UMBC Center for Turkish Music Presents Masters of Turkish Music:
MUNIR NURETTIN, CEMIL BEY, SAFIYE, ARAP MEHMET, AND OTHER GREAT MUSICAL TALENTS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Program notes enclosed
From the Program Notes:
There were giants of Turkish music in the first half of this century, in the Ottoman court music, Anatolian folk music, and urban entertainment music. True, fine singers and instrumentalists today keep alive the flame of great Turkish music. But the best musicians and singers of our time still find inspiration in the old 78 rpm recordings and admire the fine sense of pitch discrimination, melodic development, and improvisation on those recordings. Tamburi Cemil Bey, Münir Nurettin Selçuk, Arap Mehmet, Safiye Ayla, and others of the first half of this century set standards still looked up to today.
Recording expeditions from England's Gramophone & Typewriter Company appeared in Istanbul as early as 1903 and were regularly scheduled thereafter. Other early companies who recorded there included Favorite and Odeon from Germany and the Blumenthal Brothers' local label, Orfeon. Only G&T. later named His Master's Voice, and Odeon were still active when electrical recording began in the mid-1920s. The valuable Western Electric recording patents were licensed to these two companies and to Columbia, which also came to record actively in Turkey. A small but significant number of Turkish records were made in America after 1912 by immigrants from the Middle East, many of whom were ethnic Armenians, Jews, Gypsies, and Greeks.
Minorities have historically played a major role in composing and performing Turkish classical, folk, and nightclub music.
The music of the Ottoman court is classical in the sense that melodic modes, rhythmic modes, and poetic meters are strictly defined and named. Every melody in Turkish classical music is created according to the rules of the modal system called 'makam.' A makam has a certain scale, important notes, its own characteristic phrases and modulations. Improvisation tests the musician's ability to be creative within the strict rules of makam. Almost all compositions are created within a specific rhythmic cycle (something like a measure), called 'usul.' Every usul has a name and a pattern of strong and weak beats. The shortest usul is two beats, the longest, over a hundred. A singer's improvisation must not only fit gracefully into the rules of a makam but must also follow the poetic meter. In folk and urban entertainment genres, you will find less concern with naming of fine distinctions, but their beauty, vitality, and artistry is evident in these recordings.
A1 –Tarsus'lu Abdülkerim Gazel: "Bekledim Kaç Gece"
A2 –Safiye Ayla Gazel: "Yârin Bu Kadar Cevri Gelir Miydi Hayâle"
A3 –Hafız Şaşı Osman Efendi Gazel: "Mâhitâbım Beyi Seyrâne Mi Çıktın Bu Gece"
A4 –Nafi Bey Gazel: "Derdime Vakıf Değil"
A5 –Yozgazlı Hafız Süleyman Bey* Bozlak And Halay
A6 –Münir Nurettin Selçuk Durak: "Bülbül-i Sûrîdeyim Gülden Nasîbim Var Benim"
A7 –Safiye Ayla Şarkı: "Saatlerce Başbaşa Kaldığımız Geceler"
A8 –Hafız Burhan Sesyılmaz* Şarkı: "Nîm Nigâhın Katle Ferman"
B1 –İsak El-Gazi Gazel: "Bî-karar Olmaktı Sevmekten Murâdı Gönlümün"
B2 –İsak El-Gazi Şarkı: "Bir Katre İçen Çeşme-i Pür-hûn-i Fenâdan"
B3 –Klarnetçi Şükrü Tunar* Çiftetelli
B4 –Kemani Haydar Tatlıyay* Oyun Havası
B5 –Gülistan Hanım Mânî
B6 –Zurnacı Halil Halay Dance
B7 –Refik Fersan Taksim
B8 –Kemani Nubar Çömlekçiyan Tekyay* Taksim
B9 –Tanburi Cemil Bey Taksim
B10 –Tanburi Cemil Bey Taksim
Original 78 rpm discs supplied by Richard Spottswood and Cinuçen Tanrıkorur Sound restoration by Jack Towers.