- Category: All about Turkey
- Published on Friday, 29 March 2013 11:05
- Written by Tania
A subject very close to my heart this is, as it is music that creates dance!
I am going to quote Wikipedia a lot, using the great information it has gathered on this subject.
Turkish Music includes diverse elements ranging from Central Asian folk music to influences from Byzantine music, Greek music, Ottoman music, Persian Music, Balkan Music, as well as references to more modern European and American popular music. Turkey is a country on the northeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, and is a crossroad of cultures from across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus and South and Central Asia.
The roots of traditional music in Turkey spans across centuries to a time when the Seljuk Turks colonized Anatolia and Persia in the 11th century and contains elements of both Turkic and pre-Turkic influences. Much of its modern popular music can trace its roots to the emergence in the early 1930s drive for Westernization.
With the assimilation of immigrants from various regions the diversity of musical genres and musical instrumentation also expanded. Turkey has also seen documented folk music and recorded popular music produced in the ethnic styles of Greek, Armenian, Albanian, Polish, Azeri and Jewish communities, among others. Many Turkish cities and towns have vibrant local music scenes which, in turn, support a number of regional musical styles. Despite this however, western-style pop music lost popularity to arabesque in the late 70s and 80s, with even its greatest proponents Ajda Pekkan andSezen Aksu falling in status. It became popular again by the beginning of the 1990s, as a result of an opening economy and society. With the support of Aksu, the resurging popularity of pop music gave rise to several international Turkish pop stars such as Tarkan and Sertab Erener. The late 1990s also saw an emergence of underground music producing alternative Turkish Rock, electronica, hip-hop,rap and dance music in opposition to the mainstream corporate pop and arabesque genres, which many believe have become too commercial.
I will now add a few videos of very important musicians and singers from days past and days not so past.
Within the melting pot that constitutes Turkish Music, we find some very important sub-classifications, all of them with very particular characteristics, almost like a sub-culture associated with a particular region, with a particular ethnic or religious minority, or even within mainstream popular music.
Arabesque or Arabesk (Turkish: Arabesk) is a term created by Turkish musicologists for an Arabic style of music created in Turkey. The genre was particularly popular in Turkey in the decades from the 1960s through the 1990s. As with Arabic music itself, its aesthetics have evolved over the decades. Although melodies and rhythms are predominantly Byzantine and Arabic influenced, it also draws ideas from other aspects of Balkan and Middle Eastern music, including bağlama music and Ottoman forms of Oriental music.
A very small percentage of Arabesk is exclusively instrumental. For the great majority of it, a singer lies at the center of the music. Male singers dominated the genre in its early years, but female singers probably predominated during its peak years of popularity. Simultaneously with the influx of female singers, the sound grew more dancey and upbeat. Orhan Gencebay is generally considered the founder of the genre (though he disagrees with the usage of the term). Other well known older singers are Müslüm Gürses, Ferdi Tayfur and Hakkı Bulut. One of the most prolific and commercially successful is İbrahim Tatlıses, who broke all sales records in Turkey in 1978 and continues to turn out popular music to this day. He has maintained popularity in the Arabesk scene in recent years through remixing his tracks into dance friendly club tracks. The pure Arabesk album "Acıların Kadını" by the singer Bergen was the bestselling album in Turkey in 1986 and may be fairly labelled one of the classic albums of the genre. Bergen had several other hit Arabesk albums during the 1980s. Other singers include Bergen, Ebru Gündeş, Seda Sayan, Sibel Can. The singers Muazzez Ersoy and Bülent Ersoy designate themselves as modern exponents of Ottoman classical music but much of their work can be labelled as Arabesk with softer beats, since the strings and vocal melodies sound Arabic—or arabesque..Zerrin Özer also made arabesque albums between 1982 and 1988 and the most arabesque album was "Mutluluklar Dilerim" in 1984. Common theme in Arabesque songs is the highly embellished and agonizing depiction of love and yearning, along with unrequited love, grief and pain. This theme had undertones of class differences in early 1960-70s, during which most of the genre's followers -mostly working class to lower middle class- identified themselves with. Turkish composer Fazıl Say has repeatedly condemned and criticized Arabesque genre, equating the practice of listening to arabesque "tantamount to treason".
-Romani Music (Gypsy Music, Music of the Turkish Rom people)
Romani people are known throughout Turkey for their musicianship. Their urban music brought echoes of classical Turkish music to the public via the meyhane or taverna. This type of fasıl music (a style, not to be confused with the fasıl form of classical Turkish music) coupled with food and alcoholic beverages is often associated with the underclass of Turkish society, though it also can be found in more "respectable" establishments in modern times.
Romanis have also influenced the fasıl itself. Played in music halls, the dance music (oyun havası) required at the end of each fasıl has been incorporated with Ottoman rakkas or belly dancing motifs. The rhythmic ostinato accompanying the instrumental improvisation (ritimli taksim) for the belly-dance parallels that of the classical gazel, a vocal improvisation in free rhythm with rhythmic accompaniment. Popular musical instruments in this kind of fasıl are the clarinet, violin, kanun, and darbuka. Clarinetist Mustafa Kandıralı is a well known fasıl musician.
-Sufi Music, the Mevlevi tradition and the Alevi tradition
Followers of the Mevlevi Order or whirling dervishes are a religious sufi sect unique to Turkey but well-known outside of its boundaries.
Dervishes of the Mevlevi sect simply dance a sema by turning continuously to music that consists of long, complex compositions called ayin. These pieces are both preceded and followed by songs using lyrics by the founder and poet Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi. With the musical instrument known as the ney at the forefront of this music, internationally well-known musicians include Necdet Yasar, Niyazi Sayin, Kudsi Ergüner and Ömer Faruk Tekbilek.
The Aşık traditions
It is suggested that about a fifth of the Turkish population are Alevis, whose folk music is performed by a type of travelling bard or ozan called aşık, who travels with the saz or baglama, an iconic image of Turkish folk music. These songs, which hail from the central northeastern area, are about mystical revelations, invocations to Alevi saints and Muhammad's son-in-law, Ali, whom they hold in high esteem. In Turkish aşık literally means 'in love'. Whoever follows this tradition has the Aşık assignation put before their names, because it is suggested that music becomes an essential facet of their being, for example as in Aşık Veysel.
Middle Anatolia is home to the bozlak, a type of declamatory, partially improvised music by the bards. Neşet Ertaş has so far been the most prominent contemporary voice of Middle Anatolian music, singing songs of a large spectrum, including works of premodern Turkoman aşıks like Karacaoğlan and Dadaloğlu and the modern aşıks like his father, the late Muharrem Ertaş. Around the city of Sivas, aşık music has a more spiritual bent, featuring ritualized song contests, although modern bards have brought it into the political arena.