Ahenk - Turkish Classical Music - Volume 1
Murat Aydemir (tanbur), Derya Türkan (classical kemenche)



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Tracks
1. Sultani Yegâh
Müsterek Taksim
4:15
2. Sultani Yegâh Peshrevi
Tanburi Refik Fersan
8:03
3. Ferahfeza Saz Semaisi
Udi Serif Muhittin Targan
4:22
4. Tanbur Taksimi
Ferahfeza - Acemkürdi
3:46
5. Acemkürdi Saz Semaisi
Kemani Cevdet Çagla
7:16
6. Muhayyer Pesrevi
Tanburi Cemil Bey
5:30
7. Muhayyer Isfahan Müsterek Taksim
5:30
8. Isfahan Saz Semaisi
Tanburi Cemil Bey
4:10
9. Ussak Sirto
Tanburi Necip Gülses
3:17
10. Kemençe Taksimi
Suzinak
2:45
11. Suzinak Saz Semaisi
Kemani Tatyos Efendi
4:10
  Total Time:

Murat Aydemir & Derya Turkan - Ahenk - Turkish Classical Music
54:24

In this recording, Derya Türkan and Murat Aydemir, two of the most talented Classical Turkish Musicians of their generation, present a most colorful collection of well-known works of virtuoso Turkish composers.

Their incredible talent for performing classical forms of Turkish Music, as well as the improvisation of different Turkish Music modes between these compositions has made this album one of the most important recordings made in the last decade.

Derya Türkan & Murat Aydemir both established their music career successfully at a very young age and they have already performed intensively, both nationally and internationally, throughout the last eight years.

"Profound and very deeply felt performances."

Dave Dalle, CKCU, Ottawa, Carleton University


Composers :

Tanburi Refik Semseddin Fersan (1893-1965)

Refik Fersan, one of the most important composers of the last period of Turkish Classical Music, was born in Istanbul in 1893. His early exposure to music was through his father, who was a Hâfz and a composer. Between 1905 and 1912, he took tanbur lessons from Tanburi Cemil Bey, and he ultimately graduated from the Galatasaray Sultani School. After spending years in Egypt and Switzerland to study chemistry, he eventually abandoned University, and returned to Istanbul to commit his life to music. He studied with Leon Hanciyan Efendi, from whom he learned the Hamparsun note system. Subsequently, Fersan became a tanbur teacher at Darülelhan (The Istanbul Conservatory). In 1923 Fersan became director of the National Turkish Music Ensemble, where he worked for a period of four years as a director and musician. In 1948, at the offical invitation of the Syrian Government, he went to Damascus to establish the Damascus Concervatory and to teach Turkish music there. Only 142 of more than 400 of his compositions have survived and have been released complete with their original notes. In addition to his compositions, Refik Fersan has revived long-ignored Selmek makam traditions.

Serif Muhiddin Targan (1902-1967)

Oud virtuoso and composer, Serif Muhiddin Targan, was born in Istanbul in 1902. He took private lessons until the age of eighteen, during which time he learned Persian, Arabic, French and English. He later graduated from Law School and the Faculty of Literature. He began to learn piano when he was three years old, the oud when he was six, and the cello at the age of fourteen. In 1924 Targan went to New York and worked with such renowned musicians as Leopold Goddowsky, Prof. Auer Kreisler, Elman, and others. He performed many concerts for these masters, as well as playing alongside them. In 1934, he formed the Baghdad Conservatory. Following this, he was named president of the Research Committee of the Istanbul Conservatory. Today we are left with only twenty-three of his compositions; twenty of these are instrumental works and the other three are songs.

Kemani Cevdet Çagla (1900-1988)

Çagla is one of the most important Turkish Music composers of the last period. He was born in Istanbul in 1900. He was raised in a musical family, and began to play the violin when he was seven years old. In 1916 he went to Berlin to study music on a government scholarship. After his return to Istanbul, he was accepted to the Music Conservatory as a violin player. During his fifteen years of work there, he played almost in every recording produced by the Conservatory. In 1926 he worked on the very first programs of the Istanbul Radio; he later worked in Ankara Radio, Ankara Music Association, Istanbul Radio, Baghdad Conservatory, and the Istanbul Technical University National Conservatory of Turkish Music as a musician, professor and administrator. Today we have eighty-two of his compositions.

