The Sound of Turkey

Turkey has a long standing musical tradition that is both rich and varied, often contrasting in styles that combines a mix of cultural influences. Turkey’s cultural fabric is made up of a combination of diverse cultures rooted deeply in history. Due to its geographical position, Turkey lies where the cultures of the East, the West, the Middle Eastern, the Mediterranean and Islam meet. The sound of Turkey embodies Turkish folk, classical and pop music to military and mystical sounds.

Traditionally, Turkish folk music combines the distinct values and stories of civilizations that lived in Anatolia and the Ottoman territories. It has been passed down for thousands of years and is still kept alive in the present day, as it resembles traces of local cultures. Folk songs always have a story behind them and feature Türkü singers. Türkü refers to folk songs originating from music traditions within Turkey.

Turkish classical music emerged and developed in an urban elite environment. This type of music is monophonic, meaning all instruments essentially play the same tune. With the formation of the Turkish Republic, this form of modern polyphonic Turkish music began to develop. The traditional instruments include oud, tanbur, ney, kanun, tef, darbuka, and kemençe. Influenced by Western genres, Turkish classical music is contemporary and has undergone some changes over the years. Music brings people together, and represents the stories of human lives and traditions.

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