Tuesday, January 20, 8071

Turks in Turkey (1071) - Turkish Music

[Seljuk Empire, 1092]

The House of Seljuk was a branch of the Kınık Oğuz Turks who in the 9th Century resided on the periphery of the Muslim world, north of the Caspian and Aral Seas in the Yabghu Khaganate of the Oğuz confederacy.

In the 10th century, the Seljuks started migrating from their ancestral homelands towards the eastern regions of Anatolia, which eventually became the new homeland of Oğuz Turkic tribes following the Battle of Manzikert (Malazgirt) in 1071. The victory of the Seljuks gave rise to the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate; which developed as a separate branch of the larger Seljuk Empire that covered parts of Central Asia, Iran, Anatolia, and the Middle East.

Turkey - Sufi - Dervish "Beyat" Based on a Classic Maqam

Sufism (Arabic: taṣawwuf, Turkish: tasavvuf, Persian: sufigari) is generally understood by scholars to be the inner or mystical dimension of Islam.

A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a Sūfī, though some senior members of the tradition reserve this term for those practitioners who have attained the goals of the Sufi tradition. Another common denomination is the word Dervish (derived from Persian: darwīš).

Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq, a 15th century Shadhili Sufi master, wrote in his major work "The Principles of Sufism" (Qawa`id al-Tasawwuf) that:

“ [Sufism is] a science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God. ”

Shaykh Ahmad ibn Ajiba, a famous Moroccan Sufi in the Darqawi lineage, defined Sufism as:
“ a science through which one can know how to travel into the presence of the Divine, purify one’s inner self from filth, and beautify it with a variety of praiseworthy traits. ”

Sufi Orders or Sufi Brotherhoods are traditionally known as Tariqa. They may be associated with Sunni Islam or Shia Islam, though the major ones, such as the Qādirī and Naqšhbandī orders, are associated with traditional Sunni Islam and are accepted by the majority of "folk Muslims."

Sufism is generally believed to have originated among Muslims near Basra in modern Iraq, though there is a history of Sufism in Transoxania dating from shortly after the time of Muhammad.

Transoxiana (sometimes spelled Transoxania) is the ancient name used for the portion of Central Asia corresponding approximately with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and southwest Kazakhstan. Geographically, it means the region between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers.

When used in the present, it usually implies that one is talking about that region in the time prior to about the 8th century AD, although the term continued to remain in use among western historians for several centuries after. In the Persian epic Shahnameh, written by the poet Ferdowsi, Transoxiana is the homeland of the Iranian nomadic tribes and the Oxus river is the border between Iran and Turan.

From the traditional Sufi point of view, the esoteric teachings of Sufism were transmitted from the Prophet Muhammad, who was taught by God, to those who had the capacity to contain the direct experiential gnosis of God, which was passed on from teacher to student through the centuries. Almost all traditional Sufi schools (or "orders") trace their "chains of transmission" back to Prophet Muhammad via his cousin and son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib. The Naqshbandi order is a notable exception to this rule, as it traces its origin to the first Islamic Caliph Abdullah (Abu Bakr).

Some orientalist scholars believe that Sufism was essentially the result of Islam evolving in a more mystic direction. For example, Annemarie Schimmel proposes that Sufism in its early stages of development meant nothing but the interiorization of Islam. According to Louis Massignon: "It is from the Qur’an, constantly recited, meditated, and experienced, that Sufism proceeded, in its origin and its development."

Sufism was brought to Anatolia, Turkey, during the Seljuk dynasty, when Turkic tribes would make raids against the Byzantine Empire. Before long, the Byzantines had been pushed almost entirely out of Anatolia, and various Turkic tribal leaders and warlords held ground all through Anatolia. Before the formation of the Ottoman Empire a few centuries into the future, Sufi dervishes would go from village to village, teaching peasants to read and write through conversion to Islam.

Anatolian Sufi Baglama (Lute)

[Turkish dervish, 1860's]

The word Dervish, especially in European languages, refers to members of Sufi Muslim ascetic religious Tarika, known for their extreme poverty and austerity, similar to mendicant friars.

