COMPOSERS AND PERFORMERS

TATYOS EFENDİ (TATEOS ENKSERCİYAN)

(1858-1913)

Armenian composer, violin and kanun player. Tatyos was born in Ortaköy, Istanbul. He was the son of Manokyan Enkserciyan, a church singer (mugannîleri). Tatyos finished Ortaköy Armenian primary school and first became an apprentice of a key maker, then of an enamel maker. He learned Kanun from his uncle Movses Papazyan, later violin from Sebuh and studied music with Civan and Asdik. He started to play kanun in the Galata, Pirinçici Casino. He taught music to Arşak Çömlekçiyan, M.M. Kamsoy, N.M Yürü and M. Sunar, and violin to Abdülkâdir Töre. He died of liver jaundice and alcohol, and was buried in Uzunçayır Armenian cemetery in Kadıköy. There is a record, “Tateos 1913 çalgıcı (musician)” in the death incident notes of the church. There were as many as 15 people attending in the funeral. He mentored important Turkish traditional music composers, including Greek Zharya, Jewish İsak and Armenian Tatyos. He started to play kanun but returned to violin. Lem’i Atlı recorded in his memory that Tatyos could not play violin well and was fractious, drank and was in wretched circumstances.

However, he wrote that Tatyos knew music very well, he was a good composer, and was unaware of his own talent. He was very popular in the market, and he managed famous fasıl’s (music pieces). He composed popular songs and saz works for Fasıl music. He had a good relationship with Şevki Bey. Vasil also appreciateded Tatyos’ compositions, and said that Tatyos should bring them to be played by someone. Vasil guarded Tatyos when he had been fighting and had nothing to depend upon. Tatyos knew musical notation very well and could compose a song spontaneously. He also wrote some poems. His most famous musical pieces are Kürdî’li Hicâzkâr Saz Semâîsi, Sûznâk Peşrevi ve Hüseynî Saz Semâîsi’; they are among the masterpieces written for the Saz.