Ottoman MusicOttoman Music

Ottoman music is a synthesis, carrying within it a great many historical riches. It emerged as the result of a sharing process between the Turks and the minorities living alongside them, the Byzantines, Greeks, Persians, Arabs, Jews, Armenians..

Fasil Music

Fasil Music

Works composed within the same melodic structure (makam) , or mode, set out and played in a particular order. In a genuine fasýl, there will be works for voice and for saz. The basis of the fasil is that the works should have the same melodic structure, and they are then ordered according to shape or form. There must generally be two "Beste" (poetic forms) and five "Semai" composed to count as a complete fasil. These are accompanied by lyrics. The compositions are in the form of "Murabba" (a poem composed of quatrains) or "Nakis" (a form of song). Murabbas are composed for two rhyming couplets of a "Gazel", and may be with or without "Terennum", which are words that complement the verses that make up the formal lyric of the song, and may either have a meaning or else be just a string of syllables, for example "ten, tenen, tenenen, ten nen ni". Lines 1, 2 and 4 of the poem are tied to the same melody, with line 3 having a different melody. This latter section is known as "Miyan Hane", wherein the makam is either widened or changed. Murabbas with terennum repeat it at the end of each line. The terennum of the miyan hane may be different, however. In the nakis, on the other hand, two verses are read together, followed by a lengthy terennum.

Semai with lyrics and the same structure as the murabba or nakis (but composed in the semai style) are known as "Agir" and "Yuruk" Semai respectively. In the fasil, lyrical works such as the "Kar" or "Sarki" and instrumental pieces such as "Taksim", "Pesrev", "Saz Semaisi" and "Oyun Havasi" may be added. In this way, the structure of a complete fasýl is as follows;

Any introductory Taksim with saz.

  1. Pesrev 
  2. The first beste or kar.
  3. Second beste.
  4. Agir semai
  5. Sarkis (in order from major rhythmic pattern and slow character, to minor and fast)
  6. Yuruk Semai
  7. Saz Semai

The "Kar" gives considerable space to the terennum component, and is a work with lyrics requiring considerable expertise. It is one of the most developed forms. The "Sarki" in Turkish literature is a form that emerged under the influence of the folk song. The sarki consists of lines of verse, its name depending on the number of verses involved. It is composed with a minor rhythmic pattern (usul) and can take various forms. It was particularly popular after the 19th century, and left the other forms which included lyrics in the shade. It went from strength to strength in the 20th century, going beyond the previously established frontiers and eventually turning into the "Fantezi" form as it grew more and more popular. Apart from a few outstanding examples, it played a major role in restricting the sphere of traditional classical music.