The term comes from the Persian word Darvīsh, which usually refers to a mendicant ascetic. This latter word is also used to refer to an unflappable or ascetic temperament (as in the Urdu phrase darwaishana thabiyath for an ascetic temperament); that is, for an attitude that is indifferent to material possessions and the like.

As Sufi practitioners, dervishes were known as a source of wisdom, medicine, poetry, enlightenment, and witticisms.

Many dervishes are mendicant ascetics who have taken the vow of poverty, unlike mullahs. The main reason why they beg is to learn humility, but dervishes are prohibited to beg for their own good. They have to give the collected money to other poor people. Others work in common professions; Egyptian Qadiriyya -- known in Turkey as Kadiri -- for example, are fishermen. Rifa'iyyah dervishes travelled and spread into North and East Africa, Turkey, the Balkans and all the way down to India.

There are also various dervish groups (Sufi orders), almost all of which trace their origins from various Muslim saints and teachers, especially Ali and Abu Bakr. Various orders and suborders have appeared and disappeared over the centuries.

The whirling dance that is proverbially associated with dervishes, is the practice of the Mevlevi Order in Turkey, and is just one of the physical methods used to try to reach religious ecstasy (majdhb, fana). The name "Mevlevi" comes from the Persian poet, Rumi, whose shrine is in Turkey and who was a Dervish himself. This practice, though not intended as entertainment, has become a tourist attraction in Turkey.

Other groups include the Bektashis, connected to the janissaries, and Senussi, who are rather orthodox in their beliefs. Other fraternities and subgroups chant verses of the Qur'an, play drums or dance vigorously in groups, all according to their specific traditions. Some practice quiet meditation, as is the case with most of the Sufi orders in South Asia, many of whom owe allegiance to, or were influenced by, the Chishti order. Each fraternity uses its own garb and methods of acceptance and initiation, some of them which may be rather severe.

The Mevlevi Order or the Mevleviye are a Sufi order founded by the followers of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi, a 13th century Persian (Tādjīk) poet, Islamic jurist, and theologian, in Konya (in present-day Turkey). They are also known as the Whirling Dervishes due to their famous practice of whirling as a form of dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Dervish is a common term for an initiate of the Sufi Path.

The Mevleviye, one of the most well known of the Sufi orders, was founded in 1273 by Rumi's followers after his death, particularly by his successor Hüsamettin Çelebi who decided to build a mausoleum for Mevlâna, and then Mevlâna's son, Sultan Veled Celebi (or Çelebi, Chelebi) (the word "Çelebi" means " fully initiated"). He was an accomplished Sufi mystic with great organizing talents. His personal efforts were continued by his successor Ulu Arif Çelebi.
The Mevlevi, or "The Whirling Dervishes," believe in performing their dhikr in the form of a "dance" and music ceremony called the sema.

The Sema represents a mystical journey of man's spiritual ascent through mind and love to "Perfect." Turning towards the truth, the follower grows through love, deserts his ego, finds the truth and arrives at the "Perfect." He then returns from this spiritual journey as a man who has reached maturity and a greater perfection, so as to love and to be of service to the whole of creation.

The sema was practised in the semahane (ritual hall) according to a precisely prescribed symbolic ritual with the dervished whirling in a circle around their sheikh, who is the only one circling around his axis. The dervishes wear a white gown (symbol of death), a wide black cloak (hirka) (symbol of the grave) and a high brown cap (kûlah), symbol of the tombstone.

The Mevlevi became a well-established Sufi order in the Ottoman Empire by realizing a blood relationship with the Ottoman sultans when Devlet Hatun, a descendant of Sultan Veled, married the sultan Bayezid I. Their son Mehmed I Çelebi became the next sultan, endowing the order, as did his successors, with many gifts.

Many of the members of the order served in various official positions of the Caliphate. The centre for the Mevlevi order was in Konya, where their 13th century guiding spirit, Mevlana (Jelaleddin al-Rumi) is buried. There is also a Mevlevi monastery or dergah in Istanbul, near the Galata Tower, where the sema (whirling ceremony) is performed and accessible to the public.

