*For more, see my roundup of posts on Uyghur culture*
To follow my posts on shawms in south Asia and Lorestan, travelling northeast (if one could, via Afghanistan), one reaches Xinjiang, where shawm bands are also common—for links to posts on shawms around the world (China, Tibet, south Asia, the Middle East, north Africa, Europe), click here.
Deplorably, since 2016 much of the rich culture of the Uyghurs seems to have become a historical subject.
The muqam suites are mainly sung and danced to the accompaniment of plucked and bowed strings, but they are also part of the repertoire of naghra-sunay bands, with paired kettle-drums and shawm. As elsewhere, these bands perform mainly for life-cycle events (notably weddings), calendrical rituals, and shop openings. The CD
- The Uyghur musicians from Xinjiang: music from the oasis towns of Central Asia (Globestyle, 2000, with notes by Rachel Harris)
contains brief tracks (#1 and #12), as well as a lengthier excerpt from the Charigah muqam as played in Turpan (#8)—including a “limping” metre of 17 beats divided 7+6+6.
Incidentally, here’s an excerpt from Charigah muqam as performed in Khotan by Chistiyya Sufis (for more, see here):
Here’s a 2006 clip of a naghra-sunay group in Kashgar playing Shadiyana to accompany sama dance at the Heyitgah mosque (longer audio here):
As always, studying such music soon leads us to consider the wider ritual culture—not least the great pilgrimages to mazar Sufi shrine festivals, at which bakhshi ritual healers who attend the mazar also play naghra-sunay. Again, we are drawn to the fine work of the anthropologist and film-maker Rahilä Dawut—and her outrageous detention.
 For transcriptions, in addition to the instrumental volumes of the Anthology for Xinjiang, see e.g. Xinjiang guchuiyue: Weiwuer suona he nagela hezou taoqu 新疆鼓吹乐: 维吾尔唢呐和纳格拉合奏套曲 [Drumming-and-blowing music from Xinjiang: suites for sunay and naghra] (Shandong wenyi cbs, 2002, 186 pp.), with introduction by Jian Qihua 简其华, and transcriptions based on recordings by him and Mao Jizeng 毛继增 from 1962 to 1963.