Traditional musical culture of Karakalpakstan is based on the rich mythological, mythopoetic and epic traditions of the Khorezm oasis and the whole Central Asian and Middle Eastern regions alike. Based on its ancient cultural layer it can be concluded that Karakalpakstan music has relations with Turkic and shamanistic elements, which were reformed in the national artistic practice. In this way, Garipashik and Shakhsanem, Gorugli, Sayatkhan and Khamra dastans are popular among people who live in the lower reaches of the Amudarya (Turkmens, Khorezm Uzbeks, Karakalpaks).
Karakalpak poetry is inextricably connected with national music. The real existence of any poetic work could only be ensured by the means of its musical reproduction. Outstanding poets of the past were also musicians and singers – zhirau or baksi – who could play various musical instruments. The Karakalpakstan national song, kosik, is a traditional musical and poetic writing based on a simple poem. The very melody of the song, as well as instrumental tune or dastan melody, is known as nama.
There is a beautiful legend associated with Karakalpakstan musical heritage that reflects its musical and oral oeuvre: “A Song was travelling around the world. Once it decided to spend a night in nomad camps of Karakalpakstan. The news about this unprecedented and unheard-of arrival spread all over the country. A great number of Karakalpaks gathered in the lucky village and listened to the wonderful Song till dawn. Finally, the Song went asleep. After this, thousands of stories, tales, songs and narratives of the rich-voiced guest were engraved in the memory of Karakalpak nation.”