In 2010-11, there were 59 murders and two culpable homicides in the Strathclyde Police area, compared to 41 and three respectively for the previous year.
The figures also showed 361 rapes, compared to 358 in 2009/10, while serious assaults dropped by 9.2% in 2010-11 to 3,028.
The murder rate rise was revealed just days after a father was killed following a disturbance in his Pollok home in Glasgow.
Gordon Mooney, 38, was stabbed to death in a house in Barnbeth Road, around 9.10pm on Monday night.
A 40-year-old man was also injured and is being treated in hospital.
The force has presented its annual report to the Strathclyde Police Authority. Figures for 2010/2011 show a drop in serious assaults, which was put down to the force's increased use of stop-and-search tactics.
Compared with the 4293 serious assaults reported in 2005/2006, the latest figures are down by almost half.
The number of murders has increased on the previous year's tally of 44 by more than a third to 61.
Earlier this year 19-year-old Reamonn Gormley died following an incident outside a pub in Blantyre, Lanarkshire.
Darren Maxwell, 22, and Barry Smith, 18, both of Blantyre, have been charged with Reamonn's murder.
In March a man was found guilty of murdering 17-year-old Zoe Nelson and burning her body in woods in North Lanarkshire.
Robert Bayne, 21, attacked the teenager near Cambusnethan, Wishaw, in May last year. He was sentenced to 20 years.
And last May teenager Jack Frew died following an incident in woodland in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire.
Craig Roy, 18, is charged with killing the 16-year-old by repeatedly stabbing him on the neck and body.
Chief Constable Steve House said that at least 47 of the victims were known to their alleged attackers, and said cheap drink and the rise in the number of house parties were also significant factors.
There was also a particularly low tally of killings for 2009/2010 when compared with the average of the previous five years.
Mr House said: "I am pleased that the number of serious, violent assaults has continued to drop, but am disappointed that we have seen a rise in murders from last year's historically low figure.
"I have no doubt that the root cause of this violence is over consumption of cheap, strong alcohol and I look forward to seeing what proposals the new Government will be bringing forward in the weeks and months ahead. Too many of our communities are still blighted by violence."
The report found the number of people caught with a knife was down by 23.3% on the previous year, which equates to a 48.8% decrease on the five-year average.
It followed an increase in the number of stop-and-searches, from 321,302 in 2009/2010 to 391,464 in the last financial year, 2010/11. Almost one in 10 of these were positive.
Overall, recorded crimes fell to 300,424 from 322,583 last year.
Robbery is also down 4.4% on 2009/2010, and detection rates up by 7.9%. Speeding fell 3% to 93 offences, while the number of people caught committing seat-belt and mobile phone offences went up by 6.6% and 5.1% respectively.
Crimes including vandalism decreased by 12.3%, with reported incidents of vandalism down 13.7% on last year.
In addition, the number of complaints regarding youth disorder and street drinking decreased substantially, with the force exceeding its targets by 28.9% and 10.3%, respectively. Detection rates for hate crimes have risen beyond set targets.
Stephen Curran, the chairman of Strathclyde Police Authority, said: "Targeting violent crime has been to the forefront of policing across Strathclyde but perhaps the biggest driver in the overall decrease is the community policing model, with officers on the ground knowing where the problems are."