhgaliyev. Composers such A. Zhubanov and Kh. Tastanov wrote compositions for the Kobyzshy. Fatima Balgaeva has developed methods of playing violin and viola and created the methods of self-teaching in prime kobyz on the basis of traditional kobyz performance. Due to the concert of famous kobyzchy in Kazakhstan and abroad, the art of kobyz was rapidly developing in the country. In 1951 Fatima Balgaeva became a laureate of the international competition in the framework of the III All-world youth and student festival in Berlin.

In children music schools, secondary and higher  educational institutions opened kobyz classes. Honored artists of the Republic of Kazakhstan among the graduates of F.G Balgaeva: A. Shagirova, M. Kalenbaeva, G. Izleuova, R. Koyshieva; Honored worker of culture R. Nurpeisova; Honored Teacher of the Republic of Kazakhstan D. Tezekbaev.

The foundation of the main kobyz class was laid by the professor of the Moscow Conservatory, L. Edelman. His first student was Bolat Sarybaev. The prominent scientist Bolat Shamgalievich has been teaching at the Conservatory, making invaluable contribution to the rebirth, revival, and development of many of the most outstanding folk instruments such as the ancient Kazakh musical instruments:  zhetigen, saz-syrnai, shan-kobyz, the sybyzgy, uyldik and sherter.

The next stage of the department's development is related with the openning of the class in 1957. The founder of the Gnesins MSPI, F.V.Legunets opened it. Fyodor Vasilyevich, along with his student Valentin Stepanovich Basargin, made a great contribution to the establishment and development of the bayan school in Kazakhstan. F.V.Legunetz successfully worked in the preparation of professional performers in the high and secondary specialized music schools with his students, and widely spread the advanced methodology and practice of the Moscow School of Music in educational institutions of the country.

Another outstanding period in the history of the department of folk instruments was the creation of the department of "kobyz and bayan" like a separate department in 1980. The first Head of the Kobyz and Bayan Department was Balimaeva Fatima Zhumagulovna, who headed the department of folk instruments since 1970. Honoured Artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan Professor F.Zh. Balgaeva's skilled personnel policy is aimed at creating a highly specialized pedagogical staff. B.Sh. Sarybaev, Ya.I. Fujmen, F.V. Legnegets, V.S. Basargyn, T.O. Okapov, D.H. Tuyakbayev, Z.B. Bisembayeva, V.A. Petrenko, O.А. Abdullaev, S.T. Kozhakhmetov, M.Zh. Oleuov, S.S. Seytkhanov, E.I Isametov, V.A Evdokimenko worked as a part of the department and contributed to the development of the department. Professors of the department M.K. Kalenbaeva, G.A. Moldakarimova, А.М. Gaisin, B.A Kosbarsarov merits of the development of the department are infinite. In 1984, to the work of department were involved talented and capable graduates Z.N. Smakova and Sh. Rauandina.