The art of mugham is an important branch of the verbal heritage of the Azerbaijan professional music culture. It has deep roots in cultural traditions and the history of Azerbaijan people. Great numbers of people follow this cultural tradition in the country.
Beside mugams, professional oral traditions of Azerbaijan music include the musical and poetical creative activity of ashugs. The word "ashu" is derived from the word "eshg" ("love") and refers to the devotion to one's profession.
The most important genre of musical and poetic creative activity of Azeri people, folklore songs perfectly reflected the pure, moral inner world, wishes and expectations of Azeri people.
Dance music, a favorite genre, is a widespread and important component of national folklore music.
Azerbaijani music has been developing through the centuries. The traces of ancient Azerbaijani music were found in a number of monuments, excavated during archeological digs, as well as in rock carvings of Gobustan (18-3 millennium BC) and Gemigaya (3-1 millennium BC). Kitabi Dede Gorgud (8th century), creative works of Nizami, Fizuli provide full coverage of medieval music art, music genres and music instruments. The records of prominent medieval scientists of Azerbaijan such as Sefiaddin Urmevi (18th century), Abdulgadir Maragai (17th century), Mir Movsum Nevvab (19th) pointed out the highly developed art and culture of music and mastery performance and cited theoretical issues of music in medieval Azerbaijan.