Tanburi Cemil Bey (1871-1916)

Tanburi Cemil Bey was a genius, and was probably the most creative Turkish Musician of this century. Even as a little boy, he exhibited an incredible uniqueness and proficiency in the tanbur instrument. Without making any changes to the characteristics of Classical Turkish Music, and remaining honest to the traditional structure of Turkish music, he developed an amazing style which proved his virtuousity both in his improvisations and compositions. With their delicate structures, rich melodies and strong characteristics, these compositions and improvisations carry a uniquely romantic and lyric feeling that Tanburi Cemil Bey developed from his teacher Tanburi Ali Efendi`s style. Yet, freeing them somewhat from classical forms, he improved his teacher's style, and vastly benefitted the period as well. Similar to Haci Arif Bey in vocal music, Tanburi Cemil Bey established creative development in instrumental music, both technically and aesthetically. Even though we have only thirty-five of his compositions, with his thousands of improvisations (taksim) he is an extraordinary force in Turkish Music. Most of these improvisations were recorded on 78 rpm discs, and survive in various archives.

Kemani Tatyos Efendi (1853-1913)

The composer and musician Tatyos Efendi, of Armenian origin, was born in Istanbul in 1858, and he rose to fame under the name of Kemani Tatyos. He learned the kanun from his uncle Mofses and violin from Sebuh, he also studied music with Civan and Astik. He has been largely accepted as a Master Armenian musician of his period. He was a remarkable composer, commanding an outstanding knowledge of notes and note-writing. Today we are left with sixty-two of his compositions.

Necip Gülses (1952- )

Gülses was born in Istanbul. He had his first musical education from Ali Gülses, who is one of most famous Hafiz of Turkey. He graduated from Istanbul Technical University Turkish Music Conservatuary in 1980. In the following year he started to work as a tanbur teacher at the same institutation. In 1985 he began working as a tanbur player at Turkish Radio and Television. In 1996 he won a special prize with his Usak Sirto composition at the Tanburi Cemil Bey Instrumental Composition Competition. In 1997 he was appointed a member of Turkish Radio Television, Turkish Music Performance Supervision Division. Besides working in this Institution, he works also as a composer and tanbur player, and has twenty-five compositions in various musical forms.


Instruments :

Tanbur

The Tanbur is a long necked, stringed instrument with the widest tonal range of any stringed instument indiginous to Turkey. It is played with a mzrab (tortoise-shell plectrum). Throughout the centuries, a variety of tanburs have been developed and used: Tambur-i horasan, tambur-i kebir-i türki, tambur-i rûd and tambur-i çirvinan. Today's tanbur was first used by Dimitri Kantemirolu (1673-1723) to document Turkish Classical Music.

The Tanbur's body has a hemisperic shape and is constructed from mahogany, walnut, balsam, rose, chestnut, juniper, and plane trees. Its long neck, which is about 29-33 inches (73-84 centimeters) long, is fretted. Playing is accomplished at the lowest string with a mzrab. The player plucks the strings which causes a vibration, resulting in resonance on the totally covered soundboard of the tanbur. A sound which is referred to as tannaniyet is produced. A tanbur player moves the neck of the tanbur up and down lightly to produce different expressions and moods.

Today's tanbur has eight strings. Of these eight, half are made from brass and the other half from steel; the steel strings are thinner. Compositions are played on the lowest strings one and two (yegâh). The traditional sound of the tanbur is achieved from the lowest yegâh string. The middle strings (3 and 4) are used as harmony strings as well as to achieve lower sounds than yegâh. The rest of the strings are used to produce harmony.

A tanbur can be tuned in a variety of ways, which can be based for a specific makam or even a composition. However, there is a classical tuning system that is generally used. This system can best be described from the base to the top : strings 1 and 2 yegâh (re), strings 3 and 4 kaba rast (sol), kaba dügâh (la), strings 5 & 6 yegâh (re), 7th string kaba rast, kaba dügâh, kaba kürdi, kaba segâh (re), kaba bûselik and lastly the 8th string for kaba yegâh. This tuning is called bolaheng.

Classical Kemençe

The earliest Turkish bowed instrument was called ikl. The Turks brought this instrument to Anatolia and in time it came to be called a kemençe,which literally means little keman (violin).

In Turkey, there are different instruments called kemençe. From these varieties, the Karadeniz Kemençesi (Blacksea Kemençe) and the Türkmen Kemençesi (Southeastern Kemençe) are used in folk music. The Blacksea Kemençe has a narrower body and its shape is more rectangular. The instrument used in Turkish Classical Music is called Klasik Kemençe (Classical Kemençe) which has a wider and rounder body. All kemençes are played with a bow. Unlike a classical kemençe player, however, the Blacksea kemençe player plays while standing.

The classical kemençe has been used in Turkish Classical Music since the middle of the 19th century. Especially after Tanburi Cemil Bey, it has become an essential instrument of Classical music ensembles. This kemençe has three strings; it is placed on the left knee with its top leaned against the player's chest. The strings are not plucked with the fingers; rather, they are pushed with the finger nails lightly from the sides.