During the Ottoman Empire era, the Mevlevi order produced a number of famous poets and musicians such as Sheikh Ghalib, Ismail Ankaravi (both buried at the Galata Mevlevi-Hane) and Abdullah Sari). Vocal and instrumental music, especially the ney, plays an important role in the Mevlevi ceremony and famous composers such as Dede Efendi wrote music for the ayin (cycle of Mevlevi ceremonial music). The ayin text is normally a selection from the poetry of Mevlana.

During the Ottoman period, the Mevlevi order spread into the Balkans, Syria, and Egypt (and is still practiced in both countries where they are known as the Mawlawi order).

The Ottoman Empire (1299–1923) was a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Turkish-ruled state. The state was known as the Turkish Empire or Turkey by its contemporaries.

It was succeeded by the Republic of Turkey, which was officially proclaimed on October 29, 1923.

At the height of its power (16th–17th century), it spanned three continents, controlling much of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, stretching from the Strait of Gibraltar (and, in 1553, the Atlantic coast of Morocco beyond Gibraltar) in the west to the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf in the east, from the edge of Austria, Slovakia and parts of Ukraine in the north to Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen in the south. The Ottoman Empire contained 29 provinces, in addition to the tributary principalities of Moldavia, Transylvania, and Wallachia.

The Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. With Constantinople as its capital city, and lands during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent which roughly corresponded to the lands ruled by Justinian the Great exactly 1000 years earlier, the Ottoman Empire was, in many respects, an Islamic successor to the earlier Mediterranean empires — the Roman and Byzantine empires. Numerous traditions and cultural traits of these previous two empires (in fields such as architecture, cuisine, leisure and government) were adopted by the Ottomans, who elaborated them into new forms. These cultural traits were later blended with the characteristics of the ethnic and religious groups living within the Ottoman territories, which resulted in a new and distinctively Ottoman cultural identity.

With the demise of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rūm (about 1300), Turkish Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent states, the so-called Ghazi emirates.

By 1300, a weakened Byzantine Empire had seen most of its Anatolian provinces lost among some ten Ghazi principalities. One of the Ghazi emirates was led by Osman I (from which the name Ottoman is derived), son of Ertuğrul in the region of Eskişehir in western Anatolia. According to tradition, as Ertuğrul migrated across Asia Minor leading approximately four hundred horsemen, he chanced upon a battle between two armies. Having decided to intervene, he chose the side of the losing army and turned the battle in their favour to secure victory. The troops he supported happened to be those of a Seljuk Sultan who rewarded him with territory in Eskişehir.[2] Following Ertuğrul's death in 1281, Osman became chief, or Bey, and by 1299 declared himself a sovereign ruler from the Seljuk state.

Osman I extended the frontiers of Ottoman settlement towards the edge of the Byzantine Empire. He moved the Ottoman capital to Bursa, and shaped the early political development of the nation. Given the nickname "Kara" (Turkish for black) for his courage,[3] Osman I was admired as a strong and dynamic ruler long after his death, as evident in the centuries-old Turkish phrase, "May he be as good as Osman." His reputation has also been burnished by the medieval Turkish story known as "Osman's Dream," a foundation myth in which the young Osman was inspired to conquest by a prescient vision of empire.

This period saw the creation of a formal Ottoman government whose institutions would remain largely unchanged for almost four centuries. The government utilized the legal entity known as the millet, under which religious and ethnic minorities were able to manage their own affairs with substantial independence from central control.

The bağlama is a stringed musical instrument shared by various cultures in the Eastern Mediterranean, Near East, and Central Asia. In Turkish, bağlamak means "to tie," a reference to the tied-on frets of the instrument. Like most stringed instruments, it can either be played with a plectrum (i.e., pick) or with a fingerpicking style known as şelpe.

The bağlama, sometimes referred to as a saz or a member of the saz family, is a Turkish instrument that is fundamental in Turkish folk music. Its name literally translates to "something that is tied up." It is a stringed instrument consisting of 7 strings divided into groups of 2, 2, and 3. These groups of strings can be tuned to different combinations, each corresponding to a different system.

