TURKISH CLASSICAL MUSIC
Türk müziği, tarihin derinliklerinde pek çok aşamadan geçerek bugüne ulaşmıştır. Bu aşamalar hakkında en fazla bilgimizin olduğu dönem, Osmanlı imparatorluğunun hakimiyet sürdürdüğü yüzyıllardır. İmparatorluğun bünyesinde yaşayan yönetici ve kentli kesimin geniş halk kesimlerinden ayrı olarak saray çevresinde, konaklarda, yalılarda oluşturduğu bir müzik kültürü vardı. Bu müzik kültürü bestelenen ve yüksek sanat yapmak üzere divan edebiyatından beslenen bir müziktir. Bununla birlikte Osmanlı kültürünün içinde yer alan tarikatlar da bu müzik türünün oluşumuna katkı vermekte idi. Böylesi bir elit atmosferde gelişen kent soylu bu müzik türünde 16. asırdan itibaren şaheser eserler meydana getirilmiş, oluşturulduğu ve yaşadığı dönemin en büyük müzik kültürlerinden birsi haline gelmiştir. Yakın çevresinde bulunan ve aynı kültür dairesi içinde yer alan Arap ve Acem müzikleri ile ve daha önceki asırlarda bilhassa İstanbul’daki Bizans kiliselerinde yaşayan müzik teknikleriyle yakın ilişki kurmuş olan bu müzik, giderek çevre kültürleri etkisi altına alarak gelişmesini sürdürmüştür.
Bugün adına “Klasik Türk müziği” veya “Türk sanat müziği” denilen müziğin kökeni bu şekilde kurulmuş iken, XX. Yüzyılın başlarında imparatorluğun yıkılması ve yerine ulus devlet modelinin kurulmasıyla Türk sıfatının getirilmesi söz konusu olmuştur. Halbuki bu müziğe o döneme kadar Osmanlı milletler sistemine dahil olan “Rum”, “Ermeni”, “Yahudi” müzisyenler de katkıda bulunuyordu. Dolayısıyla bu müzikteki hakim unsur Türk olmasıyla birlikte, adına Türk müziği denilme ihtiyacı görülmüyordu. Ayrıca tamamıyla batının aydınlanma dönemine ait olan müziğin sınıflandırma işlemine tabi tutma süreci de bilinmemekte idi. Müziği başına getirilen “Klasik” veya “sanat” sıfatları tamamıyla batılı anlayışın Türk müziğindeki yansımasıdır. Buna karşın bugün geleneksel beste müziğinin veya sistematize edilmiş kentli elit müziğinin “Türk sanat müziği” veya “Klasik Türk Müziği” adlarıyla anılması geniş kitleler tarafından yadırganmadan kullanılmaktadır.
Bu müzik türü teorik köklerini en az bin yıllık bir mirasın üzerine oturtmuş, değin pek çok evreden geçerek bugünkü şeklini almıştır. Son yüzyıl içinde halk kitlelerinden kopuk bir müzik türü olarak değerlendirilmesi sebebiyle entelektüel çevreler tarafından dışlanmış, buna karşın son yıllarda yoğun bir ilgiye mazhar olmuştur.
Turkish music has passed through many stages along its journey from the depths of history to the present day. Of these stages, the one about which we have the most information is period of the Ottoman Empire. Within this Empire, a musical culture developed among the urban ruling class, who lived separately from the common people, in the environment of the palace, in mansions and yalis (luxurious waterside mansions on the shores of the Bosphorus). This musical culture was a high tradition, nourished by divan literature. The mystical orders of Islam that existed within Ottoman culture also contributed to the development of this music. Within such an elite atmosphere, this urban upper-class music developed and from the 16th century on produced musical masterpieces, becoming one of the greatest musical cultures of its period. Founding a close relationship with the Arabic and Iranian music that existed close by and within the same cultural realm; and especially the musical techniques practiced in the Byzantine churches of Istanbul, this music continued its development, taking the surrounding cultures increasingly under its influence.
Though this music is known today as "Turkish Classical Music" or "Turkish Art Music," the adjective "Turkish" began to be used upon the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the founding of the modern nation state of Turkey. Up until that time, Greek, Armenian and Jewish musicians who were also part of the Ottoman system of "millets" (ethnic/religious classifications) contributed to this music as well. Consequently, though the overriding influence on this music was Turkish, no need was felt to call it "Turkish music." In addition, the practice that emerged within the western enlightenment of classifying music into strict genres was unknown. The terms "classical" or "art" that have been applied to this music are purely the reflection of a westernized approach to Turkish music. Despite this, the general public now uses the terms "Turkish Art Music" or "Turkish Classical Music" for traditional composed music, or systematized music of the urban elite with no sense of irony.
