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Social Aspect of Music in Ottoman Empire - Essay Example

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Social Aspect of Music in the Ottoman Empire Music formed part of the unique culture that was found in the Ottoman Empire. This unique culture was a result of the strong influence of the cultures they absorbed and adapted from the various lands they conquered and their people…
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Social Aspect of Music in Ottoman Empire
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Social Aspect of Music in Ottoman Empire

Over the recent times, the Empire has been using other instruments like kemence bowed fiddle, kanun plucked zither, ney end-blown flute, violin, kadum drum among others. The main types of music genres found in Ottoman Empire include spiritual songs, fasil music and other improvised genres like gazel, kaside, durak among others. Fasil music was more secular than the others (Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Turkey, 2002). One of the interesting parts of the music found in Ottoman Empire is its social aspect. Like in many other ancient Empires, music in Ottoman Empire was an important part of social life. According to Bartok and Suchoff (1976), the Ottoman artistic music addressed many themes like love, military, religion and war. Ottoman teaching has an extensive and varied system of scales or modes called makams. In sufi teaching, every makam represents and conveys a specific psychological state. This means that the Ottomans use instruments and pieces of vocal music pieces to cure some medical and psychological conditions. Metin (1998) states that in the Ottoman Empire, music was used for the treatment of mental illness. In this way, it was used to restore sanity and hence maintain healthy socialisations in the Empire. Like most of the fine arts, the Ottoman music was oriented towards entertainment. ...
An example of this was seen in the sultan’s processions, for example the Sultan Murad III procesion. This procession comprised of Sultan Murad III on horseback followed by two dancers and a jester who was normally accompanied by a stringed instrument. At the back, there was a mounted mehter band. Music and dance was also used to enhance the prominence of the upper class and high-ranking people in the Ottoman society. Metin (1998), states that apart from royal processions, music and dance prominently figured in the processions of Ottoman’s tradesmen and this could last for hours. Such musical processions were also used to welcome back Ottoman ambassadors who had been serving in some countries like Paris or Vienna. These ambassadors would enter the city with a huge procession which included a sizeable mehter band riding on horses. These scenes were so magnificent that that the courtiers and the public watching would be deeply stirred. In the Ottoman Empire, music accompaniments were very important for art dances performed by women as well as men dressed in women attire. In these performances, dance and dance were greatly intertwined and could described as visual concerts. Murray and Will (1997) explain that in some types of Ottoman music, young male dancers normally cross-dressed attire meant for women. These type of dancers were called kocek. This type of music was used to express some types of relationships like pederasty. Pederasty is a type of relationship between a man and a young boy outside his intermediate family. The boy was normally an adolescent boy and relating with younger boys was not allowed. Between the 17th century and 19th ... Read More
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