The bağlama is believed to be a synthesis of historical musical instruments in Central Asia and pre-Turkish Anatolia. It is the most commonly used string folk instrument in Turkey, and it takes different names according to the region it's found in and its size: Bağlama, Divan Sazı, Bozuk, Çöğür, Kopuz Irızva, Cura, Tambura, etc.

The cura is the smallest member of the bağlama family, with the highest-pitched sound. One size larger than the cura is the tambura, which is tuned an octave lower than the cura. The Divan sazı is the largest instrument in the family and is tuned one octave lower than the tambura. The bağlama has three main parts, called tekne (the bowl); göğüs (sounding board); and sap (neck). The tekne is generally made from mulberry wood but may also be made of juniper, beech, spruce, or walnut. The göğüs is made from spruce, and the sap section from beech or juniper. The tuning pegs are known as burgu (literally screw). Frets are tied to the tekne with fishing line, which allows them to be adjusted. The bağlama is usually played with a tezene (similar to a guitar pick) and is made from cherrywood bark or plastic. In some regions, it is played with the fingers in a style known as Şelpe or Şerpe. There are three string groups, or courses, on the bağlama, with strings double or tripled. These string groups can be tuned in a variety of ways, known as düzen. For the bağlama düzeni, the most common tuning, the courses are tuned from top downward, A-G-D. Some other düzens are Kara Düzen (C-G-D), Misket Düzeni (A-D-F), Müstezat (A-D-F), Abdal Düzeni, and Rast Düzeni.

Anatolian Folk Music

The music of Turkey includes diverse elements ranging from Central Asian folk music and music from Ottoman Empire dominions such as Persian music, Balkan music and ancient Byzantine music, as well as more modern European and American popular music influences. In turn, it has influenced these cultures through the Ottoman Empire.

The roots of traditional music in Turkey spans across centuries to a time when the Seljuk Turks colonized Anatolia and Persia in the 11th century and contains elements of both Turkic and pre-Turkic influences.

Traditional music in Turkey falls into two main genres; classical art music and folk music. Turkish classical music is characterized by an Ottoman elite culture and influenced lyrically by neighbouring regions and Ottoman provinces, such as Persian and Byzantine vocal traditions and South European cultures.

Earlier forms are sometimes termed as saray music in Turkish, meaning royal court music, indicating the source of the genre comes from Ottoman royalty as patronage and composer.

Neo-classical or postmodern versions of this traditional genre are termed as art music or sanat musikisi, though often it is unofficially termed as alla turca. In addition, from the saray or royal courts came the Ottoman military band, Mehter takımı in Turkish, considered to be the oldest type of military marching band in the world. It was also the forefather of modern Western percussion bands and has been described as the father of Western military music.

Ottoman military bands are thought to be the oldest variety of military marching band in the world. Though they are often known by the Persian-derived word mahtar (مهتر; mehter in Ottoman Turkish) in the West, that word, properly speaking, refers only to a single musician in the band. In Ottoman, the band was generally known as mehterân (مهتران, from the Persian plural mahtarān), though those bands used in the retinue of a vizier or prince were generally known as mehterhane (مهترخانه, meaning roughly, "a gathering of mehters", from Persian "house of the mahtar"). In modern Turkish, the band as a whole is often termed mehter takımı ("group of mehters").

It is believed that individual instrumentalists may have been mentioned in the 8th century Orkhon inscriptions, the oldest written sources of the people who would eventually become the modern Turks.

Such military bands as the mehters, however, were not definitively mentioned until the 13th century.

It is believed that the first "mehter" was sent to Osman Gazi by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin III as a present along with a letter that salutes the newly formed state. From then on every day after the afternoon prayer; "mehter" played for the Ottoman ruler. The notion of a military marching band, such as those in use even today, began to be borrowed from the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. The sound associated with the mehterân also exercised an influence on European classical music, with composers such as Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven all writing compositions inspired by or designed to imitate the music of the mehters.

