Oriental Music

Exotic melodic flavor in Oriental and Turkish music

The Oriental Music associated with the Belly Dancer

It is seldom that a particular kind of music conjures the same image in the minds of all listeners. To the Western ear, the unfamiliar instrumentation and exotic melodic flavor of what is generally described as Oriental music has one immediate association... The Belly Dancer. Indeed, the prime purpose of this is ancient musical form has always been to provide the mood and rhythm for dancing - but a distinctly unique and always fascinating kind of dancing. Belly Dancers have found enthusiastic favor and acclaim throughout the Western world and may have had an impact on our society second in effect to that of the Oriental numerical system.
Ancient Sound of Anatolia: the Baglama
Baglama. If a single instrument were to represent Turkish folk music it would have to be the baglama. There is no region, no village in Anatolia which is not familiar with this string instrument...
Instruments similar to the darbuka, of various shapes and sizes, were used by civilisations in Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Central Asia in ancient times. In later periods, these changed and developed, but continued to be used in the same areas.
Zurna (oboe) is one of the most important instruments in traditional/local music. The pipe was first made from tree bark, and later panels of copper or brass were added. In the past, the instrument was known by the names "curna", "zurr", "sarna" and "sorna", and called the "sernay" in Persian. The pipe widens towards the bottom, and a reed is placed at the mouth in order to play it.
The davul (or screw davul) is one of the very oldest instruments, having been used down the ages by the various civilisations of Anatolia, and later by communities in Central Asia. Despite some changes in form and construction technique, the percussion instrument that has come down to the present day is actually one of the least altered traditional Turkish musical instruments.
The Daire/Tef (tambourine) percussion instrument was used in various ways by the ancient civilisations in Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Egypts, and by those that followed, as well as by the Ottomans for both religious and secular purposes. It then moved on from those regions to Europe.
Kaval (flageolet) is a wind instrument, popularly known as the shepherd’s instrument. It also goes by the names "guval" and "kuval" in some areas. There is a widespread popular belief that shepherds use the kaval to direct their flocks. The word ‘kaval’ itself comes from "kav", meaning hollow.
Tulum (Turkish Bagpipe) is one of the wind instrument group, it consists of three parts; the skin, "nav" and mouthpiece. Air is stored in the skin, and when this is squeezed the air is sent on to the nav, which is itself divided into two parts, the "analik" (main part) and "dillik" (tongue part).
With its specifically unique sound created by melding traditional Turkish musical instruments with electronic elements, BabaZula has brought a brand new dimension to Turkish Folk Music. Baba Zula's music is basically an amalgamation of recorded natural sounds with both traditional and modern acoustic and electronic musical instruments, a culmination of disparate electronic effects.
When you hear that a woman from the Toronto suburbs with an Anglo name is an internationally acclaimed Turkish folk singer, an obvious question springs up. "I've been asked how this happened a million times," says Brenna MacCrimmon (BA 2003 Innis). The short answer is happenstance, stemming from a trip to a library in Burlington, Ont., during her late teens. "I came across these Turkish albums, and I was really intrigued," she says.
Creating a synthesis of funk, soul, jazz, reggae and hip-hop, Brooklyn Funk Essentials scored a big number of world-wide record sales with their first album 'Cool and Steady and Easy'. With the jazz funk piece "Katibim" played and prepared for Fuji Film World Music Days 2 in 1996, they received great response and after this Istanbul concert, "Katibim" became the ending piece in the concerts they have been giving all round the world.
World-renowned Turkish multi-instrumentalist Burhan Ocal, a peerless finger drum musician. Burhan Ocal has spent his career bridging the musical cultures of East and West, ancient and modern..
Husnu Senlendirici was born on 12 July 1976, in Bergama, a small town in the Aegean region. Coming from a family deeply rooted in musical traditions (his grandfather, Husnu Senlendirici, used to play the clarinet and trumpet; his other grandfather, Fahrettin Kofeci, the clarinet; and his recently deceased father, Ergun Senlendirici, the trumpet), he immediately became fascinated by music and started playing the clarinet when he was only five.
Laco Tayfa represents a new synthesis within the Turkish Roma (Gypsy) tradition. Under the leardership of clarinetist Husnu Senlendirici, Laco Tayfa brings Turkish regional folk music into dialogue with contemporary world music styles, fired by a driving Roma improvisational style known as "dogaclama". The name "Laco Tayfa" is a synthesis of Romani and Turkish: "laco" is a Romani world meaning "good"; "tayfa" is an Arabic transplant into Turkish connoting a combined work group, extended family and musical ensemble.
Mad Professor a.k.a Neil Fraser began his musical career on the technical side of things as a service engineer for mixing desks and amplifiers. That skill and a good ear for "on key" music became his asset when he began building a 4 track studio at his home in Thornton Heath. At school Neil was christened Mad Professor by friends who were amazed by the experiments he was carrying out.
Mercan Dede believes that when you put digital, electronic sounds together with hand-made, human ones, you can create universal language, capable of uniting old and young, ancient and modern, East and West. It’s a bold claim, but the Turkish-born and Montreal-based musician/producer/DJ has the career and the music to back it up.