The department was formed in 2001 attached to Scientific-Cultural Centre “Folklore Palace”. From 2003 it acts as one of departments of Institute of Folklore. The main investigational directions are the investigation of genesis and typology of Azerbaijan ashug art, poetical characters, idea-content problems, to collect and to publish the artistic heritage of different ashugs, to write the monographic investigations about them. Besides these the department is also busy with the investigation of ashug music in historical-theoretical view, to protect the ashug art and to develop it practically, to recopy the ashug music to the note systematically on the basis of computer technologies etc.
The head of the department is doctor of philosophy on philology Elkhan Huseyngulu oglu Mammadli. He was born on the 1st of January in 1946 in the village of Fakhrali in Borchali region. He graduated from the faculty of philology at Azerbaijan State University. For some time he worked as a teacher, then during 1976-1979 he worked as a scientific worker at the Institute of Pedagogical Sciences. From 1979 he has been working in ANAS. In 1998 he defended the thesis “Tajnis in Azerbaijan ashug activity”. He is an author of two monographies and more than fifteen collection-compiling books.