Ayca Yesim

About Turkish Music

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About Turkish Music


Ayca Yesim DSC_4678-a_0.JPG Turkish music is a centuries old, rich and sophisticated tradition of modal music. Classical Turkish music is a centuries old music tradition which was passed from generation to generation by means of personal training rather than through written instructions. Its vastly rich repertoire which contains tens of thousands of musical pieces was inherited from master composers of the previous centuries. Some well known composers from 18th and 19th centuries include Dede Efendi, Haci Arif Bey, Zekai Dede, Sevki Bey, and Rahmi Bey among many others. This sophisticated music genre was embraced by cultured men and women alike, at the Ottoman Court, at elite houses in Istanbul, as well as other big cities. It was also believed to possess medicinal qualities and was used to cure many mental or physical illnesses by soothing the mind. Classical Turkish music is a modal music which excels in masterful use of melody as opposed to harmony. It uses many more notes in an octave than western music does, and its instruments are designed to be able to produce those microtones. Some authentic classical Turkish music instruments are ud, kanun, kemence, tanbur, yayli tanbur and ney. Maqams (guidelines of melodic structure) are the basis of Turkish music. Each song belongs to a maqam (the one which is most suitable for expressing its sentiment), but there are also transitions to many other maqams within the same song, in order to make it more interesting. Some of the well known maqams are hicaz, nihavend, kurdili hicazkar, huzzam, ussak, segah and mahur. Classical Turkish music is a passion for those who are fortunate enough to have encountered its treasures.