Social Aspect of Music in Ottoman Empire

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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.


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. ...
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