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Melodic and Rhythmic Modes and Dance Performance Music
Turkish Music is the music of a large number of people in many diverse locations who have been politically and culturally connected for a very long time. From the Turkish Music Portal:
The Turks are a huge group of people living over a very wide geographical area, who have founded or lived within many and diverse states, with widely varying ways of life. When we speak of Turkish musical history, it is especially important that we know which Turkish tribe's music we are talking about, and from which period. "
Turkish Melodic Modes
Turkish Rhythmic Modes
Mehterhane BandsThe Mehterhane (military bands) of the Ottoman empire, originating in 1289, were a distinctive component of the Ottoman Empire. Their functions included accompanying troops into battle to encourage courage in the Ottoman infantry. According to an article on Mehter Music in Saudi Aramco World, "Mehter musicians were a key part of the soundscape of the Ottoman Empire, which lasted from 1299 until 1923, dominating the middle East and reaching into Europe at its height. . . Europeans had many opportunities to hear mehter bands, for from the time the Ottomans conquered Constantinople in 1453 until 1699 -- a period known as the Turkish Wars -- they worked to extend their power into eastern Europe, bringing their musicians with them into battle. One can only imagine the impression it made on Europeans who had never heard a crashing cymbal and bass drum played together before. " The official Meterhane included Zurnas (similar to oboes), trumpets, kettledrums, bass drums, crash cymbals, and cevgan, a tall staff with bills attached, with seven to nine players of each instrument. The sultan's band included kos drums played by musicians on camels. Antione Galland described a kos as "larger than I have ever seen or heard, carried on camels. There was no one who was not only stunned by it, wbut whose whole body stirred inside out." European military bands and orchestras eventually adopted Turkish instruments; By the beginning of the 19th century, most military bands and popular orchestras in Europe included bass drums and cymbals. . . migrating mehter percussion sounds into the West while the mehter bands in Turkey were being dissolved and replaced with military bands based on the Western styles -- which now had mehter roots of their own.
Folk Dance Music by RegionDifferent Turkish folk dances from different regions call for different music.
Hora: Trakya, or Thrace: Music of S Bulgaria and NE Greece as well as E Turkey.
Kasik - karsilama: NW Turkey: Folk dance of NW Asia Minor and carried to Greece by refugees.
Ciftelelli: a rhythm and dance of Anatolia and the Balkans with a rhythmic pattern of 2/4.
Zeybek: W Anatolia: Agir (slow) has a pattern of 9/2 or 9/4; kivrak (fast) has a pattern of 9/8 or 9/16.
Halay: E, S.E and Central Anatolia. Probably the best known. Rhythmic structures can be complex.
Horon: from the Black Sea region, now modern Turkey. Derived from Greek circle dances. 7/16, 2/4, 5/8 and 9/16.
Bar : Eastern Anatolia: 5/8 and 9/8 occasionally 6/8 and 12/8.
Lezginka: aka Caucasian dances: shared by many ethnic groups in the Caucasus Mountains. The Georgian couple dances, with accrobatic martial male combinations and the women floating as though gliding through air, are the most familiar to Americans.
Turkish Dance Performance Music
Artemis Mourat, writing on her web site:
"[In comparison with Egyptian music, Turkish] music has basically the same rhythms, but often uses rhythms that Egyptian music does not, such as the chiftetelli and the karsilama (also known as kashlimar). Chiftetelli is slow and lends itself to flowing veil dances, snakey arm movements, and sensual floor work. In a way, it can be considered counterpart to the Egyptian takasim, the solo improvisational music played between various parts of a longer routine. The karsilama is an unusual 9/8 beat rhythm, counting 9 beats to the measure. Egyptian music never uses this rhythm. Getting used to recognizing the karsilama rhythm and to dancing to its lively feeling is a bit tricky.
"Turkish instrumentation also varies from that of Egyptian music. The bouzouki is played instead of the oud (the ancestor of the lute and guitar). More wind instruments are used, such as the clarinet."
In the past decade or so, Egyptian music has become more popular with Turkish dancers -- and when the music changes, so does the tenor of the dance. From Artemis Mouret's article on Turkish Dance: "Unfortunately now, many dancers in Turkey are imitating the Egyptian styling and they prefer the Egyptian Oriental dance music and also Arabic Pop music. This is affecting the dance in unfortunate ways. Dance is driven by music and the Arabic music has a different feeling to it, a different energy. When the Turkish dancers superimpose their dance onto the Arabic music, it loses the Turkish spirit. The popularity of the Egyptian styling is also resulting in a lack of finger cymbal playing so some dancers are losing touch with their musicianship. Unfortunately many Non-Turkish dancers now who are curious about Turkish style are watching Internet clips of this newer form of Turkish dance and they think that this is what Turkish style has looked like all along."
Maura Enright, 9/8 Rhythms, Web.
Maura Enright, American Creole Dance Rhythm Notation, Web.
Maura Enright, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Dance Rhythm Diagrams and Descriptions, Web.
Music Theory for the Oud, Oud.eclipse.co.uk, Web.
Turkish Music Portal, Web.
Great collection of folk song melodies at TurkishMusicPortal.com.
Maura Enright, Proprietor
Author: Maura Enright
©2012 - 2015 by Maura Enright
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