This musical heritage is built on a theoretical foundation extending back at least a thousand years, and has undergone much evolution on the way to its present form. As a result of its being considered a musical genre detached from the masses, it was disparaged by intellectual circles during the last century; however it has again become the subject of much attention.
by Prof. Sehvar BESIROGLU
"Turkish Art Music or Turkish Classical Music survives today as one of the major art music of the non-Western World. It is also among the most structurally intact of all the art music of the core Islamic World including Western Asia, North Africa and southern Central Asia, most of which use today, or have used the Arabic term Maqam to define their art music since 15th or 16th cc. "(Walter Feldman)
It is possible to trace Turkish history back to the third century BC. From the third century BC. Turks migrated towards the west, mainly from the north and south, and in different regions on their route they established several states with different names. In 840 AD during the reign of the Uygur Dynasty, Turks withdrew to eastern Turkistan, while Kara Hans moved to western Turkistan and embraced Islam. Another branch of Turks from Central Asia settled in Iran and established the Great Seljuk Empire. After the conquest of Baghdad Turkish culture was enriched by the inclusion of Arabic and Persian elements, and of course, this change was also felt in the field of music. In the mean time, leaving their old beliefs behind, Turks accepted Islam as their religion. With the victory in the 1071 war at Malazghirt, Turks entered Anatolia and established the Anatolian Seljuk Empire. At that time Anatolia was a Roman land and under the rule of Byzantine Empire. After three years the capitol was moved from Konya to Nicea.
In the 13th.cc. Islamic-Turkish literature flourished and gave rise to literary figures like Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi, Haci Bektas Veli and Yunus Emre, who is considered the pillar of Turkish folk culture. Along with Mevlana who was a Turk from Khorasan, another very important literary figure was Safiyuddin Abdülmumin Urmevi who was responsible for developing the music theory which is still used throughout the Islamic world. His works are based on two earlier writers, al-Farabi and Ibn Sina. Since he belonged to the Baghdad school he wrote in Arabic, like western scholars using Latin in their scholarly writings. In his musical scale based on two important sources, al-Farabi and Ibn Sina' work, there are 17 intervals and 18 pitches.
In this period the Anatolian Seljuk Empire collapsed and the Ottoman State was established in northwest Anatolia. Sultans like Osman I, Orhan, Murat and Bayazit I started a process by which a small dynasty grew into a world empire, but they never given up their respect and love of art and artists. One of the most important factors as to why the Ottomans valued art and why such a high level in arts was maintained was the patronage of the state. Along with their education and training in science and warfare, Ottoman sultans were also educated in the arts and literature. Because of this training there exists almost no Ottoman sultan who was not a poet, calligrapher, or a musician.
In 13th.cc. Mevlevi lodges were the most important institution in the field of sacred music. As an important composer himself, Sultan Veled, the son of Mevlana, played a very important role in making music an inseparable part of the Mevlevi lodges. The Mevlevi lodges became major centers of musical teaching throughout the area of Ottoman rule, tradition which can still be observed today. On December 17, 1273, a universal genius, one of the greatest person ages of humanity and founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Brotherhood, poet Mevlana died at Konya. The Mevlana festival is held every year in Konya and Istanbul. The Galata Mevlevi Ensemble one of the well-known group performed in very important Mevlevi Lodge which is built during the 18th.cc. called Galata Mevlevi Lodge in Tünel. Mevlevi dervish ceremony called Ayin in a separate cyclical composed format. This genre constitutes the widest, the most artistic and the most important branch of Turkish Music. Mevlevi Ayins are composed of Persian poems of Hz. Mevlana's Mesnevi, Divan-i Kebir and Rubaiyyat. The oldest Ayins we have today belong to the 15th and 16th centuries and are known by the name Beste-i Kadim, because of their composers are unknown. Those Ayins' maqams are Pencgah, Hüseyni and Dügah. The first Mevlevi Ayin whose composer we known today is Kuçek Dervis Mustafa Dede and its maqam is Beyati. Mustafa Dede, Nayi Osman Dede, Ali Nutki Dede, Abdülbaki Nasir Dede and Ismail Dede were very important composers in this genre. The Ney, end-blown bamboo flute, is a symbol of the Mevlevi Order.
"Ottoman music defines as the dominant music of those urban areas of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish was the secular literary language of the Muslim population: primarily in Istanbul, Edirne, Bursa, Izmir, Thessaloniki and, until the later 18th.cc., the cities of south-east Anatolia. Elsewhere genres of Ottoman music were supported by certain social classes in a predominantly non-Ottoman musical environment in Cairo, Baghdad."(Walrter Feldman)
In the 14th century we observe the continuation and even expansion of Safiyuddin's theoretical system in the works of two artist-scientists, Meragi and Kutbettin Sirazi. Meragi was lived in 14th and 15th century. He educated and work in Baghdad for a long period of time and became the lead singer in the palace of Hakan Hüseyin Celayir. When Timur conquered Baghdad he took Meragi with him to Samarqand. Later, when the palace of Sahrud moved to Heart, Meragi settled in this city where he lived until his death. When he was living in the palace of the Ottoman sultan Murad II he wrote a book titled Maksidu'l Elhan (Purpose of Melodies) and dedicated it to the Sultan. Other than this book he wrote several books on music theory, and several manuscripts which include his compositions written in Ebced notation.
Although a tradition of writing books about music theory was established in that period of the Ottoman centuries and still continues, usage of notation was not as popular. Until the beginning of the 16th century, Ebced notation, which consisted of part of the Arabic alphabet, had been in use. At the 16th century, Ali Ufki Bey, who actually was a Polish descent by the real name Bobowski lived in an Ottoman palace for a long time, he played Santur and prepared a collection of Ottoman compositions using old Western notation.
After Bobowski, a Romanian Prince by the name of Dimitrie Cantemir notated instrumental compositions of that period using his own notation system which he created by using certain symbols. Also as a performer and composer he was recognized as an outstanding player of the Tanbur long-necked lute. Recently, Yalçin Tura transcribed his treatise in Turkish and Western notation.