COMPOSERS AND PERFORMERS
Mahmud II (1786-1839) 30th Ottoman sultan. He ascended to the throne in 1808. Mahmud II was one of the most active sultans in the history of the empire. Having officially inaugurated the Westernization process in Turkey, he abolished the mehterhâne, the traditional janissary band of the empire, and replaced it with the western-type military band. He invited Giuseppe Donizetti, brother of the famous opera compozer Gaetano Donizetti, to Istanbul to found Muzika-i Hümayun (Music of the Imperial Court), an institution that would introduce Western music into Turkey. Muzika-i Hümayun was in fact a kind of Western music conservatory.
Although Mahmud's official preference was for Western music, he was personally a lover of the traditional Ottoman Music. Those great composers who flourished in Selim III's court continued to be active at the time of Mahmud II. Therefore, his reign was another brilliant period in the history of Turkish music.
Mahmud II, who played the tanbur and the ney, also took interest in composing and produced beatiful songs. Mahmud II wrote poems under the pen-nema "Adlî".