Turkish Music – Turkish Famous Singers – Turkish Famous Songs

The music of Turkey holds diverse elements are changing from Central Asian folk music to heavy influences from Kurdish music, Byzantine music, Greek music, Arabic music, Ottoman music, Armenian music, Persian music, and Balkan music, as well as connecting to more modern European and American popular music. Turkey is a country on the northeastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea and is a center of cultures from across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, the Caucasus and South and Central Asia
The origins of traditional music in Turkey span across centuries to a time when the Seljuk Turks conquered Anatolia and Persia in the 11th century and carried elements of both Turkic and pre-Turkic characters. Much of its modern popular music can follow its roots to the rise in the early 1930s drive for Westernization.

tarkanWith the adaptation of immigrants from various regions, the variety of musical styles and musical instrumentation also extended. Turkey has also seen recorded folk music and recorded popular music presented in the ethnic styles of Greek, Albanian, Armenian, Polish, Azeri and Jewish communities, among others. Many Turkish cities and towns have vibrant local music scenes which, in turn, support some regional musical styles. Despite this, though, Western-style pop music lost following to arabesque in the late 70s and 80s, with even its greatest protectors Ajda Pekkan and Sezen Aksu coming in status. It became popular again by the start of the 1990s, as a result of an opening market and society. With the support of Aksu, the resurging fame of pop music gave rise to several global Turkish pop stars such as Sertab Erener and Tarkan. The late 1990s also saw an evolution of underground music producing Turkish alternative rock, hip-hop, electronica, rap and dance music in an offense to the mainstream corporate pop and arabesque genres, which many beliefs have become too commercial.

Classical Music

fasil-meyhaneOttoman court music has an extensive and varied system of modes or scales known as makams, and other rules of composition. Some notation systems were used for reproducing classical music, the most dominant being the Hamparsum notation in use until the regular introduction of western notation. Turkish classical music is taught in conservatories and social clubs, the most respected of which is Istanbul’s Üsküdar Musiki Cemiyeti.

A particular sequence of traditional Turkish musical forms become a fasıl, a suite an instrumental prelude (peṣrev), an instrumental postlude (saz semaisi), and in between, the central section of vocal harmonies which begins with and is punctuated by instrumental improvisations taksim. A full fasıl concert would include four different instrumental forms and three oral forms, including a light classical song, şarkı. A strictly traditional fasıl remains the same makam throughout, from the introductory taksim and usually ending in a dance tune or oyun havası. However shorter şarkı compositions, precursors to modern day songs, are a part of this tradition, many of them timeworn, dating back to the 14th century; many are newer, with late 19th-century songwriter Haci Arif Bey being especially famous.

Composers and Performers

Other notable proponents of this kind include Sufi Dede Efendi, Prince Cantemir, Kemani Tatyos Efendi, Baba Hamparsum, Sultan Selim III and Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. The most famous modern Turkish classical singer is Münir Nurettin Selçuk, who was the first to establish a lead singer position. Other performers include Bülent Ersoy, Müzeyyen Senar, Zeki Müren, and Zekai Tunca.

Turkish Musical instruments

Traditional instruments in Turkish classical music today hold tanbur long-necked plucked lute; kemençe bowed fiddle,  ney end-blown flute; oud plucked short-necked unfretted lute, kanun plucked zither, violin, and in Mevlevi music, kudüm drum and a harp.

Romani influences

Romani are known everywhere for their musicianship. Their urban music brought echoes of Turkish classical music to the public via the taverna or meyhane. This sort of fasıl music (a style, not to be mixed with the fasıl form of Turkish classical music) with food and alcoholic drinks is often connected with the underclass of Turkish society, although it also can be found in more reputable businesses in modern times.

Roma has also influenced the fasıl itself. Played in music halls, the dance music (oyun havası) expected at the end of each fasıl has been incorporated with Ottoman rakkas or belly dancing motifs. The rhythmic ostinato bringing the instrumental improvisation (ritimli taksim) for the belly dance parallels that of the classical gazel, a vocal jamming in free rhythm with rhythmic accompaniment. Favorite musical instruments in this kind of fasıl are the clarinet, violin, kanun, and darbuka. Clarinetist Mustafa Kandıralı is a well-known fasil musician.

Military musicmehter-takimi

The Janissary groups or Mehter Takımı is supposed to be the oldest type of military marching band in the world. Unusual instrumentalists were mentioned in the Orhun legends, which are considered to be the oldest written origins of Turkish history, dating from the 8th century. But, they were not definitively stated as bands until the 13th century. The rest of Europe used the notion of military marching bands from Turkey from the 16th century onwards.

Folk music

Folk music or Türkü deals with topics surrounding daily life in less egotistic terms than the love and emotion usually held in its traditional counterpart, Ottoman court music.

Most songs recount stories of real life events and Turkish folklore or have developed by song contests between musician-poets. Comparing to their origins, folk songs are usually played at weddings, funerals, and special festivals.

zeybekRegional folk music accompanies folk dances, which vary significantly across regions. For example, at marriage celebrations in the Aegean companies will dance the Zeybek while in other Rumeli regions the upbeat dancing music Çiftetelli is regularly played, and in the southeastern regions of Turkey, the Halay is the common form of local wedding music and dance. Greeks from Thrace and Cyprus that have adopted çiftetelli music sometimes use it synonymously to mean oriental dance, which shows a misunderstanding of its roots. Çiftetelli is a folk dance, changing from a solo performance dance of a hired entertainer.

The regional mood also influences the subject of the folk songs, e.g. folk songs from the Black Sea are lively in common and express the customs of the region. Songs about treason have an air of rebellion about them instead of sadness, though the further south traveled in Turkey the more the melodies follow a lament.

As this kind viewed as a music of the people, musicians in socialist movements began to adapt folk music with concurrent sounds and arrangements in the form of protest music.

In the 70s and 80s, modern bards following the aşık tradition such as Aşik Veysel and Mahsuni Şerif moved away from spiritual invocations to socio-politically powerful lyrics.

Other contemporary progenitors took their lead such as Zülfü Livaneli, known for his mid-80s innovation of combining poet Nazım Hikmet’s original poems with folk music and rural melodies, and is well regarded by left-wing supporters in politics.

In more recent times, saz symphonies, accompanied with many other traditional devices and a merger with arabesque melodies have kept modern folk songs famous in Turkey.

Selda Bagcan is another leading porgenitors who is really famous these day in Europe with her remixed songs.

Popular music

Favorite music is recognized from the traditional styles as those techniques that entered the Turkish musicality after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, either due to efforts of national modernization from 1924 onwards, the opening of the Republic to Western musical rules or modern fusions and innovations from artists themselves

Written by BeforeTravel