In 1826, the music of the mehters fell into disfavor following Sultan Mahmud II's massacre of the Janissary corps, who had formed the core of the bands. Subsequent to this, in the mid and late 19th century, the genre went into decline along with the Ottoman Empire. In 1911, as the empire was beginning to collapse, the director of Istanbul's military museum attempted a somewhat successful revival of the tradition, and by 1953—so as to celebrate the 500-year anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople to the forces of Sultan Mehmed II—the tradition had been fully restored as a band of the Turkish Armed Forces.

Today, the music of the mehters is largely ceremonial and considered by many Turks as a stirring example of heroism and a reminder of Turkey's imperial past.

The standard instruments employed by a mehterân are the kös (a large bass drum resembling the timpani), the nakare (a small kettledrum), the davul (a frame drum), the zil (cymbals), the kaba zurna (a bass variety of the zurna), the boru (a kind of trumpet), and the cevgen (a kind of stick bearing small concealed bells). The different varieties of bands are classed according to the number of instruments and musicians employed: either six-layered (altı katlı), seven-layered (yedi katlı), or nine-layered (dokuz katlı).

The costumes worn by the mehterân, despite wide variance in color and style, are always very colourful, often including high ribbed hats which are flared at the top and long robes wrapped in colourful silks.

Percussion Instruments:

The çevgan player

The kös player

Davul players

Zil and nakkare players

Wind Instruments:

Kaba zurna players

Boru players

The sound of the Ottoman military band is characterized by an often shrill sound combining bass drums, horns (boru), bells, the triangle and cymbals (zil), among others. It is still played at state, military and tourist functions in modern Turkey by the Mehter Band and the troops that accompany.

Turkish folk music is the music of Turkish-speaking rural communities of Anatolia, the Balkans, and Middle East. While Turkish folk music contains definitive traces of the Central Asian Turkic cultures, it has also strongly influenced and been influenced by many other indigenous cultures. Religious music in Turkey is sometimes grouped with folk music due to the tradition of the wandering minstrel or aşık (pronounced ashuk), but its influences on Sufism due to the spritiual Mevlevi sect arguably grants it special status.

It has been suggested the distinction between the two major genres comes during the Tanzîmat period of Ottoman era, when Turkish classical music was the music played in the Ottoman palaces and folk music was played in the villages.

However, with the type of cultural cross-breeding the empire allowed, both genres relate to the multitudes of ethnic groups to be found in the make-up of the Ottoman Empire. classical music has had lapses in prominence.

Anatolia (Turkish: Anadolu) (Greek:Anatolía) is that geographic region of Turkey bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Aegean Sea to the west, and the bulk of the Asian mainland to the east.

The name Anatolia comes from the Greek Aνατολή (Αnatolí), "rise (i.e. sunrise)," or Ανατολία (Anatolía), "(land) of the sunrise" or simply the "East."

It likely dates back at least 3,000 years, from the Ionian settlement period called the 1st millennium BC. (See also Ionian League). The Byzantine Greek term Anatolikon (the "Eastern One") signified the lands to the East of Europe and of the Byzantine Empire's capital city of Constantinople (now Istanbul). The etymology of the word supports the idea that Anatolia was a peninsula bordered by the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Eastern Taurus Range.

The Turkish form Anadolu derives from the Greek version – both which predated the growth of Constantinople across the Bosporus strait to both continental shores. Turkish folk etymology further breaks down the geographical term into two words: Ana ("mother") and Dolu ("full"). Thus, the name means "Full of Motherliness" and is used to advance a pedagogical ideal: Women's contribution of mother's milk to national masculine bravery.

Less literally, it is sometimes interpreted as Mother of Cities, perhaps dating to the pre-Islamic era when the Byzantine Empire was the biggest international power known in that part of Asia, and occupied the entire region

Because of its strategic location at the intersection of Asia and Europe, Anatolia has been the center of several civilizations since prehistoric times.

The Turkish language was introduced gradually with the conquest of Anatolia by Turkic peoples from the 11th century AD.

[8085 Orkney Islands - Hymn / 8071 Turkish Music]